A truck contracted to carry Canada Post mails and parcels was destroyed in a fire in Prince George on Nov. 13, but never notified customers of their losses. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Terrace residents upset with Canada Post service following truck fire carrying mail, parcels

Customers were not informed of the losses, no public notice was given

Terrace residents are frustrated with Canada Post after their expected deliveries were destroyed in a truck fire last month and no notice was given.

According to crown corporation spokesperson Phil Legault, a truck contracted to carry Canada Post mail and packages slid off the road into a ditch along Highway 97 near Hixon, about 60 kilometres south of Prince George on Nov. 13, and caught fire. The driver was not injured.

“Unfortunately, all of the Canada Post product was destroyed along with the truck,” Legault told Black Press Media by email on Dec. 3, following a tip from a reader. “Customers who believe they have not received a specific mail item or parcel are asked to contact the sender.”

Resident Laura Reibin says she was expecting a package from online company Amazon to arrive on approximately Nov. 14 but as weeks went by, she grew concerned and received an account notice from her sender suggesting items were lost. She was told by her acquaintance, who was also missing her deliveries, that there was an accident involving a semi-truck carrying Canada Post items.

READ MORE: Canada Post racking up close to $1 million a year in parking fines, data show

Determined to find out, she called the local Canada Post office on Dec. 2 to ask upfront about the truck fire.

“When I called the post office, I asked what happened to that truck? And they said, ‘Yeah well, Canada Post is keeping that kind of quiet’,” Reibin says. “They were very helpful, but they did say they were kind of keeping it low profile.”

After contacting Amazon to explain the situation and have them resend the package, Reibin posted on a local Facebook group right after to share what she had learned about her missing Canada Post items. Dozens of Facebook users then shared that they too were waiting on deliveries and were unaware of the cause for delay.

Reibin says she only found one article online from myprincegeorgenow.comthat mentioned a truck fire in Prince George but there was no indication in the story that it was connected to Canada Post. It wasn’t until Canada Post was asked for an explanation by media that they confirmed an accident had occurred via email.

“The whole idea [to put this information out there] was so that people could get their parcels back or reorder their parcels and stuff like that… that information should have been put out, so people so can deal with it,” says Reibin. “I’m just happy that people will be looking into it now, especially people who were expecting or had sent parcels for Christmas.”

She says she’s lucky Amazon was understanding and able to replace her purchases immediately, but imagines that other people might have more troubles dealing with other shippers.

One unnamed Canada Post customer says she was tracking her delivery from Reitmans, which was also expected to arrive on Nov. 14 but did not receive any notification that her package was lost. Checking online on Dec. 3, it still read “In Transit” on her account. After contacting Canada Post repeatedly, she was encouraged to contact her shipper who then stated in an email that they’ve opened an investigation and that “it can take 15 to 20 business days to receive a response from Canada Post.”

She says she has not yet received her purchase as Canada Post has yet to take responsibility for the item from Reitmans, leaving her stuck waiting.

READ MORE: Canada Post has unfair advantage in distributing flyers: news group

As for craft hobbyist Heather Baxter, the loss was a notable one.

Hoping to sew many quilts and bags in time for her display at the Christmas Market, Baxter ordered a professional Janome sewing machine from Ontario, paying over $3,000 for it. Expecting for it to arrive mid-November, it wasn’t until she saw Reibin’s Facebook post that she followed up.

“Nobody had let us know in Terrace that there’s been a problem… I’ve been waiting for the sewing machine for quite a while and it looks like it may have been lost in that fire but they won’t confirm it, they just tell me that I need to talk to the person who sent it,” Baxter explains. “I just wanted my sewing machine so badly… I had to do all my work by hand.”

She says both her and the shipper filed a claim, and were told that from both ends there was an undisclosed problem with the shipment and they won’t release a refund until Dec. 30.

The Terrace Standard contacted Canada Post again inquiring why Canada Post did not inform customers and shippers of losses, but spokesperson Phil Legault replied with the same copy and paste message emailed to Black Press Media before.

For anyone who hasn’t received their package can contact Canada Post’s Customer Service at 1-800-267-1177 for further information.



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