Q: If a package delivery service such as FedEx, UPS or the postal service leaves a package by one’s door and the package turns up missing, who is responsible for replacing the package’s contents? Would it be the sender, the delivery service or the recipient? I get a lot of dropped off packages by many delivery services and always fear that this scenario may happen.
— David, Quad-Cities
A: Ronna Branch, a spokeswoman for UPS, said if one of its drivers releases a package and it is stolen, UPS is liable for the contents unless the shipper instructs the company to release the package no matter what. “Under those circumstances, we’re not responsible for it.”
Jim McCluskey, a spokesoman for FedEx, said the company’s responsibility is completed once the package is delivered. However, he said shippers can require that a package not be dropped off unless someone signs for it. Shippers also can have the package dropped off where they know someone will be home, such as a neighbor’s house, or even have the package left at a FedEx location.
David Rash, the Davenport postmaster, said the postal office might help cover the contents of a stolen package if it is left in plain sight without the customer’s permission. He said companies that ship merchandise often will replace the stolen goods if they don’t insure it when they mail it.
“We judge everything on each individual circumstance,” Rash said. “We rely on our letter carriers to have knowledge of the neighborhood and the residents as to whether it’s safe to leave packages. They also have developed relationships with customers and know whether the customer approves of them leaving packages.”
The FedEx and UPS spokespeople also said their carriers are trained to make wise decisions about whether to leave packages unattended, and they know their territories.
If a package ever is stolen, the postal service suggests a customer call the police immediately. Packages have been stolen, Rash said, and sometimes recovered. UPS said if a package ever is stolen from a location, the courier never will deliver an unattended package there again.
Q: Why don’t you ever see potholes on the interstates?
— Bill, Davenport
A: Part of the reason why you never see potholes on interstates in the Quad-Cities is because the pavement on most of our freeways is relatively new, said Doug Rick, who oversees the Davenport office of the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Interstate 80 through the Quad-Cities was reconstructed in the 1990s, he said. “We do have some issues on Interstate 74.”
The roads were built with a drainable gravel base underneath the concrete.
“Any water that gets under the pavement is able to get out,” Rick said. “There also are sub-drains underground. It’s harder to put in a sub-drain system in the city. It’s more complicated with sewer lines.”
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Q: If I win the lottery and take the annual payments, but die before my winnings have been distributed, what happens to the money?
A: Representatives of both the Illinois and Iowa lotteries said the money would go to the winner’s estate.
Q: On The Weather Channel when they show weather on the 8s they list Seven Oaks, Iowa, for information on their get-away forecast. Where is Seven Oaks, Iowa?
— John, Quad-Cities
A: Seven Oaks, Iowa is a skiing destination in the Des Moines River Valley.