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US Post Office Warning

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 Posted 11/10/2014  12:19 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add mmissinglink to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In September of this year, I purchased a $500+ coin from a reputable seller on eBay.

The coin was shipped insured and signature confirmation. I never received the coin. The tracking info states that on 2 consecutive days, a notice was left but no notice was ever found by me.

Twice (a week apart) I was told by 2 separate top supervisors at my local Post office branch that they have the parcel there ready to be picked up. When I was on the phone with these supervisors, I told them not to put it out for delivery because I was coming in the following morning. The following mornings when I went in, I was told (after they had 2 to 3 employees looking for the parcel for about 20 minutes each time) that the parcel wasn't there that it was left in my mailbox, unsigned...by mistake. After 2 more weeks of conflicting stories and giving me the run-around by my local Post Office, I filed a case with the criminal investigative office of the USPS and that went nowhere because the head supervisor claimed that I am responsible for the parcel because it was allegedly left in my mailbox! I kid you not.

I contacted the seller and asked him to file an insurance claim. Two weeks later a letter was received by the shipper from the local PO insurance claim office, denying the claim because the tracking info states that a notice was left and therefore I am responsible for obtaining the parcel from the local PO branch. I am not joking.

Now of course, this whole time, the seller has his money, I am out $500+, and the parcel has been lost or stolen by someone at the local PO.

I requested of the seller to file an appeal of the insurance claim denial and he did. He has not heard back from them but since the 1st appeal must be sent to the same person that the claim was originally sent to, we are expecting the same result...denial of claim.

I learned that a second appeal can be filed and that will go to the main USPS and different eyes will look at the appeal.

My point of all this is that even with insurance and signature required and a lost or stolen parcel due to the local carrier not following protocol (by allegedly leaving the parcel unsigned in my mailbox), even with all this, the USPS can screw you over big time.

I no longer can trust the USPS to deliver valuable coins.
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5271 Posts
 Posted 11/10/2014  01:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They can deny all they want but the bottom line is if the package was properly insured, and a signature was required at delivery, then your local post office messed up.

If the package was not picked up during the 15 day window then it is to be returned to the sender as unclaimed. It does not become "finders keepers" or sent to the dead letter office.

Make sure that you have screen shots of everything regarding shipment and delivery attempts.

The post office uses a lot of contract (temp) employees. It is just like any business. Some of those employees are dirty. Your local post office may have a dirty one. If your package went missing then chances are others have gone missing there, too. Multiple losses will eventually lead to a visit by the Postal Inspectors.

Be persistent.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  08:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wondering if it is worth your time to talk to a lawyer? The first 15 minutes should be free of charge.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 11/10/2014  10:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They do not have your signature, how can the claim be denied?
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United States
7075 Posts
 Posted 11/10/2014  11:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Buddy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry that this happened to you.

I have to say that what bothers me the most isn't that somebody stole your package because stealing just doesn't shock me anymore. What bothers me the most is the time and energy the PO invests in blaming you while the trail grows cold. That seens, to me, to indicate much more than one employee with sticky fingers.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  11:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mmissinglink to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I actually contacted (and have spoken with a couple of times since) the postal inspector's office from about 2 1/2 weeks ago and told them what happened. I opened a case and they apparently investigated by asking the top supervisor at my local PO what happened. This PO supervisor told the investigator that the parcel was left in the mailbox unsigned and that it was a mistake to do that. The investigator told me the only thing remaining is to file and insurance claim because it was insured. That claim was denied citing that the tracking still indicates that a notice was left for me.

The seller and I are completely dumbfounded at how it's possible that the claim was denied and concurrently that the appeal goes to the same individual that denied in the first place.

This is all hard to believe for some of you I'm sure, but I'm telling you that the seller is a very reputable coin dealer not just on eBay (but in his home state in CA) and if it can happen like this to me and this dealer, a denial of insurance claim can happen to anyone for any reason including when the Post Office screws up big time (loss or theft or protocol violation by your local PO). It's beyond infuriating.

I will wait to see a lawyer until after we hear back on the appeal. My hunch is that this first appeal will also be denied because it must go back to the individual who ruled initially to deny the claim. But that's the way the USPS insurance claim appeal process works apparently....that appeal goes back to the same person who denied the claim in the first place.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  11:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If this was an eBay purchase you need to file an INR dispute NOW to protect your interest.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  11:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you funded the purchase with a credit card you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer because you never received the item.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  12:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Why make the credit card company eat this one when they will just pass the expense on to card holders. Having the PO look into this is a bit of a waste of time,they are covering their butts right? An outside layer is the best bet,IMHO. Good luck to you.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 11/10/2014  1:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add zookr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I always keep my fingers crossed when buying off of eBay -
Edited by zookr
11/10/2014 1:25 pm
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 Posted 11/10/2014  1:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mmissinglink to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
eBay, weeks ago already, ruled in favor of the seller claiming that eBay's Buyer Protection program implicitly states that if the tracking indicates that a notice was left, then this is the same as it being delivered and eBay then washes their hands of the Buyer Protection case that is opened.

While I do believe that eBay's specific criteria in its policy as told to me is wholly unfair to the buyer in instances like this, I point the finger at the USPS for denying an insurance claim for a Signature Required parcel that was allegedly left in my mailbox without a signature. That's a total breach of protocol and it should be immediate grounds for approval of the insurance claim, not the exact opposite. There's something really wrong with the USPS if they will be able to get away with repeatedly denying any appeals.

As for trying to get the credit card to intervene, I paid with PayPal and the money came out of my checking account.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  2:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
John1.....

The credit card company won't "eat it". The Seller of the item is ultimately responsible for delivering the merchandise or a refund. A chargeback to the Seller gets attention real quick. The chargeback is debited back to the Seller if he cannot prove delivery. Standard operating procedure. The buyer has at least 180 days to file a chargeback. It is a last resort to use in my opinion. Anyway, in this case we don't know how the Buyer paid or if he even bought the coin off eBay.

The OP needs to fully protect himself from loss. Those actions include his first line of action of communicating with the Seller (which he has done). The Seller is cooperating but appears to be letting the clock run. A coin shipped in September should have either been delivered, or refunded within 60 days, don't ya think? The Buyer needs the package or a refund.... NOW.

If I were the Buyer I'd file an INR dispute with eBay to protect my interests (providing the coin was purchased through eBay).

The post office will eventually pay up and refund the Seller providing he has his bases covered.

The clock is ticking.
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 Posted 11/10/2014  2:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mmissinglink to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi westernsky,

I appreciate your suggestions and input. Yes purchased on eBay and I believe funds were taken directly from my checking account as I paid through PayPal.

Thus far the seller has cooperated in terms of filing the insurance claim and then the appeal when the claim was denied. I just don't know how far he is willing to cooperate because it is time consuming to write up appeals and fill out forms. But, what is his incentive at this point? He got paid. eBay already ruled he has no liability for the lost parcel due to eBay's idiotic criteria for delivery....my Buyer protection claim through eBay was closed in favor of the seller.

So both the USPS and eBay have failed very simple tests of owning up to their responsibility. USPS should have approved the insurance claim right off the bat; eBay should have not closed the case and quickly ruled in the seller's favor since the seller was paid and the parcel never delivered.


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 Posted 11/10/2014  4:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I may have missed something but did YOU file an INR complaint through eBay or did the Seller just tell you eBay denied HIS claim?
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 Posted 11/10/2014  4:26 pm  Show Profile   Check jdmern's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jdmern to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If eBay denied your claim, I would get on the phone with them and keep escalating until someone can do something- by their own rules you should be 100% protected
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 Posted 11/10/2014  4:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add westernsky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If the Post Office continues this cat and mouse game then get your local Congressman's office involved. Congress still has oversight and funding authorizations for the PO.

BOTTOM LINE IS THEY DID NOT GET A SIGNATURE for an insured parcel. The Seller (and you) paid for a service (signature insurance). that was not provided. That's their mistake, not yours.

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