KANSAS CITY, Mo. Even though it was late afternoon, Diana Manzella knew there was no point in checking her mailbox for the letters she had been anxiously awaiting.
“We’re lucky if we get mail every four days,” said Manzella, who said he even asked his company to send his tax documents via FedEx instead of USPS because he knows he most likely won’t get them in time.
Manzella is one of more than 20 homeowners in a south Kansas City neighborhood fed up with mail delivery.
“It’s at the point where I reached out to you guys,” Manzella said. “I hope the Problem Solvers can do something about it.”
We’ve been trying for months.
Last September we aired a story about mail delivery problems in Kansas City’s Northland. That story prompted the Kansas City congressional delegation to demand answers from the Post Office.
They even requested an audit to determine exactly why so many people are having trouble getting regular mail delivery.
But months later, FOX4 Problem Solvers is still getting complaints.
“There were five days in a row where we didn’t get any mail,” said Doug Wylie, who lives in Parkville and is a city councilman.
“They are kind of a utility to the United States. They should be able to figure out how to fix the service issues they’re having, but they haven’t been able to.”
The office of U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver told Problem Solvers that it has received more than 60 complaints about poor mail delivery in the past month alone, most of them from south Kansas City.
The two areas with the most complaints are either served by the USPS office on Troost Avenue or the one in Martin City. Manzella Post Office is on Troost.
“When I called and spoke to station manager Troost, he said we don’t have enough employees,” Manzella said. “I was told if I know anyone, please send them to apply.”
There was a time when working for the Post Office was a valuable career. So why is he having such trouble filling jobs now?
Problem Solvers spoke to current and former postal workers, none of whom wished to be identified. All of them told us that cost-cutting measures had cut pay and benefits so dramatically for new hires that many quit within months.
Cleaver’s office said it was frustrated with the Post Office’s response whenever it asked for answers to a constituent’s mail delivery problems. Cleaver’s office said they are often told “the problem has been investigated,” but promised no resolution.
Both Cleaver and U.S. Senator Josh Hawley’s office told FOX4 that they’re eagerly awaiting the findings of the inspector general’s audit, hoping it will provide answers about what changes need to be made.
“We urge the Inspector General to complete the audit we have requested as soon as possible to ensure a timely return to the Postal Service in the KC region,” Hawley’s office said in a statement.
Both Hawley and Cleaver are telling people experiencing mail issues to contact their offices directly for help.
The only encouraging news is that since we first interviewed Wylie in December, his problems with delivering mail to his Parkville home appear to have been resolved. He said that he has started receiving his mail regularly in the last few weeks.
Read Cleaver’s full statement below:
“Despite the joint letter Rep. Graves and I sent to Postmaster General DeJoy last fall, I continue to hear from western Missourians that postal service problems remain a persistent problem. For months now, my office has received an increasing number of constituents dealing with an unacceptably inconsistent and unreliable mail delivery service, particularly from the Troost and Martin City Post Offices, and we are doing everything we can to resolve these problems and each case as quickly as possible.
“I understand the Postal Service is struggling to maintain staffing levels needed to meet demand, but Americans rely on routine mail delivery to pay their bills on time, collect their hard-earned salaries, and receive vital medications. Anything less than busy delivery service six days a week just won’t cut it and needs to be addressed immediately by the Postmaster General and the US Postal Service. If the Postmaster General can’t find a solution, then Congress must find a Postmaster General who can.
“If you are a citizen of the Fifth Precinct and are having difficulty with your mail service, I strongly suggest you contact my office for assistance. Going forward, I will continue to seek favorable resolutions in our constitutional defense work, pushing for immediate action by agency leadership and seeking bipartisan solutions that strengthen mail delivery service across Missouri.”
Here is the full statement from Hawley’s office:
“The inspector general has contacted Senator Hawley’s office for more details on specific locations with problems, which we have provided. Our office is also working directly with the USPS to address individual complaints from residents. We urge the Inspector General to complete the audit we requested as soon as possible to ensure a timely return to the Postal Service in the KC region. We encourage constituents experiencing delays to contact our office for assistance.”