EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — People from all over the region have been contacting the I-Team regarding mail delivery issues.
Many are concerned that they are or will be penalized in the form of late fees or charges, through no fault of their own.
As federal lawmakers push for answers to why the mail delivery delays are occurring, residents say they are caught in the middle.
Many tell Eyewitness News they are already facing late fees and are afraid of possible legal action from some of their creditors. Thursday, the I-Team talked with an attorney about the situation and offers some advice to folks.
“It was billed out December 24 mailed to me. I received it today, January 20 almost 30 days later. It was due January 15,” Vinnie Canosa of Honesdale said.
A viewer from the Poconos writes: In 50 years we have never paid a bill late. This not only causes late fees but also affects your credit score!”
Nancy writes: “My husband was waiting for his pension check which was sent out on December 28, 2020. We usually get it by the end of the month. Today is January 20 and we still haven’t gotten it yet…Something has to be done about this.”
A spokesperson for the postal service cites record volumes of mail during the holidays, as well as COVID-19 challenges, as some of the reasons for the delays. But insisted all is being done to maintain normal delivery service.
“I think we all recognize as a whole a lot of the reasons the mail service has been delayed,” attorney Peter Paul Olszewski of Scartelli & Olszewski said.
Olszewski is a former judge and county prosecutor. He handles financial-related cases. He says communication is key to heading off potential legal issues.
“I think if folks get a late notice or a demand for a partial interest payment, a single phone call to the creditor explaining the situation telling them when the check was sent, that the check was in fact mailed, you have a good past history, it would go a long way,” Olszewski said.
Olszewski also advises people: “So if you are somebody who traditionally paid your bills by the mail, you might want to reconsider paying your bills online electronically in some way in a safe environment. That would save the possible problem of accusations of late payment.”
The I-Team reached out to several local utility companies regarding concerns of late fees.
PPL sent this statement: “When you call our customer service number it says: “because of delays with the U.S. Postal Service, your PPL bill may arrive later than normal. Don’t worry, we won’t be charging any late fees due to issues with the mail. You can view your bill at anytime or switch to paperless billing.”
A spokesperson for U.G.I. tells the I-Team that customers should call the customer hotline about any billing concerns. Senator Casey is still looking into the mail delivery issues.