UPS loses man's inheritance check of nearly $700,000, offers $32 compensation

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Public pressure does wonders sometimes!


Thought #1: I would not trust UPS to deliver a box of dog poo to its own front porch. This kind of thing is what the postal system’s registered mail was invented for.

Thought #2: this is the fucking 21st century. Use an interbank wire transfer or something already.


Maybe I’m missing some arcane provision of Canadian shipping law here, but the bank sounds like a much bigger dick here than UPS. In fact, I’m not sure I know what UPS was supposed to do differently here.

For one thing, how does the bank advise anything other than a wire transfer here? I guess there could be some highly specific reason, but not any very common ones I can think of. For another, a major selling point of drafts (or checks in general) is that they can be stopped or undone when situations warrant. Again, consult a Canadian for confirmation, but I doubt you could take a draft for $846,650 into the lobby of the Moose Jaw Savings and Trust and walk out with cash five minutes later, no verification or double-checking for a stop order having been done.

UPS messed up and lost a scrap of paper. Bad UPS, shame on you. But $32 might be just about what the hassle of getting this resolved is worth, if the bank is doing its job.



Seriously. UPSing a check is an astoundingly stupid way to send any amount of money, let alone that much.


If UPS lost a box of $700,000 in cash, or diamonds worth $700k, then they would be responsible for more than $32, but only if the sender paid the premium to insure the package up to $700k. If it was a check, UPS should have to pay the bank fees for canceling and reissuing the check and the cost to resend it. $32 sounds generous.


Bank drafts are also in the name of the person they are intended for. So if somebody found the lost draft, they’d also have to steal the intended recipient’s identity.

But yeah, no reason this couldn’t have been done through a more secure means.


Or even Oh we have to re issue the check because it never arrived nor was it actually cashed. Print Print, Here.

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I’m not sure if it was the bank’s fault or the folks arranging things with the bank to get the check sent, but I can’t imagine anyone sending a $700k physical check through UPS… without any tracking info… and without insurance or proof of receipt. Hell, I can’t even imagine anyone thinking entrusting any shipping service with that amount of money was remotely intelligent. Wire the money, pay the $5 fee.


If I were a bank employee and a customer told me UPS lost the first $700,00 bank draft so I should issue a second one for the same funds, my mental alarm bells would deafen me. You sent it as a bank draft? By UPS Ground? And it’s lost?

I’m skeptical of the all the parties here but UPS. I doubt they would ship an envelope containing a bank draft for $700,000 if they knew that’s what it was.


Yikes, that’s some bad customer service optics there.

Hopefully since it was a check, it was cancelled and then reissued to the recipient at some point.

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It’s been a number of years since I lived in Canada, but two things may help non-Canadians understand the decision process here:

Canada Post is notoriously, biblically bad - I would say somewhere in the range of 20-40% of things I sent via Canada Post (within Canada or internationally) disappeared. So I can see using an alternate service.

Canadian banks often seem to be many years behind international best practice. I still had a bank book for my accounts into the 1990s and had to slide it into a machine to print and update the balances each time I went to a branch. I had never seen that technology before in my life, nor have I since. So it’s possible Canadian banks are still 20 years or so behind the times (in the same way that US banks are almost 20 years behind the times in terms of chip and pin).

Personal experience with UPS can also confirm that they will sell you insurance on an item to be shipped and then claim it’s not covered when you try and claim - hey, assholes, the time to tell me that was before you charged me the insurance premium.


Why the fuck would it be so hard for the bank to just cancel the original goddamned check and issue a new one? IT’S NOT ROCKET SURGERY. For crying out loud and using all caps. Such assholery.


It’s always easier to just do the right thing from the start. Why do some folks never learn?

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Not a cheque, a bank draft. They’re different things. They asked for a certified cheque, which could have just been cancelled when it was lost, but the bank convinced them to go with a bank draft instead, which works differently.


20 to 40% of things lost?

I’m Canadian and I mail stuff all the time, in Canada and to the US. My experience is that as an Etsy seller I’ve lost 2 out of 170 items sent to the US, (US post) Zero in Canada.

BTW as a printer I did a lot of shipping to the US and have had horrible experiences shipping with UPS. If it was one box, that was usually ok. If more than one, almost always they lost at least one of the items.
On one occasion a print job going to California of 9 boxes, the customer refused to accept them claiming that many boxes were broken and it looked like people stepped all over the brochures and just stuffed them back in. The whole shipment came back except one box was stuck on the other side of the border and UPS wanted kept on bugging us to pay the customs fee to return it. The shipment was sent under the customers account and insured, but everytime I tried to claim the amount with UPS I got transferred to someone else and had to go over the whole story all over again.
Finally when we threatened to go public with the story UPS came up with a cheque for $1100 or so to cover the re-print.

I will say that I have plenty of other things to complain about Canada Post, but UPS and many of the other shippers have their issues.


$32 bucks is fine from UPS’s perspective. It covers the transactional costs. Nothing of value was actually lost. It’s also not news that UPS loses stuff.

It is the bank’s behaviour that is the issue here. 10 months later, they finally relax their demand that their customer posts security before they will re-issue? What, they have no system that they can use to cancel the original draft? They think some pay-day loan business will cash it and they’ll be on the hook? Just what the hell are they thinking, other than, “We’re a bank and we can treat people however the fuck we like and they’ll keep coming back.”.


Agreed. A friend of mine spent years trying to finalize details of an estate for a Canadian relative. When she described how out of date and slow the bank was, I couldn’t believe it. The fact that she was working on it from the US only made it worse. They repeatedly ignored the difference in time zones, then complained if she did not respond to them on the same day.

Maybe dumb luck, but something seems suspicious. I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy skips town with all of the money.