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Added Oct 11 2011

Has anyone else noticed a severe degradation of mail service over the past year or so? I've been receiving mail for my neighbors, and I've had mail I've expected come late (sometimes not at all). I have a weekly magazine subscription that sometimes misses a week, then the next week I get both of them. I don't feel comfortable having mail sent to my home for fear of not getting it. I'm on the 3700 block of North Magnolia, is anyone else experiencing this? Who should I contact to complain about this? Would it even make a difference?

  • Barbara in Ravenswood Ravenswood resident since 1984.

    @gerigirl, If you're buying your Tribunes at stores (that is, you're not getting home delivery), people often go through the stacks of papers in the store and remove the inserts so they can get extra coupons. Don't know if that's what's happening in your situation.

    @Chicagoan, I'm curious to know why you prefer USPS? I've never had a serious problem with UPS but have had several significant issues with USPS (Uptown station).

  • @Barbara in Ravenswood. I don't even know where to start with UPS but let me try:
    Drivers do not ring doorbells even while I am watching them through the window. If they do ring the doorbell by the time you open the door they are gone. Their estimated delivery hours are never even close to reality. Supervisors on the telephone are rude and disrespectful. I have never experience anything like that with FedEx. Also UPS only delivers during the time most people are at work, no weekends, no evening hours.

  • grethomory Resident of Jefferson Park

    Yep, it's truly horrible. I have been considering getting a P.O. Box.

  • Barbara in Ravenswood Ravenswood resident since 1984.

    @Chicagoan, I see what you mean. Now that you mention it, a few months ago UPS delivered a next-day air box to my building, left it in the foyer -- it was addressed to someone in a building two streets over -- same street number, completely different street. So I called UPS to report their error. After some runaround on the phone, the supervisor I spoke with told me that the package contained medicine... I'm not sure they should have told me that -- it was none of my concern. But in any case, the driver had not been paying attention to a priority package, didn't even compare the names on our mailboxes with the name on the delivery. Someone from UPS did come out and pick up the box for re-delivery, hopefully it made it to its correct destination. Yes, I would say their service has gone downhill over the past few years.

  • Barbara in Ravenswood Ravenswood resident since 1984.

    @grethomory, I had a PO box downtown at Ontario Street station for ~14 years but had to close it about 2 years ago when it became unaffordable -- the rental rate more than doubled.

    Originally I got the PO box b/c I was the victim of mail fraud at my home address. Back in 1996, someone stole mail from my mailbox and attempted to open about a dozen credit card accounts using my social security number. They also attempted a scam where they tried to change my address on an investment account to an address a few blocks away. A postal inspector was following that case, don't know if they ever caught the person who did that.

  • grethomory Resident of Jefferson Park

    @Barbara? That's something else. How much are PO Boxes these days. I haven't had one since back in the 80's. It's a shame about mail service here. I swear a carrier pigeon could do better.

  • Barbara in Ravenswood Ravenswood resident since 1984.

    @grethomory, The one I was renting wasn't the smallest nor the biggest available, it was middle-sized, big enough to hold a bunch of letter-sized envelopes & a couple of magazines. It cost about $60-70 a year for many years. I used to pay it in two installments a year of $30-35 each. When they raised the rate, I think it went up to $140 ($70 twice a year) so I decided to drop it.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @BarbarainRavenswood.....I'm careful to check if the plastic sleeve the inserts are in hasn't been torn open...never are when I purchase. I use to get home delivery, but I was always calling the Trib because the paper didn't come...and I was up early, but poor delivery service, so I gave up in May and started getting it at stores in my area...Jewel...Dollar store...7-11...Stracks (not my hood) but you get the picture...the guy at the Trib told me certain neighborhoods get certain inserts....I'm in Old Irving, just north of K-Mart....I think this is RACIAL PROFILING! No Target, Walgreens, CVS, K-MART, Joann's,Michaels,Menards etc. 4 inserts, that was over it!

  • A.K. Chicago Native, City Blogger, Dog Devotee

    racial profiling now geri? really? ... your posts are a hoot!

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @Amy K.....Your on team Hopeless by your own admission....So what do you care? I'm repeating what the guy at the Trib told me....certain areas get certain inserts....I suspect they feel (Trib) that certain areas have more money to spend then why waste inserts on certain areas...but if I'm paying for the paper...I expect the same inserts as Lincoln Pk.

  • Barbara in Ravenswood Ravenswood resident since 1984.

    @geri, I hear you. Yes, the inserts vary depending on neighborhood. For example, newspapers that are sold in the suburbs get better (more) coupons. Apparently it's a "marketing decision" based on economics, and it is discriminatory imho.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    @Barbara in Ravenswood.....Thank you....knew I wasn't crazy...I use to live in Lake View, but had to fine cheaper Apt. in Old Irving and much nicer, I might add! Anyway, I never encountered this problem living there and after what the guy from distribution said, it makes you take pause as how these kind of things are set up, according to neighborhoods....just like the food deserts in some areas! But if I'm a advertiser and spending all that I made aware that my inserts are only going in SPECIAL NEIGHBORHOODS and the Sunday Paper that is delivered?

  • Barbara in Ravenswood Ravenswood resident since 1984.

    @geri, That's an excellent question and yes, I agree!

  • I have suddenly stopped getting my weekly issues of The Economist over the past few weeks. It usually came every it never comes! Asked a delivery woman about it and she said they had some new "system." Anybody have any advice?

  • Believe it or not you can complain to your Congressman. the tactic

    I like is to wait in line like you're going to buy stamps and when its your turn, ask for the station postmaster and complain to the head honcho.

  • L

    My husband hasn't received his Economist in weeks either. According to their subscription website, it says the magazine is "undeliverable", which probably means that it has been returned to sender. He's trying to straighten it out with them. You can check your status at

  • Max Kohn Cicero resident

    I live in 60657 in a 21 floor apartment building and we get our mail daily anytime between 4pm and 8pm. Tonight it was 7:00 before the mailman (replacement for our regular one who took a day off) got here and almost 8pm before he finished sorting it into the various boxes.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    I hear ya Max....l lived on Buckingham, and the mail came at 5 or 6 everyday...talked to a random carrier delivering mail on Broadway and she said "all carriers are to be back at the post office by 4PM". So I don't know what has changed....This has been going on for they collect that the incentive??

  • L

    The Economist got back to us. Our mail had been marked undeliverable. Gahhhh, this is frustrating sometimes.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Yesterday I received a postcard from USPS asking for everyone to put their full address on any mail they will be having sent to bills etc. They want apt. #'s....I thought that was a given! It also said that new carriers would be delivering and they didn't want the mail getting lost....chuckle...chuckle! People in my building don't even put their names or apt. on their mailboxes....but the carriers put the mail in anyway.....I thought it mail!

  • Max Kohn Cicero resident

    Gerigirl, that sounds like the same rules in my apartment. No name and apartment number inside your box, no mail. There are typed signs all around our mailroom that says clearly that if you didn't have your name and apartment numbers in your box, you didn't get mail. Furthermore, there's a woman in an apartment right above mine who has the same last name (no relation) as my fiancee and we get her mail quite often. USPS is a joke lately and they're wondering if we're gonna worry about them closing some post offices??? Like it'll change ANYTHING!!!! We don't get our mail very timely now so what's the difference?

  • grethomory Resident of Jefferson Park

    You know I have lived in several places and Chicago's the first place I have ever had problem with my mail. Everywhere I've lived I could almost tell you what time it was when the mail carrier arrived because they arrived at approximately the same time everyday. Sat mail was even earlier.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Max....I don't think, not putting your name & apt.# is a's the law! Just think how easy it would be to have stolen identity mail sent to your address with no name could have anyone's mail sent to your address....outrageous!

  • L

    What's interesting about the name vs. no-name thing is that when I attended the post office forum (click through on one of the links far upthread), the administrator said it is not a rule or a law to put your name on the box, but that all the carriers think it is and so it is enforced.

  • d3 NoHo

    i've been told by at least two different mail carriers in chicago that it's more important to have your name on the INSIDE of the box and they prefer that over the outside... when they're filling the boxes they're looking at the insides not the outside

  • Inactive user

    I'm in 60640 and it's been definitely getting worse. Just last month my carrier left a large box containing a three month supply of prescription medicine just sitting in front of our mailboxes and sure enough, I came home later that evening and the box was ripped open and contents stolen. They used to NEVER leave a box. Always the orange slip.
    So of course, I call the post office and they were beyond worthless. Just shrugged it off and I was out almost ~$300. I'm getting everything important delivered to work now.

  • I’m resurrecting this thread for an update. I received a call today from the Women's Health Initiative in Ohio, telling me that their questionnaire to me had been returned and asking if I still lived at my current address. Yes, they have my correct address. The woman told me that they have been having a significant amount of mail returned to them from Chicago from addresses which are correct. The WHI conducts very important studies on women's health issues, and they need their questionnaires delivered to participants. They don't need to have to spend time and money calling participants in Chicago when mail is returned that should have been delivered. I have reported this to the Post Office and to Rep. Quigley’s office, but also wanted to provide it here as an update, and as an update to 2 other threads on the subject. and

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    OUTRAGEOUS! I haven't seen a K-Mart flyer in a couple of months...use to get them every week along with the Jewel and others! Other people a few blocks East of me get them....go figure!

  • L

    I hate that we have to resurrect these threads. But, the problems still persist and I believe nothing is going to change.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    Post Office is in serious trouble, due to the internet taking all their business. Im lucky. My carrier is totall professional, on the 5 days he delivers here. the 6th...Im SOL. The 60622 Post Office has gotten much worse. Totally sucks. They dont even have a mail box in front!

  • These EB threads might be of interest to investigators to show that there are serious problems here. I intend to follow this through via my complaint to the USPO and my congressman, and....I think I'll will contact my Alderman. My last Alderman apparently had a USPO contact for complaints, as well.

  • The 60622 zip code delivery has severly suffered over the last few years. If I can avoid it, I try to get all my packages delivered through a third-party ground carrier. The Wicker Park Postal Annex in West Loop is a black-hole that I have yet to understand how it is even still operating....

  • grethomory Resident of Jefferson Park

    It's horrible. Mail Service is Horrible here in Chicago. I had posted in this thread way back, but I was looking for something really important to come in the mail from you know I never received it? I swear I'm gonna ask people to start using pidgeons to send me mail because the mail service is not working.

  • alex trebeck Ukrainian Village since 1990

    And the bad news is . . . . its only going to get worse.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    "IT'S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE".......isn't that the honest truth Alex.......makes you feel sick to see where this country is headed!

  • George F in Ravenswood displaced New Yorker

    60625 is the worst.

  • Yes!!!! I've had a never ending battle with the USPS for 60618. I only have received 2% of my packages. I'm convinced my mailman is stealing them. I have a note specifically demanding that no packages be left in front of my door I've even brought this up to the jerk-face supervisor, "Mr. Melendez." and have even talk to his supervisor, "ms. Martin." I'm so sick of having to file claims with retailers shipping my packages. They tried to pin the blame on me but there is ALWAYS somebody home during the day since I work from home.

    I always get other people's mail even from people that live blocks away from me. I've even gone so far as to confronting my mailman, CALVIN.

    I've had numerous shouting matches with Melendez--questioned whether or not my postal carrier is on drugs or just plain can't read. Also tried filing a formal complaint and was advised that nothing can really happen because they are union. Tried contacting my HOA manager to see if anyone else is seeing this issue, but never got a response b/c the guy handling First Properties, llc is kind of a jerk, too.

    At any rate, this is unacceptable.

  • I'm in the 3700 block of Hermitage. My regular mail carrier is great. We should appreciate the good ones! I've been thinking about giving him a thank you note the next time he delivers a package in exchange for the package and a treat he'll give my dog. I forget his name - anyone out there on Hermitage know?

  • CJL ...

    Lala: "I've had numerous shouting matches with Melendez--questioned whether or not my postal carrier is on drugs or just plain can't read"

    Whether right or not, you're on their blacklist--they all know who you are and aren't going to do anything to help you out. You're going to need to enlist a neighbor to be your package "recipient" or move. And, next time it happens, avoid making accusations of illiteracy or illegal activity.

  • I read something a few years ago that found chicago USPS has 70% delivery success. When I lived in 60622 a few years ago, it was absolutely horrific. I would get all kinds of mail addressed to other people from all over the neighborhood, and I wouldn't receive my own mail — bank statements, bills, tax docs, etc. The delivery person was so lazy that they would place piles of mail on top of the black mailboxes that were street side. The slightest breeze would blow the mail all over the sidewalk and street. I remember finding my neighbors tax return check in a ditch on 1228 N Bosworth Ave.

  • A few years ago the USPS sent out Agents to find out what the problem with delivery was and service got better. Agents left and back to there same old ways.

  • @CJLane-- I should have prefaced this by saying that I was quite cordial with them the first 7 times I've been there. I was also quite cordial with then the 8 times I was on hold for extended periods. (no exaggeration--in fact, I have a log with all the times along with pictures of all the misdelivered mail) So this was anger speaking at that particular instance.

    It has become a full-time job to track my mail...and I didn't make any accusations. They were questions. I'm allowed to ask questions.

  • CJL ...

    " I didn't make any accusations. They were questions. I'm allowed to ask questions."

    Are you illiterate, Lala? Have you been using drugs this morning? When did you stop beating your dog?

    They're just questions, but they come across as accusations, especially if asked when irritated.

    Like I said, I'm not defending he USPS, but you've got yourself in a bad spot now, even tho they created the situation.

    One other thing that has been going on is that the carriers have been given somewhat larger routes to handle, which is *definitely* not an excuse, but is a fact that plays into the (broad, but not specific) issue of delivery problems.

  • CJL ...

    Oh, and to be extra clear, Lala--I don't think you're to blame, but I do think you're stuck, and there really isn't going to be anything you can do about it.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Were idiots......Were like sheep.....we put up with this year after year....and nothing is done......but this is ELECTION YEAR! We have the POWER......Here's our list of demands......fix it....or NO VOTER TURNOUT..... We CAN make this happen!

  • L

    I don't think elected officials can fix the Chicago post office. (I've lived a number of other places where the post office is great.) Read this section to understand how the governance of the post office works:

    I've attended a number of meetings about the post office problems here. Management doesn't have much ability to influence how the carriers work. And, if they do decide to discipline a carrier, it has to be addressed in a particular way. If not, the disciplinary action might be reversed by the NLRB.

    The other issue in Chicago is that carriers with seniority can switch to better routes almost at will, which moves other carriers around. So, if you are on an undesirable route, you are going to get new carriers all the time as the current one gets more seniority and moves to a better route.

  • Thanks, L!
    I live in a subdivision w/ cluster boxes which you'd think would make their job a little easier. We even have designated empty boxes for packages so the carrier doesn't have to go to the actual residences. (they're suppose to drop pkgs in there and leave the key in your mailbox) I don't know how much easier our neighborhood could have made it for him.

    The underlying issue is that problem-carriers have no work ethic and are simply lazy. I've had issues with other offices but Kedzie/Grace is by far the worst.

  • grethomory Resident of Jefferson Park

    My neighbor told me the man that usually delivers does a good's when he's off that things get screwed up. I asked, "well how much is he off...cause it happens alot."

  • Susie--The guy with beard. I THINK his name is John. He is the best. We're on the 3800 block so I think it's the same guy

  • Roy

    I've had problems in several different neighborhoods over several years. They lose stuff, send it to the wrong address, give you a notice that they're returning a package to the sender because you missed 3 delivery attempts - even though you never got any notices of those attempts... horrible.

    The only thing that I've found will work is to get to know your mail carrier personally. I had a package "lost" and couldn't get anywhere with several phone calls, contacting the supervisor, etc. Finally my regular carrier came back from vacation and when I told her about it she brought me the package the next day. With postal workers and cops in this town, you just have to personally know a good one if you want any service.

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