Don’t Waste Your Money: Mail Delays

Don't Waste Your Money

Remember during the height of the pandemic when mail would show up late, or not come at all? The pandemic is easing, but in many areas those delays are not.

Terry Eshom never knows if he’s going to find anything when he opens his mailbox. “Last week when our carrier was off, we got delivery one day out of five,” Eshom said. Terry says he’s had delays, however, for months.

Like many postal customers, Terry has the informed delivery app on his smartphone that tells him what to expect on any given day. But he says what the app tells him and what he receives are often two different things.

“We were expecting eight or nine pieces of mail. We got nothing,” Eshom said. And it’s not just first-class letters. Others complain about the priority mail service for packages.

“This package is three weeks late! Three weeks late!” Lucas McBride said. He had to return a car part for his minivan. It took so long to arrive that he bought a more expensive version at a local auto parts store. “It cost me $92 more than it cost me online when I went online and got it,” McBride said.

The USPS recently told Congress it expects to deliver just 88% of mail on time this year, down from a normal 95%. It blames ongoing impacts from the pandemic including, absenteeism, old equipment, and the labor shortage.

Terry doesn’t blame his mail carrier, but a system that he feels is no longer up to the job. “It used to be you could count on your mail being there every day,” Eshom said.

The post office tells Congress its delivery issues have stabilized late this year and hopes to resume 90% on-time delivery or better in the near future. As always, don’t waste your money.

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