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"Is it just my local USPS branch that is this bad?" Topic

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Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 8:25 a.m. PST

I was taking my more or less weekly walk to deliver my neighbor's mail and I was wondering "Is it just me that has to deal with this $#!%@ ?"

Since my wife and I have moved into the house we live in 3 years ago this month we have had a great deal of mail go missing and received a great deal of our neighbor's mail. I am in the habit of delivering their mail to them (although, thus far I haven't received the favor in return, but that's a different problem).

For the first year I would complain to the local USPS branch routinely, but I was always told I would be called back promptly ("today or at the latest tomorrow" was the usual phrase). Having never once received a follow up I stopped complaining.

It was at that point that I determined I had a moral-civic responsibility to deliver my neighbor's misplaced letters and started adding that to my daily tasks.

Lately it seems to have gotten worse. In the past week I've seen a package from Wales go missing, received my neighbor's medication (my presumption based on the rattle sound and plastic bottle feel of the item in the padded envelope for all I know it was a baby's rattle shaped like a jumbo bottle of aspirin), and had a book that was too large to fit in the mailbox left propped against the garage in the rain rather than being left on the dry front porch 1 yard/meter away (thankfully although the envelope was paper the book itself was shrink wrapped).

Are these just local to my branch or is it systematic to the USPS?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP09 May 2017 8:30 a.m. PST

Establish a paper trail. If you have bad management in your local office it's like any place else. Things go to heck in a handbasket.

A friend who worked for the USPS a long time gave me this advice:

Write a letter about each incident, or one each week. Send a copy to your local postmaster, and to teh PM General:

Write a letter to the postmaster general to file a formal complaint, especially complaints pertaining to law-enforcement issues such as fraud. The address is:

Postmaster General

U.S. Postal Service

475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20260-0010

While you're at it, copy your local newspaper if you still have one.

Talk to your neighbors and get them on board too.

I'm a huge fan of the USPS but I have usually lived in areas with good postmasters….

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 8:30 a.m. PST

No problems from my USPS branch. Lived here for 25 years. I suspect it is the help at your branch.

Thomas O09 May 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

Sounds like then same mail man I have, you must live down the street from me.

Onomarchos09 May 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

My USPS mailman is great; much better than my UPS guy who just throws the packages on the front porch and runs. Sounds like you are dealing with a few dud employees that aren't doing their jobs in a very contentious manner.


cfuzwuz09 May 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

I get my mail delivered by a USPS rural carrier. The guy that delivers now is ok. The 2 females before him were excellent!

Moonbeast09 May 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

No, it's not just you. I've gotten into the habit of putting the wayward mail back in the box with the flag up for next days delivery.

cloudcaptain09 May 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

It's down to individuals who are awful and low accountability/QA. This happened late last year:


I had a mail lady who would curl my books so she could stuff them in my mailbox, even through I provided a heavy elastic band to try and dissuade her. (This is why I use cardboard stiffeners whenever I send a book via standard mail.)

Then there was this guy who would bother to get out of his jeep…walk up to my stoop…and throw the package the last two feet.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 9:27 a.m. PST

A regular commission client of mine has had at least two packages meant for me literally vanish. Both sent through the same PO branch office.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 9:51 a.m. PST

Not a lot of consistency from my PO. We had a patch last year where stuff was miss delivered daily. Much better now. I am sure that will change soon.

RobSmith09 May 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

At our business, we had a great mail carrier. At home, less than a mile away, the carrier was terrible. We always mailed off bills from the business instead of chancing finding them in the neighbor's yard the next morning.

I did learn from our excellent mail carrier that certain routes are used for training and some are also used as alternates (no set carrier, but others switch in and out). In both of these cases, delivery is understandably spotty, to be generous. But that is not always the cause. Our crappy delivery was from a regular carrier. He just didn't care, it seemed.

attilathepun4709 May 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

My service is not as bad as yours, but I get mail addressed to my next door neighbor every few weeks, sometimes oftener. Also occasionally mail for a place several houses away from mine. This sort of stuff almost never happened a few decades back.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

Make it a point to arrive at your mail box when they do and say hello once-in-awhile. Get to know your mail person. Give them a few bucks at Christmas. Worked for me.

jdginaz09 May 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

Contact your Congressional Representative bureaucrats don't like to hear from those who control their budget.

JSchutt09 May 2017 1:02 p.m. PST

I think it's just you

…. is there some reason you can't establish a relationship with your letter carrier… like talk to he or she about your problems and concerns in a respectful way? On a day off maybe you could ambush that person, introduce yourself and let them know. If your name and and address gets stuck in your carrier's head such a casual conversation just might generate better results than posting letters to other people who don't care.

Acting like a human being and not the U.N. might help.

JMcCarroll Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 2:13 p.m. PST

You have to think about the USPO as the medieval times.
Each office is it's own kingdom. Some are good and some are well not good. Worked with the PO for 25 years.

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 4:44 p.m. PST

Nothing but great service from the local USPS.

Jeigheff09 May 2017 5:57 p.m. PST

With hesitation, I'll say that the local USPO here in Austin, Texas could probably use some improvement. Getting other people's mail (including a priority mail package), sending or receiving packages that take months to reach their destinations, and the recent loss of an overseas mail order from the UK have made me wary.

I realize that I ought not jump to conclusions about what I've written. Our mail service in generally good. But when it's bad, it's bad.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 6:32 p.m. PST

In Saline,Michigan I get great service from my USPS. The route carrier brings packages to the porch out of the rain, and brings the letter mail at the same time so I don't have to also go out to the box. I mail 10 cards to my grandkids each month, and the folks at the local office take time to weigh and measure each one so I get the lowest price. Just today I filled out passport information and the clerk really helped a lot but explaining what the steps were, getting Me a postal money order, The correct envelope, and postage. Since I go in there every month I see pretty much all the clerks and they're all equally good.

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 6:43 p.m. PST

Thanks for the replies. It's good to know my experiences are not typical.


Contact your Congressional Representative bureaucrats don't like to hear from those who control their budget.

er… The post office is self funded. Government owned, but self funded.

Sundance09 May 2017 7:08 p.m. PST

It's been years since I had a problem like that. I went to the district manager, who is over a number of stations. The manager at my PO was a temp and he was promptly sacked. The guy had a real attitude and was a plain jerk. As others have said, go to your congressman/Senators, the Postmaster General, heck, write to all of them! Can't hurt and might help!

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2017 12:00 a.m. PST

The inside people at the counter and the postmaster are very good.

The local drivers can be hit or miss.

I'd ship something USPS before any other carrier.

Supercilius Maximus13 May 2017 2:36 a.m. PST

My one and only experience using the USPS (and why I will ALWAYS use a courier in future, regardless of cost).

Last year I sent a package of figures from the UK to someone in San Francisco. Posted in April, it took just under two days to get to San Francisco. At this point, the USPS magically transformed into a bunch of jibbering monkeys, unable to read English and incapable of delivering a package to a clearly marked address. Each of these excuses casme back at least twice, the last one FIVE times:-
"The address was wrong." Lie.
"The address is unclear." Lie.
"The address is ambiguous." Lie.
"We tried to deliver it, but nobody was in." Lie and lie.

This went on for four weeks, until the addressee went to the local one of the two sorting offices it had been bouncing back and forth between (I had it tracked), and collected it in person. What, in retrospect, was really funny, was that my wife's step-sister had offered to hand deliver it while she was out in SF visiting relatives, but she didn't tell me until the last minute that she was only taking hand luggage on the plane and they were ECW figures with pikes and I didn't want to risk airport security forcing her to bin them. Including a recorded delivery posting to the wife's step sister, it cost me twice in postage what the guy paid for them.

There's a reason it's called "Going postal".

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