"By cashing this check," the letter said, "you acknowledge that BP has paid this amount as compensation for your claimed losses."
Which Wayne Riser would have done -- his fiberglass boat repair and painting business in Orange County, Ala., hasn't seen many customers since the BP oil spill shut down much of maritime life on the Gulf of Mexico coast, he told the Mobile Press-Register, and he needs the money.
Except there was no check in the envelope. And now Riser is among the unconfirmed number of oil spill victims to also receive check-less letters from BP due to a processing error.
"It's cruel," Orange Beach, Ala., Mayor Tony Kennon told the Press-Register. "It shows just how dysfunctional [BP's] whole process is, and it again counters everything they say about the job they're doing."
BP has confirmed that some checks were inadvertently left out of letters, but the company doesn't believe it to be a widespread problem.
"We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused," a BP spokesman told AOL News. "As always, we are committed to paying all legitimate claims and getting checks into the hands of claimants as quickly as possible."
Riser received his payment two days after the letter. Or "Wayne Kiser" did -- that's to whom the check was made out.
As of Aug. 1, 100,000 people had filed claims with BP, from fishermen to seafood distributors to restaurant owners and even reportedly one group of strippers. Today, however, will be the last day that the oil giant will be handling requests for restitution from individuals and businesses. BP will now be directing those claimants to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, overseen by mediation czar Ken Feinberg, who's been tapped to administer the $20 billion fund that the oil company set up at the White House's urging.
In the meantime, claimants who have received letters but no checks are encouraged to contact BP