Over the past few months, many Milford residents have reported significant delays or problems getting their mail delivered. Complaints ranged from extremely late delivery, mail being returned as incorrect address that were not incorrect, and, in some cases, mail delivered months after the postmark on the envelope.
“One day the mailman marked my package as undeliverable because they couldn’t access my building even though the front door does not lock,” Nicole Worthley said. “There are times the mail will come super late or it will just all be delivered the next day. But there was one week my complex didn’t get mail and when I finally got through to the post office, I was told the guy had quit and left the truck. I had to reach out to the USPS customer service line, and they filed a report for me. It was a mess and the Milford post office was no help.”
Lezlie Eustis reported that she has had packages where the tracking said that delivery was attempted, and no one was home when someone was available to accept the package. She has also had tracking note that the “location was not accessible,” which is not the case. When she spoke to the carrier, Eustis was told that when volume is heavy, mail may be delivered by people who normally work in other post offices which may cause delays.
Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milford reported that items mailed to them are returned as “not deliverable as addressed” even though the item is addressed properly. Another company received a bundle of mail the week of Dec. 14, some of which were postmarked from Sept. 2020
According to Raymond V. Daiutolo, Sr., USPS Corporate Communications Director, some of the issues are related to a higher than normal volume of mail as well as packages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people shopping online, there is a significantly larger amount of mail this December than there has been in year’s past.
“I understand that some businesses in Milford are having issues with mail with incorrect addresses,” Daiutolo said. “The district is working on putting a fix in to deal with this problem. I also understand there is road construction on Old Shawnee Road that is impacting the carrier’s ability to serve approximately 50 curbside boxes. In the interim, customers were advised to retrieve their mail from the post office.”
The issues with the mail in Milford may also be related to changes at the federal level. In Sept. 2020, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reported that hundreds of high-speed mail-sorting machines that were taken apart this year in order to supply parts for other machines could not be reassembled. In Aug. 2020, Senator Chris Coons made a surprise visit to a New Castle-based mail sorting facility where he found dismantled machines that were placed outside and left for days in inclement weather. Senator Coons and other legislators demanded that the machines be reassembled and replaced, prompting the hearing in which Dejoy claimed the machines could not be repaired. In Oct. 2020, machines were reinstalled in some postal sorting facilities, but not all.
Not everyone in Milford is seeing mail delivery issues. David Vezmar reported that the mail at his home arrives every day, on time and that his family has also received Sunday package deliveries. Jenna Menge also reported that there were no issues with delivery, although she does occasionally have a problem with where packages are placed.
“I only take issue with some as we prefer our packages be placed on the side porch,” Menge said. “There are still a few that drop them on our front porch even though there is a sign on the door that says ‘deliveries side porch.’”
Daiutolo suggests that anyone who is having significant problems with mail delivery file a complaint with the US Postal Service. Complaints can be filed by using the online Email Us form or calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Written complaints can also be mailed to the United States Postal Service, Office of the Consumer Advocate, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington DC 20260-2200.