February 27, 2019 1:05 am
Updated: February 27, 2019 1:06 am

B.C. couple says their claim was mishandled after UPS truck goes up in flames

WATCH: A B.C. couple turned to Consumer Matters after a freak accident destroyed their Christmas gifts and they felt they were being shortchanged by UPS. Anne Drewa reports.

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A B.C. couple who had their Christmas gifts destroyed in a UPS truck fire say their claim was mishandled by the package delivery company.

“We’ve been kicked around and had to run around the block. They make us dance and sing, and we didn’t get anywhere,” Dieter Howald said.

Back in December, a UPS truck caught fire along the Trans-Canada Highway east of Revelstoke.

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Howald and his wife, Gisela, made a claim immediately at the UPS store in Kelowna. They submitted a letter along with receipts in the amount of $204.96.

At the time, the couple says they told the UPS manager they still had to find receipts for materials that were used to make handmade gifts also lost in the fire.

“He said, at that time: ‘You can always bring those receipts at a later date, and we simply add it on to your submission,'” Howald said.

After finding the remaining receipts, the Howalds went back to UPS but say the manager was not accommodating.

“There we were with the additional receipts of $95 that needed to be added on, and he says: ‘There is nothing I can do but I can offer you an in-store credit in the amount of $63.'”

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Adding to their frustration, the Howalds say UPS told them the two gift cards that were destroyed in the fire, totalling $100, were not eligible for the claim. Instead, the couple says they were advised to reach out to the individual businesses to get replacements.

However, because the retailers classify the gift cards as merchandise, the couple was told the cards should be part of the claim.

“We went back to UPS people and said: ‘Hey, you sent us on a wild goose chase, this is your business, not ours.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s the way it is’ and says there is nothing we can do,” said Howald.

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The Howalds reached out to Consumer Matters for help. Shortly after contacting UPS, the company emailed Global News.

“We are working with the two retailers to get replacement/credit for your two gift cards. We acknowledge that your total refund requested is for $300.07 and undertake the responsibility to refund this to you within the next 10 business days, either in its entirety or less the two gift card credits, provided that we are successful.”

The Howalds have since received a cheque for $300.07.

When asked if UPS could offer an explanation as to what happened with the Howalds’ claim and why their full claim was not accepted originally, Consumer Matters received no response.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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