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'A Real Problem': Postal Service Delays Causing Late Bills

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The United States Postal Service says they are still facing an unprecedented volume of mail following the holidays.

Some people say they are still facing such extreme delays with their mail and getting hit with late fees on bills that were paid weeks in advance.

Rosalyn Christopher of Belle Vernon says despite being very meticulous with her bills, it happened to her twice over the last month.

"Usually when I get (a bill), it's out the next couple days," she said.

Despite sending two bills at least two weeks in advance, she said she received late fees for both.

"They're all late," she said. "No matter how early you mail them, they're late, and it's become a real problem."

KDKA reached out to the USPS for more information.

A spokesperson sent this statement:

The United States Postal Service delivered a record number of holiday packages for the American people under some of the most difficult circumstances we've faced in the past century — specifically more than 1.1 billion packages were delivered this holiday season amidst a global pandemic.

Throughout the peak season, the Postal Service, along with the broader shipping sector, faced pressure on service performance across categories as it managed through a record of volume while also overcoming employee shortages due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, winter storms in the Northeast, as well as ongoing capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving historic volumes of mail.

As volume pressures strained the system during the peak season, the Postmaster General and the Executive Leadership Team took a number of specific action steps to help address the issues. Those action steps included:

  • Working with union leadership we adjusted and increased fulltime career staffing by more than 10,000 positions in several facilities across the country which will stabilize our operations and improve performance

  • Consistent with past peak seasons, we have fully utilized overtime to allow employees to work the time necessary to process the record volume

  • We extended lease agreements on annexes used to provide additional package processing and dispatch capacity beyond the holiday peak season

  • Implemented in August 2020, we realigned organizational reporting structures, providing greater visibility by the executive team into operations, allowing for quicker responses to issues

As the holiday inventory continues to drop, the U.S. Postal Service fully anticipates continued improvements in performance. Christopher says she called the companies she was paying and explained what had happened. They got rid of her late fees.

Though her problem was resolved, the nurse's aide is concerned about others in more serious situations, including the elderly.

"You just have to watch because you could be in line and they turn your credit card off and you don't know why," said Christopher.

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