20 states have filed formal opposition to the post office

CHAMBERSBURG — We’re betting that just about everyone reading this sentence right now has some story about undelivered mail or messed up mail or late fees from a bill because it didn’t arrive on time.

The post office has been slipping — a lot.

The Post Master General Louis DeJoy has proposed not only increasing the price of first class mail, but actually slowing down the pace at which first class mail gets delivered.

What?

DeJoy’s proposal is apparently in an effort to save money, but how can all that be cut back when it’s not being handled properly in the first place?

Yesterday 20 states — including Pennsylvania — have filed a brief with the US Postal Regulatory Commission saying something has to be done to clean up the mess that is the post office.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed the issue on First News.

Barkdoll said, “I hear this anecdotally from clients every week. Mail showing up weeks and weeks late after it was mailed. It remains to be seen what the government’s going to try to do to clean this up.”

It’s a serious issue because a lot of government services, utilities and banking rely on the mail to function properly.

Jansen said, “I’ve had to mail my bills ten days earlier just to make sure they get there in time. I got fees because things were late. One bill I actually received the day after it was due. I know the utilities locally they’ve had these issues, as well. And the idea they’re going to slow things down and charge us more?”

Ryan added, “You don’t hear a lot of relaxation out of a borough. It’s up to you to find the bill online, it’s up to you to pay it and screw you if you can’t do all those things, here’s your late fees and here’s your shut off.”

Barkdoll said “You wonder at what point do people start challenging things? Whether they got a court notice that showed up late or they got a utility bill that showed up late. At what point may they go into court and say I did not get proper notice of this and I shouldn’t be therefore penalized for it. I mentioned months ago, we were getting Christmas cards still at our house well into February. That’s how slow things were moving.”

Some residents haven’t receive mail for days.

Barkdoll pointed out, “I don’t know what’s going on if it’s an employee issue or is it maybe all sorts of things within the postal service causing this.”

Jansen said, “They’re using COVID as the excuse for what’s been happening this past year. There’s just a lot of odd stuff going on with the post office that’s a little bit inexplicable.”

That’s when Ryan pulled out the real jaw-dropper.

Ryan said, “This note I got from the post office, it says we care. You see what I got here?”

Jansen gasped, “Oh my gosh.”

Ryan said, “It looks like—”

“Confetti, almost,” Jansen supplied.

Ryan said, “It looks like it was put through the ringer and I believe this did not get delivered for whatever reason. This was going to the FIPC.”

That’s the Federal Investigations Processing Center.

“I have no idea what this is,” Ryan said. 

“There’s no way to read that,” Jansen noted. “It looks like a mangled piece of trash.”

Ryan said “Someone was maybe looking for some benefits or some sort of confirmation of employment. I have no idea. But the envelope that it came in was dropped off here that says we care. Dear postal customer, we sincerely regret the damage to your mail during handling by the postal service. Damage? This isn’t damage! This patient will never come back!”

Barkdoll said, “Part of this proposal (from the post master general) also includes cutting the hours of post offices and outright eliminating many post offices around the country. It just seems like a perfect storm that they are proposing things that are just going to make the problem even worse.”

Ryan suggested, “Let’s get rid of Saturday delivery…and pick another day. And let’s close down the little guys. How much are we paying for these places as well?”

Barkdoll said, “All of these facilities are leased around the country, small and large. Every time over the years that this has come on to the agenda, people in Congress are looking out for their own districts. They don’t want to close any of these post offices because they see it as a losing political issue.”

Regardless of the issues, something needs to be done with the post office. Sooner rather than later would be good.