Saturday, 6 December 2008

Day 67 of 365: Going Postal


\i-ˈ--əs, e-\


1: containing or characterized by error : mistaken
<erroneous assumptions>

erroneous impression>

On the 26th of September 2008, Matt and I sent $60 (USD) cash from the Kingswinford, UK post office to a woman called Barb in North Carolina who is looking after my two cats, Sophie and Annie, until they are able to come join us in the UK. We debated sending the money as cash at first, but we were assured from the woman at the counter that as long as we sent the money via 'International Signed For' it would be insured for £35 in the event it was lost/undelivered. We were satisfied with this option and quickly stuffed the money inside a card and into an envelope to be sent off to the US in the trusty hands of the Royal Mail.

We tracked the package with our confirmation number and saw it had reached the United States Postal Service in New York within a couple of days. I was pleased at this and figured it would reach Barb in NC within a week or so.

Two weeks later...nothing. I contacted the USPS and I was told that they could not track it hand to hand because it was a security measure to not be able to trace an 'International Signed For' parcel and they can only confirm delivery. They suggested I wait until the end of the week and phone back if it had not been delivered.

End of the week comes...still no delivery confirmation. As far as I could see from the confirmation details, it was still in New York. I phone the USPS again and they put in an inquiry for it. They give me a case number and tell me someone will be in contact with me within 60 days.

In the meantime, Matt and I had to find an additional lot of money to send to Barb so she wouldn't get the impression that I was trying to be deceitful and not pay her. We sent this via Paypal to my dad who then sends a money order to her from Ohio.

Present day: The 60 days' time has passed and I still have had NO contact from the United States Postal Service. I called again tonight and it took nearly 5 minutes just to get through their stupid, useless, ineffective voice recognition routing service. (This was accomplished by me repeatedly pressing the zero key and listening to the aggravating computer voice telling me she did not understand my entry. Matt even got to witness me mimicking said computer voice and making inappropriate hand gestures.) I finally get a human on the phone who mumbles an introduction and asks for my tracking number. I give it to her and then she says "hmm" and asks when I sent the package. I state it was sent the 26th of September this year in a clearly aggravated tone and she says there is no information on that package and that I will need to file a claim with Royal Mail. I ask why does it have to be with Royal Mail when the United States Postal Service are the ones who stole my money. I explain I have already spoken with someone at USPS a couple months back and I was given a case number. She then proceeds to suck air through her teeth and tell me this was done "erroneously." I asked her to clarify and she says I was misinformed and they should not have opened a case on this as it has to be done through the origin from where the parcel was sent (ie - Royal Mail). She says she will have to delete my case number and I will have to get in touch with them and there was nothing else she or USPS could do for me.

I let my temper get the best of me and mumbled to her a thank you for NOT helping before hanging up. I have been waiting for two months on an inquiry that meant nothing. Some stupid, dishonest postal employee has obviously helped themselves to the cash and I think it's utterly ridiculous that no investigation will go into why the United States Postal Service "lost" my parcel. Instead, I have to now wait a further 2-3 days to get in touch with someone from Royal Mail so they can investigate why USPS have screwed up and figure out how to get me the money back.

Something tells me this warrants a nasty letter to USPS for their incompetent employees and poor customer service. Grr! I can still feel my anger venom.

1 comment: said...

oh darlin--
i feel for you, I really do!
poor you!
What a horrible experience! ;(
Peaceful Yorkshire