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Thu Apr 21 2022 15:24:38

USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Claim

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am writing to share my experience on the USPS "Insured" claim for $50 Insurance on Priority Mail packages. 

I have had two claims in 10 years. Two years ago, a USPS Claim rep told me that they are "Instructed to deny ALL claims on the first submission." After that, the claimant can appeal the denial. I appealed and won the first one but not my latest claim was denied. (value $30 plus ship). 

I appealed, providing even more documentation along with copies of the original claim and weeks later, I received two letters in return. One saying to have the buyer take the item to their post office (mind you it's an eBay sale, the buyer was already refunded 2 mos. ago. The second letter, dated two days later, stated that my claim was denied based upon the first denial (provide proof of value of the item - which I did provide twice. I also provided a statement from the buyer saying it was well packed (and it was, I ship 1,000's of fragile items annually and have done so for many years).

My belief is that the USPS "Insurance" on Priority Mail is a fraud. And, they delay the process, knowing that for eBay sellers, the transaction info will disappear within 90 days. I also believe that their expectation that the (refunded) buyer should hold onto a broken item (along with ALL packaging material for months) is excessive and unreasonable; especially when photos of all has been provided. 

I'd like to know how many other eBay sellers have had to jump through these same hoops only to be denied over and over. The USPS is not backing up its claim of insurance included.
Thank you,
Anonymous

Comments (21) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 15:50:24 2022

Ugh, its nightmare filing a claim, they broke a bunch of fishing rods last year. It was like pulling teeth with them. Most took a couple denials and 2-4 months to get paid plus they get to keep the shipping. I lucked out and most of the buyers took them in for inspection for me and that's waiting 10 days to get the letter with the claim number which you need and can't get online.
I actually made it from Oct. to April 3rd without one broke item, but the last rod I sold(because of the surcharge) they broke it. Guess it was a wave good bye, to my surprise, it didn't get denied, I got a letter in 6 days requiring inspection. The buyer took it in for inspection, which normally generates another denial saying it never got inspected. Nope, 2 days later it says claim paid, well approved, its been 10 days and I still haven't got the check.
With the new $15 surcharge, NO WAY would I ship with USPS seeing the insurance doesn't cover shipping, that's a $25-$30 automatic loss.  

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by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 21 15:57:38 2022

Same here. Insurance claim denials happen at least 90% of the time I open claims. I've had some luck reaching out to my congressional representative. You should be able to fill out a form to fax to them for help with a government agency. If you think you wait a long time now, you will REALLY wait a long time once Congress gets involved (I've waited over 18 months on occasion), but I do feel that I've gotten paid out on quite a few claims that I never would have on my own.  "Fraud" is a good word to describe USPS insurance, unfortunately.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 22 00:31:56 2022

I have never made a claim for damage so this may or may not be useful.

On 2 occasions I had items lost in transit or at least they were never scanned delivered. In one case the item was "available for pickup" but the post office confirmed not having the item. In the other case the item left the destination facility and disappeared.

In the first they denied the claim because it had timed out but I won on appeal because I had no reason to believe the item was anywhere other then at the postoffice as the tracking stated. It was only later on that I was informed the item was not actually available for pickup and won on appeal.

The second the item was lost and not scanned. I had opened a case to find the package and was informed it had been more then 14 days and I should consider the item lost and could collect any insurance on the package. Claim was approved quickly on the first try.

I have little experience with fragile items but would suggest to avoid them. There will definitely be some breakage. I think the post office will be quick to blame you.

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by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 22 11:41:10 2022

Buddy sold a $300 sports card years ago with insurance.  Tracking specifically shows it never got there- got denied.  Finally on his second appeal, they sent the check to him.  They make you jump through lots of hoops, figuring most people will quit.

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 22 15:50:47 2022

Insurance is a scam!  

I gave up on the one and only claim I have ever made.  My letter carrier delivered my package to a house a block away.  When I got notice that the item had been delivered, I said NO, it has not.  So I asked my letter carrier about and it he said, "Oh, I remember that package, I will go to the house to which I delivered it and get it back"  They wouldn't give it to him and then denied ever receiving.  He left me a note to that effect, i.e. putting in writing to me that he had mis-delivered it so I put in a claim with all necessary supporting documentation.

Long story short:  It was denied so I appealed and that was denied.  I will never buy USPS insurance again...outright thieves!

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Apr 22 20:11:08 2022

USPS learned it from UPS.

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by: Weirdbooks This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 23 09:14:03 2022

I have had good luck with private insurance on UPS and USPS packages.  With carrier insurance they treat it somehow as if the insured seller is stealing from the carrier, even though the seller has followed all the procedures.

I think with the private insurers it is different, as their entire business is a numbers game.  They predict based on past history that x% of packages that are insured are going to be lost/damaged.  They base their rates and entire business model on that.  If the rate goes too high for all customers, then rates go up.  If one particular customer has excessive numbers of claims, they raise that one customer's rates, start denying their claims or refuse to insure that customer at all.

SO far (knock on wood) I have never had a denied private insurance claim, and only once has one come back requesting more info than required in the initial claim process.  For USPS only about 50% of my claims were paid out, admittedly this is a decade ago as I have only used private insurers since that USPS fail.

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Apr 23 14:12:37 2022

The term "Seller" discounts the business owner and is offensive.

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 23 15:27:38 2022

USPS insurance is worthless for anything other than a loss claim.

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by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 24 23:10:58 2022

We've had an odd claim with USPS, which almost THREE MONTHS is still being "evaluated".  We shipped an item to an eBay buyer, who claimed it came broken (it did not), so we shipped another item, and the buyer then told us the first item "was fine" when we said the USPS would investigate.  So we used the USPS "Intercept" service, paying $15.95 for the service.  Package was DELIVERED, NOT INTERCEPTED, and USPS claims we should only have been charged if the intercept succeeded - though tracking shows it DID NOT SUCCEED.  We're still trying to get our payment back - the buyer already sent one of the items back to us.  Seems the USPS has multiple scams now!

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 01:23:30 2022

This started with the current Postmaster and that is why he is there. No Ethics is the new USPS slogan. The only insurance claim the Post Office pays now is for packages that disappear in transit.  

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 06:03:51 2022

You have better chances of getting paid through Fedex & UPS.  I have had several claims paid by them.  No questions asked.  The USPS is a waste of time to ship anything expensive or valuable.  Just don't do it thru the USPS.

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by: Bethofvt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 07:00:09 2022

I have about 6 USPS damage claims per year. For past 10 years, it was always easy process to file claim and be paid. Never a single denial. Suddenly, starting las August. Everything has been denied. 5 denials for well packed items that arrived broken. Last denial gave this amazing statement. “the fact it broke in transit is proof it was inadequately packed”. They are a fraud, no longer paying damage claims, good only for lost packages.

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by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 08:53:11 2022

It absolutely is a fraud. I had to continue to track my item, which was MIA in El Paso on its way to another town in Texas, for 6 months before submitting (according to instructions at that time.) At the completion of 6-months the PO deleted the tracking number from all records.

Lately, they are simply not registering movement on Priority Mail for long periods of time, although the package may well be moving from one location to another. All you receive is a "Delayed Delivery--no Est. Time for Delivery" message.

Pathetic.

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 09:17:52 2022

I worked at USPS 30 years - both window clerk and management. I have sold online 24 years. I would never ever ever use USPS insurance. Nightmare trying to get paid with every station setting their own rules. AVOID

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

by: billly This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 09:59:10 2022

Another USPS ''feature'' that has only worsened since DeJoy bought his position. Third party insurance is the only way to actually insure a parcel. It's pennies on the dollar, they never require a burnt buyer to schlep a destroyed purchase to the PO for inspection, they employ 20th century customer service practices, and rarely deny a claim. Now that First Class Mail is ostensibly eliminated, there's really no reason to continue to use USPS. DeJoy is invested in USPS competitors and benefits by its failure. What more info do people need?

Perminate Link for USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl   USPS Employs Delay and Deny Tactic on Insurance Cl

by: Thomie60 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 11:08:55 2022

I put in about 4-6 claims a year with the Post Office. Each time sending pictures of the package with fragile sticker, damaged product, and how it was wrapped. Each time, receiving the letter in the mail stating 'package needs to be sent back for verification.'  Are you kidding me?  Such bullshit.

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by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 14:28:12 2022

*** I insure for lost packages ***

How can ANY seller believe that ANY mail company should pay for damaged products? If an Item is appropriately packed, those problems go away. Why should USPS pay for poor packaging by sellers who skimp on packaging to save costs?

And glassware is always at high risk unless there is packaging made specifically for that item.

Sellers need to be smart with WHAT they sell and how to get it to the buyer without damage. In the Etsy forum, I wish I had a dime for every Etsy seller who complained that their glass products were broken in the mail, while the advice from other Etsy sellers was  to no longer sell glass products.  

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by: up74 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 16:31:45 2022

I have not been able to collect on a single USPS claim in the last year, except when it is because the item is missing. Pictures of damage don't work anymore, they want to buyer to take the item to USPS. Hardly anybody will do this as they have already been refunded by ebay at that point.
I have been using UPS for most everything, it has worked out ok if there is a damage claim.

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by: 3TimesALady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 25 18:03:52 2022

I managed to collect on a damage claim several months ago, but there were a lot of hoops to jump through. Fortunately, I had a great buyer who was very patient and cooperative.  

I first submitted the claim on line with photos of the packing and the damaged box.  DENIED several weeks later.  At that time, I was told the buyer had to bring the package to the post office.  She did indeed and even explained the process of what they did there.

Several weeks later, received a letter stating that the buyer needed to bring the package to the USPS.  I appealed with specific date and location details of when the buyer brought the item to the local post office.

They finally paid out...but only on the item.  They did not return the shipping.  

DeJoy needs to go.

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