Louis DeJoy’s USPS mail delivery isn’t what it used to be
TALLAHASSEE, FL. – For over 30 years, we have moved some of our mail between Florida and the mountains of North Carolina during the summers.
We travel between the two places and try to track bills, birthday cards, packages and letters from friends.
Before, it was simple. We filled out a form at the post office and waited for the mail to arrive where we were at the time. Back then, you could trust the US Postal Service to deliver your mail – rain, shine, snowing, or snowing.
This is all over.
This year, much of our mail has simply vanished into thin air. Bills, checks, a pretty good State Farm insurance refund after we sold a car that was insured, packages, just about anything you can name.
On three occasions, we returned to the online pages of the postal system to remind them that our mail was supposed to be redirected. We have kept copies of every attempt we made to transfer mail so that we have written proof.
It didn’t help.
After the third try and an email exchange between me and officials in Washington and the Jackson Lake Post Office in Tallahassee, the problem continued. An official at the local post office suggested that I complain to our members of Congress, saying they are our only hope.
I didn’t mean to suggest that I haven’t seen an issue resolved by Congress lately.
No one could explain where our mail was. It was not in our home in Tallahassee, nor passed on to us in North Carolina. It was just gone. A few parcels mailed from other Florida cities, letters, bills and cards – it’s all gone.
Postal officials in Tallahassee explained that their automatic equipment routes things before they arrive at the local post office, so they are not responsible for the loss. Ha!
A call to Sonitrol, the security company that protects our home when we’re away, gave us a clue. Sonitrol sent out a routine invoice but instead of sending it to us in July, they put a nice yellow sticker on the envelope and sent it back to Sonitrol, informing them that we were âtemporarily awayâ. Very helpful guys. Now we have arranged to pay by credit card – over the phone after they emailed us the bill. No need for postage.
The problem has worsened over the years, but never as serious as it is today.
We see posts on Facebook and Nextdoor of friends in Tallahassee who threw their mail in garbage bags and left it in ditches, and many of us found mail belonging to our neighbors in our boxes or someone’s packages. ‘another on our doorstep. Around our house we got used to taking the poorly delivered mail to the neighbor who should have received it in the first place.
I wonder how much mail delivered to the wrong house is actually being redistributed to the right place? It doesn’t seem very safe or secure to me.
The biggest change in the functioning of a historic postal service that has existed throughout our lifetimes, is the appointment of a guy named Louis DeJoy to lead the whole shebang.
He is putting everything in place to help former President Donald Trump end postal voting and slow down the delivery of all mail. Oh, and did I mention he’s a Trump campaign supporter and under FBI investigation for some of his previous political fundraisers?
Biden has appointed three new members to the regulatory committee that has the power to get rid of DeJoy, but so far he’s still there.
Instead, DeJoy has announced his intention to slow down mail deliveries and he would like to get rid of those big blue boxes that many of us love because we can reach them and send our letters.
In last year’s election, some post offices recovered all of the blue boxes, making it a bit more difficult to mail a ballot. I guess they thought it would help Trump win if we couldn’t send a ballot for Biden.
Now DeJoy raises the price of everything and says he’s slowing everything down. It could now take five days to send a first class letter to the western United States.
And what does that improve?
Pulitzer Prize winner Lucy Morgan served as the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times Capital Bureau in Tallahassee for 20 years. She retired in 2006 and was a senior correspondent until 2013. first published this essay.