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Dallas Woman Says UPS Lost Beloved Heirloom: 'It's My Connection To My Parents'

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A Dallas area woman said she trusted UPS to handle her package with care. Instead, the company lost her beloved heirloom.

It's now easier than ever to see when a package will arrive.

Tracking numbers let customers see the location of their shipments en route. But Dianne Altuna said tracking information did not help her find her missing table.

Altuna's prized possession is nowhere to be found. Now, she's left with only pictures of it.

Dianne Altuna's heirloom table
Dianne Altuna's table that is now missing. (CBS 11)

"The memories associated with that table will not be replaced," Altuna said.

Dianne Altuna
Dianne Altuna says UPS lost an heirloom it was supposed to get repaired after it first arrived damaged. (CBS 11)

Altuna said the antique dates back to the 1920s. It first appeared in her grandmother's efficiency apartment, then the home of her parents in California.

"It is my connection," Altuna said. "It's my connection to my parents."

Altuna's father passed away a year ago this week. She only shipped two pieces of furniture from their California home.

She said UPS delivered the first table intact.

"When I look at this table, I'm back at my parent's home," she said.

But the companion table arrived damaged.

"You can see that two of the four legs were broken off during shipping," Altuna said.

Dianne Altuna's damaged table
Dianne Altuna's damaged table before she had UPS take it back to get repaired. (CBS 11)

After Altuna contacted UPS in October, the company returned to her home in Dallas to pick up the table.

"My impression was they were going to take it to damage control or the damage department and have somebody look at it," Altuna said.

That was the last time Altuna saw the piece of furniture.

She said UPS simply lost the item at its own facility. The tracking information trails off after October 28.

"There is nobody online, on the phone who can tell me where this table is," she said.

As the anniversary of her father's death looms, Altuna said the only gift she wants is her family memento.

"So not knowing where it is or if I'll see it again is heartbreaking for me," Altuna said.

UPS is now investigating the case.

"We will continue to work through the process with Ms. Altuna," said Kim Krebs, a spokeswoman for UPS.

Altuna said she was told the table mistakenly landed in a container for Pottery Barn at the UPS facility on Monroe Street.

But a spokeswoman for UPS said Pottery Barn could not find the package.

If you're mailing something valuable, always fill out the "declared value" field on the shipping documents. Krebs said if no value is listed, UPS's liability is limited to $100. But customers can declare a value of up to $50,000 per package.

Customers should check a company's packing guidelines to make sure they are using the proper box strength and cushioning.

They can also list a package's destination on inside of the box in the event of exterior damage.


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