Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Help Me Howard: Mail Trouble
You order something on the internet but when the package arrives it's damaged and the item is gone. Who's responsible for paying for it? Seven's Patrick Fraser has the answer in tonight's Help me Howard.
WSVN -- "There's seven layers of paint on this by the time I'm done."
When Judith Turner's friend replaced the windows in her home, she asked Judith an unusual question.
Judith Turner: "And she said you know just for keepsakes I'd like to have one of my old windows, could you paint something on it for me."
Judith did painted the window and then in snowballed.
Judith Turner: "And so neighbor's saw it and they wanted some and the next person wanted some, and it just grew into a business."
An artist who can create a picture on an old window, but she cant paint a pretty picture of the post office.
Judith Turner: "In the last five, six months everything that I've ordered I have not received."
Judith loves to watch TV, informercials and of course loves to buy their products. It was never a problem till she moved to South Florida.
Judith Turner: "I received this package here in this little plastic bag. So they sent me my empty envelope."
The bras she had ordered were gone, then a friend sent her a pair of earrings for her birthday.
Judith Turner: "I received this envelope, obviously not torn but deliberately slit usually it doesn't rip that way and of course the earrings are missing."
Judith was so irritated she wrote a note to her mailman on the back of the ripped envelope and hung it on her mailbox.
Judith Turner: "Dear Postmaster, this is the second time in one month that I received empty mail. I'm now missing two pillows, two pairs of bras and two earrings I ordered by mail."
Judith doesnt know if the mailman read the note. He left it at her mailbox but she does want to know what is going on with her mail orders.
Judith Turner: "I know I'm not going to get my stuff back but it makes me really curious about how often does this happen. If this has happened to me this much in just five six months. What's going on with the mail."
So Howard, if something doesn't get to you in the mail who is responsible?
Howard Finkelstein: "The law says he post office is not responsible for acts of negligence by their employees. If a product you buy is lost or stolen, its the sellers responsibility to replace it and they can protect themselves by buying insurance."
We talked to the company that Judith ordered the bras from, they have offered to ship her new ones for free. As for the envelope that was cut open, the post office apologized to Judith and has opened an investigation into the missing earrings.
A postal spokesman told us they ship hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail a day without incident, but unfortunately sometimes we dont meet our own expectations, and if you think a package has been stolen or intentionally tampered with file a complaint with the postal service. But first Howard says...
Howard Finkelstein: "If you receive a package that you can see is damaged dont accept it or if you have to sign for it, make a notation by your signature that its damaged and if its not a product that needs your signature, contact the seller immediately."
Judith may do something else, just stop buying products that are mailed to her.
Judith Turner: "Absolutely not ordering anymore. I don't trust the mail at all."
Patrick Fraser: "The law protects the post office if their employees are negligent and private carriers protect themselves by limiting their liability to a certain amount. Bottom line, if its an expensive product and you arent sure in the seller will replace it if its lost or stolen, buy insurance."
Bought a problem you want to deliver to us? Wanna insure? We get it, its simple just contact us.