UPS lost a bank draft containing a Canadian family's $846,000 inheritance, and then initially tried making things right by offering to refund a mere $32 shipping fee.
The drama began in February, when, Louis Paul Herbert told CBC, his family was going over his father’s will and dividing money between family members. Herbert said he went to a UPS store near Cornwall, Ontario, to pick up a package his sister, Lorette Taylor, had sent him containing a bank check with his part of the fortune.
But the check never arrived.
“I’m waiting at the UPS store, around 3 p.m. because that’s when they said the guys came in -- nothing shows up,” Herbert told CBC News. “I came back in the evening. Nothing shows up...and I’m wondering, ‘What’s happened to my inheritance?'”
Taylor said she sent the check from TD Bank through UPS so her brother would not have to travel 270 miles to pick it up. Taylor said the bank guaranteed the draft would get to Herbert safely, a vow that helped convince her to use UPS’ services. TD also pledged to Taylor and her husband, John, it would replace the money if the draft got lost.
“They said a bank draft was more appropriate,” Taylor said. “Never in my wildest imagination did I think something like this would happen.”
UPS said it could not trace the draft’s location.
“While UPS’s service is excellent in our industry, we are unfortunately not perfect. Occasionally, the loss of a package does occur,” UPS spokeswoman Nirali Raval told CBC. “Our records indicate that our team followed UPS protocol and an exhaustive search for this package was completed by our Operations and Security teams. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate the package.”
Taylor said UPS sent an apology letter to her family and offered to refund the $32 shipping fee -- but the unlucky woman believes that's not enough.
“That’s nice of them to say, but it doesn’t solve my problems,” Herbert said.
TD refused to issue a new check unless Taylor signed “an agreement to pay back the bank if someone cashes the lost draft,” CBC reported.
“It also said that if something happened to me, for example, my children and my heirs and my spouse and my executor would have to pay this debt,” she said. “Well, I didn’t really want to sign this.”
Eventually, however, the woman said she signed the form but the bank “never paid anyone a dime.” The bank instead put a lien against her home in case “the errant check was cashed.” However, she refused.
“If the bank really wants indemnity, then UPS should sign it,” Taylor said.
Herbert said he was out of cash and needed the inheritance to survive.
“TD has the money. The money is actually sitting in an account with TD. Nothing has been stolen. It’s there. That’s my inheritance,” he said. “I would have been retired.”
Following initial reports of the misfortune surrounding the missing fortune, TD stepped up, releasing the $846,000 on Thursday and issuing an apology.
"We understand that we've reached a resolution with our customer," Cheryl Ficker, a spokeswoman for TD Canada Trust, told CBC News. "It's clear to us we didn't get this right along the way and that there was more we could have done to come to a resolution faster."
Taylor confirmed to CBC her lawyer has the new check.
“It looks like the matter will be settled,” she said.