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Mon Mar 30 2015 22:08:45

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

By: Ina Steiner

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USPS processing facilities were found to be sending "live mail" to a Dallas Service Center in what were supposed to be empty containers and sacks, according to an OIG report. 

The apparent carelessness caused delays in mail delivery, including Priority Mail and Express packages.

The problem was discovered during a November audit of an MTE Service Center in Dallas serving the entire Southern Area. "The majority of the mail found was over 1 week old, although, there were some mailpieces that were much older including one international mailpiece with a postmark of February 2014," the report from the Office of Inspector stated.

In the 5-day period, the OIG found 10 Express mailpieces, 69 Priority mailpieces, 2,783 First-Class Mailpieces, and 118 international mailpieces that were improperly sent in "Mail Transport Equipment" to the Dallas MTESC. And that doesn't count package services and standard post pieces found in hampers.

Not only were delays an issue, the OIG found damaged items as well.

An article in Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash explains more about the processing centers found to be sending containers and sacks.

Update 3/31/15: A spokesperson for the USPS Southern Area provided a response to our inquiry about the OIG audit report, see the Newsflash story referenced above for an update.




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 00:16:12 2015

The North Houston Sort Facility became infamous about the same time.  It pretty much has killed my eBay business over the last few months.  80% of packages sent were taking 10-14 days.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Tue Mar 31 00:23:36 2015

A few facilities have 90% of mail delay:

Flushing, NY
Miami, Fl
Miami Beach, Fl
Dallas, TX
Chicago, Il
San Jose, CA

If the USPS inspectors concentrate in these facilities, negative feedbacks due to late deliveries could actually vanish. These facilities have to be the worst in the history of mail.

One Word: LAZY

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 31 00:25:13 2015

The photos are indeed shocking. The USPS continues to raise prices, and yet this is an example of how the mail is treated. I guess that's to be expected with a Donahoe as Postmaster General.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: rightwinger This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 00:28:34 2015

I didn't realize those areas were a problem.  I have been fortunate....I ship a lot of items 1st class mail and from my processing center even if I drop it off at 8 or 9 pm it is normally delivered two days later.  3 at the most.  hardly any complaints even during the time period of these issues.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Mar 31 00:29:17 2015

Not surprised in the least. My last two Express Mail 'overnight' packages took 4 days for delivery. Yes, I applied for and received a full refund for both, but it entailed a trip to the main post office.  

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: cash4clothesbozeman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 00:35:56 2015

I actually think that the USPS does a great job.  The Thing I do not like  is Rogue postal workers charging additional postage for flat rate envelopes.  here is one of my customers.

''Just purchased these and noticed your shipping method is Priority Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelope. There is a pretty good chance one worker at the local Post Office will try to charge postage due if it's sent by this method, even if they are packed 100% correctly. I've tried to talk to her, show her the rules. but she's impossible to deal with and won't listen to reason. If you use another method, such as Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope, it should be fine. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks, and sorry for the trouble.''

This has happened 3 times in the last month and a half

This is an area that eBay needs to address.  CUSTOMERS WILL NOT COME BACK, AND THEY WILL CAUSE PROBLEMS.

Gt it together USPS in this area.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 00:58:07 2015

I'm still waiting for a registered package from Spain that was mailed last August (2014) and shows as lost in customs in NYC. Wonder if it will every show up. My solution was adding a collectibles insurance policy that covers my collection AS WELL as all packages coming and going. At least now I won't lose any money when things are lost in transit.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: Just A Old Seller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 01:31:50 2015

I worked for the Postal Service for over 35 years and yes we did mess up sometimes.  But on the other side we also had customers or office workers put UPS and FedEx packages into our mail system with us having to make trips to those carriers and drop them off.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 01:44:37 2015

I just received a letter FROM the USPS Consumer Affairs Office after I had a package go "missing"  between NY and Indiana.  The package showed as tracking to Chicago area.  then went dead.  There were scans---and then they stopped with odd info on the screens.

I spent HOURS on the phone==almost as long and as annoying as waiting for eBay--and my buyer filed a complaint as did I. Finally after a MONTH the cryptic message was relayed that the package was allegedly on a truck--in Ohio!  Um---

A few days LATER the package showed OUT FOR DELIVERY.  And it did get delivered.  Of course the BUYER was extremely UNHAPPY and is taking it out on ME altho she had the SAME info I had.

This week I got a letter--an actual letter--from the Consumer Affairs telling me that "Due to the WEATHER the mail has been DELAYED--and FIRST CLASS ; EXPRESS and PRIORITY were ALL going to be delivered FIRST--(my item was Parcel Select)

NOW we know that it doesn't really MATTER what Class mail WE pay for--this is LOOTING and THEFT--esp the cards that were opened no doubt to discover any Gift Cards and or cash.  I will NO LONGER mail using the easily ID'd colorful and sized envelopes that greeting cards come in.

I have already changed my shipping notations on ebay to Priority=-=-at least this will give me some false sense of protection.

THANK YOU Ina for posting these articles--I have not seen this information anywhere else.  

The PO is rapidly proving it cannot be trusted with the obligations of it's job.  Ben Franklin must be spinning in his grave.  

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: jazzbaby73 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 02:08:02 2015

I've been selling on ebay for 18 years. Up until the last 12 months, I thought the post office services were excellent. Never had a package lost completely. Very, very, very few errors. But the last year has been different. Almost monthly I have packages go to strange post office hubs, taking weeks to be re-directed to the correct locations. All labels are printed through ebay, so no excuses that way. It has become almost a common occurrence. And now we are rewarded with defects based on their mistakes.
I don't know what has happened, but their service has gone way down hill. If I had a cheap alternative, I'd leave them. But for small items, they pretty much are the leader. And they know it.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 07:19:23 2015

USPS service employees are PAID WELL and this has happened so many times to honest merchants shipping their items it is reaching the point of criminal charges. The mangement is sitting back collecting big bucks and doing absolutely nothing.  
Do you think anyone at ebay is paying attention to this?
Heck no this team of executives is getting pleasure out of punishing honest sellers for something that is out of their control. There is no other reason than a power trip and getting off on it.  

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 07:40:16 2015

For the most part, I've had good experiences with USPS.  What I hate is the UPS and FEDEX hand offs, which add days to delivery.  I also know from dealings with our office mail person, they have lost several people due to attrition and those jobs are not being back filled.

USPS is way overdue for a complete overhaul of their networks and equipment so they can function like UPS.  

And no, the clowns at eBay are blissfully unaware of anything wrong in the post office MIGHT impact their little kingdom, or haven't you noticed?  I was surprised that they actually noticed that severe snowstorms would impact deliveries this year!  They actually mentioned it during checkout on the site.

Sad thing is, more users of the eBay site don't come here for the real news and quit posting on the boards.  And they should send their buyers here as well, so they can see what a seller on eBay faces.  Especially the well paid executive suite....

I stumbled  onto the ebay boards years ago by accident.  Today's buyers would really have to grope to get any info there.  
And no one in a position of power EVER sticks their nose in they to find out what the site users really think or face.  So nothing changes.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: Jim S. This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 08:09:44 2015

It's happening in the northeast as well. I believe (partially) due to the recent processing center closings and realignments causing more work in centers that couldn't handle what they had to begin with.

Local postmaster is just as frustrated as I am.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Mar 31 08:31:46 2015

This indeed is scarey to see especially when large part of my sales are to Texas and California, with PA, NY and VA also heavy sales. I do not understand why people no longer take pride in doing a job no matter who they are working for.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Tue Mar 31 08:32:05 2015

It is too sad for the USPS. In special when you are focus in raising prices yearly and many of the employees get mote $20 by hour.

I believe the problem isn't just the closing of some offices or sort points. The problem is that the USPS wasn't ready for the change of mail traffic from letters to packages or the boom of Internet sales. Just look how stupid is the USPS about the issue. They never move the Money Orders payments to the electronic/Internet world. And allow so called business ''partners'' like eBay ban their money orders.  

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: semper fi This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 08:35:41 2015

The USPS is closing sorting facilities all over the county and putting the load on those already overloaded. Our Orlando, FL sort facility  is taking 3-5 days before an item is scanned or processed. I have tried to get an answer from them and I never hear a word back. They just ignore us.

Tie this to the Pitney-Bowes problem with ebay not uploading shipping details for a week or more and it's been a disaster for sellers. Buyers are fed up and killing our ratings. Several calls to eBay support have done nothing to rectify the problems. All this while we watch as all the top dogs at eBay and USPS take giant salaries and bonuses, for what?

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: miaonorato This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 08:58:33 2015

Yes I too have experienced lots of delays, routing problems that take my packages off it's  correct route.  Recently I shipped a flat rate small priority box from Ky to Tx. It was supposed to get there in 2 to 3 days ( but of course they don't guarantee it, and say so on line) it had the 1 scan when it left my Post Office. And then nothing for 6 days. All of a sudden it was scanned ''out for delivery''. I kept my customer aware I was in contact with the Post Office.
And as far as refunds my PO won't give me a dime. They say it's not guaranteed and there was nothing they could do about it.
Thank god I had a laid back , cool customer. They ended up leaving positive feedback. But I could have received a ding on shipping time if I had charged for shipping.
All in all my experience with the post office has been OK. BUT  when things go bad they go really bad and we have no recourse except to continuly pay higher prices and receive poor service.
Seems like a lot of thing are going that way these days.  

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 31 09:40:50 2015

I am also in HOUSTON and have been FORCED into a time consuming WORK AROUND to aleviate Customer Angst over the pointlessly VAGUE info provided when eBay buyers even UNDERSTAND and TRY to USE the blue link on every PURCHASED item that allows buyer OR seller to instantly VIEW the progress of their package. In HOUSTON a big part of the problem is that USPS Prematurely CLOSED the Ancient Downtown Post Office Regional Sorting Center in favor of a BRAND NEW, State of the Art center 20+ miles north at the Intercontinental Airport. In theory this was a FINE CHOICE as it not only got a NEW center, but put the SORTING directly adjacent to AIR SERVICES for any 1, 2 or 3 day packages. The problem came when they RELIED on commitments and PROMISES from multiple Vendors / Contractors doing the new center that all the system WAS or soon would be fully functional.  Those assurances were WRONG... capital W Wrong.  The change over was ABRUPT and INSTANT with the OLD one closing and the NEW one opening essentially simultaneously.  Here at the END of March it is still screwed up as sooooo much of the equipment is NOT working as promised and the VOLUME of mail has only increased.  I can point to packages I take to my LOCAL post office Tues Wed Thurs getting FINE service and PROMPT delivery.  Fri Sat Mon packages handled exactly the same way are sucking hind teat. Frequent 3 to 5 day delays showing NO SCANS whatsoever on those Fri-Mon packages THEN they suddenly POP UP in Dallas, San Antonio or even NEW ORLEANS, LA before actually BEGINNING their trips to other states or COUNTRIES!  MY FIX has been to on DAY FIVE after I drop off packages I do the QUICK tracking via eBay, IF DELIVERED or at least NEAR the destination I ignore THAT one and move to the next.  Once I find one that is NOT MOVING I copy/paste the tracking number at the TOP of that report from that report to the REAL USPS/tracking site. There I take the step of REGISTERING THE BUYER's EMAIL for EMAIL updates on both the CURRENT and all FUTURE reports.  After the first 100 times I've also learned to REJIGGER a the DVD title as something that RESEMBLES the title of the movie and the Words EBAYDVD.  That way when the BUYER gets these updates it is a reminder they are shown that THEY are receiving this update at the request of ToweringInferno EbayDVD with EACH of those STRINGS of letters treated as First and Last name of the ''person'' doing the request. I've learned that you CANNOT put ANY DIGIT in the ''names'' so don't try to use the eBay I.D. number and if Season 6 of Star Trek TheNextGen you have to do ''TNGSeasSix'' as that flies right thru.  YOU can set yourself UP to also get the same updates from the SAME USPS/tracking page, but it is a STONE COLD annoyance to get 50 or 60 daily updates on all those in transit packages.  Following these steps I'm getting MORE and BETTER feedback even as the BUYERS are getting LOUSY service thru USPS.  I can point to packages that took 14 days to go from Houston to Pennsylvania where the BUYER left GLOWING feedback and PRAISED quick shipping.  It is NOT all that time consuming once you ''get the hang'' of how to keep TWO windows open and copy / paste like a PRO.  If you DO make yourself start to NOTE which DAYS that you shipped out go thru quickly and which go Slow as Turtle snot.  BIG BENEFIT of the BUYER seeing the USPS report is that after 4 days THAT report includes a HIGHLIGHTED BAND stating ''... this package has been delayed and will MISS it's expected delivery date ...''  Works Magic for the CARRIER to be telling the Buyer that the CARRIER is at fault.

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue Mar 31 09:40:57 2015

I have been selling on eBay since 2001. When eBay's name began showing up on shipping labels I started to have "lost" packages.  I went through some really bad experiences and devoted too much time with USPS until I decided that it was Postal employees stealing the packages.  At that point I started cutting off the top part of the label that has eBay on it (as well as USPS logo) and Ta Da...no lost packages.  ZERO in years.  I usually just read comments, but felt I needed to share this for obvious reasons.  

Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect   Shocking Photos Show USPS Mail Neglect

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 31 10:49:10 2015

@cash4clothesbozeman - Since you've had three Priority Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelopes tagged for postage due recently, could it be that you are printing labels with postage for a regular Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope? The larger one requires slightly more postage.  

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