Reporting Kurtis Ming
ELK GROVE (CBS13) — More than 14 months after the United States Postal Service lost track of his insured package, Eric Bush is finally getting answers.
As Call Kurtis first reported Feb. 26, the USPS acknowledged it had lost track of the package — and said Bush had purchased the proper insurance back in December 2011 when he shipped it — but the agency denied his insurance claim anyway.
Now the federal agency is fixing the mistake and apologizing for the inconvenience, according to a spokesperson.
“There was a communication breakdown between the Italy post office and us,” a spokesperson said. “Because of this news story, we just decided to pay his claim.”
Bush paid USPS for tracking and insurance on a parcel to a buyer in Italy.
It was only worth about $30, so Bush wasn’t too worried — but he didn’t understand why his insurance claim was denied, as the Postal Service admitted it can’t track where the package went.
“You don’t accept it. You just don’t roll over and accept all this crap,” Bush said.
USPS tracking shows the package was last scanned in New York on December 22, 2011. A few months later, USPS told him “the postal service of Italy … has no record of delivery for this article.”
But the Postal Service rejected Bush’s insurance claim saying the “package was delivered as addressed,” which the buyer in Italy denied.
Bush said PayPal refunded the buyer in Italy, as USPS could not prove the package was delivered.
“I’m not gonna let them slide,” he said.
Eric appealed, but in the eight months since he’s heard absolutely nothing from the Postal Service.
USPS states online domestic claims are usually paid within 30 days, but the website does not mention international cases.
The BBB’s Gary Almond said USPS is taking too long to investigate and should just pay the $30 claim.
“I think the burden of proof lies with the carrier,” he said. “They would really have to do that in a reasonable period of time. I’m not sure that they’ve met that test.”
A Postal Service spokesperson confirmed USPS was not sure what happened to the package after New York.
So why not just pay the claim?
“Investigations can take some time,” USPS said in a Call Kurtis story that aired Feb. 26. “If it didn’t get delivered, and we can prove that it wasn’t delivered, we will honor the claim.”
Once leading consumer website The Consumerist picked up the Call Kurtis story, however, the USPS agreed to send Bush a refund — even before its investigation was complete.
“He shouldn’t have to wait 14 months,” the company spokesperson said.
Happy to have his money back, Bush said he’s disappointed in USPS response time.
“I’m more angry at the system than I am at my money,” he said.