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Topic: Mail carrier not delivering certified mail or certified packages

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Subject: Mail carrier not delivering certified mail or certified packages
Date Posted: 9/4/2015 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 638
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We live on a rural route but our mail box is directly across the street. Twice now the mail carrier who usually goes above and beyond to perform her duty has left the standard pink notification in our box that states she missed us and package could be picked up at the post office. We were home all day on the days in question plus our car was parked in our driveway but no one rang our doorbell or knocked on the door. Now I will have to drive into town some 15 miles away to pick up the package. Does the USPS have some rule that allows mail carriers to do this?

Date Posted: 9/4/2015 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2013
Posts: 61
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Yes.  I know that is not what you want to hear, but I worked for the PO for 27 years and yes, there is a rule that allows this.  You state you live on a rural route.  Where I worked we had both rural and city routes.  The city carriers were require to attempt delivery for an article that needed a signature before leaving a notice slip.  The rural carriers, which are employed under a totally different contract than the city carriers, were not required to get out of the vehicle to attempt delivery.  They merely had to leave a notice slip.  Even if your carrier wanted to knock on your door, her boss would probably reprimand her for taking too long on her route if she did this.

Date Posted: 9/4/2015 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 638
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Thank you for the info.

Date Posted: 9/11/2015 1:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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If this is different than you have previously experienced, it wouldn't hurt to politely discuss the situation with your postmaster.  There may be a solution...could a bigger mailbox help?

Date Posted: 9/11/2015 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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Your rural carrier is indeed supposed to attempt your certified letter by first trying to get your attention by blowing the car horn, and if there is no response, bring the article to the door to try to get your signature.

This is from the handbook of rural carrier duties and responsibilities, USPS HBK PO-603:


All special service mail (Registered Mail, Certified Mail, numbered insured

mail, return receipt for merchandise, custom duty, COD, and Signature
Confirmation) must be delivered to the residence or business. Try to get the
customer to come to the vehicle by sounding the horn or by giving some
other signal. If there is no response, or the customer requests you to do so,
dismount to deliver to any business or residence that is on the line of travel or
within one-half mile of the route and has a passable road leading to it.
Special service mail must be delivered to the addressee or an authorized
agent. A customer may arrange for redelivery by completing PS Form 3849,
Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt,
appropriately and leaving it in the mailbox

or by contacting the local Post Office.

Date Posted: 9/14/2015 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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Thanks, Diane for sharing that!

Date Posted: 10/2/2015 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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That fits with my experience.  I know there are stipulations on what they have to pick up (and don't have to pick up), but there should be some attempt at delivery.  Our rural carrier actually got fired for this...and his replacement would come to our yard and honk the horn.  If we didn't hear or weren't home she would leave a pick-up-slip in the mailbox.