A Broken Promise
Disclaimer: Views expressed in Bob’s Blog belong solely to the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Office in Aging or its staff.
Did you notice problems with the U S Postal Service during the last several months?
Every December, there is a mail rush. Many people send Christmas gifts to their relatives and friends. Everyone wants them to arrive on time.
In recent years many people have been buying more and more items online.
That Leads to a Rush at The Post Office
In early December, the news media reminds us letters and packages have to be mailed by a certain date to make sure they’re delivered before Christmas. This past December that magic date was December 14. Anything mailed later may not arrive in time for Christmas.
On December 10, I sent a Christmas card to my daughter and son-in-law in Michigan. With that I included a check for Christmas gifts.
Christmas Day came and . . .
. . . My Daughter Told Me They Had Not Received My Card
Needless to say, I was upset. I asked my daughter to let me know when they finally got my card. It got there on January 5, 26 days after I mailed it.
Sadly, That Was Not My Only Bad Experience
I have the rent for my apartment and my KUB bill paid by my bank. They send checks each month from their main office in Columbus, Ohio to the management of my apartment complex and KUB.
A month for the Check to Go from Columbus to Knoxville
The bank mailed the check for my November electric bill to KUB on November 27.
There was a surprise on my KUB bill for December which came on December 27. I saw I was being billed for both November and December. There was also a late fee.
I called and spoke to a representative at KUB. Yes, they never received the November check. After I explained what happened, he waived the late fee. The following Monday I checked my account again. The payment for my November bill was posted. They finally got the check.
My bank mailed the check for the January rent for my apartment on December 24. The rent is due on the first of the month. If it’s not received by the 5th, a late fee is added. The management office got the check on January 5.
I visited the Post Office to mail something in early January. I asked the clerk about the delays in December. He said the delays in the mail service were due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased number of packages people had sent to their relatives and friends in December.
At this point, I assumed the crisis was over and everything was back to normal.
My bank sent the check for my February rent on January 25. The management office at my apartment complex didn’t receive it until February 12.
I didn’t find out until late afternoon on February 5 the management office hadn’t received the check. At that point, I paid it by credit card. There was a substantial service charge for that.
17-day mailing time from Columbus, Ohio to Knoxville.
The Pony Express Delivered Mail More Quickly
Right now, I no longer trust the U S Postal Service. I am paying my rent and KUB bills in other ways. I refuse to mail anything unless I have to. I can’t be sure they will deliver things on time.
It’s Sad Mail Service Has Deteriorated So Much
I can remember when I was growing up how revered it was. They had this motto
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
The U S Postal Service lived by that.
I can remember how friendly Bill, the mailman who delivered the mail to our home in Pennsylvania, was. Everyone in our town respected him. He was so reliable. Even in the harshest snow storms when nothing else was moving, there was Bill walking his route and delivering mail.
Over the years since then, I have moved several times and have never gotten to know my mailmen or women as well as I did Bill. However, all of them did their jobs very well. That includes my current mailman.
During Those Years, Mail Service Also Improved
In recent years, it has been common to have mail delivered to my residence in a day or two. Mail sent across the country arrived in 3 days.
Then 2020 hit. The postal service blamed the longer delivery time on the Covid-19 pandemic. In December, they said the increased number of packages being sent added to it.
With the rise of the internet, people have not been mailing as many postcards and letters. Companies have been emailing marketing materials rather than sending them through the mail. As a result, the U S Postal Service has been losing money.
Last Year, Louis Dejoy Was Appointed Postmaster General, Head of the U S Postal Service.
Shortly after he was appointed, he said the postal service could no longer lose the amount of money it had been and changes were necessary.
One of the first things he ordered was the removal of 700 high speed sorting machines at mail processing facilities throughout the country. He also had other changes made
In March of 2021, he submitted a 10-year plan. Under this plan other changes would be made in an attempt to eliminate the losses that have been occurring.
Looking More Closely, Retailers Have Not Experienced Delays
For its prime customers, Amazon has 2-day delivery. To compete with Amazon, Walmart, Target and other retailers have also gone to 2-day deliveries.
During the month of December, there was no delay in the delivery of Amazon and these other companies’ orders.
I asked about that at my local post office on that day in January. The clerk said the reason was Amazon and these other companies pay more for their products to be delivered. The post office is losing money on first class mail.
I disagreed with that at the time. As I thought more about it, I recall President Trump complained how the Postal Service lost money on orders it was delivering for Amazon.
This is an outrage. Walk into any post office today and you will see a sign saying . . .
. . . First Class Mail Will be Delivered in 1 to 3 Days
That is a false promise.
If you have not been impacted the delays in mail service, you are lucky.
As mentioned earlier, I have found ways to get my rent and KUB bill paid without using the postal service.
I can get money to members of my family without using the mail service.
There are one or two bills I may have to pay through the mail. I will allow enough time for the checks to reach the companies before they’re due.
If I owe income tax to the federal government, I will mail that the day before it’s due.
If there is any delay in getting there, it’s the government’s problem
The post mark on the envelope will show that I mailed it on time.
You May Not be as Fortunate as I Am
You may have to rely on the mail to make payments. You also may get some of your prescriptions through the mail.
If your payments don’t arrive on time and there are late fees, argue to get those eliminated. If they don’t, write to Tim Burchett, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty.
If you get your prescriptions by mail and you don’t get those on time, call the company sending them. Explain what happened. Ask them to use another service to get them to you.
I am sure you would agree with all of the technological and other advances being made on a regular basis. . .
. . .There is No Reason We Should Not Have Fast, Efficient Mail Service
We have had it in the past. That should continue.
If you have any comments on what you have read in this post, please email them to me. Also – if you have any ideas about subjects you would like to see discussed in future posts, please send me an email and let me know. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.