Lost Passport Leaves Upstate Woman Scrambling - WSPA.com

Lost Passport Leaves Upstate Woman Scrambling

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SPARTANBURG, S.C -

With a full time job and a small yoga business on the side, Lauren Ponder also works in some time away from the office.

And she has the passport stamps to prove it.

"I usually take an international trip every year," said Lauren.

This year, it was India, a trip she had planned for January. The experienced traveler knew just what to do to get there and applied for a visa last November via The UPS Store.

"And you have to send your passport off in order for that visa to be put in the passport," said Lauren. "And then the passport is then mailed back to you."

But the passport never showed up. By Christmas, Lauren says The UPS Store told her it was investigating.

"I went through The UPS Store headquarters. They told me I had to file a claim with The UPS Store," said Lauren.

She also had to make two rushed trips to the passport office in Atlanta, spending $195 on an expedited passport to make her trip. She says the missed time from work and the entire ordeal ended up costing her about $1,200. Not to mention what she had already spent on her trip.

"It was already paid for. It was non-refundable. The flight was non-refundable. The trip was non-refundable," said Lauren.

We reached out to UPS headquarters in March. Spokesperson Natalie Black told us she would connect Lauren's case with their Corporate Customer Relations Department.

"They are very good about responding, reaching out to the customer and providing solid resolutions in cases like these," said Black.

"You opened the door for me and within a day I did receive a phone call from a person in Atlanta, from UPS," said Lauren.

And after more back and forth with her and UPS, she finally got her original passport back. Lauren says UPS found her passport in its warehouse in Georgia.

She says UPS also reimbursed her for the $1,200 associated with her having to get that expedited passport. At first, UPS only offered reimbursement of up to $100, per company policy.

If you're sending an important document, ask the carrier about additional proof of delivery services. This is more than just the tracking number they give you. Request additional notification services for your shipment. Also ask about insurance to cover the cost of the item if it's lost.

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Tracey co-anchors the 5:30 and 7 p.m. newscasts and is a general assignment reporter.
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