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Topic: How do I report a customer service problem with USPS?

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Subject: How do I report a customer service problem with USPS?
Date Posted: 1/26/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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Hi swappers,

I just returned from my local USPS.  I don't know how I didn't "go postal."

I needed to purchase envelops from them, have my books weighed, and buy the postage.

I've done this before, and every time the postal worker puts the book on the envelop, asks me the zip code, and prints the postage. Once all my books have been weighed & paid for, I take my pile away from the window, address the envelop, and when I'm all done, even if there's a line, they let me just leave the addressed, postaged envelopes on the side of their window.

Today, I was told that there was "too long of a line" and that I could purchase my postage after I addressed the envelopes. 

When I asked the postal worker her name or how I might identify her in a letter to her supervisor, she said her name was "none of my business." I asked if she was refusing to identify herself, and she said yes. Mind you, her coworker was wearing an ID/name tag/photo ID clipped to her sweater.

She agreed to let me speak with her immediate supervisor, who assured me that he would "handle it" and that he has had repeated problems with her. 

I want to send a letter to whoever else I can, as I think it's obsurd that I was denied service because I had "too much mail for a long line." (I had 5 books.)

If anyone has, or currently does, work for USPS, please let me know who I can address a formal letter to?

Or, if you are aware of a USPS regulation limiting the amount of mail a person can mail at the window, based on how many people are on line, I would appreciate it.

Btw, when she dismissed me because I had "too much mail for such a long line" she walked away from the window and went into the back room for 5 minutes, not assisting those other customers in the "long line."   



Date Posted: 1/26/2009 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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My PO always has me address the envelopes and THEN they print the postage and charge me. I wait in line, get the envelope or box, step aside to fill it out and when I'm done I don't have to get back in line, they'll take me right at the front.

But her attitude wasn't necessary and  not giving her name was just ridiculous. It's not like they don't keep a schedule of who works there.

Technically you weren't denied service or asked to limit the number of packages, you were just asked to do it in an order different than what you're used to.

I hope they do address her rude behavior, sometimes people think they are untouchable in their jobs. I think the economy is too bad to risk a snarky attitude getting yourself fired. I'm sure there are 50+ applications on file for her job anyway.

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 245
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Just find out who the postmaster is and address it to your PO. S/He is in charge of that office.

Just be as factual as possible with as little emotion in the letter. It will sound more professional that way.

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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Char: I see your point. Her attitude was the big problem, but her explaination that I had "too much mail" and the line was "too long" is ridiculous! It wouldn't have taken her any less time if the envelop was address. They always put the envelop and book on the scale, ask me the zip, and print the postage.  It took her longer to explain that I had too much mail than to just weigh it.

Melissa: Thanks for the advice on writing a letter. I will stick to the facts.

I should note, my intention is not to have her fired, but I want the issue of too much mail addressed, as well as her attitude. I work in customer service, I know everyone has a bad day/in a bad mood, etc. The funny thing is that when I'm in a bad mood, upset, extra, I error on the side of caution and give ridicioulsy good customer service. If you complain that the whatever wasn't as fresh/cold/hot as you expected, or you just didn't like the taste, were a little disappointed, whatever, I refund your money and let you try something else--for free!

Especially, as I noted in follow up to the other thread, that her supervisor said he was "sick of her silliness." (On the life of the children I hope one day to have, that is a direct quote.)

Thanks all!

I will look up my postmaster's name and send off a simple, straightforward letter.

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I've never been denied service because I've had too many packages.   I have, however, been told that my packages were not ready to mail, here's what you need to do, please return to the line when you are finished.    I've mailed dozens of packages at a time with no compliants.

Being rude is inexcusable.  My mailman is as rude as can be and I know of several complaints about him.  It doesn't change a thing, in this case.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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I know this is not what you want to hear, but I'll say it anyway.  Technically you did not have mail, until it is wrapped and addressed it is just a book.  At the POs around here, you mail must be ready or they will not serve you.

I'm not excusing her attitude, she should not have been rude.  Hopefully her supvisor reprimanded her after you left.  I would still send that letter, Ive noticed a lot of supervisors side with the employee.  Of course, they don't tell the customer that.

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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First a disclaimer - I am NOT a postal employee.  I work in a contract post office, subject to USPS regulations.  We are not a for-profit postal center.  Our rates are the same as the post office and we have to follow USPS regulations.  But we are not postal employees.  We are under the direction of the postmaster at a post office about three miles away.

This is what we have been told - Once the postal meter is applied to a package, it can not leave our possession.  That postal meter signifies that it was handed to us and applied in our presence.  Think about the 13 oz rule.  You must hand that package to a postal employee if it only has stamps on it.  Why?  Because stamps cannot be tracked back to the person who mailed it.  That is why you must hand it to a postal employee.  I know it sounds ridiculous considering the number of packages we handle every day, but it is a rule that we must follow.

Applying postage from our meter to your package means that we were the last person to handle your package before the postage was applied.  Technically, we cannot give it back to your possession. We have had arguments with people who want to put postage on a priority envelope and take it with them.  We will give them a stamp, but we cannot apply a postal meter strip.    I know it sounds like a dumb rule, but it is what we are told to do.  We have had people with their tax forms come in and want us to apply a meter strip and then take it with them because it is dated and as good as a postmark because they aren't ready to mail their return yet..... nope.  That's not going to happen.

If you came to my counter with envelopes and books that were not packaged and ready to mail, I would ask you to go address the envelopes and bring them back when they are ready.  That's what we have to do.  Same with customs forms, etc.  Your package must be ready to go into the bin once I apply the meter strip to it.

I think the employee was rude to you, there is no excuse for that.  But she was right in not allowing you to take the metered mail away from the window. 

Last Edited on: 1/28/09 8:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2