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No tips for USPS

Michelle Summers, Minden

EDITOR:

When it comes to the increase in the cost of postage that went into effect this month, I wonder why any of us should pay for another increase when the only things that goes up is the cost. If the U.S. Postal Service office was a restaurant, they sure wouldn’t be getting any tips for quality service!

I don’t know about you, but we’ve had repeated problems. Recently, we received mail that clearly had been run over several times. There were tire tracks all over the envelope and it had gravel embedded in it.

Another problem involved a Christmas card from friends in Idaho. The card was returned to them as “undeliverable” even though they mailed it to the correct address. When the card was returned, they called to ask if we’d moved.

Then there was the large packet of information I mailed to a friend in Placerville a couple of months ago. Not sure about how much postage to put on it, I took it into the post office to have it weighed, stamped and mailed. My friend never received the packet nor was it ever returned to me. Now, I could understand if it had been a small postcard, but how do you lose a packet that large? Apparently, it ended up in Never-Never Land along with another large envelope I mailed to a business associate in Carson City that never arrived.

Another time, I mailed a thank you card to a friend in Gardnerville. It came back marked “Vacant,” so I called him. “Vacant?” he asked. “We’ve lived here for six years!”

Recently, a friend mailed me some information from Carson City. It took 10 days for the letter to arrive! She could’ve walked it here faster than that! When I mentioned it to the clerk at the Carson City post office, the guy said, “Look, lady, you think yours is the only mail we have to deliver?” Talk about rude!

A friend told me she recently returned $200 worth of merchandise via the post office. Thank God, it was insured, since it never arrived and was never found.

Besides all those problems, let me tell you what prompted this letter. I bought, printed, labeled, stamped and mailed over 200 5 by 8 Christmas postcards. To be sure I put the correct amount of postage on them, I called 1-800-ASK-USPS. I was told to use 20-cent stamps. When I questioned the guy, I was assured that 20 cents was the correct amount only to have many of the cards returned to me marked “postage due.”

When I complained to the clerk at the post office, I was told I should’ve called or checked their Web site to find out how much postage to use. When I said I’d called their 1-800 number, the response was, “Well, they don’t always know.” They don’t always know? Then what’s the point of ASK-USPS? And why are they answering questions when they don’t know the answers? After all, isn’t 1-800-ASK-USPS supposed to be used to obtain accurate information?

And one more thing: Is the post office going to compensate me for the packet that never arrived? Are they going to compensate me for the money wasted when I mailed 200 postcards based on their incorrect information? I won’t hold my breath waiting.

Whenever I complain to the folks at the post office, all I ever get is a shrug of the shoulders, a flip remark, an indifferent attitude or the suggestion that I file a complaint. I’ve filed formal complaints more than once, but so far, I’ve never been contacted by anyone from the USPS nor have I ever received any form of apology.

But, gee, I guess they need to increase the price of postage so they can continue to train their people to give bad service, lose mail, run over it and be rude. We all need to pay for that, don’t we?