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USPS / broke my vases

1 Latham, NY, United States
Contact information:

While I was visiting my mother in Latham, NY in July of 07, my mother and I shipped 3 antique vases from Latham, NY to myself in Las Vegas. I purchased $500 insurance for my package. When I returned to Las Vegas very late evening and opened my package, I discovered the items were broken. I brought them over to the post office the following day to file a claim. The local employees as well as the agents I spoke with on their 1-800 customer service number explained to me that I could have my items repaired and file a claim for a repair instead of a reimbursement. I got an estimate from a local restoration/repair shop and also an appraisal on my items and turned it in with my claim form. The Postal employees accepted my claim, filled out a PS form 1000 stating that the package was insured (section B. 1a), All contents were damaged (section B.5) and in section B.6 they clearly marked that my items were presented along with the wrapping, container/package. This PS form was signed and dated by a postal employee and a copy was returned to me personally. Upon returning home, I received a phone call from the Cross Roads Station asking that I bring the items back, stating that they wanted to keep my items even though I was previously told they would not need keep them when a repair is requested. I asked to speak with a manager and talked to Jack Clark. I explained to Mr. Clark that these were delicate antiques and I did not want further damage to occur since it would raise the cost of the repair. I also explained to him that his employees informed me at the time I filed my claim that I would not need to surrender the items. Mr. Clark told me he would go ahead and process my claim despite the confusion on their policy. After several weeks I received a letter denying my claim and stating "they had no evidence that the parcel was damaged in their custody and they were not liable". I filed an appeal attaching a copy of the PS form 1000 which is validated proof signed by their own employee stating that they inspected the entire package, contents and wrapping and that they witnessed the damage to my article. Again, after several more weeks my claim was denied for the same reasons. My final attempt was my appeal to the Consumer Advocate in Washington DC. I sent all documents: PS form 1000, a copy of my insurance receipt and 2 letters from witnesses. One witness (my mother) saw me personally package the items and mail it. The other witness was my husband whom witnessed the damaged items upon opening the package. I received a letter dated Jan 18th from Cheryl Woody, Consumer Research Analyst at [protected] stating that they denied my claim once again stating that "the antique vases and packaging were not presented for inspection". The PS Form 1000 clearly states that the items and packaging WERE in fact brought in for inspection. It is a validated document signed by postal officials stating they inspected my items and that the items WERE in fact damaged. I do not understand how they can deny my claim when this evidence has been presented. I paid for a service, I presented evidence for this claim and I have documented proof of it. I feel that the post office should honor this claim and repay me for the repairs for the damage done to my vases while in their care.

Barbara Hoyt


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