Post Office confessional: ‘We’ve had an increase in the number of patients reporting delays’

Share your mail story

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, file photo, a person drops applications for mail-in-ballots into a mail box in Omaha, Neb. Mail voting is starting in the presidential election as North Carolina is sending out its first batch of ballots. The battleground state on Friday begins to send out about 600,000 ballots to voters who've requested them. Those voters are overwhelmingly Democrats and independents, reflecting a partisan split in voting methods that's developed since President Trump started attacking mail voting in March. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) (Nati Harnik, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The following are responses to ClickOnDetroit’s callout for recent experiences with the Post Office. Share yours below.

“I work for a pharmacy in New England that provides both mail and pick-up services for retail and specialty medications. Since this summer, we’ve had an increase in patients reporting delays (especially in rural areas) with deliveries of their medications sent via USPS. Many of our specialty medications are refrigerated and sent via FedEx Overnight, but most of our retail prescriptions and non-refrigerated medications are sent via USPS Priority Mail. We typically expect, and relay to our patients, that their medications (sent via USPS) will take 2-3 days to arrive, from the date it ships from our facility. We’ve had an increase in the number of patients reporting delays, and in some cases it takes over a week to arrive. I work in the call center, so I and my immediate colleagues are typically the ones who hear patient complaints and concerns regarding shipping issues. We’ve also had an increase in issues with tracking the shipments; when I started working here about a year ago, I never had any issues tracking shipments. In the past 6 months, however, I’ve increasingly had shipments where the tracking information in the USPS system is not updated, or non-existent beyond ‘label generated.’ This has caused frustration and concern for both us and our patients; if we can’t tell them where their shipment is when it went out a week ago, because USPS still hasn’t updated the tracking info, we or the patient have to call USPS. This is often a lengthy process of being on hold for up to several hours to reach a representative, so these issues has added a lot to our plates as we have to call USPS to resolve them. Many times we have to send the patient a short supply via FedEx Overnight (which is expensive) or have them fill a short supply at a local pharmacy to ensure they still have their medication while waiting for the delayed shipment, which is complicated to set up, especially with insurances.”

-- Anonymous in West Lebanon, N.H. (ZIP: 03784)

“Mail service is dependent on the people doing the work. We need to respect their work, and acknowledge good progress. We have the best mail carrier ever. Mail gets here, on time, as expected. Meds, letters, bills, junk mail; everything arrives. When he has a day off, I can tell the difference. Rick, delivering in Coventry Gardens in Livonia, is the best."

-- Karen in Livonia (ZIP: 48154)

“I work for USPS, we are very short staff -- 8 carriers to cover over 20 routes, plus packages by themselves. We are working as hard as we possibly can to make sure everyone gets their mail and packages. Covid 19 did not skip over the post office. We can only do so much in one day. The mail that arrives after 4 p.m. is the carrier’s 2nd, possibly 3rd or 4th, route for the day. Take time to ask questions for clarification and understanding instead of bashing the people that haven’t seen their children in days because they are working so hard to deliver your packages and mail!”

-- Jane in Detroit (ZIP: 48205)

“I am still waiting after 8 days for my medication to be delivered from CVS (picked up 9/1) 5 miles from my house by the USPS -- 5 miles from my house. I am a cancer patient in chemotherapy right now. There’s no way I can describe the stress and pain this is causing.”

-- Anonymous in Ypsilanti (ZIP: 48198)

Read more: Post Office Confessionals

Post Office confessionals: Share yours

A national spotlight has been shone on the United State Postal Service as the agency recently warned 46 states that mail-in ballots may not be returned in time for the November election -- even if they are mailed on time -- amid delayed and reduced services caused by a lack of federal funding.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has announced that he was suspending certain changes until after the fall election while complaints about the mail have been piling up for weeks.

We want to hear what you’re experiencing. Have you experienced a delay with your mail -- either sending or receiving it? Has a loved one not received his or her medicine through the mail on time? Have you missed a bill payment because you did not receive the mail on time?

Please let us know with as much detail as possible:


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.