Saturday, September 8, 2007

Day 199 - 09/07/2007

Remember that package that I had to file a claim for at the Post Office? Well, I went to another branch today to attempt to file the claim. I say attempt as I tried, but this time it was for naught.

Apparently I needed proof that the insurance was actually purchased, either in the form of the original form or the receipt. You know the tag that's put on by the postal clerk when you buy insurance? The one that has the bar code and says something like "Certificate of Insurance"? Well, that's not proof of purchase.

And even though the words on that tag state nothing about requiring a receipt, one is required. The words actually say something like: To file a claim, this package, contents and estimate of value must be presented.

When I pointed this out to the supervisor (because I guess the little old lady couldn't understand my logic and felt threatened by my reasonable state), he said "You can't put everything on there, it's too small!"

"You're right, but if you put something on there, it gives the impression that that is ALL that's needed. If you need more, put a reference to something else, like the form instructions!"

I don't even know why I wasted my breath. Jackie sure wasn't going to do anything about it. He was too concerned with getting back to his lunch from the looks of the crumbs on his shirt. Either that or he didn't feel like doing the additional paperwork required when no proof of purchase is presented.

The kicker occurred when I got back to the office. I went to the USPS website to see how I could file the claim online (I recalled seeing that as an option when I printed the form out). As it turned out, I didn't qualify, but I did stumble upon this little nugget:

The following items are needed to file an insurance claim for a Domestic mailpiece:

Proof of Insurance. If Purchased Insurance at a Post Office™, one of:

o Your "original" mailing receipt for Insured Mail, Registered Mail™, COD, or Express Mail® service (the original postmarked receipt is required for Insured Mail, Registered Mail and COD).

o The original sales receipt from the United States Postal Service® showing article number and insurance amount is acceptable if original mailing receipt is not available.

o The wrapper showing the name, street name/number, city, state, and ZIP Code™ of both the sender and the recipient and the proper mail endorsement, tag, or label showing that the article was sent insured, COD, Registered Mail with postal insurance, or Express Mail. If only the wrapper is submitted, indemnity can be limited to $100 for insured, $50 for COD, $100 for Registered Mail, and $100 for Express Mail.

Just to be sure, I called up 1-800-ASK-USPS and asked them what was required. Sure enough, no receipt is required. The above instructions are correct. It appears the form is outdated and not complete in stating what is required.

That being said (and just in case I end up being banned from all the post offices in the area), I sent a request to the seller for the receipt. Hopefully he still has it and I'll be able to clear this up without having to resort to calling the media. I probably won't do that anyway, but...

On a completely different front, Frank came over for dinner. After dinner we pretty much spent the rest of the evening talking about what's going on in his world. We don't get a chance to do lunch that often anymore; it seems he stays pretty busy with work. It's always good to catch up with him and hopefully everything will work itself out for him. He's a really good guy who doesn't deserve any of what's being thrown his way.

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