$10,000 mistake on declared value of package.....advice appreciated!

pilatesworks

aka : Leslie
O.G.
Dec 21, 2008
8,101
38
63
Austin , Tx
I just sold a bag I had listed on Bonanzle to a very nice TPF-er in Canada.
I shipped it USPS Express Mail, insured for $1120.00 on the Express Mail Form.
On the Customs Form, I declared the value at $1120.00, and paid $4.95 for insurance.
I looked the form over, and did not notice the Clerk had written the value as :
$ 11,200.00 on the very bottom of the form!
Today, I got an email from the buyer, who was understandably upset, because she was expected to pay over $ 600.00 in duty!
I went straight back to the Postal Clerk this afternoon, and he refused to take responsibility.
He said the buyer should just refuse the package, have it sent back to me, and I would re-send to her.
However, the buyer had already opened a claim with Canadian Customs, and the bag was sent back to Customs this afternoon.
The problem is.....Customs just informed her it would take 8-10 weeks to process the claim!
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience in this area, any advice at all would be appreciated!
The buyer has been so understanding and patient....I so appreciate this as I am beyond mad at the inconvenience and aggravation it has and will continue to cause her!
 

Leeleerae

Member
Jan 7, 2009
1,208
1
Woah. That is terrible!
Is it possible that USPS can do anything for you? Maybe talk to the Clerk's manager?
 

pilatesworks

aka : Leslie
O.G.
Dec 21, 2008
8,101
38
63
Austin , Tx
That will be my next step, tho now that it is at Customs, it is out of the Post Office's jurisdiction.....
We are thinking of prining out an invoice from PayPal as proof of the purchase price.
However, I declared it as a "Gift"....but declared it for full value.
Do you think declaring it as a Gift will be a problem, if we give them an invoice that shows it was clearly NOT a Gift?
 

MichK

Member
Nov 1, 2008
3,786
11
Woah! That's not fair - how can USPS just wash their hands off the affair and expect the recipient to have rejected the package? I think you should take this up with USPS and make them take responsibility for this! This is clearly their mistake. Write to their corporate office and see what they can do. Maybe they can speak to the Canadian Customs. If not, I would suggest that you contact the Canadian Customs yourself and see if you can explain the matter and declare the value of the bag in writing or something.

Gawd, this is terrible.. I feel so bad for you, Leslie - especially since this isn't your fault! I hope the buyer understands... but it must be tough for her too... I hope this can be sorted out.
 
Sep 23, 2006
2,793
30
I think I would contact the postmaster and complain about the situation and see if it could be handled in anyway.
 

Ellie Mae

Peace B with U
May 24, 2008
10,677
4
OMG... Leslie.. look at some of your other paperwork... the receipt maybe and see if the INSURED value is printed ANYWHERE that could show the typo by the postal clerk.
IF NOT... go back to the PO and ask them to PRINT off a receipt for your INS purchase. It should be in their records as to how much you insured the bag for.
PUSH COMES TO SHOVE....tell the buyer to print the auction invoice to take to customs office and IF they ask her about GIFT, then she can maybe LAUGH.. and say.. it IS a gift, but not for me, I told the seller that my husband was buying this for me as an anniv gift, so she shipped it as a "gift"!.....Maybe.

LES... on the last bag I mailed, the INS receipt shows the INS value! The blue one! As did the long USPS receipt. Send her scan of BOTH

The OTHER thing she can do is find the same bag online NEW in stores, print the listings from the stores and ADD as FURTHER proof that there is NO WAY that bag cost $11,000 if it can be bought NEW in store for $1300, 1500... whatever the stores have it for sale for.
 
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RACHEY07

just one more...
O.G.
Feb 17, 2009
2,741
13
35
wow Leslie! this is such a shame...I wish I could help but I know nothing about this. Good luck and keep us posted...you don't deserve this!

I'm happy to hear that your buyer is being understanding.
 

aimtree

O.G.
Mar 10, 2008
2,242
1
london uk
wow, poor you!
If you have the receipt that you paid $4.95, the the post person must be at fault as to insure something for 11,000 would cost a great deal more than this I guessing!
I can't believe that they can't do something, like pass the mistake on to customs.
I also wonder is there anyway to call customs and try to submit receipts and stuff to them, I hope as they are doing an investigation now that they will ask for this stuff.
It's great that the buyer is really understanding, I think if you both keep working together you should be able to figure something out.
 

MichK

Member
Nov 1, 2008
3,786
11
OMG... Leslie.. look at some of your other paperwork... the receipt maybe and see if the INSURED value is printed ANYWHERE that could show the typo by the postal clerk.
IF NOT... go back to the PO and ask them to PRINT off a receipt for your INS purchase. It should be in their records as to how much you insured the bag for.
PUSH COMES TO SHOVE....tell the buyer to print the auction invoice to take to customs office and IF they ask her about GIFT, then she can maybe LAUGH.. and say.. it IS a gift, but not for me, I told the seller that my husband was buying this for me as an anniv gift, so she shipped it as a "gift"!.....Maybe.

LES... on the last bag I mailed, the INS receipt shows the INS value! The blue one! As did the long USPS receipt. Send her scan of BOTH

The OTHER thing she can do is find the same bag online NEW in stores, print the listings from the stores and ADD as FURTHER proof that there is NO WAY that bag cost $11,000 if it can be bought NEW in store for $1300, 1500... whatever the stores have it for sale for.
These are excellent suggestions! And aimtree is right - there's no way insuring a $11,200 item would cost just $4.95! If you have the documentation, you can prove it to Customs. Good luck!
 

pilatesworks

aka : Leslie
O.G.
Dec 21, 2008
8,101
38
63
Austin , Tx
Thanks so much for your suggestions everyone....
I DO have the documentation ( Express Mail receipt and Customs Form) and these exact forms are on the package, so it should be pretty easy for Customs to figure this out, I hope!
 

ladyisobel

Sarah
O.G.
Mar 22, 2006
4,092
1
Devon UK
i would say once they look at it, they'll work out that there was an error, shame on that postal clerk for not owning up and helping you sort it all out !
 
Jul 31, 2009
1,352
56
Deep In the Tube
Since the postal clerk doesn't want to admit he made a mistake -- or that there is one, then go back to him.

And with a straight face remind him that he wrote the $11,200 at the bottom and he said it was no mistake, and that since the purse is clearly lost you want to file a full insurance claim for the $11,200 he wrote which he says is NOT a mistake.

If he won't file a claim, ask him if his supervisor can file the claim for you.
 
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mmmsc

O.G.
Feb 1, 2007
9,368
30
USA
Since the postal clerk doesn't want to admit he made a mistake -- or that there is one, then go back to him.

And with a straight face remind him that he wrote the $11,200 at the bottom and he said it was no mistake, and that since the purse is clearly lost you want to file a full insurance claim for the $11,200 he wrote which he says is NOT a mistake.

If he won't file a claim, ask him if his supervisor can file the claim for you.
:biggrin:Worth a try just to see his face when you try to collect $11K!! Or at least maybe it will light a fire under his lazy,careless self admit enough to admit his mistake. if not, I would take it higher up to a supervisor..This is a Kafka-esque nightmare for you and for your buyer. Hope you can get it straightened out:smile: