Taking Action

Packages delayed as USPS experiences historic record of holiday volume this season

Taking Action

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– Some residents are experiencing unusual delays in the arrival of their packages from the United States Postal Service, which is combating a record high volume in holiday delivery orders this year.

Bonnie Eichler, a Chesterfield County resident, has been waiting on her blood pressure pills for almost two weeks. Eichler told 8news, she ordered them on Saturday, Dec. 12, and her insurance company mailed them out the next day on Dec. 13. She has gotten previous mail-order prescriptions from her company, CVS Caremark. She called the company on Tuesday, hoping for an explanation.

“They were telling me how I could go about solving the problem. It’s not my problem to solve,” Eichler said.

She received five text messages from USPS telling her that her package was “in transit to the next facility.” Her post office is only a few miles from her home. Eichler received a final text message on Monday, Dec. 21, but after the text, she did not receive any additional updates.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, they continue to face pressure on service performance as it manages through a historic record of holiday volume this season.

“You can’t call the post office,” Eichler said. “Don’t bother calling the post office and trying to talk to a human. They’re going to tell you the same thing, so it’s frustrating.”

In a statement to 8news, the U.S. Postal Service cites the negative impact on service is due to the temporary employee shortage caused by COVID-19. The impact is also due to the capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking:

“The U.S. Postal Service, similar to the broader shipping sector, continues to face near-term pressure on service performance across categories as it manages through a historic record of holiday volume this season. This negative impact is compounded by the temporary employee shortage due to the COVID-19 surge, as well as ongoing capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail.

The Postal Service’s 644,000 employees continue to work diligently to address issues and remain focused on delivering the Holidays and beyond for the nation. Amid the historic volume, the Postal Service continues to flex its network, including making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver a historic volume of mail and packages this holiday season. Our entire Operations team, from collections, to processing to delivery, worked throughout this past weekend and continues to work around the clock to address the historic volume. We are accepting all volume that is presented to us which is adding to our challenges.”

Freda Sauter, USPS Corporate Communications

Eichler told 8news, she believes the USPS should prioritize medical orders. She suffers from heart blockages.

“I sympathize, but prioritize. Don’t send me a piece of junk mail and hold up on my pills,” Eichler said. “I’m sure with this time of year, and I know with COVID-19, it’s all playing a part but it shouldn’t be this bad.”

Customers who are missing a package can track the current status with USPS Tracking. Customers can also complete a help request form on the USPS website. If after seven business days from the day the help request form was submitted and the package still has not arrived, customers can submit a missing mail search request.

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