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View Full Version : STOLEN: Martin Backpacker Uke (UK)



AnnaUK
08-13-2013, 12:07 AM
Hey all

Just thought I'd post this here, in the small hope that someone spots this stolen uke on a "For Sale" board somewhere.

I was lucky enough to win the Baron's Blues contest and won his Martin Backpacker uke. Sven from Argapa Ukes had put a new top on it, with an unusual double soundhole, so it's completely unique:

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5489/9499151285_1060e8f67d.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7422/9502020306_52b5490ba2.jpg

The Baron shipped this to me recorded delivery, to be signed for. It is NOT his fault at all. The postman left it with my neighbour as I was out. BUT he didn't put a card through my door, so I didn't know the neighbour had it. Unbeknown to me, the stupid neighbour then left the parcel unattended in my back garden while I was out, and by the time I got home it had been stolen.

This was Tues 30 July, in Kent in the south east of the UK.

The police tell me that stupidity isn't a crime and my neighbour is not liable. I have made a complaint to the post office because they should have put a card through my door. They seem to be denying liability as well, saying the parcel was signed for and delivered safely (though not to me).

I very much doubt I'll see this uke again, but if anyone spots it for sale on eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree or similar, please do let me or the Baron know.

I think this must be the only Backpacker uke in the world with the double soundhole, so if it turns up, we'll know it's the right one.

THANK YOU all for the help,
Anna

consitter
08-13-2013, 12:13 AM
What a terrible shame! I can only hope that in spite of the terrible circumstances, this uke brings someone joy. (not the thief however)

And the postal service needs to take responsibility!

UkuEroll
08-13-2013, 12:23 AM
Sorry to hear that Anna. I wouldn't let it go with the post office, so what that it was signed for! Not by you and not at your addresss. Did you tell them to leave it with a neighbour? Take it further, I would.

AnnaUK
08-13-2013, 12:31 AM
Thanks guys. I agree the Post Office is at least partly to blame. If they had put a card through my door I could have collected the uke from my neighbour's long before he got the great idea to leave it unattended.

I will keep pursuing my complaint and keep you guys posted on how it goes. Keep those eyes peeled :D

consitter
08-13-2013, 12:32 AM
Thanks guys. I agree the Post Office is at least partly to blame. If they had put a card through my door I could have collected the uke from my neighbour's long before he got the great idea to leave it unattended.

I will keep pursuing my complaint and keep you guys posted on how it goes. Keep those eyes peeled :D


Unfortunately, you can't fix stupid.

mm stan
08-13-2013, 01:18 AM
Aloha Anna,
That is so unfortunate.....sorry to hear the bad news....I know you was all excited for this uke....I would be too...., you well deserve your prize...
let hope it turns up and probally the kid who stole it....I am most sure it is someone around your neighborhood and it well be a friend of your neighbors
I would persue the post office.....and go a level higher than your district office....good luck girl....

dkcrown
08-13-2013, 01:45 AM
Real sorry to hear about your misfortune Anna. It certainly is unique with that soundhole. I hope that it shows up again for you.

tominpinson
08-13-2013, 02:29 AM
Sorry about your missing uke. I blame the post office and most of all the theif. If I am not home to sign for a package they leave a card and I have to pick it up at post office. I may be in an all out war with my neighbour over his dog barking all night. I would not want the postman to decide who to give my package to if I am not home. Your neighbour made a mistake in judgement. If it is a good neighbour I hope the relationship heals. I hope your ukulele shows up and you can forgive them.
Tom

PhilUSAFRet
08-13-2013, 02:34 AM
Sorry about losing your new uke. Hope you get it back.

hoosierhiver
08-13-2013, 04:16 AM
We have more trouble with UK post than any other country including the "3rd world".

AnnaUK
08-13-2013, 04:28 AM
Thanks guys,

My neighbours are unfortunately the worst kind of people. Lazy, not very friendly and simply don't care about anyone except themselves. But even so, I make a special effort to try to remain on speaking terms with them and be civil and polite at all times. I think after this episode the relationship is beyond repair.

They were incredibly stupidity to leave a valuable parcel unattended. (The guy admitted that he knew it was a uke and therefore valuable, because it was written on the outside of the box.) As Stan says, I've only got his word that he even left the parcel there at all. He could have had something to do with the disappearance himself.

As for the postman, he isn't much cleverer really. Normally, I'd get a card through the door and would have to go to the post office with ID to collect the parcel. I've done it a hundred times before and so was really surprised that this time they decided to leave the parcel at another house.

They are both to blame, but as Consitter says above, you can't fix stupid.

I'll let you guys know if I get anywhere with the post office complaints procedure. Thanks for all the support :)

Texangal
08-13-2013, 04:31 AM
It's a beautiful uke. I'm really sorry this happened. I hope it works out somehow. :(

Doc_J
08-13-2013, 04:35 AM
Since you did not sign for it, it should be covered by the postal insurance. Make a claim at the Post. The neighbors should have not signed for it if they did not wish to take responsibility. You shouldn't have to seek restitution from the neighbors. Push the Post to being the responsible party.

Good luck on the recovery.

kaizersoza
08-13-2013, 06:09 AM
I will keep my eyes open for the ukulele Anna, our postal services are complete tat, they should compensate you for not following procedure, they are liable, be really nice to catch the thief as well, but to be honest the uke will probably take months to surface coz its hot, hope you catch the B#@+*$D

electrauke
08-13-2013, 06:36 AM
Man that sucks, I will keep a look out.

PeteyHoudini
08-13-2013, 06:58 AM
Sounds like a summer replacement postal worker who did not want to carry the parcel back. August is vacation time. I've had dodgy deliveries during the summer.

Since the item was "stolen" from your neighbour's property, it's still theft and your neighbour should be forced to fill out a police report useful for the insurance. Stealing mail is also a federal offense. He should have to contact his insurance company. Probably, the deductible is higher than the uke value but make that neighbour go through the hassle! You could easily win in small claims court against your neighbour but you'll need the police report. Though, it won't do that good for neighbourly relations. Any half-decent neighbour would pay the value of the uke. Imagine if your neighbour borrows your lawn mower and breaks it or it get stolen, they should offer to replace it.

Good luck!

Petey

RyanMFT
08-13-2013, 07:04 AM
Just really sorry to hear this happened. It always strikes me as insane that postal workers will leave a package with a neighbor. Just because someone lives near you doesn't mean they should be allowed to collect your belongings.

I sincerely hope you get your ukulele back.

AnnaUK
08-14-2013, 01:01 AM
Hello friends,

A quick update:

Just to clarify, the neighbour left the parcel in my back garden, and I have filled out a police report. I did not leave instructions to leave the parcel with a neighbour, the postman decided to do that on his own.

Parcelforce rang me today to tell me that since the neighbour signed for the parcel, the responsibility was transferred to them the moment they signed for it. Their advice is to raise a civil claim in the small claims court against my neighbour. They have no compensation procedure for anything after a parcel was signed for, (only if a package is lost or damaged in transit before it was signed for).

I will complain to their CEO or equivalent, but I think I will get nowhere fast.

Anyway, the purpose of this thread was to alert the eBay searchers among us in case the thief tries to sell it on. Hopefully I have achieved that aim :)

Thanks everyone for your help and advice, it's much appreciated,
Anna

mm stan
08-14-2013, 02:45 AM
Aloha Anna,
That sounds ridicious....You mean they said as long as they got even a non authorized signature it was valid....that is poppycock....
I would not persue it with your neighbor though, if it did not get to step one your neighbor, he would have nothing to do with it, theyare passing the buck...it was clearly the post office fault, I am sure if you press harder and go higher you will get good results
I am quite sure the branch is trying to protect their butts on this issue and contain it to the branch, as the person who delivered it and his super will get in deep trouble....

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poppycock

UkuEroll
08-14-2013, 03:36 AM
Don't let them off, as Stan said they're trying to cover THIER cock up. So what they're saying is.... If your not in they can leave stuff with who they want to, as long as its signed for, RUBBISH!!!!!

barefootgypsy
08-14-2013, 03:44 AM
Don't let them off, as Stan said they're trying to cover THIER cock up. So what they're saying is.... If your not in they can leave stuff with who they want to, as long as its signed for, RUBBISH!!!!!Yeah, what he said.... parcelforce should not pass over responsibility for your goods without your permission - take it to the highest level!

Mxyzptik
08-14-2013, 03:51 AM
Hello friends,

A quick update:

Just to clarify, the neighbour left the parcel in my back garden, and I have filled out a police report. I did not leave instructions to leave the parcel with a neighbour, the postman decided to do that on his own.

Parcelforce rang me today to tell me that since the neighbour signed for the parcel, the responsibility was transferred to them the moment they signed for it. Their advice is to raise a civil claim in the small claims court against my neighbour. They have no compensation procedure for anything after a parcel was signed for, (only if a package is lost or damaged in transit before it was signed for).

I will complain to their CEO or equivalent, but I think I will get nowhere fast.

Anyway, the purpose of this thread was to alert the eBay searchers among us in case the thief tries to sell it on. Hopefully I have achieved that aim :)

Thanks everyone for your help and advice, it's much appreciated,
Anna

Based on that logic they could transfer the responsibility to the first person they bumped into on the street. I'd ask them if they thought that to be OK then ask what the heck the difference between a perfect stranger on the street and your neighbour is ?

I wouldn't assume that it's going nowhere with the CEO , the way to get a company to see it your way is to understand what scares them the most. Here it's (the threat) of unwanted media attention. Be careful just to suggest it, because once it's happened the power of the threat diminishes. Figure what your postal service fears the most ( likely not much ) is it local government intervention, media, advertisers and then be prepared to plead your case for help to them. Surely when the CEO learns of a plan to let everyone know, that they feel it is justified to deliver a persons parcel to anyone they feel like then he or she should come to their senses. Try and get them to put it in a letter or email so you have something to show a media outlet as evidence. Don't underestimate the power of the plight of the every man.

mds725
10-31-2013, 02:12 PM
I'm not sure how things work (legally-speaking) in the UK, but I believe that in the US, the Postal Service would be in breach of its agreement with the party that shipped the ukulele, assuming the shipping party was the one who paid money to have things done a certain way and didn't get the benefit of his bargain because the letter carrier acted improperly (apparently under the Postal Service's own policy) by giving the parcel to the neighbor. I hate to see you have to drag the shipper into this, and the Postal Service is clearly trying to evade responsibility for its own bad conduct, but it may be onto something when it says that YOUR recourse is with the neighbor in that it may be assuming that the only party that has a claim against the Postal service is the party that paid the Postal Service to have a service provided.

bunnyf
10-31-2013, 05:13 PM
Bummer! Hope u get ur uke back. It's unique so u got a chance. I'm sure us ebayers will keep a look out. Good luck

mm stan
10-31-2013, 10:29 PM
Aloha Anna,
Sorry to hear you have not have been reimbursed nor have gotten your uke back...If you called your district post office, they may me trying to contain the issue to cover their backs and not reportit or make any paperwork.
Call to the national number of the postal service and state or file your grievance there and explain that you got nowhere with your district office... certainly hope this works out for you.

drbekken
10-31-2013, 11:17 PM
What a miserable story. In Norway, we have an old saying, which roughly translated may read something like this: "Against stupidity, even the gods are powerless." Well, maybe you have it in English, too...don't be discouraged, though. Stand up for yourself!

pulelehua
11-01-2013, 01:13 AM
Anna,

Only just seeing this for the first time. Oh no!

Royal Mail was talking about going to a "deliver to neighbours" scheme last year, which was an opt-out scheme. If they did adopt that scheme, you might be out of luck. I've looked on a lot of forums, including Which? and Moneysavingexpert, and there isn't much good news I'm afraid.

I think the truth is probably that it is a big problem (if you google it, you'll see just how many people go through this), and the police have decided it's too big, and impossible to tackle. Parcel Force have decided not to care, given their massive stranglehold on the industry, leaving your neighbour to be the only one who can help, which obviously isn't going to happen.

They delivered a dobro I had shipped over from Florida to my neighbour 4 doors down without permission. That was in a house which is let, and where I don't always know who's living there. Fortunately, they were honest. And sat with an enormous box all afternoon.

Really sorry, Anna. When I lived in Exeter, I had a number of things go walkies. I am not a dedicated fan of the Royal Mail, I have to say.

I will keep my eyes open! If it shows up in Maidstone, you will be the first to know.


xoxo

John

Hms
11-01-2013, 01:29 AM
I see the issue as being:
What are the written operating procedures for the postman in this situation.
1. Should they leave the package with the neighbour? If not they are at fault.
2. Should they drop a note through your door to say where it is left? If they can leave with neighbour then they automatically should drop note through door.If not they are at fault.

Surely to consider something delivered the recepient has to be made aware that the item has been delivered!

Taking a charitable view, they could be doing you a favour by doing this as it saves you a trip to the sorting office, but not putting a note through the door to let you know where the parcel is downright lazy and reckless.

I would write to the CEO and complain and ask for compensation up to the full amount allowed plus extra for buggeration factor.
Last week I had a packaged delivered on Tuesday, only found out by going to the sorting office who said it was delivered and showed me a signature, not mine as I was at work. Guy said he'd speak to his boss and call me. Nothing heard. Found it pushed through the letterbox on Friday, so heavens knows where it's been in between.

h

This site may help:
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/nireland/consumer_ni/consumer_post_e/consumer_complaining_about_post_e/how_to_complain_to_your_postal_provider.htm

AnnaUK
11-01-2013, 03:27 AM
Many thanks for the new advice and sympathies :)

I honestly think the postman left the parcel next door in good faith - he wasn't to know they were thieving imbeciles. But yes, he was very stupid not to put a card through my door.

I blame the next door neighbours entirely. They had my parcel for several weeks without telling me. (I saw them several times over those weeks and they never mentioned a thing.) It was only when I questioned them about it that the man claimed he'd left the parcel unattended in my garden. I don't believe a word of it. They either stole or damaged the parcel and tried to cover it up by saying it must have been stolen from my garden. Sadly, I can't prove this. They are the worst kind of selfish people who care about nobody but themselves.

I've accepted I'll never see this uke, I only started this thread so that if anyone spots it on eBay they can let me know.

Many thanks for keeping your eyes open,
Anna :D