WESTBOROUGH (CBS) – Through snow or rain, we’ve been told the postman always delivers. But one local business owner claims the United States Postal Service did not deliver, and ripped him off as well.
For many, texts, tweets and email have all but eliminated the need for traditional mail. But that’s not the case for the owner of The Little Gym of Westborough.
“It’s still a big part of what we do,” says owner Anthony Karpouzis.
Karpouzis still depends on bulk mailings to reach potential new customers and it usually works.
“It gets our name out there,” he says, “Our logo, what we do, tells people that have never heard about us.”
Each fall he spends thousands to send out brochures to a targeted list of potential customers. But this year, Karpouzis didn’t get any response.
He includes his own address to make sure the brochures are delivered, and this year, it never came. They got lost.
“I start calling, then they start looking and the next thing you know the plant in Shrewsbury that received it, they don’t know where it went,” says Karpouzis.
Eventually, the post office agreed to refund $867 which covered only the postage, a fraction of the total cost.
Knowing how important the mailings are to his business, Karpouzis paid thousands more for a second mailing, and he says it happened again.
He never received the brochure addressed to his business. That’s when he contacted his congressman.
Rep. Jim McGovern says he fully supports the post office, but admits this is a critical time for the agency which is facing serious financial strain. The agency is also struggling to stay relevant in an age when many rely solely on electronic communication.
“So to say to this guy, ‘you know you spent all of this money on mailings, we lost your mailings we’ll repay the postage but you’re out of luck with the rest of it’ doesn’t seem very fair to me,” says Rep. McGovern.
Fair or not, under federal law, the USPS is not responsible for losses unless the mail is registered or insured and his wasn’t.
In a statement, the post office said they are, “Committed to providing reliable and timely delivery of all mail and do everything we can to satisfy our customers.”
Anthony Karpouzis is not satisfied and wonders if the post office can be trusted.
“This has cost a lot of money, and a lot of time,” says Karpouzis. “The business part, I don’t know how much we’ve lost.”
Karpousiz still wants the post office to refund his entire printing cost which is more than $5,000. That appeal is still pending.