Last December (2009) I was caring for my parents who were both recovering from major operations. I had been mailing via Priority Mail thru the USPS, keepsakes and other personal items from my childhood and teenage years back to my home in Georgia. When each package arrived my wife questioned the manner in which I had packaged each box before mailing, she would then inform me that upon arrival each package would be damaged, and beat up with the contents spilling out from damaged seams.
On the last day of my trip I went against my better judgment, and again utilized the United States Postal Service to ship my package, this time I insured my package for $200 and again shipped it priority mail. The box contained a gift from a friend that I hadn't seen since high school, and several VHS home videos of relatives and friends who are no longer living.
To summarize the story my 'Priority Package' that I insured weighed 5 pounds when I sent it, and when it arrived a week later the box had been split on one side and re-taped, the irreplaceable contents were GONE what was left in its place was a broken cable modem, and pile of papers from some one's class notes from school. I filed a complaint, and after further investigation I learned that Atlanta is the USPS national location to send all 'Lost' items.
I learned that all unclaimed and lost items are auctioned off to the highest bidder at a warehouse on the other side of the city. I made a visit to this warehouse in hopes of finding my belongings. I spoke with one of the employees who will remain nameless. She told me, "If I sent something thru the mail and the contents such as my home movie had no return name or address then it is thrown into the garbage." I asked if there was a way to look for my property or person to speak with about getting permission to search thru the lost and found items, and was told NO, the USPS doesn't allow citizens to search for their lost items. The woman apologized for my loss.
I sat thru the auction for just a few minutes because that's all that I could stomach, I just couldn't bare the thought of knowing that my families irreplaceable home videos are gone forever. To make matters worse the only money that has been forwarded to me was for the cost to send the package and the cost of the insurance, the USPS claims department has said, that since I don't have a receipt(s) for the VHS video's and other personal items they 'will not' reimburse me for my loss. That was the day I vowed to my wife, "That whenever I have to mail another envelope I will pay the additional cost and send my mail via United Parcel Service, or Federal Express. The United States Postal Service deserves to go bankrupt because of their incompetency.