hddennis

Post Office Insurance Advice Needed

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Got a problem and could use the advice of someone who has been through it. Sent my 1917 Maxwell tank to RENU USA on June 2nd to repair a small leak. Was told it would be there on or about June 8th. Tracking number quits on June 6th and no one seems to be able to tell me where it is. My Post Office claims they are looking for it and I've submitted a request online and 3 days later no response from anyone. I insured it for $500.00 and am now wondering if I submit a claim for insurance if that will get someone to actually look for it? Trouble is, they are asking for proof of value. How do you prove what something is worth when 2 years of advertising hasn't gotten one response EXCEPT for the half dozen mint tanks that apparently reside in our prison system!

Seriously has anyone gone through this and can tell me how to proceed?

Howard Dennis

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I filed one claim with the USPS because the goofy carrier bent the copper head gasket into thirds to stuff it in the mail box even though it was supposed to be signed for and had “Do not bend” all over it. I suppose that was why she did it. 
After filing the claim and not hearing anything I kept calling and got nowhere. I went to the post office and still got the run around telling me I had to go online and refill out the forms and provide proof of value. Like you, how do you do that when it took two months of searching to find the one she ruined?  After all that I got mad and demanded to see the postmaster. When I got to his office I had him try to find the gasket and after 20 minutes he approved the value based on my original value. I got the money and it only took another month before another gasket showed up on my searches. 
Get the local post master involved, you may get lucky and he/she may like old cars. 
 

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As a retired mailman, I don’t insure used parts sent through the mail. It comes down to the value of the item. Even if you have a receipt for the item, they may not pay. New stuff, okay, they can deal with that, but not used items. Zeke

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They taught me they don't have a clue. If it is gone it's gone. They lost one of four separately boxed 1933 Essex  brake drums. Tracking ended at a distribution center in PA. Filed and called. They lost a brake drum?

 

Last item was the jacking shaft for a 24" three jaw puller, PA again. Our last exchange was "Do you have a box marked "Lost Mittens"?

 

While on the topic, does anyone read the tracking updates? Reads like the lyrics from "Route 66", but the lyrics go from east to west.

Bernie

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You might want to try calling RENU to see if they got it.  I sent a 1963 Thunderbird power steering box back to a company in California as a core, and the part dropped off tracking one day.  I called the steering company, and they found it in their warehouse.  It had never been marked as shipped.  

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13 minutes ago, Aaron65 said:

You might want to try calling RENU to see if they got it.  I sent a ,,,,and the part dropped off tracking one day. 

I agree.  I recently had purchased  US Postage Stamps from the USPS online store, and it too, dropped off the tracking system completely, despite a prior email saying it was shipped within a day or so.  I waited a very long time and then tried getting any type of help from our local Postmaster...which got me nowhere...as well as trying to get help or refund online.

 

long story, but the stamps finally showed up, despite the totally dormant tracking number info.

 

Don't panic yet, call RENU first because... > within the last month, I've received an online item shipped in a 2 Day Priority USPS package that took well over a week to get.  Then the most recent ebay item came way, way faster than the "gauranteed delivery date" on the ebay item listing itself.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why some USPS shipped  items get here way late, or way early. ???

 

.

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The reason is it’s the USPS !  😳

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It’s so bad I know people who won’t add insurance for 2 reasons: It’s nearly impossible to collect; and adding insurance simply marks for package for possible theft. Sad, but true. I’ve had an easier time collecting for a list item from UPS and FedEx.

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My rule of thumb used to be that if it was worth 200.00 or more, I used FedEx Ground and anything under 200.00 was sent USPS Priority Mail.

Now, anything over 100.00 value gets sent FedEx Ground with insurance and anything under 100.00 goes USPS. Settling an insurance claim with USPS is virtually impossible. 

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I shipped two boxes, about 60 issues, of the "Woodie Times" magazine to a gentleman in the southwest and they never arrived. The agent at the window at the P.O. talked me into the insurance, as it was really cheap. Somehow both boxes were lost and after filling out the required insurance forms, I never heard a word from the Post Office. That was three years ago.

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Realize this: You do not insure parcels through the USPS. They contract that function out. Who knows who the insurer is, but it is not the P.O. Zeke

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Posted (edited)

No when you pay the USPS for insurance that is who YOU purchased the insurance with. They use an insurance company to provide the coverage. Saying you are not getting the insurance from the post office is like saying you bought the milk in the carton from the cow. 
You have no way of filing a claim without going thru the PO and your receipt only has the USPS name anywhere on it. 
dave s 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)

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And the number 1 thing is never send cash via the PO. Regardless of what you insure their limit is $50. I either use a credit card, (one that is only used online), credit union check, or PayPal 'guest" - I do not have an account.

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Ups can be pretty rotten also. 

i bought some wheel rims and about 50 pieces of small stuff like shackle bolts and grease cups from a fellow on this website.  The fellow told me that the UPS man told him "it was the best packing job he ever saw wrapped with steel straps.  Well, UPS managed to destroy the package and they repacked the rims.  and lost the 10"X10" box that all the little pieces were in.  They wouldn't even tell me where the rims were repacked and would spend no time looking for the little pieces that could not be replaced.  They started hanging up on me when I would call and never would honor the insurance on the shipment.  They just don't want to be bothered.  I don't use them anymore.

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12 hours ago, SC38DLS said:

Saying you are not getting the insurance from the post office is like saying you bought the milk in the carton from the cow. 

 

Why am I laughing about "that cow in the headlights look".

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Thanks for all the responses guys, pretty much what I expected to hear. After posting yesterday I spent all day talking on the phone listening to canned responses from post office and at least one call ended by the rep hanging up on me when I said I'd done all he asked several days earlier TWICE! Last call got a rep who seemed to know what he was doing, actually wanted to know what I had shipped, what it fit and various other details as if he actually cared. After multiple suggestions about how to proceed he admitted he was actually going through roughly the same situation and as an employee of the USPS he was extremely annoyed because his trace had tracked his item to his hometown post office who couldn't find it yet! I told him I was about to submit an insurance claim and he suggested I wait a few more days before submitting it. Several hours later I received a phone call from the Postmaster where my tank was shipped and she assured me that although she did not actually have it she was pretty sure it was sitting in a trailer waiting to be processed at the nearest hub to her location and she would keep me updated .

Keep you fingers crossed for me, Please.

 

Howard Dennis

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I've been shipping stuff regularly for about 25 years, here is what I've learned.

 

If it is an item that is irreplaceable, and loss is not an acceptable occurence, drive it there, trust none of the parcel or freight companies 100%.

 

USPS is very reliable, but their tracking system is not. Often it will have inaccurate information. If your package appears in limbo, it probably is and here are some possible reasons why.

 

Never hand write addresses on packages and/or pay at the USPS counter, you and the person at the counter can read your handwriting but their text recognition devices in their facilities may not be able to, if it can't, the package is kicked out of the system and has to be sorted by hand, which may take weeks. Always go to USPS.com and pay and print for the label, it's easy and you won't have to stand in line at the post office. Affix the printed label with legible barcode that their machines can scan, (they don't physically read packages unless there is a problem, it's all done by scanners and automatic sorting), to the top of the package with three or four strips of clear 2" wide clear tape all the way across, which securely affixes the label and protects it from rain etc. Make sure to put accurate information in all sizes, weight etc needs to be very close to accurate.

 

Package the item well, and this goes for all the parcel services as they all do it the same way, it needs to be able to survive a dead drop from six feet. In their major hubs/sorting facilities there are multiple conveyors that automatically scan and weigh every package that comes through, then the package is routed on various conveyors to gather for different regions of the country/world. Transferring from one conveyor to another, it is dropped as much as six feet. If it isn't packaged properly and breaks open etc, again it's kicked out and has to be sorted by hand. If there is oil or gasoline leaking on the carton is another cause to get kicked, for that it usually won't even make it out of the receiving post office.

 

Forget buying in insurance, and this goes for all shippers, including freight. If they lose it, which is not likely, they would pay with or without insurance if the value can be proven. If it gets damaged in transit, their blanket wiggle out comment is "if it was damaged, it wasn't packaged properly" and they won't pay anything. If you're a commercial concern, they will offer to send a packaging engineer over to help you in the future...

 

Shipping by freight: Again, if you can't afford to lose it, drive it there or use a bonded dedicated hauler ( a guy with a van). Never build a solid wood box on a pallet with a flat top. The handlers see that as a building block to put on the bottom and stack everything they can on top of it. Unless your wood skidbox is very strong, it's going to collapse and get damaged.  A trick that I use and it works, make the top like a pitch roof, so nothing can be stacked atop, they will always put your skid on top. Package it well, secure item to the floor of the pallet if possible so it can not be jostled around inside the crate. One of the things that happens, if the crate is picked up at a terminal and it is loaded out side, the skid is simply set on the rear of the trailer. If the driver has to stop fast, the carton heads to the front of the trailer at great speed and stops with a huge impact. I never let a driver leave like this, I make them take it to the front of the trailer with their pallet jack or I take it back off.

 

-Ron

 

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Posted (edited)

Keep pushing - I have actually had them find things.  Also call the post office where it last shows on the tracking.   Make sure to describe the box accurately.   

 

Keep in mind, they probably have the right to destroy a gasoline tank and owe you nothing as they classify it as something that should not be shipped to begin with (it may have had gasoline in it).   

 

Hopefully you measured it all up and took photogragraphs as you may be having rock valley antique auto parts  www.rockvalleyantiqueautoparts.com make you a new one (which that quote I guess can also be used as to establish value). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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I ship a ton (literally probably several) of literature a year through the USPS.  I box it super well (which a few people complain that I charge for the box I use to ship a Brochure, but most are pleased) I use media mail for 99.9% of my mailings and I will tell you right now,  things are moving insanely slow.  NY to PA has been taking 2 to 3 weeks. Often going to NC or some other place totally out of the way first.   As mentioned even Priority mail has  2 day shipments taking a week or more to arrive.  I've even gotten bad feedback for slow shipping recently, though I shipped it next day.  I bet you shipped it standard post and not Priority.  If so it's probably still in transit, AKA sitting in a warehouse waiting for an empty truck.  Think even Amazon shipments have gone from 2 to 5 days.  It's a volume problem right now.  I bet Amazon packages are taking priority over everyone elses because of their contract, which I'll bet the USPS is losing money on right now because of the volume and having to hire more trucks to move the mail,  or not and making regular full paying postal customers items sit in warehouses for a slot to free up.  If you notice as well,  they stopped putting locations of where the item is and it just says scanned.  I wouldn't give up hope yet.  After 3 weeks,  then maybe. 

I learned a long time ago when I tried to file a claim that insurance was useless and near impossible to claim.   I only insure items worth say over $1000 and then only occasionally.  That's just to cover if they don't arrive as they can always argue there way out of damage claim,  but hard to argue if it never arrives.   Those i have good documentation for as they are all online auctions I can print the page from including the invoice and payment amounts.   Ebay shipping offers insurance options other than the USPS which is what I believe I purchased on the last shipment I sent.   I'm not sure if they are better,  but hard for them to argue non arrival as everything is documented through ebay which they must have access to the info. 

 

Keep your hopes up,  I bet it will arrive unless it was poorly packed and the box got torn up.

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I have also found the USPS tracking system to be unreliable; however, when it does work, I have found that items that are supposed to ship from Atlanta, Georgia to Paisley, Florida occasionally wind up going: Atlanta - Orlando - Jacksonville - Orlando - Paisley.

 

As mentioned by John Mereness above, I'm  a bit surprised that the USPS accepted a used gasoline tank for shipment.  Did they require that the tank be purged before shipment?

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Capn:: I had the USPS give some lights shipped from California to Florida a two week Hawaiian vacation. After four weeks got a refund from the sender  for an item that Fedex said was delivered when I was home and checked the stoop (100 feet from the road) within 10 minutes of stated time. Never there. Never rang bell (sign on door). Fedex just started leaving me on hold until swirched to a survey that was unexcapable. Amazon now photographs deliveries which is great.

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Posted (edited)

In another thread we went through some of the current problems are for the USPS is having today-I'm sure you will find it if you look. Not touched on was tracking. While tracking begins as part of the automation process, as the mail piece moves through the system it most often requires scanning with a hand held device. When we began our tracking service, one of the hardest things that I/we had to overcome was the push-back, by some employees, against the new procedure. In the final analysis the process is only as good a the guy holding the scanning device, or in some cases the device itself.

 

A quick rehash of my other responses. The USPS requires a reliable domestic and international commuter airline network to move it's prioritized classes of mail. When that service is debased by as much a 95% the space available lower classes must be trucked. Much of the lower classifications of mail used to fly on a space available basis. Today there is less space available because there are less planes flying. Less space means only prioritized rates fly. A truck makes many more stops as it travels across country, then does and airliner. It delivers and picks up at each stop, it can be a slow process. With the airline industry in chaos, it's anyone's guess as to what the new normal will look like. 

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)

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Have had packages go for over a week "In Transit" and usually suddenly appears close.

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They all lie - the Post Office, UPS, and FedEx. They all lose stuff. They all break stuff. It's a racket.

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One other trick: Attach a shipping tag to the item you are mailing. It never ceased to amaze me how poorly some people packaged the item. If the contents get separated from the box, a shipping tag will help immensely. Zeke

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