I got refund of postage cost from USPS customer service
By Tony Lam
I received a returned package from USPS on 10/25/12. The return reason is “missing page 1” of the customs form. I mailed out the package with USPS Priority mail International to France on 10/16/12. According to the tracking information, the parcel was missent to Moraga CA from Oakland USPS Sort Facility, and then returned to me on 10/25/12. I’m pretty sure that I put all three pages shipping label, customs form, dispatch note into the pouch and I kept the forth page (sender copy) for my record. I was dubious if someone took out the first page to cover up the mistake of missent. If I send the parcel again, I need to pay postage cost again. What can I do ? Finally, I decided to raise a compliant to USPS via their website by email. After three long days, I got the following email from USPS customer service.
“I understand you are writing about your item, CF102672917US, which was returned to you marked “Missing Page 1”, even though all of the pages were present when you mailed the item. You are requesting a refund.
Tony, your best option is to take the item to any convenient Post Office to request your refund.
Tony, I am confident that the information and next steps which I have provided will help and I appreciate you taking the time to email us about this issue.
Thank you for choosing the United States Postal Service for your mailing and shipping needs. We appreciate your business.”
Holding the email, I went to a big post office and the post officer, knowing that it is the decision from the USPS customer service, wrote me the money order for the postage cost of $45.79. I am really blessed to get the refund so fast. My last indemnity claim to USPS customer service with Expedited shipping to Australia caused me more than 6 months and lot of calls and mails to get my money back. I learned a lesson from my terrible experience and worked better this time. Here are my tips and recommendations for you.
1) Don’t just call to complain, write an email to USPS customer service via USPS.com.
In the last claim, because of office hours and postal type, I need to call many times. Each time, I have to go through all the voice machine options before getting a right real person to talk with. Whoever I talked to, I need to repeat my problem again and their official routine answers are the same – but still can’t solve my problem. In the form of email with direct request for a refund because of their mishandling , my claim can reach directly to the right person in the USPS customer service department. In this way, the claim is officially recorded in the claim system with a case number.
2) Go to the main post office for the refund
Don’t go to a small post office since the officers there usually are not familiar with the refund process. Last time, the officer in my neighborhood post office had to call the head office to learn what claim form should be used, what document required , and where to send the claim form. The worst of all is that the head office didn’t receive my sign-off claim form sent by the post officer.
3) Keep a copy of all the document
I took pictures of all pages of the claim form and shipping labels required for the claim. In my last claim, the USPS head office lost or didn’t receive my document. I found it out myself after waiting for long time without reply. Without the backup copy, I couldn’t re-send the document again.
4) Show the written claim resolution to the post officer
Bring a copy of reply from the USPS head quarter to the local post office to process the refund of postage cost. I was rejected initially as the post officer said she couldn’t process online postage refund until I showed the email from USPS customer service to her.