Vanishing Mail Collection Box

On Tuesday, I walked across the street from our flat to drop a couple of Netflix discs in the mail collection box in front of the senior center and adjacent to an oft-used Muni stop. Here is what I saw (or, rather, didn’t see):

missing_mailbox.jpg

What the hell happened to it?

sf_senior_center.jpg

There had been no notification of removal placed on the box the week before. No opportunity to defend the need for that collection box to remain in its place in order to serve not only the residents of the immediate vicinity, but of the many seniors who use that collection box when they visit the senior center, often by being given a carpool ride to the center. As evidence: yesterday (Friday), after I came back from a trip to the beach and was parking my car, I saw an elderly man walking eastward on the south side (park side) of Fulton Street with letters in hand. He was walking with his head down, but when he got to the spot of the missing collection box he did a double take, looked around for the box, and then headed up into the senior center, letters still in hand. The fact is that many seniors combine an errand to deposit mail in this box with their visits to the senior center. Oh yeah, and I’m one of hundreds of residents who are a few long blocks away from the nearest the collection box. The nearest post office is not a walk away, but a drive.

On Thursday, I was able to ask about the missing collection box with our mail carrier as she passed our building on her route. She said that not only was she surprised that it had been removed, but so was the Richmond station supervisor! Even the district post office was not notified about it! The mail carrier mentioned that the USPS is removing a number of collection boxes to force collection drivers into carrier roles–and eventually when contract negotiations occur, reducing personnel. She couldn’t believe that this collection box was removed since it was in front of the senior center, next to a Muni stop, and there weren’t any other boxes in a very short walking distance. I asked her who to contact, and back in my home I went to the USPS website and emailed my complaint.

Within a couple of hours, I had a response from Stacey B. at USPS, notifying me that she had processed my complaint and asking for a contact phone number for someone to discuss the issue with me in the near future. I replied with a thank-you for the prompt response and with my phone number. The next day I received an email from Stacey B:

Thank you for supplying the requested information.

I am sending this information to the Consumer Affairs Office for immediate attention. The confirmation number assigned to your suggestion is OR2856xxxx. Please include the confirmation number if you need to contact us again regarding this issue.

If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for choosing the United States Postal Service.

Regards,

Stacey B

Hey, I’ve gotta say I’m impressed by the very prompt attention that the USPS is providing. I hope to let you all know what the ultimate outcome of this matter: hopefully, it will be the replacement of the collection box!

6 Comments so far

  1. Lauren (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

    Good for you for submitting a complaint! I would have just bitched about it and done nothing. Good luck!


  2. Bay Gelldawg (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

    You should call the offices of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Diane Feinstein.


  3. Matt R. (unregistered) on September 4th, 2006 @ 7:35 am

    Thanks! Good suggestion, Gelldawg. I’ll do that.


  4. Nafcom (unregistered) on September 8th, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

    Yeah, USPS is fine, however I wanted to check the status of a small package from USA and this track & trace is crap, it totally messed up tracking! And the numbers are free call 800 numbers which I cannot call from here (And yes that was before Skype had free 800 USA call abilities), it was a hell of work to get the numbers of postal workers that could help me.

    Holy crap, arghh! :)

    Anyway, what happened with the vanished box in your case? I would love to hear your update!

    Thanks in advance!


  5. Matt R. (unregistered) on September 9th, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    Thanks for your comments and interest in this case. Please see update here.


  6. anna (unregistered) on September 9th, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

    My netflixes keep getting… delayed when I leave them at my apartment’s lobby. When I drop them in the box, voila, they are sent in 1 day. I think someone is lifting them to watch en route. I’m not pointing fingers, or rather, I’m vaguely wafting around one hand.



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