Troubleshooters: Mail mix ups in Brunswick County
In tonight’s Troubleshooters report, the story of a Brunswick County woman who’s having problems getting her mail delivered.
Judy Andricak says her mail carrier is getting her mail mixed up with her neighbors. Sometimes it gets returned to her, sometimes it doesn’t, and not getting her mail on time is starting to affect Judy’s finances.
“When you don’t get the bills on time or when your car insurance gets canceled, because you don’t get a bill on time, it causes issues,” Judy Andricak said.
Judy Andricak has good reason to be frustrated. She’s had late fees on her credit card bill, insurance cancellations, and hits to her credit score.
Judy lives in a neighborhood in Ocean Isle Beach, and her mail often gets mixed up with the lady on the next street over, who has the same street number, or with a gentleman on another street who’s street number is one digit off from hers.
She’s getting their mail, too. “I have received retirement checks for one person, I’ve received an insurance check for another person, and these were substantial amounts I opened them unknowingly because they were in my mailbox,” Judy said.
This isn’t a new problem. Judy says it’s been going on for more than nine years, and the same carrier has been delivering her mail the whole time.
She says she’s driven to the post office about 30 to 40 times over the years to complain, but it’s not working. “The Post Office says they’ll warn her, they’ll talk to her, but obviously something isn’t happening because the same mistake occurs over and over and over again.”
The postmaster said that he was aware that Ms. Andricak was having problems with her mail, but had no idea it had been going for this long. He says they’ve had about half a dozen postmasters over the last nine years, and with all the turnover, they may not have realized the magnitude of the problem.
Enola Rice, a Post Office spokesperson, assured us that they have put some procedures in place to double check the carriers work, and will make sure this gets resolved one way or another. “That’s our obligation to the customer, to make sure that her mail is delivered correctly, so we certainly apologize for the misdelivery that she is experiencing.”
Since we got involved, the Post Office has offered Ms. Andricak a free PO Box and offered to write letters to her credit card companies and insurance providers explaining their role in her late payments.
While credit card companies hear the “I didn’t get my bill” excuse all the time, it’s rare for the Post Office to issue a letter taking blame for the problem.
The Post Office says a letter from them should carry some weight when it comes to getting a late fee waived.
Post Office officials say if you’re having a problem with mail delivery, the best way to get it resolved is by filing a complaint through 1-800-ask-usps.
While you might think it would be more effective to complain in person, using the 1-800 number ensures there’s a record of your complaint.
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