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Fighting Bad Mail Carriers and Holiday Package Thieves

The holiday season can be tough on the wallet for a lot of people, especially during this terrible economy of ours.  Now unless you’re lucky enough to be in the one percent of society, chances are you’re probably looking at ways to scale back your gift-giving this year while at the same time still find presents that will light up the faces of intended recipients.  That’s why finding out about stories like this one really suck.

Is there no decency anymore?  I mean, stealing presents meant for Christmas gifts?  That’s straight out of Dr. Seuss, the only difference being that in all likelihood had the cops not intervened there probably wouldn’t had been a last minute change of heart to save Christmas on the part of the suspects.  Also I don’t think Kristen Casey and Manual Sheehan, the alleged thieves in question pictured to the left, stole the gifts out of a dislike for the townspeople, but rather for good old-fashioned money.  The couple was apparently found with over 100 pilfered packages crammed into their apartment.  Local Massachusetts police were tipped off after receiving an increased number of reports from citizen saying the packages they ordered were missing from their door steps.  Police eventually began tailing UPS and other local postal delivery trucks before spotting the suspects in a car filled with stolen delivery boxes, which in turn led them to the suspects’ apartment.

It’s an interesting story that appears to have a happy ending.  However, the one thing that I didn’t see in any news reports on it so far is any extensive mention on how the alleged thieves were able to get the delivered packages so easily.  They didn’t have to crack open mailboxes or bust into delivery trucks.  No, all they had to do was walk up to the front door of homes and pick up the boxes left out in the open by the mail carriers in charge of them.

For years internet complaint boards have been filled with stories of this type of lazy postal delivery practice.  UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, and so forth, have all fielded complaints from people for years that the deliverymen and women in charge of their packages were simply dumping them at their front door or in their backyards, leaving them exposed to the elements and often without so much as a sticky note to let the owner know they’re there.  And then somehow these delivery services are surprised when packages get stolen.  Gee, maybe it’s because you left them out in the middle of the day on a doorstep for everyone to see.

Anyway, mailmen and mailwomen stupidity aside, many times in life when one becomes the victim of mail theft and/or damage one must eventually move to rectify the situation, after all the cursing and complaining of course.  But fear not, having your postal goods lifted or harm isn’t as hopeless of a situation as it may initially seem to be.  Being a victim of this sort of egregious behavior, there are a few things that you can do to get your packages or at least the monetary value of it back.

1)      Document the scene

This is the most important first step.  If your package is damaged, take pictures of it right away.  Take a picture of how it was left, then zoom in and snap shots of the damaged parts.  Video recordings are good, as well.

2)      Keep all the packaging material that arrived with it and the tracking number

Many times, mail carriers won’t listen to your complaint if you can’t show that the package was damaged because of their ineptitude.  Keeping the packing material and tracking number will show the carrier that your mail was packed correctly and allow them to match your parcel with their service.

3)      Register a complaint with the mail carrier

It’s a coin toss as to whether missing/stolen mail or damaged mail is easier to recover, either way you’re going to have to tell your carrier about your issue.  Every carrier has a complaint system to navigate.  It’s a hassle, but generally one of the easiest first attempts to get some sort of recovery for a jacked parcel.

4)      File a police report

If your mail was stolen or intentionally damaged, telling the fuzz is a necessity to create a traceable complaint trail.  It also lets your carrier know that you mean business.

5)      Email the executives of your mail carrier and contact the local media and websites

No businessperson worth their salt wants bad press.  It costs them money and countless headaches.  So if you’re still not getting a satisfactory response from your mail carrier’s reps, then go over their heads and contact their superiors.  Keep beating your drum and don’t feel as if your story isn’t compelling enough to catch some press time.  Write, write, and write.  You’ll be surprised at what may result.

6)      Lawsuit time

If you’re still stuck holding the ball and you feel either the value of your missing or damage parcel is worth a legal fight, then you may want to consider suing your carrier for damages.  If you’ve documented your turmoil well, then a good lawyer may be able to advise you to victory.

Ken LaMance

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