Postal system a shadow of its former self (letter) |

Postal system a shadow of its former self (letter)

Like many Summit homeowners, we divide time between here and our original home, considering both “home.” Routinely, before moving to/from here for months, we request our mail be forwarded. Simple enough: just type in old/new addresses and forwarding dates online, and your mail is forwarded where/when you want.

If only. Instead, both post offices routinely forward too early, too late, or not at all. Both hold mail instead, then send to the other when we’re not there, or even “return to sender.”

Recently, my partner received mail here after returning, but I didn’t. After our GA post office swore they were forwarding mail, I contacted our Silverthorne office. They confirmed we’ve leased our box for past 2 years. We opted to pay for a larger box, reasoning if mail arrived before/after we returned/left, there’d be enough room. We also wanted our rent to help support the post office, which has suffered in recent years. People use the Internet to communicate, causing decreased mail volume and revenue losses. We resolved to send/receive anything possible by “snail-mail,” so we don’t contribute to those losses.

Imagine my surprise when told I wasn’t receiving mail because “the little piece of paper we stick on each box with names must have fallen off; so we’ve been returning your mail to sender”.

Really? Since we’ve leased that box, we’ve often received mail addressed to previous box-holders. He easily found both our names as renters of that box for two years. But because the “little piece of paper” fell off, bank/credit card statements, bills, rebate checks, and personal correspondence have been returned to senders. I’ve wasted much time/money/frustration on this (contacting companies; paying fees for returned mail; losing rebate checks that won’t be reissued). My cellular provider suspended phone service when bills were returned, thinking my phone (or ID) had been stolen.

I’ve spent some of that time converting every possible account to paperless instead of paper bills. So congratulations, postal employees: you’ve succeeded in converting a former supporter to someone who avoids using the mail whenever possible – further contributing to your revenue losses.

We grew up with reverence for the postal service. They delivered letters from around the reliably, cheaply, and relatively quickly. As kids, we threatened anybody tampering with mail: “that’s a FEDERAL OFFENSE and you’ll go to jail.” We admired that “neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor dark of night” could deter dedicated mail-carriers.

Jim Callison


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