Post office sells Highlands Ranch man’s shipment for profit

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Let’s face it, the United States Post Office doesn’t have the best reputation for on-time delivery. But a Highlands Ranch man says his impression of the postal service hit a new low, when his shipment not only failed to reach its destination but was sold to a third party by the U.S. Post Office.

Highlands Ranch business consultant Chuck Blakeman shipped 20 boxes of his newly printed book “Making Money is Killing Your Business” for a convention in Las Vegas.

His first edition of the business book was a best seller on Amazon but four boxes of his 2nd edition never made it to Las Vegas. Instead they somehow ended up at the nation’s only Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta.

That’s where Blakeman discovered 88 of his books were auctioned to a book seller called Big River Books, who immediately turned around and sold Blakeman’s new books as used on Amazon.com.

"Good for the post office and good for them, they both made money. I`m out a few thousand dollars,” cracked Blakeman.

A Denver spokesman for the U.S. Post Office refused to talk to FOX31 Denver on camera but told us Blakeman’s books were most likely packaged poorly and must have broken open in transit, allowing them to be diverted to the mail recovery center where the new books were sold for $5 each to Big River Books which then sold Blakeman’s books on Amazon for about $25 each.

Blakeman complained that when he immediately tried to file a claim for his misappropriated books, he was told he couldn’t, “For at least 30 days which I don`t understand which is sort of like saying that we`ll let the dead body go for a while and let the lead go cold.”

In an email sent to Blakeman, the U.S. Post Office explained, “The Mail Recovery Center receives in excess of 4,000 loose in the mail books each day. While some items may be held at the MRC for up to a month - loose in mail books do not qualify for that consideration under current Postal policy."

Chuck Blakeman said that means the U.S. Post Office can auction off your possessions before you’ve even had a chance to file a claim that something is missing. “At the very worst they stole my book and made money off of it and either way they profited.”

After the FOX31 Problem Solvers contacted the post office, Blakeman received an apology and 39 of his books back.

The U.S. Post Office also sent a statement that reads in part, “The Postal Service has been in contact with the customer on several occasions to personally apologize for any inconvenience."

Chuck Blakeman can only shake his head, “It`s sad but funny, you know you have to laugh because otherwise you get frustrated.”

The post office said Blakeman is partly to blame for not insuring his shipment of books but Blakeman said the last time the post office lost something he insured, it still refused to pay his claim. He said from now on, he’s sending big shipments via UPS or FedEx but never again the U.S. Post Office.