A common issue returns: Albemarle Co. residents say they aren’t getting their mail

A common issue returns: Albemarle Co. residents say they aren’t getting their mail
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:16 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - It seems like mail issues were on the mend for a minute, but some people across Albemarle County now say delivery is back to being inconsistent.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D) was leaning hard on postal officials late last year and oversaw USPS bringing in extra employees to help with the holiday rush. This seemed to work, but now with those seasonal employees gone, the problems are back.

“Things got a bit better in November and December, and we seemed to be getting consistent mail delivery,” Albemarle County resident William Brady said. “Then right after the new year, things really, like stopped. Over the last 12 mail delivery days we’ve only received mail four days.”

“It’s not a new problem, we’ve experienced this before, and it’s unfortunate because I’m sure the staff at the post office is very dedicated and they work hard,” Albemarle County resident Linda Broadbent said.

The frustration is with the lack of consistency and silence from USPS.

“I think the thing that bothers me most is the lack of transparency about what’s going on. That is to say it would be good if the postal office is encountering problems - either they don’t have enough mail carriers and sorters are not getting the mail in time or large bunches - they should somehow broadcast it to the communities,” Albemarle County resident Martin Meth said.

Some say medications and bills are going missing, and it is even impacting livelihoods.

“I also do consulting work and receive a fair amount of communication by U.S. mail,” Brady said. “I’ve actually switched over to FedEx delivery and ask anyone sending me mail for professional services to actually use FedEx because U.S. mail is not reliable.”

Others say they don’t know where to turn.

“It’s layers and layers that you have to go through, and we could keep writing Senator Warner, but where and how does it get solved? I don’t have an answer,” Broadbent said.

“I actually think it would be good if the Congress, Senator Warner and Senator [Tim] Kaine, our local congressman, Congressman [ Bob] Good, really sort of began to think about how we could make the post office a little bit more efficient,” Meth said.

In a statement to NBC29, USPS said:

“Most customers in Charlottesville and the surrounding area are experiencing regular mail delivery.

We have taken specific actions to continue service to our valued customers, which includes:

  • Continuing to fully authorize overtime to allow employees to work the time necessary to deliver mail.
  • Expanding mail deliveries to earlier in the morning, later in the evening, and on Sundays to ensure customers receive mail at the earliest date possible.
  • Using additional carriers from nearby offices, when necessary, to maintain mail deliveries.
  • Hiring additional personnel. We currently have openings for pre-career positions across Virginia and in the Charlottesville area. These include city and rural letter carriers and local window and distribution clerks as well as motor vehicle drivers. Viewers can access these positions by visiting usps.com/careers and searching by state for open positions. New jobs are added to the site weekly.

As part of the Postmaster General’s Delivering for America Plan (DFA), we installed 112 new package sorting machines last year across the country and added more than 100 new annex facilities to handle the continued increase in package volumes. To staff these facilities, we have been aggressively recruiting and hiring throughout the year. The new machines and annexes were one of the reasons the Postal Service was able to process high volumes of packages during the holiday season, and our carriers worked tirelessly to make sure holiday deliveries arrived on time. As a result of the investments laid out in the DFA, the Postal Service was able to beat holiday volume projections between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve and deliver mail and packages in an average of 2.7 days across the Postal Service network.

We will continue to address employee availability where staffing remains a periodic issue. We thank our customers for their understanding and continued support. We also appreciate the efforts of our dedicated employees who are working to deliver for our customers during the pandemic.”

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