Why the United States Postal Service can bite me, by eeka

Like many Boston residents, I live in a three-family home. This means there are three mailboxes attached to our house, each bearing the names of the people on that floor. For the past several months, our letter carrier has been randomly putting the mail in our mailboxes nearly every day. A couple times a week we get random mail for other nearby addresses as well. A lot of my mail is often missing too, which I think is partly due to the carrier delivering my mail to random locations, and partly due to neighbors just throwing away incorrectly delivered mail. Every time there's random mail in my mailbox, I call my local post office and ask them to stop doing this. They're polite, though they say that they've talked to the carrier many times, therefore there's no reason it could still be happening. Right.

So yesterday when I called, they suggested I also call 800-ASK-USPS and report it to them so there would be a paper trail.

After being on hold with 800-ASK-USPS for 12 minutes, I told them the problem. I gave them my address, and the representative told me that they have this down as a single-family home, therefore we're only allowed to have one mailbox. I told them it's been a three-family home since 1893 when it was built. She told me that it's zoned as a one-family. I asked her where she's getting this information. She said it comes from the city. I told her that the city assessor's office has this down as a three-family home, we're taxed as three separate residences, the county has three deeds registered on the parcel, and so forth. She said that they're just going by the records they get from the city about how the home is "zoned," and I'd have to change "your zoning" with the city. Again, I explain that the city is well aware that it's a three-family home, and does she know what a zone is? So, like, can I send the USPS my tax bill or my deed or the printout from the assessor's office showing that it's a three-family home? Nope, they get their information right from the city, and I'd have to talk to the city about getting my home "zoned" as a three-family.

So, the end result is that she wouldn't take my complaint, because the USPS database says my address isn't allowed to have three mailboxes on it, so the carrier is actually delivering the mail correctly. "People think they can just cut a house up into apartments, but it doesn't work that way." Grr, my house has been a three-family home with three kitchens and three bathrooms since 1893. City records from 1893 onward show three unit numbers indicating the three different units.


Jodie said...

If it makes you feel any better, UPS has been messing with me for two days. Unlike when I lived in the sticks, they won't leave a package for me. I've learned to cope by scheduling deliveries for a day I might be home, but it doesn't always work out. Yesterday I knew I was supposed to get three packages, so I waited all afternoon for them to arrive. They never stopped at my building.

Though I was supposed to be out all day today, I had time to stop home for lunch. Lucky me, as I walk up to my building the brown truck is there. I get two out of three of my packages. They can't find the third. I just tracked it again, and for the second day in a row, it now says "delivery attempted." Now if I'm not home tomorrow when they come, I have to go pick it up- in a town that's actually about 7 miles further away than the closest UPS facility. I've never been able to figure that one out.

eeka said...

Oh, UPS are such DUMBSHITS about leaving packages. It totally depends on the carrier, his/her mood, etc. I've had them leave small packages that said Apple or New Balance or whatever on the outside of the box on my porch here, but then had them repeatedly refuse to leave a 40lb box labeled as containing cat food in the lobby of my last apartment building.

And they're not even consistent in their idiocy; I've had them refuse to leave stuff both places and had them leave obviously valuable stuff both places.

And yeah, they'll leave the "we'll be back tomorrow" slip and then, um, not be. Every time I've gone into the UPS facility to pick up packages, it's full of pissed-off customers.

I hope you get your package!