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Topic: What the heck happened?

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Subject: What the heck happened?
Date Posted: 10/14/2009 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2009
Posts: 2,917
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Last week I sent three books to the same person.  I took the books along with the PBS wrapper that included $3.94 postage and delivery confirmation.  I put all three books in a large padded envelope and taped the PBS wrapper to the envelope while at the post office. 

Today, the receiver PM'd me and said she got two of the books I sent and said they were in a box...not the padded envelope I sent them in.  Two of the books were paperbacks and one was a hardback, she got the two paperbacks.  She also said that she had to pay postage.  Just for the record, I totally believe the receiver...she and I have sent several things to one another and I trust her. 

So, what could have happened?  And is there any recourse for this?  I went ahead and gave her back the credit for the book she didn't receive...it's neither of our fault, but felt it was the right thing to do.  Just wondering if since I had delivery confirmation there was some way to report this or something. 

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2009
Posts: 2,917
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Well, apparently the post office repackaged the books in a box, saying that the "article was damaged".  Why they charged the receiver an additional $3.64 for their mistake is beyond me.  Going to file a claim with USPS in the morning...not that it will do any good, but worth a shot I guess.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Unfortunately, damaged packaging happens occasionally.  But the additonal postage is insult to injury.  That would seem wrong to me. 

Clearly the books were enroute, and USPS should assume proper postage.  Adding postage again, merely because USPS themselves damaged the original packaging is just wrong.  That's the approach I would take with your inquiry Sherry.  And ask about recourse for possible recovery of the missing hardback book.

The receiver should demand a refund of the postage.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 3:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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Were the books plastic-wrapped together, or were they just floating loose in the envelope? Was the envelope bigger than the biggest book?

My guess is that the books were a little loose in the envelope and the corners of the hardback poked holes in the envelope which eventually fell apart. I do think it's strange that she got charged additional postage. Usually when USPS repackages something, they indicate it as such. I can't imagine what box they put it in?

I recently bought a bunch of books off eBay from someone in the UK. The padded envelope tore in several places and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them fell out at some point. USPS put their tape over the tears and it held together.

I would ask her for a picture of the box, particularly of the postage/postmarks on the box. If you're going to talk to your local PO about it, they'll probably need that info.