Some mailed gift cards damaged or destroyed at Kentucky post offices - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Some mailed gift cards damaged or destroyed at Kentucky post offices

David Walton USPS spokesperson David Walton USPS spokesperson

By Connie Leonard - bio | email  
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you are one of millions of Americans who has sent a gift card in the mail, you may want to change the way you're doing it. Officials at post offices in Louisville and Lexington say many gift cards sent inside Christmas cards never made it to their destination because they were too thick or bulky for the sorting machine. 

The average of four million pieces of mail sorted per day at the Louisville post office jumps to eight million processed during the holidays. While most all of it made it off without a hitch, just over 100 pieces didn't make it because those envelopes were holding gift cards. 

"There are times when the gift cards get separated from the envelopes," said David Walton, USPS Louisville spokesperson.

The same thing happened in Lexington also where about 100 cards got stuck. 

More and more people are finding gift cards a convenient gift alternative to cash, but postal officials say envelopes have to be able to bend 360 degrees to make it through the machine and gift cards are obviously thicker than a $20 bill. Pair a rigid card with a thin envelope and it may be destroyed by the sorter.

At the Louisville sorting office, Walton showed WAVE 3 that it is not just gift cards upsetting the machines. One card Walton held up had a pocket calendar shoved in the middle of it. In Lexington, a card had a piece of jewelry inside. That's why postal officials say if you send a gift card you should put it in a Priority Mail envelope or use a bubble package. 

"If it's not packaged properly, chances are it's going to separate from the envelope," Walton added. 

If you think your gift card did not make it to its intended destination, check with the person who was supposed to receive the gift. If it didn't arrive and you have the gift card receipt, contact the retailer to issue a new card. 

Postal officials say if you're still having problems, you can file a report by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS. (1-800-275-8777). The Louisville post office has already reunited more than 20 cards with the people who purchased them.

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