Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our Cockamamy Package Delivery System

This is a quick update to Monday's Diary entry about the Post Office. I lost 2 work days waiting for the package I talked about--it finally came yesterday--so I've got loads of work to catch up on, but I did manage to find out what the package delivery procedure is now for Norristown. I think. Every time I talk to someone at our Post Offices, I get a slightly different story.

I heard from several of you who are also having problems with package delivery. I also heard from 2 residents who said they usually had no problems at all, though one said that when her regular carrier was on vacation, she'd had all kinds of problems, including packages that had been lost. So it does seem to be a carrier problem.

Our carriers now work out of the Conshohocken Post Office. They pick up the mail and packages there, then come up to deliver them in Norristown. My package was printed with the instruction "Carrier--Leave If No Response." He didn't do that, which further leads me to believe he didn't put it in his bag at all.

Whatever the reason, if a package can't be (or won't be) delivered, the carrier brings it back to Conshohocken. Then it's either given to the carrier to redeliver the next day, or put on a truck to the Norristown Post Office, to wait for the customer to pick it up--it doesn't seem to matter that the customer probably doesn't know the package is there. If it was sent as a gift, the recipient might not even know it exists at all. If it's not picked up within 2 weeks, it's returned to the sender. Whether it's given back to the carrier or sent to Norristown seems to be a totally random decision.

USPS has a system where you can fill in a form online requesting redelivery. Unfortunately, I found that Norristown PO doesn't look at the redelivery orders unless you specifically call them and tell them to do so. Conshohocken doesn't get them at all--only the PO in the customer's zip code. But once Norristown knows that the customer wants the package redelivered, they put it in a bin to be shipped back to Conshohocken. They apparently only send the truck to Conshy once a day, at night, and only on weekdays.

So my package sat in the Norristown PO all weekend and all day Monday--1.2 miles from my house--before it was sent back to Conshy--nearly 6 miles away--to be given to my carrier, who then drove it back to Norristown Tuesday. The waste of taxpayers' money in gasoline alone is stupefying.

So there's the reason so many of you are having problems with package delivery. Here are the phone number of both post offices--you'll need them.

Conshohocken PO (for all carrier questions or complaints): 610-239-6424
Norristown PO (for when a package doesn't get delivered): 610-275-0198

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