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Topic: Saturday hours (Minor Vent)

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Subject: Saturday hours (Minor Vent)
Date Posted: 7/6/2013 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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Why is it that every USPS branch in this area closes at a DIFFERENT time on Saturday???? I literally drove to three different branches, missing the Saturday pick-up time by FIVE LOUSY MINUTES!!! The first branch closed at 11:30am, I got there at 11:35am; the second closed at 11:45am, I got there at 11:50am; the last one - and in hindsight, the one that I should've gone to in the first place - closed at noon (I got there at 12:05pm). I suppose that I should be thankful that there's still USPS business going on on Saturday, but that's little consolation when the anniversary card I sent to my sister arrives the day AFTER her anniversary. (Which will still be better than the local newspaper that's mailed from the same post office that delivers my mail and regularly arrives in my mailbox up to a week later.)

Date Posted: 7/6/2013 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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most post offices still have blue boxes outside the office and the pickup is USUALLY much later than closing time on Saturday, you just need to read the box and abide by the time on it. The box gets pulled at the time or after, not before (there might be EXTRA pulls before, but it's never collected early.

Date Posted: 7/6/2013 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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That's true, Brandy.. But, at each of the branches I visited today, the closing time was the same as the posted 'last pickup' time on the blue box outside the building. I was actually hoping that the last branch I went to, (which is the biggest of the three), that there might actually be someone still around, but that was not the case. Honestly, it's my own fault for forgetting to mail my card earlier in the week. Last pickup times I can understand, but I just gotta wonder why each branch has different Saturday closing times 15-30 minutes apart?

Date Posted: 7/6/2013 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Usually, it's the offices furthest away from the sorting plant with the earlier closing time, and the closing times get later and later the closer the office is. the truck starts at the furthest office to pick up mail and the closing times are set so they have 15-30 minutes to close out the office before the truck needs to leave for the next office. 

Subject: check hours @ usps.com before you go
Date Posted: 7/7/2013 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 691
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Date Posted: 7/7/2013 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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"check hours @ usps.com before you go"

Oddly enough, I didn't think of that before running out. (Paradoxically, I'm usually the first one checking for hours online.) blush

However, a post-rant review shows that the hours posted for two of the three branches doesn't match what reality was. (As luck would have it, the one that closed at noon was the only one with that closing time on the website.)

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 691
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Postmasters (or their delegates) are required to log onto the USPS Facilities Data Base (FDB) twice a year to verify that their facility information (including hours) is correct, and to correct if it isn't. 

 

Not sure where the appropriate place is for the public to comment or complain if this information is incorrect, but the 800 number would not be a bad start.  800-275-8777  or 1-800-ASK-USPS.  Keep pressing 0 to reach a human.  Or call your local post office and express your concern to them.  I find it is easier or me to deal with people if they start out "expressing a concern" rather than "engaging in a giant bitch-fest".  wink

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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Thanks, Diane... I plan to politely mention the oversight the next time I'm in those two branches.

Date Posted: 7/8/2013 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 534
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It doesn't spare you your aggravation, but I'm impressed you have more than one branch open on Saturday! We have one and I think it's open from 9 to noon; all the rest are M-F only (with several closed for an hour and a half for lunch each day). I suppose if I drove for a half hour in one direction or another, there's probably more open on a Saturday, but not nearby. And I don't live in a rural area (just south of San Francisco).



Last Edited on: 7/8/13 2:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/15/2013 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2005
Posts: 31
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I have lived close enough to a couple of post offices to see their daily routines.  I'm going to use some times for examples.  Like if the PO closes at 5 and the box outside says last pick-up at 5.  What actually happens is that the window closes at 5, but employees are still working.  At about 5:10 a postal employee goes and get the mail from the blue outside mail container.  Of course, you can't count on those extra 10 minutes, but under a time constraint, I'd put my mail in a box a few minutes after the stated last pick-up time.  

I've looked at the tracking reports for some of my mail I've put in the boxes.  I might see the postal employee empty the blue box at 5:10.  And my package might be scanned into the system at 5:20 pm.  Lots of work going on when people might think the employees are on their way home for dinner.

Date Posted: 8/15/2013 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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I've also seen it go the other way, Kathryn. One local branch, in particular, is well-known for the truck leaving as much as 15 minutes BEFORE the posted 'last collection' time. That, however, is the exception.

Date Posted: 8/16/2013 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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My local staff agrees with Kathryn.  I've been told that they cannot leave outgoing mail at the unit when they leave for the day.  So despite what's posted the mail will be collected again after closing, some places as much as 30 minutes.

All about the same distance from the sorting center, the closest 3 POs to me also all have different closing times both weekdays and Saturday.

Date Posted: 8/16/2013 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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when I worked at a larger office, we would "rob the box" about 45 minutes early, during a lull in customers, then we could get the majority of it sorted before closing time, then at the "official" time, we could collect the mail that was dropped in those 45 minutes.

Collection Boxes have a barcode on the inside, under the tub that collects the mail. the mail has to be removed to scan the barcode and that barcode HAS to be scanned everyday, and not even a minute early, late is OK though

 

I have been called at my house at 9:45 on a Saturday night because a scan was missed and I was the closest employee with access, even though I wasn't the one who missed the scan. I was going to have to drive 14 miles to one post office to get keys, then 10 miles to the box with the missed scan, then 10 miles BACK to the first office. THEN if there was any mail in the box, I would have to drive it 73 miles to the plant, then about 80 miles back home. If there wasn't mail in the box I could go home. so 48 mile round trip (post office paid for) just to scan a barcode. if there was even ONE letter in there, they were going to pay for over 180 miles, and 2 hours of "work" (because we still have a union, and if they call you in to work, they have to work you at least 2 hours) 

Luckily, they finally got ahold of the person who actually MISSED the scan, and she was just 1 mile from the missed scan and she had keys on her for that PO, so she went and scanned the box after 10:00 at night. (NO milage paid because it was HER mistake- and there wasn't any mail in there- it was inside the locked PO-this lobby doesn't have 24 hour access.)

 

So Ed, while you may believe that what you said is the truth, I think it is more that they pull it early to get a jump on sorting, then go back at/after the posted time and collect the box again.

Date Posted: 8/17/2013 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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All 3 of the local branches I use near me stay true to the posted hours and most blue boxes I see have last pickup a little after counter closes. We have very good counter services here,........now if I could just say the same about getting packages to travel 1000 miles or more.

Date Posted: 8/17/2013 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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What you all say is true, I'm sure. However, I'm also sure that this one particular post office has, on more than one occasion, had the truck leave the branch as much as 15 minutes before the posted last collection time. Additionally, just two weeks ago, I had a heated exchange with the clerk on duty there when after handing her outgoing mail at the counter 10 minutes before the posted last collection time I was told that she was sorry, but the truck had already left.

Date Posted: 9/23/2013 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ok well you got me curious.  All our Blue Boxes in town say they get picked up at I think 10:30 am (Just the one time I think) every day of the week except Sunday but I'll have to verify this.  I know that I put an item in a blue box right next to the post office for the last two Saturdays around 11:00 our post office closes at noon on Saturdays.  I know for sure that the items were not picked up until Monday because they were printable postage and they didn't get scanned in until Monday after 10:30!  So if as you say they are supposed to be picked up after closing time then they should be picking them up twice once at 10:30 since thats the posted pick up time, and once at after 5:00 on M-F & after 12:00 on Saturday because that is the closing time on those days?  If I'm interpreting this wrong let me know.  I can say I was mighty peeved that my package sat in that blue box the first weekend because i had assumed they would pick up after they closed again, the second weekend I expected them to leave it there.  I'm not arguing any stance I just want to really know if these are supposed to be picked up a closing time too!



Last Edited on: 9/23/13 11:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2013 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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No Elizabeth, They are only supposed to pick it up at the scheduled time. No mail is left inside the building after dispatch, unless it was dropped into the collection box after the pull. 

I'm wondering if Ed is confusing the collection time with the closing time. A very few post offices have collection times and dispatch times that are before closing times. Those offices stay open after the dispatch time and the mail deposited after the dispatch time doesn't go out until the next day.Except for those few offices, dispatch time is after closing time, but most offices have a collection time that is 30-15 minutes before closing time for the collection boxes. 

If you look at the time on the collection box and drop the mail off before that time, it will be collected and dispatched that day. If you drop it in after the collection time, you have a good chance of it sitting in the box until the next collection time.

 

In my office Saturday collection time is 10:15am for the inside box and we close at 10:30am. We pull the box at 10:15 and if any mail is deposited in there afterwards, it sits in the box until our next collection time of 4:15 on Monday.

Date Posted: 9/25/2013 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ah thanks for clearing that up!  You guys mentioned blue boxes early on so I guess I got confused.  I've never dropped mail into the collection boxes at the PO, I always take them to the window.  Though our PO is small and never really busy.

Date Posted: 2/23/2014 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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you drove to 3 Post offices in 20 minutes?  that would take over an hour, here!

my PO is open 4 hrs M-F afternoon, and 4 hrs Sat AM.  Period.

Date Posted: 2/24/2014 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 821
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Actually, it was 3 branches in 30 minutes... cool

FWIW, the USPS is looking hard at closing down one of those three branches and reducing the hours on another.