Mail carrier is committing mail fraud
February 2, 2012 9:57 AM   Subscribe

my postal carrier has been stealing, losing and holding back my packages for several months. he's under investigation by USPS and has been reprimanded. but he's still on my route and has started screwing with my packages again. it's all documented, but the USPS investigation is going at a snail's pace. this is mail fraud - but i have no idea where to turn next. attorney general? private lawyer? what kind of private lawyer?

no particular special snowflake business here - though i can provide it if anyone thinks it's relevant. i'm not the only person it's happening to and i don't think it's malicious. he's old and it seems this is a mental health issue.

but i'm tired of not knowing if packages are getting to me and i'm tired of calling and tracking things down all the time.

i just want him off my route - but have no idea who to contact.
posted by sockpuppet plots an escape to Law & Government (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've had good results emailing the postmaster general directly with concerns/issues I've had in the past (albeit, it was the previous postmaster general). Patrick Donahoe: should be his email.
posted by inigo2 at 10:03 AM on February 2, 2012

Or try the USPS Inspector General Hotline -- 888-877-7644.
posted by inigo2 at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2012

Could you get a PO box for the time being and have your mail sent there instead? Annoying, and an extra expense, but it may be worth it for your peace of mind.
posted by cider at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [15 favorites]

(I know there's already an investigation open, but additional complaints could help speed it up. Also, this should help make sure it has all the eyes on it it should, and doesn't remain just a local/internal issue.)
posted by inigo2 at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

but i'm tired of not knowing if packages are getting to me and i'm tired of calling and tracking things down all the time

Would it be possible to work with your post office to get them to hold all of your packages there so you can pick them up yourself?
posted by burnmp3s at 10:12 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree with contacting the Postmaster General and your local Postmaster. Also, even though it is a hassle and an expense you shouldn't have to pay, I'd consider getting deliverly confirmation and insurance on any packages sent to you, just for your own peace of mind.

I'd mention to the Postmaster that you feel you are being unfairly penalized by having to do this, and that the appropriate action might be to suspend the suspected postal carrier until the investigation is done, or at the very least put him in a position that doesn't involve handling packages. Maybe transferring him to the mass mailing sorting area, for corporate flyers and questionnaires, etc.
posted by misha at 10:14 AM on February 2, 2012

How about having packages sent to work if you have a work address?
posted by bananafish at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

There's always UPS and Fedex. You don't have to use the USPS at all.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:27 AM on February 2, 2012

sockpuppet plots an escape: "my postal carrier has been stealing, losing and holding back my packages for several months."

Do you have actual, non-circumstantial evidence this is true? Because if not, there are plenty of places along the chain where something screwy could be happening that have nothing to do with your mail carrier. Or it's possible that he's not malicious but simply really lousy at his job.

More importantly, escalating the issue by demanding that punitive action be taken against your mail carrier based on what you think is happening is not going to get you anywhere.
posted by mkultra at 10:29 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

i'm going to call the inspector general hotline - thanks.

i thought signature confirmation would help too - but it didn't. that's the straw that just broke the camel's back. he just held the package for four days with a signed confirmation slip. unfortunately, there's nowhere i can get to regularly that has post office boxes.

i use ups when i can. when i order a package, i don't always know how they're going to send it. and now fedex has a deal with usps ... even that's not a workaround. the biggest issue is getting him off my route.

yes, we have proof he's done it. we've caught him doing it. it's all documented.
posted by sockpuppet plots an escape at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2012

again, i'm not the only one it's happening to.
posted by sockpuppet plots an escape at 10:33 AM on February 2, 2012

In your shoes I would have my mail held at the post office and pick it up weekly. Which is a massive pain in the ass but I cannot see how you can force the PO to take action.
posted by phearlez at 10:53 AM on February 2, 2012

Call the local paper or tv station - that will light a big fire under the post office.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2012 [15 favorites]

Go to your local Congressional representative's office (not necessarily in person) and get them on the case. My local rep assigned my case to a real fire-ball and my mail now shows up on time, unmolested, etc..
Also, get the number of the sorting dept. manager at your local PO and call. Call all the time. I did this and got the manager on my side--she acknowledged my old carrier was a drug abuser and a thief but couldn't be fired--but she made sure all the mail for my building was okay.
Get to know the people at your local PO and make sure you're a squeaky wheel. Also, call the PR people for the Postmaster's office. The complaint dept. is useless.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:15 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

UPS and FedEx have worked out a deal with the postal service and some of their packages are handled by the USPS.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 12:08 PM on February 2, 2012

When I had a similar situation last year, it was (as far as I can tell) getting it to the attention of the local postmaster that fixed it.  IIRC the sequence of events was that I first lodged a complaint with the USPS national customer service line about a particular package that hadn't been delivered, and then they took my number and promised me a call back from the local postmaster. When I talked to the postmaster it was clear I wasn't the only one who had complained about this particular carrier; she took a special courtesy trip to run that one package out to my house, and then a few weeks later, as if by magic, that carrier wasn't on my route anymore.
posted by RogerB at 12:09 PM on February 2, 2012

Agree with Ideefix. I was going to suggest your congressperson.

Keep being reasonable -- you understand they're doing what they can, you're nit vilifying the carrier -- but you need some creative thinking on this to actually get your mail and you're hoping Rep/Senator So and So can help.
posted by vitabellosi at 1:02 PM on February 2, 2012

he's under investigation by USPS and has been reprimanded.

it's all documented.

So? Who documented it? Who reprimanded him? What happened when you contacted that party and asked the questions you're asking here?
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 5:18 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I also have a bad mail carrier. In my case, the local postmaster claims there is nothing they can do about it. We have just gotten a PO Box for important things, and we never ever place outgoing mail in our mailbox.
posted by Addlepated at 9:10 PM on February 2, 2012

What do you know about the USPS investigation? Is it a criminal investigation or an administrative one (probably this if you think the guy's old/crazy)? (One clue--is it being handled by an FBI agent or an internal USPS agent?) Call that investigator if you have or can get that information. Whoever it is, they have to build a case--with evidence--before they can prosecute the guy criminally or, if it's just an employment issue like mental health, proceed with the lengthy administrative BS of getting rid of a postal employee.

If it's actually a crime that's being perpetrated, I think the USPS would have handed this off to the US Attorney's office already and put the guy on administrative (paid, of course) leave.
posted by resurrexit at 9:55 AM on February 3, 2012

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