Newspaper Mails 100 Letters, Sees What Happens
September 16, 2020
NEWSER — KATE SEAMONS
The Post Office needs to have checks on themselves. I mailed a letter in Kerrville, TX, with supposed delivery to San Antonio, TX (one hour drive). It was mailed on September 10 and it still has not been delivered to the address. I called the Post Office and talked with one of the clerks and asked if there was any way it could be tracked and she said only if I had sent it “certified. I related that I had given the letter directly to the clerk since I was purchasing stamps. This is not the first time I have had trouble with a post office. In one instance, a package was at the post office for three weeks – it had fallen behind a table.
I suggest the post masters have surprise trial runs to check out the efficiency of their workers.
The United States Postal Service says a first-class letter should land in the recipient’s mailbox in one to three business days. The Los Angeles Times set out to see if that’s really the case these days.
In what it calls a “small but revealing” test of the service’s current reliability, it tracked 100 letters mailed from 20 Los Angeles County post offices between Aug. 21 and 24 (the period over which Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before Congress) to California destinations as well as Austin, Atlanta, and Washington.
The upshot: About half ended up being delayed. “Postal performance in the summer of 2020 is spotty at best, dismal at worst,” concludes the paper, which lays the blame not in one place but outlines “multiple choke points [that] can slow a letter’s journey.”
The USPS endeavors to have letters sent to the aforementioned out-of-state destinations arrive in three business days, says Gaare Davis, the head of the American Postal Workers Union, California.
The paper describes one letter reaching Austin in 11 days; another in 8. In the case of three letters sent to Washington, it took them each three days to get from the processing center to the house—just one mile away.
Of the letters that were to arrive within two business days, 75% managed to get there in that window. That’s a big drop from the 92.4% on-time delivery rate the USPS recorded in Q2, per the paper.
Davis called the findings “unacceptable.” A rep for the USPS was less ruffled, saying the agency saw improved performance throughout August and that it is still working to “identify and address some ongoing service issues in certain areas.”