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Mail fail: D.C. residents tell their congressional delegate about postal woes

‘We have learned that there is unreliable service in Eckington, Anacostia, Cleveland Park and Michigan Park’

The U.S. Postal Service headquarters in Southwest D.C.
eclecticworks/Shutterstock

If you are missing a holiday card or package that you were expecting in the District, you are likely not alone. On Dec. 21, Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s delegate to Congress, released a letter she sent to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) outlining—as her office put it—“widespread complaints of inconsistent and failed mail delivery and a lack of USPS responsiveness in the District of Columbia.” Norton said such complaints have become so pervasive, particularly in certain neighborhoods, that she is mulling a public forum on the issue to help bolster service.

“We have learned from constituents and from several members of the D.C. Council that there is unreliable service in the Eckington, Anacostia, Cleveland Park and Michigan Park communities,” she wrote to Postmaster General Megan Brennan. “I understand customers often do not even receive their mail at all on certain days. The most common complaints include late evening deliveries, failed delivery and damaged mail.” Norton added that the problems are “recurrent” across D.C. and that she was “especially troubl[ed]” by customer-service complaints, like phones going unanswered and station managers ducking customers.

USPS says it “apologizes for any inconvenience our customers have experienced” and that it remains “committed to providing the service they expect.” It adds that customers can contact it about delivery issues via a local hotline (202-636-1259) between 8 a.m and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, on Twitter at @USPSHelp, or via its local Consumer Affairs Department (202-636-1200). Curbed has asked Norton’s office for an update on if she has heard back from USPS; in her letter, Norton requested a detailed response from Brennan within 30 days.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, residents chimed in with their own experiences of the postal service:

This post has been updated with comment from USPS.