Help Me Hank: Postage Problems
Christmas is the last thing on most peoples minds right now, except for little Katie and Ronan in Co. Dundock, Ireland. They still don't have their presents! Their Uncle Declan in Somerville is pretty unhappy about that, since he mailed their boxes of toys, with proper address and postage, at the post office early last December.
"And said that's it goodbye, it's on the way."
But on the way to where? Not to Katie and Ronan, they celebrated Christmas and New Years, but their presents from the states did not arrive.
"I had just basically written them off."
But then at Declanís mailbox one February day, the packages came back! And here's why Declan was a bit upset: the letter carrier demanded $30 dollars, for the return postage!
"Basically, I told the guy there was no way that he was getting any money off me."
What's more: look at the packages, according to the stamps and tags, they did not go to Ireland, they went to Germany. And then back to Somerville. And when Declan tried to mail them again, the post office wanted him to pay the postage again!
"I was completely amazed because if I pay for a service and itís not done I expect the service to be carried out or at least a refund."
Declan went to the top, complained to the postmaster general, and here's the letter he got back: it gives him the regulations for mailing live animals. Nothing about "where did my package go?" Instead: how to mail a chicken.
"In this instance it was like talking to a brick wall."
Thatís when he called "Help me Hank".
So we called the post office and related the Christmas/Ireland/Germany/Somerville/return postage/how to mail a chicken story--and we were told: "it may have been a glitch on the European side" and, all in all, it was "a mystery."
Whatever the reason, they agreed Declan should not have to pay postage again. They send him this refund check, and now he's re-wrapping, in preparation for Katie and Ronanís Christmas in June.
"My niece and nephew have been informed that Santa Claus is definitely on the way, itís a bit late in the year, but he's coming."
The US Postal Service does have special regulations for overseas shipping, including those rules about chickens. If you're fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help!
For more information:
- Click here for the United States Postal Serviceís main web site:
- Global shipping tips from the United States Postal Service:
- International Mail Manual:
- Click here to find out about mailing/shipping options and postage calculations: