The Stevens Point Post Office. (Metro Wire photo)

What can I do about slow mail delivery, delays?

By Brandi Makuski

Residents across the area say they’re still experiencing mail delays even after months of lodging complaints.

Bryan Reeves, the lead customer relations coordinator of the United States Postal Service-Wisconsin District, said the postal service does take mail complaints very seriously but added they’ve only recently onboarded “several” new employees who are still becoming accustomed to their jobs.

Reeves declined to provide the number of employees who were hired locally, how many vacancies local post offices still need to fill, or how successful the two job fairs held over the past month in Portage Co. had been.

When asked for comments specifically on delivery delays in Portage Co., Reeves said when mail service issues occur, “We take steps to quickly resolve customer concerns.”

“We gladly work to address any specific issue from the community when brought to our attention and we encourage customers to reach out to their local postal station,” Reeves said by email. “Customers can also go to our website usps.com and click on “Contact us” at the bottom of our homepage or utilize this direct web address: https://usps.force.com/emailus/s/. Every email will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service. In addition, the official Twitter account of the United States Postal Service, managed by the social media staff at USPS HQ, can provide help. For customer service, please tweet @USPSHelp. Customers can also private message on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/USPS. The postal service will diligently continue to investigate customers’ concerns and correct deficiencies to improve service to our communities.”

It’s not a direct denial of delivery delays, as was customary under former Postmaster Trent Graham, who is no longer with the Stevens Point post office, although it wasn’t clear if Graham retired, resigned, or was transferred.

The city’s new postmaster, Jeremy Boerner, said he started in the role on Oct. 3 but referred the Metro Wire to a public information officer to request permission to conduct an interview.

That request was “respectfully declined” by Reeves’ office.

When directly asked about the mail delays, Boerner did tell the Metro Wire that the Stevens Point location was “extremely understaffed” and that postal carriers were “pushing out everything we can, or trying to, at least. We are hiring.”

Joseph Barney, who lives on Airport Rd. in Hull, said he’s been dealing with irregular mail for months. He’s contacted the Metro Wire newsroom more than half a dozen times in the past three months complaining of late delivery.

“By the time I get my news, everything is out of date and all the news is old,” Barney told the Metro Wire. “But they sure don’t have a problem delivering my bills on time.”

Barney says he’s also called the postmaster directly to complain.

“But all he tells me is, ‘We’ll look into it,'” Barney said. “I never get an explanation.”

Despite his complaints, Barney said he received the Nov. 17 of the Metro Wire on Nov. 26.

Another postal customer, who lives on Clark St. and asked to be identified only as “Jane,” contacted the Metro Wire newsroom on Nov. 20 to say she’s also been experiencing late delivery.

“I’m lucky if I get mail once a week,” she said, adding that on at least one occasion she was assessed a late fee for paying a bill that she received past its due date.

Whiting resident Ryan Bair, who lives in a subdivision on Verrill St., estimated he and his neighbors receive mail two or three times a week, instead of five or six days, as they once did. That includes outgoing mail pick-up, which he said resulted in one of his neighbors also being assessed a fee because the envelope containing their payment wasn’t picked up in a timely manner.

He has in-laws who live about three blocks away in Stevens Point near Second and Oak streets, and they, too, are experiencing delays.

“Something is messed up,” Bair said. “[It] would be nice to get answers for friends and neighbors.”

Several postal customers have also contacted the Metro Wire newsroom mistakenly thinking it was responsible for the delivery of the Buyer’s Guide/Stevens Point City Times to complain that by the time they receive their copy, the majority of the coupons contained within it are already expired. The Metro Wire is not affiliated with that publication.

Before Graham left his position, he told the Metro Wire that mail processing ceased in Stevens Point a number of years ago when processing operations were transferred to Green Bay. Graham said now, all city mail is sent to Green Bay for processing, then returned to Stevens Point.

For subscribers with home delivery, the Metro Wire is delivered each Thursday morning to the Stevens Point post office by its printer, SpectraPrint. Each week, the delivery driver is issued a time- and date-stamped receipt acknowledging the delivery, which SpectraPrint keeps on file.

Reeves said anyone interested in working for the postal service can find more information and begin the application process at Career opportunities – Careers – About.usps.com.

After filing a complaint or claim with the USPS, postal customers experiencing mail delays or other problems can take additional steps by contacting Boerner at 715-344-8327, Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland, Representative Ron Kind, or U.S. Senators Ron Johnson or Tammy Baldwin about their delivery issues.

Contact by phone

After filing a complaint or claim with the USPS, postal customers experiencing mail delays or other problems can take additional steps by contacting:

  • Postmaster Jeremy Boerner at 715-344-8327
  • Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland at 608-267-9649
  • Representative Ron Kind at 608-782-2558
  • U.S. Senator Ron Johnson at 608-240-9629
  • U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin at 608-796-0045