When a ring disappeared in the mail, a Massachusetts woman thought she was covered because she had insured the package. But when her claim was denied, she reached out to our NBC10 Boston Responds team for help.
Carrie Giardino and Jason Van Velzen got married on the spur of the moment in April of 2020.
They later designed their wedding rings and had them custom-made by a jeweler in California.
“We were really trying to be thoughtful about how they sort of complemented each other, but weren’t identical,” said Giardino.
“We had a ruby put in, which was for my birth month, July. She had one for April and a diamond, which was for her birth month,” said Van Velzen. “And that’s what really made it special.”
Giardino works for the U.S. State Department, and they were living in Istanbul when the diamond fell out of Van Velzen’s wedding band last fall.
She shipped the ring back to the jeweler in California for repairs through the U.S. Postal Service and paid $15 to insure the package’s $900 value.
“I started tracking it, and it just didn’t show any updates for weeks,” said Giardino. “I thought, ‘OK, something’s wrong here.’ So I contacted the USPS and said, ‘I can’t find it.’ And they said, ‘Well, if you send it from a military or diplomatic pouch, you have to wait 45 days before you can even ask for us to look for it.'”
Seven weeks after she mailed it, the package finally arrived in California in December. The jeweler sent Giardino a photo of the damaged mailer and told her the box that was supposed to contain the ring was empty.
“I was obviously devastated,” said Giardino. “So I filed the claim with the post office, or the USPS system, and they denied it. They said, ‘We have no record of you paying for any insurance,’ which is crazy because I had a picture of the envelope that showed that I had the original receipt. I had a screenshot of it, because I had done it online … and then they said, ‘Since you didn’t insure it, we’ll send you a check for $50.'”
She disputed the denial.
“I went back with one more rebuttal and said, ‘I believe you should have honored my claim. I paid $15 to insure this for $900,'” she said. “And they came back again and said, ‘Claim denied.’ And then there didn’t seem to be any further recourse through the USPS.”
Giardino filed a complaint with the USPS, but says she got no response. So she contacted NBC10 Boston Responds for help.
“You were my one hope,” she laughed.
We contacted the U.S. Postal Service, and a representative told us Giardino “didn’t originally submit the proof of insurance, which resulted in her claim being denied.” He went on to say, “Once she did submit it, that should have been corrected and it wasn’t. Our apologies to Ms. Giardino for the oversight.”
The USPS sent the additional $850 insurance payment — money they are using to have a replica of the original wedding band made.
“I’m very grateful that you guys responded,” said Van Velzen. “I’m very grateful that you put so much effort into making this happen.”
“We were incredibly grateful to you guys,” added Giardino. “But I’m still very outraged at the U.S. Postal Service. I mean, they shouldn’t have lost it in the first place. They should have done more to just honor our claim in the beginning.”
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