ROCKVILLE — A Rockville woman finally received a check for $1,204.15 following a WRTV Investigation into how her wedding ring got lost in the mail.
WRTV Investigates first introduced you to Janet Risler back in April.
She paid $19.95 to insure her $1,200 wedding ring’s journey to get repaired in Missouri.
Risler contacted WRTV Investigates after a year long battle with the U.S. Postal Service to get a refund for her lost ring.
“I’m exhausted,” said Risler. “I’m frustrated.”
Our investigation caught the attention of Ryan Many, a Senior Consumer Relations Specialist at the U.S. Postal Service in Washington D.C.
“I located your information from past service requests made with the United States Postal Service,” wrote Many in an email to WRTV. “I recently learned of a news article that I believe has to do with your lost wedding ring with tracking number (redacted), and I would love to assist you in getting a claim created and potentially paid.”
Risler said she was surprised, but also skeptical.
"I was a little leery because he was very willing to help, and I didn't know if it was a scam,” said Risler to WRTV Investigates Kara Kenney. “So, I texted you and you said go for it, sounds great."
Weeks later, Risler received something in the mail from the U.S. Postal Service.
"This is my check for $1200, which is what I had it insured for,” said Risler. “Thanks to you and Ryan Many, I got it. I thank you so much. It shows you justice will prevail."
WRTV Investigates found Janet Risler is not alone.
We filed a FOIA request with the U.S. Postal Service and found of the 842,973 insurance claims filed in 2022, only 38% or 320,033 were paid by USPS.
We filed another FOIA request and found dozens of reasons why claims are denied including the customer didn’t have the proper documentation such as proof of the item’s value, or proof they purchased insurance.
USPS also denied claims because they determined the item was not actually lost or damaged.
USPS can also deny claims if you do not file within a specific time frame.
For insured mail/packages, you have to file a claim after 15 days but before 60 days.
In Risler’s case, she says the postmaster initially gave her the wrong form, and when she finally filed the right form (Domestic Claim PS Form 1000), it was too late.
“They said it’s been too long, that I waited too long to fill out this claim,” said Risler.
WRTV Investigates stopped by post offices in Indianapolis to see if we could get a Domestic Claim PS Form 1000.
- WRTV Investigates Kara Kenney: “Do you guys have the lost mail forms? It’s like a PS 1000 form?
- USPS Employee: “Lost mail form?”
- WRTV Investigates Kara Kenney: “Yeah, it’s a claim form.”
- USPS Employee: “It’s all done online now.”
- WRTV Investigates Kara Kenney: “Just online? Ok thank you.”
The U.S. Postal Service encourages you to gather your documents, including receipt for insurance, and then file an electronic claim on their website.
Janet Risler said she never would have gotten her money back had WRTV Investigates not gotten involved.
“Thank you so much,” said Risler. “Justice has been served. That was really my whole issue. I hope they don’t do that to other people.”
Janet Risler only wears bands on her finger now—no diamond.
In fact, she has no plans to buy another wedding ring.
"I think we need to eat a steak dinner,” said Risler to her husband Larry. “We are going to celebrate."
The U.S. Postal Service says you should save all your evidence documents until your claim is resolved.
- Original mailing receipt issued at the time of mailing
- Outer packaging showing the names and addresses of the sender and the addressee and the proper label showing that the article was sent insured
- Printed electronic online label record or computer printout from the application used to print the label and purchase the insurance
If you’re unable to file a claim online, you can have a Domestic Claim Form mailed to you.
- Call the USPS National Materials Customer Service and request a Domestic Claim PS Form.
- Complete the form and mail it, along with proof of value and evidence of insurance, to the address on the form.
National Materials Customer Service
1-800-332-0317 (requests for paper Domestic Claim Forms only)