USPS delays causing headaches, late bills

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
USPS delays causing headaches, late bills
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STUCK IN THE MAIL: 2020 is behind us, but many of the problems are lingering into 2021, including postal delays.

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Wendy Kravitz was looking forward to a package that her grandchildren sent her containing homemade Christmas cookies.

Chances are, though, when she gets that package she shouldn't eat those cookies because they'll be more than a month old.

"From what we understand, it was tracked in South Carolina and then it seems to have dropped off the face of the earth," said Kravitz of Langhorne.

People across the country have stories of disappearing deliveries.

Sean O'Neill tweeted Action News that his son had been waiting on a delivery for 52 days.

Pat Adams shared frustration over a package that was shipped on December 1 and still hasn't arrived.

It's all due to a postal service backlog that could be due to several issues including COVID-19, an overwhelming number of holiday orders and budget cuts.

It took nearly 20 days for a package Lisa Mangiafico sent from Cherry Hill, New Jersey to arrive in Maryland.

"Everybody I talk to at the post office was very nice when I complained about it. They know what's going on. Their hands are tied, too," she said.

The delivery delay isn't just about gifts, it's also about health.

"My father explained that his medications were being held up," Mangiafico said.

For other customers, the problem is billing statements and payments are not arriving on time.

"The biggest item for us was the Comcast bill that was due on the 18th of December. We mailed it on the 13th, five days ahead. Now, three weeks later they still haven't received it," said Robert Taylor of Cherry Hill.

He had to call the company and pay over the phone while stopping payment on the check that was lost in the mail.

PECO has sent an email out to its customers warning them that postal delays could cause their billing statements to arrive late. The company says it won't charge late fees for payments delayed by the mail. PECO encourages customers to pay online.

Late-arriving bill payments have also been a headache for Kravitz.

"So now we are incurring late fees on these bills. I'm not really sure what we're going to do," she said, adding that some companies were willing to work with her since she has a history of paying on time.

We reached out to the postal service many times on Tuesday and got no response. But in a previous statement on postal delays, the USPS said, "The Postal Service delivered a record amount of packages this holiday season in the midst of the pandemic which significantly impacted our workforce availability. Capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail also lead to temporary delays. These challenges were felt by shippers across the board."

The USPS offers no timeline for when the backlog may be cleared. It's discouraging news for people who wonder if their deliveries, bills and medications will arrive on time-- or ever.