Another USPS Update

Here we go again. When I’ve complained to others about losing two packages, I’ve heard stories about people not pursuing the insurance claims that went unanswered when the Postal Service lost their package. That’s why I started out to see how far I could get with my claim after a year of waiting to hear. Others might want to try to get their insurance claim settled, too, if I have any luck. If we pay the insurance fee and the fault of loss is the fault of the Postal Service, we have the right to be reimbursed.

The denials I’ve received have been easy to dispute because I kept my paperwork for over a year. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my claim, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get satisfaction. The Postal Service has the intention to wear me down until I quit and must have a long list of denials that they can throw at me yet.

I received two letters at once from the Postal Service Claims Department in St Louis. The first one was the $55 check, settlement from my insurance claim, that I refused and sent back. I was told to go ahead and cash the check. If I was to win my appeal the rest of my claim would be sent to me. I’ve got a year to cash that check so I’m not cashing it for awhile. I’m afraid doing so would make it look like I’ve accepted the Postal Service decision. This is one of the things I stated in my reply to Washington DC.

The second letter was a denial to send me any more money. Reason this time was their payment reflects the limit of insurance I purchased. I’ve lost count of how many copies of my insurance claim I’ve sent to the Claims department, but on the form it states that I paid $2.80 for the insurance on $135. I was told I was allowed to get back my postage and tracking fee so that is the $141. Now another employee has told me the Postal Service never refunds postage. I’d just be happy to see the $135 at this point, but a Postal employee did fill out the insurance form to show that I could claim postage and tracking fee.

How could I have not paid enough to cover the value of my package? When is the last time any of you have taken a package to the post office, asked to insure it and decided to pay a lower amount that wouldn’t cover insurance on the package especially when the insurance fee is so cheap. That didn’t happen. When I filed the insurance claim, a postal employee filled out the claim form for me and signed it. So the proof that I paid the right amount is down in black and white and still this latest denial says I didn’t pay enough insurance fee. Post Offices have a rate sheet for insurance. In one office, it was a small sheet that was out of sight. In another I just visited, the insurance rate was on the wall above the counter. Tell me the St. Louis Claims department has a different rate sheet with higher fees, and see if I believe it.

I was given an address to write for my FINAL appeal and that was stressed so that I am to know that I am about to end my fight. I think it would be wise from now on if I need to appeal any other claim to write directly to this address and get it over with. Here it is if anyone needs it.

Vice President & Consumer Advocate

US Postal Service-Domestic Claims Appeals

475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 10343

Washington, DC 20260-0343

The letter I received said I was to appeal focusing only the basis of the last claim denial about the insurance fee not being enough. I take it to mean I’m not to digress about any other correspondence with the St. Louis Claim Center. I went to the post office and asked to see the insurance rate. Turns out $100 – $200 is a fee of $2.75. I paid a nickel too much according to the chart. Also, the employee said that a machine determines the fee. I was charged what ever the machine said. That I didn’t go in to. It was enough for me to see the rate sheet.

In my DC letter, I explained what the employee said and mentioned that I saw the fee chart so I know the fee to be accurate. Plus the fact that not paying enough to cover the value of the package didn’t make sense. Going on the premise that there might be a reason why I wasn’t suppose to bring up ALL my correspondence with St. Louis when I wrote Washington DC, I went into the history of how the first package was lost, then I insured the next one, thinking I’d be compensated if it was lost. I suggested if whoever reads my letter needs anymore information than what I’ve provided, the Claims Center in St. Louis has a file full of documentation from me that can be fax to Washington DC. I stated that if there had been a mistake in the rate charged me it would have been a postal employee’s error not mine since I wouldn’t have any idea what I was suppose to pay, but I’d have paid any amount I was asked and did.

The fact that Autria Finley from the Postal Claims Center kept apologizing to me at the end of her letter didn’t matter. I had lost a valuable customer because of the 10 week delay in shipping a shipment of books. Since I should be considered a valuable customer, I again sent a customer site map and business card to prove I was a business and used the Postal Service all the time.

While I was at it I said I know the Claims Center is busy, but their PR is lacking. I waited patiently a year to hear from them about my claim. I wouldn’t have heard if I had not wrote to ask the status. When I received the check there wasn’t any explanation of why the amount was only a third of what I had coming. I had to write again. I suggested better communication with their customers would be a good thing. I’ve certainly been communicating with them.