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Demanding Answers: Brooklyn Post Office Causing Delivery Woes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Signed, sealed, not delivered? Residents in Brownsville say they're having a hard time getting their packages from the post office-- and it's not just during the holiday season.

Lena Callender was supposed to receive a package full of birthday and Christmas gifts from her sister. What she received, she said, fell woefully short.

"The package that was given to me was busted and open," she said. "I was so angry I didn't even ask to speak to a supervisor. I just wanted to get out of there."

Callender tells CBS2's Andrea Grymes that several items inside the package were stolen -- including a vintage Chanel bag -- and the priority mail package was re-taped.

"I feel very, very bad at the service the community is getting," she adds.

Making matters worse, Callender says her mailman didn't even deliver the disappointing parcel to her home. She had to wait in line at the post office on Bristol Street for hours -- on two separate days -- as workers tried to track it down.

She's not alone in her frustration.

Brownsville resident Winter King says the post office has no information about a missing gift that was intended for his child for the holidays. He tells CBS2 that he's visited the post office twice to no avail.

Others in the area say they've had no issues.

Ricardo Edwards says he's gotten everything on time this year.

Still -- most customers have plenty to say about the service on Bristol Street.

"I'm unhappy when I have to come here," laments Brownsville resident Muriel Ashby. She thinks the post office is understaffed -- and the problems are not just during the holidays.

"They have one person," Ashby said. "She has to go back and look through the thousands of parcels for one package. It takes time."

The workers inside ignored repeated questions regarding residents' complaints.

CBS2 reached out to a United States Postal Service spokesperson by e-mail and received the following statement:

Thank you for sharing your viewer's concern. Be assured the Postal Service takes all reports of customer service issues seriously.

It is national policy for letter carriers who encounter safety or security issues when attempting mail delivery to return back to the post office all deliveries that cannot be secured. These safety measures help protect the mail, but also force customers to schedule extra trips to their local post office, adding to lobby lines.

To alleviate the need for office visits, we have been working with local officials, including the New York City Housing Authority and other building management, to install parcel lockers at various locations. The Brownsville Post Office serves many of the addresses in these discussions. We are encouraged by this development and believe it will be a boost to security and convenience for our customers.

Additionally, the Postal Service makes many efforts to reduce long lobby lines and postal officials in Brooklyn believe there has been measurable success in recent months. While we continue to move in a customer-centric direction, we know we have areas of opportunity as well.  That's why we encourage Brownsville customers to respond to official Postal Service customer surveys found at the bottom of all receipts after purchase.

Customers may also call 1-800-410-7420 or visit anytime to provide their feedback and opinion.

If your viewers believe they have been a victim of mail theft, they should contact Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455, and select Option 2, or contact the Brooklyn Consumer and Industry Contact office at 718-348-3900.

The post office on Bristol Street has advertised special Sunday hours during the holiday season for people picking up their packages. The last Sunday for that is December 18th.

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