Monday, May 10, 2021

Problem handled-- without gangs

An acquaintance recently had a problem with an eBay package. 

It was one of those UPS shipments that gets handed over to the USPS for final delivery. 

The UPS tracking number didn't show any problems during shipment, but when it was handed over to the post office in the Big City, someone put the new USPS tracking number on the package along with someone else's name and PO box number. (Does UPS make the new label or does the USPS? Seeing as how the label has the new USPS tracking number, I doubt UPS prints those-- but I don't know.) She knew nothing of any of this and kept watching for the delivery.

Saturday, the tracking said the package had been delivered the day before, but my acquaintance hadn't gotten it.

The post office here is closed on Saturdays, but she went and knocked on the door and they answered. She asked for her package but was told there was no package. Checking the tracking number showed it had been picked up by someone with a completely different box number. They said they'd look into it on Monday, but maybe that person would realize the mistake and return the package.

Not being content to let things sit for two days on a package worth over $100, she used the box number given by the post office and an internet search gave her a name and address. A further Facebook search showed the person had one mutual friend, Contact was made. (A lesson about the privacy-killing internet.)

The person with the package said yes, she had picked up a package, but her name was on it, so it was hers. She denied it contained what my acquaintance had ordered, but cautiously avoided saying anything incriminating about it. She even supplied a photo of the label with the tracking number; her name and box number included.  She ended by saying "Good luck finding your package".

Monday the post office said the package was in the other person's name, so that was the end of it.

My acquaintance notified eBay that she hadn't received the package, but they quickly denied the claim, saying the tracking number showed it had been delivered.

This is where I came in. She wanted to turn matters over to the police-- I said that since the other person's name and box number were on the package, that would probably be pointless (and I always try to discourage involving the Blue Line Gang anyway). So she gave me a chance to handle it and I wrote her appeal for her. 

I looked over every document and message back and forth. I gave eBay every bit of information available, including the name and address of the person who had picked up the package, saying that they were unknown to the purchaser and refused to return the package, saying that since her name was on it, it was hers. I offered to send photographic evidence if they'd tell me where to send it.

This made eBay relent and refund her money. I count this as a double win. My acquaintance got her money back and I found out where a person I probably shouldn't trust lives. I just hope the eBay seller didn't get charged unless the mistake was somehow theirs.

Is this how things might work in a free society where calling the cops isn't an option? Seems like it could be.


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  1. Hi Kent,

    On a previous post, you said that the bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana makes it more likely for you to be arrested, because of a bunch of hoops set up.

    I looked up a summary of the law, and here are the restrictions on liberty mentioned:

    If you get caught selling marijuana without a license, some unspecified legal trouble will ensue.

    The effective date is in the future, not immediate.

    It's illegal to possess more than two ounces outside your home.

    If you grow inside your house, you can only grow a maximum of 12 plants.

    Did I miss something? Yes, every one of these restrictions violate liberty, and shouldn't exist, but which is worse than the existing laws?

    It seems like you're much less likely to end up in a cage with this incremental increase in freedom. Not perfect, but seems like an improvement.

    I, for one, look forward to only having to drive to NM rather than CO to purchase weed without fear of arrest (until the TX border, of course).

    Jim Henshaw

    1. When I've spoken to people in states where it has been legalized, almost all of them have said it was safer-- with less chance of getting in legal trouble-- before legalization. At least, compared to the years immediately before legalization.
      I don't have any personal experience living anywhere it has been legalized, so I'm just going with what they say seems to be the pattern.
      I have noticed that since the decision to legalize it in NM, the local cops (on that side of the line, anyway) have apparently stopped arresting people on marijuana charges-- other than for "distributing" it. That was an immediate change and the new legislation isn't even in effect yet-- so that's a good sign.

    2. The Double Effect Principle...

    3. I hadn't heard of that before and had to look it up, but yeah. It fits.