Hey everyone! I really need some help; I am the manager of a startup that specializes in selling antique items online, and have run into some issues with the delivery of a package; I'm wondering if I could get some insight and assistance. c:
A few weeks, we shipped out a high-value package to a customer here in the US, through Shopify. It was a $5000 item, we insured it for $5000 using Shipsurance, and it was shipped with USPS with tracking, and signature verification.
The customer/intended recipient reaches out to us about a week later, claiming she never received the package. Tracking says "Delivered" at the appropriate address, so we ask the customer to ask around her neighbors in the building — no luck. She speaks with her building manager, who says that the USPS courier actually signed for the package themselves, and just left the package in the building mailroom — where it could have EASILY gotten stolen, or even just stolen by the USPS courier themselves.
We tried to file a claim with Shipsurance, but they would not pay out since the package is marked as "delivered", even though it was technically NOT delivered to the customer, since the USPS courier just signed for it themselves. We filed a claim with USPS, who also gave us the same excuse, as well as stating that "the customer gave our courier permission to leave packages out in the open in the mailroom, if it could not fit into the customer's deposit box". This wouldn't make a difference, because even if the package DID fit inside the deposit box, it needed signature authorization BY THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, and thus would not go into the deposit box in the first place. Not only that, but we asked the customer, and she says that she never gave any such permission to the USPS courier.
We are truly at a loss here. I am trying to re-open the Shipsurance claim to dispute the package as "delivered", and we are encouraging the customer to escalate the issue to her local postmaster, but we are worried that because of USPS's sleight of hand, they absolved themselves of responsibility, our insurance carrier won't pay because it's "marked as delivered", and the customer may just want us to refund them the full amount of $5000.
Could I get some advice as to what our next course of action might be? Are we, as sellers, responsible at the end of the day, despite the fact that USPS clearly negated all of our attempts to provide shipping security (insurance, tracking, and signature)?