Red Tape Holds Up Woman's Personal Mail for Days

Chicago woman says USPS wouldn’t release her mail to her in person.

ByABC News
February 17, 2016, 1:36 PM
USPS mail van in New Orleans.
USPS mail van in New Orleans.
UIG/Getty Images

— -- Dear ABC News Fixer: My apartment building has not had mail delivery in almost two weeks. I called and left messages and I complained online. I even went to the local post office and they said the mail carrier can’t get into our building because the door buzzer is broken.

They said my mail is being held, so I thought, great – I’ll just pick it up. However, the supervisor told me they have to actually deliver it to me. I cannot just go pick it up.

So they have two weeks of my mail and could potentially hold it indefinitely if my landlord doesn't fix the buzzer. That doesn’t make any sense. Please help me -- I just want to go pick up my mail.

- Gay Glenn, Chicago

Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

Dear Gay: That sound you hear is The ABC News Fixer’s forehead hitting the keyboard rrrrr444444jjjjjjj8888ssssssttttppppppp …. Whoops. Deep breath.

The Fixer was completely dumbfounded as to why the post office wouldn’t provide mail to a person who is willing to go down there and pick it up. That just seemed silly.

So we contacted the U.S. Postal Service to ask whether a temporary solution could be arranged for you and the other people in your building. They got back to us within an hour, promising to check into the situation. Meanwhile, we called and left a message for your property management company to ask them to get on that broken buzzer problem ASAP.

The very next day, the post office agreed to deliver all the mail to your building if someone would keep the door open and the landlord would begin repairs. That happened, and you got your mail!

Toni DeLancey, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service in Washington, said this shouldn’t have happened.

When mail can’t be delivered because of a situation like this -- or because of extreme bad weather or a similar impediment -- it should be available for pickup at the local post office until the issue is resolved. Customers will need to bring identification when collecting their mail.

That said, DeLancey said this type of solution is meant to be temporary: “Our expectation is that whatever is blocking the letter carrier from delivering should be addressed and resolved quickly.”

- The ABC News Fixer

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