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I-Team: Slow mail? You’re not alone

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — People across the region are experiencing delays in mail delivery service.

Many have reached out to our I-Team to look into the delays, some proving to be costly due to late fees on bills. The I-Team has been contacted by dozens of people in recent weeks saying they are fed up with ongoing delays in mail service, and say they don’t believe it’s fair that they have to pay for those delays.

“I’ve always looked upon the post office as something you can count on,” Mark Brown of Hanover Township said.

But Brown says he wants to hold on to that belief, but claims that delays in mail delivery is making that a challenge.

“I inquired about a bill I sent out November 28th and even until this date when I checked with my Citizen’s Bank account it hadn’t been cashed,” Brown said.

Brown says he’s hearing the same type of concerns from family and friends.

“I think it’s been slowing down. Talking to relatives, some of them have had late experiences getting pension checks. Some have had late medications coming in,” Brown said.

Thus far, Brown says he has not had to pay any late fees on his accounts. But other folks who reached out to us say they have not been so lucky and have been hit with late fees on some of their bills.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service issued a statement to Eyewitness News:

Mr. Mehalshick,

The 2020 Holiday Season was a record for the United States Postal Service with more than a billion packages delivered.

Shippers across the board were challenged with airlifts and trucking capacity for moving historic volumes, causing temporary pockets of delays. As is our duty, we accepted all volumes and our employees rose to the occasion to deliver for America. This epic volume was also amplified by employee availability challenges and necessary COVID-19 policies designed to keep our employees and our communities safe.

For customers who need to file a claim, they should visit usps.com/claims to determine when and how they can file one. They can also contact customer support at 1-800-ASK-USPS for assistance.

The Postal Service continues to face challenges and has allocated additional resources, including, but not limited to, expanded processing procedures, extra transportation, extra delivery and collection trips, and overtime to process and deliver the mail.

It’s important for your viewers to know that every piece of equipment and every truck is being used every single day. Mail moves into the facility and out of the facility daily. In these unprecedented times, and a year with significant volume increases, we continue to flex our available resources to meet the demand within a finite number of resources available to us.

Desai Abdul-Razzaaq

It describes a year which saw record numbers of deliveries in the holiday season.

“Shippers across the board were challenged with airlifts and trucking capacity for moving historic volumes, causing temporary pockets of delays. The epic volume was also amplified by employee availability challenges and necessary COVID-19 policies designed to keep our employees and communities safe. In these unprecedented times, and a year with significant volume increases, we continue to flex our available resources to meet demand within a finite number of resources available to us.”

“We’ve gotten alot of double talk and a lot of denials,” Senator Bob Casey said.

Senator Casey is looking into these postal service delays and he insists it starts at the top with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“Andy, we’ve been working on this for months pressing Postmaster DeJoy and the leadership of the postal service to get answers as to why there have been delays and why they put into place this kind of corporate operational changes,” Senator Casey said.

Senator Casey tells the I-Team that changes are coming to the postal service with the Biden administration.

“The new administration is doing a couple of things. For one, an agency review team is going to be recommending changes but also president-elect Biden, when he’s president, will have the chance to appoint four new members to the board of governors that can bring about a measure of accountability,” Senator Casey said.

Senator Casey tells the I-Team he will not stop pushing for answers and solutions to the ongoing delays in mail service.

“So over and over again example after example starting with Mr. DeJoy has to provide answers to the delay and to fix the problem,” Senator Casey said.

The Wayne County Commissioners sent a letter to all Pennsylvania federal lawmakers urging them to look into these mail problems. Those concerns include Cares Act checks sent out to small businesses and nonprofits in October that have yet to be delivered.

Senator Casey, as well as the people who reached out to us with complaints, say they understand and appreciate the hard work the postal employees do each and everyday. They say something has to be done to help those employees to get their mission accomplished.

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