U.S. Postal Service customers grow frustrated as packages go undelivered

U.S. Postal Service customers grow frustrated as packages go undelivered

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Christmas has come and gone, but according to US Postal Service customers, some packages have not yet reached their destination.

USPS says this year saw a record volume of mail being delivered, leading to delays all across their network. Still, some customers call the situation “disheartening”.

Johnathan Leggett hoped that his son would have the ideal Christmas this year, as he’s stationed across the country in California. So Leggett shelled out an extra $40 to expedite the shipping, making sure his son’s gift made it by December 21st, but to no avail.

“More than ever, you want to get them something special for the holidays and you couldn’t do it,” Leggett said.

After December 17th, his package traveled from the post office on Krause Road in Chesterfield to the distribution center in Sandston. According to his tracking info, as of Dec. 26, it still posted as “in transit, arriving late”.

But this problem is not unique to Leggett; several NBC12 viewers have reported packages not arriving on time, with the last posted update being mid-December.

Another viewer’s tracking information shows her package shipped out on the 12th with the last update on the 16th, also “in transit, arriving late”:

Screenshot of tracking info from NBC12 viewer who says her package hasn't arrived. Last update is from mid-December.
Screenshot of tracking info from NBC12 viewer who says her package hasn't arrived. Last update is from mid-December. (Source: Jaynie Brower)

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in demand on the postal service, and USPS said in a statement that it continues to face pressure as it “manages through a historic record of holiday volume”. They add that the impact is compounded by an employee shortage due to COVID-19.

On top of that, the volume of mail is leading to capacity issues on USPS trucks and airlifts.

“If early on they knew there was going to be this big of a problem, why not stop? Advise people, don’t continue to take their money,” Leggett said.

He acknowledged that it hasn’t been easy on postal workers this year, and even suggested an unorthodox solution:

“If you can’t deliver the promise, keep the money, at least just let us come get the package and get it there another way,” he said.

USPS’s declined an interview, but their full statement can be found below:

“The U.S. Postal Service, similar to the broader shipping sector, continues to face near-term pressure on service performance across categories as it manages through a historic record of holiday volume this season. This negative impact is compounded by the temporary employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, as well as ongoing capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail.

The Postal Service’s 644,000 employees continue to work diligently to address issues and remain focused on delivering for the nation. Amid the historic volume, the Postal Service continues to flex its network, including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver a historic volume of mail and packages this holiday season. Our entire Operations team, from collections, to processing to delivery, worked tirelessly throughout this holiday season, and we continue to work around the clock to address the historic volume. We always accept all volume that is presented to us, which is adding to our challenges.”

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