Residence Hall Package FAQs

For Residence Halls Only

Q: What makes packages delivered to the residence halls different than packages delivered to my house?

A: Most packages delivered to your front door at home go through a limited number of “hands”, usually just the sender, carrier, and then yourself. All packages delivered to the halls have an extra step, being sorted and processed by the student employees of the mailroom!

Q: Why do our packages have to get sorted and processed first? Can’t you just give them to us immediately?

A: There are a number of reasons why we process packages the way that we do, and we have to take into account the USPS guidelines. There are thousands of residents within each housing area, and hundreds of rooms. With that, many have similar names, addresses or room numbers to each other. Processing in the way that we do, enables us to ensure that each package goes to the correct resident.

Q: Ok, so how do I know when my package is done being processed?

A: This one is easy! When a mail clerk processes your package, our system automatically sends you an email to your UC Davis account. Make sure to read the entire email, because it might contain extra information about your package.
Please wait one hour after receiving the email so that our staff have time to place the package in the proper area so it’s ready to be picked up!

Q: How long will it take for my package to be processed? I received an email from my carrier that it has been delivered to the mailroom.

A: The mail staff do our best to process your packages as fast as possible; however, hundreds to thousands of packages can be delivered to our mailrooms on any day.

We sort and process packages in the order that they arrive.

Average processing time is 1-2 days, depending on the time of day it was delivered, and the number of other packages we have. If you want to skip the mailroom completely, try using the Amazon Lockers on campus!

Q: How is the Amazon locker different from the mailroom?

A: The Amazon lockers are controlled by Amazon and it works similarly to having a package delivered to your house. If you want to try it, look for the Amazon Locker option when choosing your shipping address. Be sure to select the locker option and not just type the locker’s address as your shipping address! If the option isn’t available, it means the locker is full, so you might have to deliver it to your area mailroom. Unfortunately, the Amazon Lockers are only for Amazon packages, but there are other ways to make sure your package gets to you faster too!

Q: Really? What can I do to ensure my package get to me as quickly as possible?

A: First, avoid ordering packages during the busy seasons. The big inflow of packages creates bottlenecks that slow our whole system down. Busy seasons are:

  • The beginning and end of the quarter
  • Holidays (especially ones with big retail components like Christmas or Valentine’s Day)
  • Any big retail sales events (i.e. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Veteran’s Day or Amazon Days)

Next, make sure to include your full address, building and room number as well as the name you used on your housing contract. If you are unclear about your street address, you can find it here. Even small mistakes can cause our system to be unable to find you and then we have to take extra time solving the mystery of who you are, meaning you won’t get your package as quickly.

Q: I did all those things, but my package still hasn’t been processed. What gives?

A: The content of your package can also cause delays in processing. For example, any items that are received that are possibly prohibited from the residence halls: we must hold onto it until you meet with a SHDS Conduct staff member so that they can ensure you know the rules surrounding the use of your device. Please make sure to read and respond to any emails from Student Housing and the Conduct team if you have ordered one of these objects. Once you’ve attended your meeting, the mail staff will be able to issue your package.

Q: Can I ship my DoorDash and Instacart orders to the mailroom or service desk?

A: No, the mailroom is only able to accept packages from a number of trusted carriers. Direct delivery services like DoorDash usually only provide a first initial and last name on their shipping labels. We can only accept packages with a complete address on the label. We also cannot provide any one time passwords or other confirming information to carriers.

Q: What does it mean that you can’t provide one time passwords to carriers?

A: One time passwords are given to customers as a way to make sure that packages are delivered to the customer only. Mail staff cannot give away these packages to carriers by proxy, so carriers have to call the resident to obtain the password. If there are any problems with the password or contacting the resident, then the package won’t be delivered. To ensure your Amazon packages are able to be delivered, please log into your Amazon account settings and disable the one time password feature.

Q: Is there anything else I should know about the mailroom?

A: Yes! Things are constantly changing, so don’t hesitate to visit your Area Service Desk or talk to your mail staff directly if you have questions!

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