Action News Investigation: Missing mail

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Action News Investigation: Missing mail: Chad Pradelli reports on Action News at 11 p.m., February 15, 2018 (WPVI)

Residents across the city said packages, bills and other mail has been delayed for weeks or in some cases not delivered at all. One resident even went as far as calling police after she says her postal carrier held her mail hostage.

From zip code 19146 in Point Breeze:

"Somedays I just don't get it," said Shauna Hailey, of Point Breeze. "Other days there won't be a postal person out for a day or two."

To 19139 in West Philadelphia:

"I've received like three pieces of mail since the end of December," said Midori Newlin of West Philadelphia. "Now we're like in February now and I still haven't gotten any mail."

And along Castor Avenue in 19149:

"Every day it's a nightmare," said Alexis Yanovsky, of North Philadelphia. "Every single day we're getting it late and we don't get mail for what 2 or 3 days in a row."

The problem is consistent and clear: mail is not being delivered.

"Why not put it on a truck? Why not deliver it?" said Sylvia Jordan of West Philadelphia. "Days go by and I don't receive any mail."

Rasheena Phinisee wanted answers. So she decided to track her mail on the US Postal Service's Informed Delivery app. It showed she was supposed to receive a bundle of mail.

"I filed my initial complaint back in September when I realized I wasn't consistently getting mail," said Phinisee. "I have mail that I've literally been waiting on for two months now."

When her mail carrier showed up with just one letter she wasn't pleased. She confronted her mail carrier and they argued. Phinisee called police accusing the carrier of hijacking her mail. The carrier called her supervisor. Within an hour, a bundle of mail was pulled from the truck and delivered to Phinisee.

"I wouldn't have ever gotten my mail," she said.

Action News spoke to several mail carriers in the zip codes in question. None wanted to go on camera but all said the issue is staffing.

We contacted the US Postal Service about the delivery delays. It acknowledges there are problems.

In a statement, it said it has taken "immediate steps" to staff these postal locations and hire additional letter carriers throughout the City of Philadelphia.

"If you're having troubles, make the community aware," said Sylvia Jordan, of West Philadelphia.

The Postal Service says it is committed to ensuring quality service and delivery to all customers.

The post office responded again late today to our investigation. It says it has additionally assigned members of upper management to be on site in these zip codes daily. The response is to ensure all non-delivery concerns are corrected.

The Post Office issued the following statement, in response to our investigation:

Any service issue is taken seriously and we have taken immediate steps to ensure these stations are properly staffed to ensure all our customers receive six-day delivery. It is important to note that delivery times can fluctuate depending on many factors such as transportation and weather issues, but our goal is to get our carriers out on the street as early as possible.

We have already reached out to the individual customers you have brought to our attention.

In addition to reviewing our staffing, it is important to note the Postal Service is hiring additional letter carriers within the city of Philadelphia to ensure we can continue to adjust staffing our workforce to match mail volume.

The Postal Service is committed to ensuring quality service and mail delivery to all customers. If we are made aware of a customer issue, we work quickly to resolve it. If a customer has a concern pertaining to mail service, we strongly encourage the person to contact us using our Customer Care Center at 1-800-275-8777 (1-800-ASK-USPS) or by using the "Contact Us" link on http://usps.com


ADDITONAL STATEMENTS:

The Postmaster has assigned members of his upper management team to be on site daily, in these locations, to ensure we are taking the necessary corrective action to address all non-delivery concerns and issues/concerns related to retail operations. We are committed to resolving all issues and ensuring good universal service for all our patrons in Philadelphia.

Residents living in the Philadelphia Post Office area with ZIP Codes beginning with "191" should call : 215-895-8631 with any delivery concerns

From Congressman Bob Brady's office:
As the Director of Communications in the office of Congressman Bob Brady representing the 1st Congressional District I wanted to share with you that we are aware that you have been investigating complaints re mail service in some sections of the city. Our constituent services staffers have also indicated that for the past two or three weeks we have been receiving complaints regarding mail service in the 1st Congressional District. The reports we have received are from South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia and Overbrook. As a result of these complaints our staffers have been in contact with the U.S.P.S. local administrators who have told us that the problem was basically related to weather and manpower issues. We have been sharing these response from U.S.P.S. with our constituents. And, we will have a representative from the Congressman's office at a meeting regarding this issue which is scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Northern Liberties Community Center.

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