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Old 11.02.2015, 21:07
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Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

I recently bought an antique watch from a reputable American dealer.

Despite having the proper shipping / valuation documentation, the Post opened up the package to have a look (like they'd have any idea of its value) and then taped up the package.

The watch doesn't work.

So either:

a. He shipped it knowing it didn't work (Highly unlikely given his reputation)
b. It was damaged at some point in it's journey (Most probable.. but it was very securely wrapped and packaged)
c. Some cack handed idiot at the Post has broken it

I assume I'm going to have to go back to the dealer for a refund... but.. anyone any idea if/how I could complain to the Post ? (And... if nothing else.. think twice before having anything delicate shipped to CH !)
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:12
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

Why don't you just sort it out with the dealer and not involve the post? There's no evidence to show that it was damaged by the Post, so not sure what you would complain about.

Part of the job is presumably make spot checks.
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:22
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Why don't you just sort it out with the dealer and not involve the post? There's no evidence to show that it was damaged by the Post, so not sure what you would complain about.

Part of the job is presumably make spot checks.
Well.. there's no evidence that they didn't damage the watch.

As I said, I'll probably have to try and sort it out with the dealer.. but I'm simply asking if anyone knows if Swiss Post is immune from any consequences of opening the mail. (They probably are legally.. which will make me think twice of using them again)
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:31
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Well.. there's no evidence that they didn't damage the watch.

As I said, I'll probably have to try and sort it out with the dealer.. but I'm simply asking if anyone knows if Swiss Post is immune from any consequences of opening the mail. (They probably are legally.. which will make me think twice of using them again)
Yes, and there's no evidence that the Pope didn't damage it either, are you going to complain to the Papacy?

If you complain, and they say, "nothing to do with us", then what?
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:35
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Well.. there's no evidence that they didn't damage the watch.

As I said, I'll probably have to try and sort it out with the dealer.. but I'm simply asking if anyone knows if Swiss Post is immune from any consequences of opening the mail. (They probably are legally.. which will make me think twice of using them again)

Was it opened by the Swiss Post or Swiss customs?
I know you said Post so just wondering if you assumed it was the Post.
I often receive post from overseas and on the occasions it has been opened I have been told it is the Customs chaps
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:41
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

So the watch was insured during transit of course? What does the insurance advise?
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:41
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Well thanks for the feedback, but this is going off kilter as usual.

The question wasn't 'Do you think it's worth complaining to the Post ?'... the question was 'Do you know how to complain to the Post ?' (this being Complaints corner an all) And I'll make up my big boy mind later if I think it's worth it...

Anyway you don't know how to complain to the Post.. but .. you do seem to know something about the Pope... mmm..... the Pope... that's interesting... the Pope eh ?

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Was it opened by the Swiss Post or Swiss customs?
I know you said Post so just wondering if you assumed it was the Post.
I often receive post from overseas and on the occasions it has been opened I have been told it is the Customs chaps

It was wrapped up with Post sticky tape.. and came with a Post 'invoice' for opening it and .. doing God knows what.

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So the watch was insured during transit of course? What does the insurance advise?
That's where I'll be going with my inquiries with the dealer, who arranged the shipping. Still not answering the original question.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.02.2015 at 22:06. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:46
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

Just had a look a Swiss post website- and this is what they say:

Damaged mail/delayed delivery


What can I do if my mail has been damaged?

  • Import items:
    Report the damage immediately to your post office. Your complaint will be noted and assessed to see whether you are entitled to claim compensation.
  • Export items:
    Report the damage to your post office or fill out the form Postal item enquiry.
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:50
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Just had a look a Swiss post website- and this is what they say:

Damaged mail/delayed delivery


What can I do if my mail has been damaged?

  • Import items:
    Report the damage immediately to your post office. Your complaint will be noted and assessed to see whether you are entitled to claim compensation.
  • Export items:
    Report the damage to your post office or fill out the form Postal item enquiry.
Grrrr... I went through what I thought were all their pages at https://www.post.ch/en/post-startsei...-empfangen.htm.... but that was in the 'business' section.... mmm...

Thank you very much for the link (and the correct answer to the question !)
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:53
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

The Swiss post have the right to open as does DHL/FEDEX etc. A customs officer is present and he decides which pacakages are opened for inspection and the post office/DHL/Fedex guy does the actual work of opening and closing the packets. The customs guy looks at the object and compares it to the documentation.

It is quite likely the customs guy has some idea of the value and coulds easily check if further checking was waranted.

Who broke it......all i can say is good luck as nothing can be proved conclusively anywhere, was it good when shipped, did it get damaged during transit, did the post office/custom guy drop it, or did anybody else break it.

The first port of call is going to be your local post office unless you have a paper from the Swiss post office where it was opened for checking and levying of eventual taxes
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Old 11.02.2015, 21:56
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Yes, and there's no evidence that the Pope didn't damage it either, are you going to complain to the Papacy?

If you complain, and they say, "nothing to do with us", then what?
Did the Papacy open the package, or did Swiss Post? The answer to that question may show how little sense your example makes.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:02
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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The Swiss post have the right to open as does DHL/FEDEX etc. A customs officer is present and he decides which pacakages are opened for inspection and the post office/DHL/Fedex guy does the actual work of opening and closing the packets. The customs guy looks at the object and compares it to the documentation.

It is quite likely the customs guy has some idea of the value and coulds easily check if further checking was waranted.

Who broke it......all i can say is good luck as nothing can be proved conclusively anywhere, was it good when shipped, did it get damaged during transit, did the post office/custom guy drop it, or did anybody else break it.

The first port of call is going to be your local post office unless you have a paper from the Swiss post office where it was opened for checking and levying of eventual taxes

OK, I'm now derailing my own thread.

Thanks for the details.. in most cases I'm sure the customs guys can check something's value... if it's new. But twice now I've been asked to provide proof of the purchase price of what's been in the packet, because they couldn't possibly know. I'm also starting to wonder if I'd get the same hassle if I shipped to Germany.. and .. ahem, cough, of course... declared the stuff at the border myself.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:04
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Did the Papacy open the package, or did Swiss Post? The answer to that question may show how little sense your example makes.
There is no evidence of who opened the package. Could be either.

Last edited by Phil_MCR; 11.02.2015 at 22:24.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:06
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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There is no evidence of who opened the package. Could be either.
Except... The Papacy do not open packages sent to Switzerland to check them.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:13
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

What do you actually need to do to make an antique watch stop working without visually damaging it?
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:16
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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What do you actually need to do to make an antique watch stop working without visually damaging it?
This is a more pertinent question... although if it is an antique watch, then the parts will be delicate and more subsceptible to levels of shock may not otherwise leave physical damage.
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:23
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Except... The Papacy do not open packages sent to Switzerland to check them.

Hint: I'm not saying the Pope opened the package



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OK, I'm now derailing my own thread.

Thanks for the details.. in most cases I'm sure the customs guys can check something's value... if it's new. But twice now I've been asked to provide proof of the purchase price of what's been in the packet, because they couldn't possibly know. I'm also starting to wonder if I'd get the same hassle if I shipped to Germany.. and .. ahem, cough, of course... declared the stuff at the border myself.
Well there are a couple of things:

1. They need to open to check what is in the package is what is declared on the outside. e.g. package says 100chf swatch, but inside may be a $40k watch

2. Given how hot they are on blocking imitation watches, I'm sure watches could well be checked more often than other stuff

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.02.2015 at 22:52. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:50
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

Well, tell us how you get on. Proving who caused damage, or not- or whether it was sent faulty, won't be easy, I'd say.

What sort of value are we talking about? Would be interesting to know if they opened the case of not, to check the inside of the watch?
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Old 11.02.2015, 22:51
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

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Hint: I'm not saying the Pope opened the package

Hint: you were talking rubbish. As usual.
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Old 11.02.2015, 23:09
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Re: Swiss Post opened my mail, and now there's a problem

Surely the more important and general question here is around insurance and returns. With the likelihood of mail being opened on it's way into CH this must be almost a standard answer?

Many sellers, insurers or couriers will only accept claims if the package is rejected as damaged without being opened/received or is returned in it's original packaging.

So what happens when a legally entitled third party opens the package, touches it intimately and repackages it? Hypothetically speaking.

As a seller I might say tough poop, it was fine when it left me, deal with the third party who opened it. Same as a courier, it was fine when we gave it to customs/post, talk to them. And as an insurer, we only insure from the point of sale until somebody opens it.

Hopefully it works out well.
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