Saturday, October 17, 2009

Canada Post Loses Rare Book, Offers Stamps in Return

When Canadian psychologist Daniel Bentley, 61, purchased a rare 18th-century book of poetry for 107Euros (about $170) online late last year from a bookstore in France, it was to be shipped to him by La Poste.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, Bentley believed it would only a matter of days before the book, which he had been searching for for nearly 40 years, would arrive and complete a six-volume set.

"But two months went by, and still it didn’t arrive," writes reporter Andrew Duffy.

Duffy goes on to pen, "When he contacted Canada Post in search of his overdue parcel, he was told it had already been delivered. Post office records showed it had cleared customs in Montreal and had arrived in Ottawa days later. On Dec. 10, 2008, an unknown person signed for the parcel."

Bentley complained and his case was turned over to a Canada Post investigator who confirmed the book was sent to the wrong address and signed for by an unidentified person. But he couldn't’t identify the letter carrier who had delivered it or the address to which it was sent.

The investigator suggested Bentley submit a compensation claim.

After several attempts, he was told that the sender of the parcel — not the recipient — must file the claim under the rules that govern international mail delivery. However, French bookstore where he purchased it wanted nothing to do with it. Bentley suspected that it may have been stolen and went the Ottawa police. They indicated they had no leads in the case and to basically forget it.

He then contacted a Member of Parliament (MP) to see if he could help. The MP pursued the matter with the post office, and Bentley finally received a letter from Canada Post president and CEO, Moya Greene.

“I certainly do understand your concern with respect to the non-delivery of the rare book you ordered from France,” Greene wrote, “and I sincerely apologize for the disappointment caused.”

According to the article, "[Greene] noted that Canada Post rarely loses mail even though it handles 45 million items every business day; that an internal investigation had concluded the parcel was 'misdelivered;' that Canada Post will co-operate with any police investigation; and that regulations require the sender in France to initiate the claims process."

Greene concluded: “While I know that nothing can replace the rare book, I am enclosing two booklets of stamps for your future use.”

Bentley didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the postage stamps.

Shown above, Daniel Bentley with his incomplete set of Alexander Pope’s collected works.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM