CHICAGO (CBS) — No mail for weeks – we’ve learned it’s not just one Chicago neighborhood waiting.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina first exposed the issue Tuesday night in Hyde Park. But now, she has learned Chicago’s Association of Letter Carriers confirms what USPS denies – there are problems.
With more and more people ordering online during the pandemic, Molina is told it’s busier in every Post Office now than it typically is during the holidays. But that’s not the only reason we’re hearing about delays across the city.
It’s been a rough summer for Carmen Smith-El.
“So frustrating,” she said.
Smith-El lost her mom during the pandemic and still doesn’t have any of her insurance documents or medical bills, because she isn’t getting her mail.
“It’s terrible,” she said. “What I’m having to do is call a lot of people; just call my bill collectors.”
“We’ve only seen the mailman twice,” Coleman told Molina on Tuesday.
Coleman has been waiting weeks on prescriptions he needs just to get through the day. Smith-El reached out to tell me the same thing is happening in Park Manor – for more than two months.
“If you need help, get help,” she said. “People have to get their mail.”
Since Coleman’s story aired, we’ve heard from people across Chicago who are having the exact same problem – no mail.
But when Molina asked the U.S. Postal Service about the issues, again Wednesday, a representative of USPS denied there are delays right now – calling operations normal.
Mack Julion, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, does not agree.
“The Chicago Post Office is failing,” he said. “A carrier just told me they’re delivering some of last week’s mail.”
Julion met us at the Jackson Park Branch Post Office, 700 E. 61st St., which is just one of the offices where he says mail and packages from last week are piling up.
“Jackson Park is a classic example of the fail that is Chicago Post Office right now,” he said.
Julion said post volume is exceeding Christmas season levels during the pandemic, and there aren’t enough people delivering as is.
He said there are issues across Chicago, but especially on the South and West sides.
“Too many are now are so content or accustomed to not getting their mail that they don’t say anything,” Julion said.
His message to anyone in Chicago dealing with issues?
“If you try to contact the local Post Office, the phone just rings and rings and rings. Nobody answers. It’s by design,” Julion said, “because if they don’t answer it, then there is no compliant logged. If you want results some results, call your congressman’s office.”
On Wednesday night, Post Office spokesman Tim Norman again maintained operations were running as normal. He specifically said there were no problems at the Henry W. McGee Post Office at 4601 S. Cottage Grove Ave., which is the one that serves Coleman’s neighborhood, but also said the whole city’s operations were normal:
“I contacted the Henry McGee Station and can confirm there has not been any reports of delays with mail as was described.
“Chicago operations are running as normal.
“If a customer has any concerns with their mail delivery, we recommend they contact Consumer Affairs (312-983-8403) who can help investigate concerns they may have.”