Tuesday, October 8 2013, 11:52 PM MDT
USPS Customers Frustrated by Long Downed Mailboxes
(KUTV) It is a daily pain for Charlotte Ramsey. She is forced to drive nearly two miles to the post office just to collect her mail. It's ironic considering her front door is only about 30 feet from her community mailboxes but for Charlotte and 15 of her neighbors, their mailbox is down.
Charlotte says rust caused it to fall more than a month ago but it began rusting several years ago. She says people in her neighborhood contacted the U.S. Postal Service to warn them that the box was in danger of falling months ago but no action was taken. Down now, this community wants it replaced but they say no one with the U.S. Postal Service will give them a straight answer as to when they will get around to it.
"[A postal worker] said, to be honest with you, the last one took six months," Charlotte says she was told.
Frustrated and with the blessing of her equally put out neighbors, Charlotte decided to Get Gephardt.
Margaret Putnam with the U.S. Postal Service says large mailboxes don't fall often, but when they do it can take several weeks to get them replaced because they have to be ordered and have them shipped in. As for the neighbors trying to get action taken before the box fell, Putnam says the Postal Service never got the message.
"We couldn't find anyone that knew about it or was aware of it," Putnam said. "The first time we were aware of it was when it actually fell over."
As for the time frame to replace Charlotte's community's mailbox, Putnam was able to expedite getting it installed.
"It was scheduled to be installed later this week and early next week, we do contract that out, so we just asked the contractor to move it up and we got it installed," Putnam said.
Just like that, 24 hours after Get Gephardt called the U.S. Postal Service, Charlotte and her neighbors have a brand new mailbox.
We asked USPS what Charlotte and her neighbors could have done differently to get their attention to replace the box before it fell. They said the best way to reach someone is by calling (800) ASK-USPS or the local consumer affairs office.
By Matt Gephardt
Produced by Stephanie Clemens
Photography by Mike Sadowski, Paul Sampson and Dan Dixon
Edited by Aaron Colborn
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)