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:
My mailman crumples up letters and shoves them into the box— Fenit Nirappil (@FenitN) December 21, 2018
I'm not exactly in Eckington area but close by where it's usually Tuesdays when apparently there is no mail delivery ( only day when there is nothing in the mailbox attached to my residence).— Anita Bonds (@AnitaBondsDC) December 21, 2018
Add Edgewood (neighbors with Eckington) to the list. Sometimes we just don’t get mail.— Matt Ackland (@mattackland_dc) December 21, 2018
Both sending and receiving mail in DC has been a huge crapshoot. A few years ago my wedding save the dates arrived several months late, I was supposed to get a certified letter, but the post office said it got "lost." I've lived in Ward 2, 6 and 4 and it's been a joke in each one— Sarah Mars Bowie (@SMarsBowie) December 21, 2018
For years in Shaw we never had the same letter carrier twice, sometimes folks not in uniform, often missed mail for days. We now have a new carrier — same one every day — and no more problems.— James Fallows Tierney (@JamesFTierney) December 21, 2018
Let’s go ahead and add Ward 7 to that list. I’m in Deanwood and that happens all the time. The post office on Minnesota is the absolute worst. Dirty, long lines, no customer service and supervisor are nonexistent.— GlobeTraveler (@neosoulgirl49) December 21, 2018
Add Navy Yard to the mix of continuous mail problems!— Charlie Terrell (@cterrell1) December 21, 2018
my all-time record for tracking down a package from USPS (ward 3 and now 2) is 6 weeks— becca (@bexual_healing) December 21, 2018
No mail for over a week on my block in Capitol Hill. It finally came last night, ripped and soaking wet.— Sarah Bedsole (@sarahbedsole) December 21, 2018
Add NoMA. If we get mail it comes after 9pm. We had our mail held when we went on vacation and we didn’t get it for a month after the date the mail was to resume.— Katie S Corrigan (@KatieSullivanDC) December 22, 2018
I live in Kalorama and we regularly get our mail around 8pm— Andrea Wolfson (@andrea_wolfson) December 22, 2018
We’re in Edgewood and basically just don’t expect mail to be delivered if it’s raining out. Good thing this is the rainiest year on record in DC...— Anna P (@potteram) December 21, 2018
Often didn't have mail delivered for a week or more at a time, in the H st corridor. Called, and was told it would be corrected. It wasn't, and we never got the mail from those weeks.— Josh B (@_Josh_Blatt_) December 21, 2018
The mail in ward 8, where I live, is terrible!!— Hagrid Dumbledore (@Hagrid_Dobby) December 21, 2018
This post has been updated with comment from USPS.