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Beware of sending valuables

| December 11, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

Consider this letter a bit of information for anyone who sends packages through the U.S. Post Office. This was my experience; it might give insight on the services and fees when mailing gifts or valuable items.

I recently sent the movement of my grandfather clock to the manufacturer in order to be professionally cleaned. I sent it in the box they supply or they would not accept it. I mailed the package via parcel post and insured it for $500, since I was unsure of the actual value.

Unknown to me, the clock company had moved location but the package was not forwarded because it was sent parcel post. Instead, this 'fragile' package was kicked around Atlanta for three weeks.

When it was finally returned to Libby, I had to pay the postage again in order to get my package back. It was badly damaged from mishandling on its three week journey. I submitted an insurance claim for $350; the company supplied an invoice of actual value.

I received a settlement check in the amount of $41.46; $15.21 for reimbursement of the return postage and $26.25 for the clock movement.

Despite manufacturer proof of value at $350, the post office depreciated the value by $323.75. No explanation was enclosed for the reason.

As I researched ways to receive the insured value of $350, I was told that you can not take a United States government entity to small claims court.

In mailing your holiday packages, beware. Expect nothing for the fees you will pay, and the value of the contents will be determined for you.

Jane Iovino

Libby