Mailbox issue

we have a bank of locked mailboxes property of USPS in the middle of our cul de sac. They USPS will not maintain the locks, which stick, they are out in the weather and are cheap locks. I have called and left messages at the PO and left numerous notes on the mailbox to ask if the mail carrier would please change the locks as it is a misery to try and open…this has been ignored. The Post Master Mr Medina will never return you call nor answer his phone. The carrier is angry and will not leave packages on my porch, I have filled out 2 permission slips, when I call for a re-delivery, she doesn’t bring it the next day. I filed a complaint, my mail box got jammed up with a box too big and mail. all wadded up. I filed a complaint. She delivered a Christmas package of jellies, smashed and dripping, the lock is getting worse yet and it’s harder to get my mail…I filed a complaint. The key finally broke off in the lock, without access to mail for 2 weeks, then the day after New Year I pried the box open with a screw driver, 2 weeks worth of mail, Christmas Cards etc are wadded up and crumpled in the tiny mailbox…I filed a complaint. Two days later she delivered my bank statement and checks to the unsecured mail box…I filed a complaint…today she left a note saying pick your mail up at the PO, and get a new key made. I wonder what could be wrong with her…if she would just get the lock changed, a new key comes with the lock, I do not need a key I need a LOCK because the old lock is broken…she doesn’t have to change the lock herself either from my understanding, she just has to tell the lock guy…she refuses to do this as does her boss as does the Post Master. I called and filed another complaint… they tell me they can not make her do anything and now I am suppose to write a formal letter to the USPS Advocate, however I no longer believe these people are capable, as is any government agency of seeing and solving a problem. They have made this tiny problem huge, this is so shockingly ignorant I can not believe this is happening… I have spent, in 6 weeks a total of 6 hours per week on the phone with USPS, talking to the Customer Service people, the Consumer Affairs people and the Customer Advocate, they say they will call me back, only 2 people have, with nothing resolved, a supervisor from the actual PO finally called me to say she is in Bulk Mail and has nothing to do with the carrier, but would pass the message on and someone would call me firs thing in the AM, no one ever did, no one can get the carrier to do her job. I am going to write that letter, not the the Advocate though, but to my Congressman. AND I am calling the media, there is a consumer advocate guy that tracks down these insane situations…I think people are going to have a hard time believing this nonsense…but I clearly see why the USPS is nearly out of business…and I hope it happens soon,they should be out of business ASAP, they are incapable of doing the job they are contracted to do…they need to get out of the way and let a private company do the job!

I’m going to regret answering this, but here goes:

So, no one has told you it’s not up to the PO to provide functioning mailboxes? That’s the job of the home/address owner and/or landlord and/or homeowner’s association. It’s your job to provide an acceptable mailbox and to provide the PO access. Someone, somewhere along the line decided not to have doorstep delivery, and put this bank of boxes out there. Once that was done, the PO no longer has to provide doorstep delivery - it’s up to the people providing/maintaining that bank of boxes to make sure there’s a place for the PO to put larger packages. It’s usually at the association’s/landlord’s office, or a larger shared box next to the bank of smaller boxes.

If no one’s taking care of the bank of mailboxes, someone (you) need to talk to the neighbors/association and see about getting that rectified, or re-establishing doorstep service and taking the consolidated ones down. You will be obligated, however, to provide a mailbox on your property, at your expense, for the PO to use.

The PO people are ignoring you because you’re not correct in your assumptions and they think you’re a loon.

Doesn’t seem like an actual hijack, i.e. Do carriers even do any sorting these days?
(My Uncle was a carrier into the 80s (moved up to working on the (much hated) Zip+4 thingy) and his wife into the early 90s, so I do know carriers were sorting routs up til then.)


I had been a mailman for years. Will your postal carrier retaliate if you get him in complain? The answer is maybe. If you complain to his supervisors does that mean the problem will be fixed? Maybe yes and maybe no. Can you get a different mail carrier? The answer is yes IF you make a lot of formal complaints against the carrier AND if the supervisors at the post office don’t think you are some crank. Sorry, this is not much help but it is best you get an honest answer that will let you know exactly where you stand. Not like you do not know it but for a carrier to make mistakes as often as yours does is completely inexcusable.

Note: zombie thread resurrected at post #10. I reported it, maybe it can be split off since it’s really a new OP by a newbie who may or may not return considering the nature of the post.

[Moderator Note]

As suggested above, I have split these posts from a resurrected zombie thread in GQ.

General Questions Moderator

In the past I have resolved a couple of USPS problems by writing to my senator and just saying please forward the attached to the proper authorities - the attachment being a letter to USPS describing the problem. I have never had any luck going directly to USPS but having it forwarded from the senators office has been effective.

Neighborhood mail box clusters are not USPS property?

I doubt if the OP will have any luck trying to change the well-established rules of the Post Office. The concept of “your box, you maintain it, we just deliver to it but no one else can” is rock-solid and a challenge is futile.

Besides, what’s the big deal? Your box is defective, fix it and you’ll get your mail. If you share it with others, either fix it together or arrange, if possible, to split the boxes into individual units that each of you can maintain.

It’s my understanding that they are. Our town’s post office was slated for closing last year. The option presented by the PO was cluster boxes, and the PO representative who came to a community meeting assured us that they would maintain the boxes.

It sounds like the OP has done everything she can to correct the situation. If I was her, I’d rent a post office box at the closest post office, and use that instead. It’d be a hassle, but no more than what she’s going through with the cluster box.

This is not always true. I’ve seen USPS maintainance people show up to fix issues with the mailbox cluster at our townhouse complex. They seem to be entirely in charge of the locking mechanisms of all the boxes. For example, when the new cluster was installed in our complex, we had to go to the post office to pick up the new key.

Nope. The USPS has certain design standards and the homeowner (or landlord, or group) chooses a model and is responsible for erecting and maintaining it.

Looks like you can spend anywhere from $10.98 to $1,600for a mailbox depending on what you and your neighbors want.

Those are all mailboxes for single homes. I wonder about clusters of mailboxes for complexes because, as I said, the USPS does maintain the cluster at our complex – at least they maintain the locks.

We have mail box clusters as show with Google images ~ usps mail box clusters ~ and the locks are maintained by someone in a USPS truck.

I am referring to the cluster mailboxes in newer, typically mid- to lower-range developments that are not under an HOA or CCRs; I watched dozens of such neighborhoods go in over the last decade in California. Some had USPS logos on them.

I understand that an apartment complex or gated community might have its own mailbox array, but these were plain vanilla, let’s-cover-some-more-hills box houses. My understanding was that the USPS would not agree to single-house delivery in these areas so required block mailbox clusters… but AFAIK they were owned and maintained by the USPS.

Sounds like we need clarification from the OP, and how the boxes are serviced depends on the municipality’s arrangement with the USPS. Describing her home as a cul-de-sac sounded to me like individual homes with an HOA, and everywhere I’ve lived the mailboxes were the responsibility of the owners, not the USPS.

Those of you who have a similar set-up, how are large packages that don’t fit in the boxes handled?

Look at the most expensive models. They’re all cluster mailboxes.

There are a couple of large mailboxes meant to hold packages that are common to the entire cluster. When anyone recieves a package, it is put into one of those boxes. The mailman locks the box and puts the key for that box into the regular mailbox for the recipient. When the recipient gets his mail, he sees the key in the box and that tells him that he has a package. When he uses the key to open the big box he can get the package but the key remains stuck in the lock. The mailman has a way to remove it.