The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-24-2009, 12:35 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Mail Question: Broken lock on the box, what happens to the mail?

We recently discovered that our particular lock on our cluster box is broken. Now, it being a private association, we have to get that fixed ourselves, which is no big deal. The issue is that we've been so busy that it has gone unfixed for about 2 weeks.

We went and checked the other day and there was a note in there that said "BROKEN LOCK" on a piece of post office paper, but that's it. No mention of where our mail is. I had been under the understanding that when your box is undeliverable for any reason, the mail goes and sits at the post office for you. Ours isn't there.

In fact, my roommie got a call from school asking her to come pick up her financial aide the mailed. When she got there, it had been sent to our house, but the mail man and written on the front something like "NO SUCH ADDRESS". What? He knows darn well where our house is and that it exists- it's about 20 feet from the cluster box.

SO, I'm just curious: what is the standard procedure for the mailman when a box is broken? Do I need to file a post master complaint? Because none of our mail has been sent back to the post office and it appears that it's being sent back to people that they have the wrong address.

Just curious!
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-24-2009, 01:56 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Call the post office, ask to speak to the delivery supervisor, ask your questions.

My wild guess coupled with vague remembrance of what my USPS letter carrier husband had told me about a similar situation is that after a certain period of time - perhaps two weeks - of being unable to deliver your mail, it starts going back to the senders. They don't have an unlimited amount of storage space, and perhaps from the letter carrier's point of view, no action was taken on your part for two weeks.

How long was the note there? Was it freshly deposited in the mailbox? Any way a previous one could have been missed?

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 06-24-2009 at 02:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-24-2009, 02:25 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
And, while most letter carriers are hardworking and honest public servants, it's possible that the one delivering to you might have gotten fed up and decided to start returning mail before the set time period is up.
So definitely try and make sure you have your dates correct and in front of you, then check with the delivery supervisor.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-24-2009, 02:29 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
And, while most letter carriers are hardworking and honest public servants, it's possible that the one delivering to you might have gotten fed up and decided to start returning mail before the set time period is up.
So definitely try and make sure you have your dates correct and in front of you, then check with the delivery supervisor.
Agreed - when did you notice the lock was broken, when was the last day you got mail in the mailbox, when did the note show up, was it somewhere that it could have gone unnoticed by you, etc. You'll also probably have to fill out a mail hold request card at the post office (I wonder if you can do that online these days, I know change of address can be done that way) until you get the lock fixed.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-24-2009, 04:32 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
That's odd when our lock was broken on our boxes, they just stuck the mail in anyway. I live in Chicago though, which is not known for good mail service.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-24-2009, 05:07 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Agreed - when did you notice the lock was broken, when was the last day you got mail in the mailbox, when did the note show up, was it somewhere that it could have gone unnoticed by you, etc. You'll also probably have to fill out a mail hold request card at the post office (I wonder if you can do that online these days, I know change of address can be done that way) until you get the lock fixed.
I checked the mail one day, roomie checked it the next and as she opened it, the back half of the lock (the. . .lock part heh) fell out.

I foolishly assumed he'd just stick the mail in anyway or, at worst, take it to the post office to hold. My reasoning was that hey- I've never had a mailbox with a lock before, so why wouldn't they just put the mail in here anyway- like a regular box? Dumb of me, I know.

It has been a little less than two weeks at this point and I just was able to get to Home Depot to get a new lock today on my lunch. I'm going to do my best to install it tonight if I get home while it's still light out. My biggest concern is that there hasn't even been a receipt in our box that says where our mail is and, worse yet, at least one letter got NO KNOWN ADDRESS written on it.

What I'm asking is what is the code on how the letter carrier is supposed to deal with this? Are they supposed to take them back to the office to hold?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-24-2009, 06:44 PM
dragonlady dragonlady is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Policy is not to deliver to a broken box. Take the mail back to the office and hold it until repaired. Or for no more than 10 days. Then return it to sender.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-24-2009, 06:50 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlady View Post
Policy is not to deliver to a broken box. Take the mail back to the office and hold it until repaired. Or for no more than 10 days. Then return it to sender.
Excellent. That's what I was curious about. Thanks.

Shouldn't he have left one of those little brown slips that I would use to identify myself at the PO when I got the mail?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-24-2009, 07:01 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiosaBellissima View Post
Shouldn't he have left one of those little brown slips that I would use to identify myself at the PO when I got the mail?
My husband says "technically, if he's a good carrier, he should [leave a note]." He went on to say that typically for his office (your neighborhood may vary) cluster boxes mean apartment buildings, which are often less desired by better carriers, and may just be covered by a Slacker-of-the-Day.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-24-2009, 07:05 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
My husband says "technically, if he's a good carrier, he should [leave a note]." He went on to say that typically for his office (your neighborhood may vary) cluster boxes mean apartment buildings, which are often less desired by better carriers, and may just be covered by a Slacker-of-the-Day.
It's a gated community- technically, our houses are condos, I guess, but they are full size, unattached abodes. Every. . . 12 or so houses has a cluster box. He knows my house is literally right there- he has brought packages to our door before.

I'll pop by the post office and see if they have my stuff. Here's hoping!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.