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'We maybe get mail once or twice a week.' Delivery delays persist for some metro Detroiters

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 18:20:37-04

CLINTON TWP., Mich. (WXYZ) — Postal customers in Clinton Township say their bills are so late, they’ve nearly had phones and other services cut off. That’s because their mail isn’t getting delivered and they’re fed up.

This has been a problem since the start of the pandemic for people all over metro Detroit.

Erik Parker says since January, mail has not been showing up at the Townhouse Green condominium complex in Clinton Township.

“We maybe get mail once or twice a week. And these are the only two pieces of mail I have received in two weeks,” said Parker, holding up two pieces of junk mail.

Parker says he and his fiancée have missed bills and important court documents.

“My fiancée missed a subpoena from the court and a letter from his lawyer. I almost lapsed our car insurance because I didn’t get a piece of mail,” said Parker,

Parker says their phones even got shut off temporarily because the bills arrived late.

“I rely on the mail. I don’t like to do automatic payments because we live paycheck to paycheck. We need to know what is due, and when we can pay it,” said Parker.

Parker gets the U.S. Postal Services informed delivery, which emails him images of the letters expected each day. But they never arrive.

“Just get it together please,” said Parker.

Parker and his neighbor Kathie Watson have both tried talking to managers at the post office in Mt. Clemens, but they say they don’t get a lot of answers.

“I had a neighbor drive me up to the office recently. I tried to talk to the Postmaster, unfortunately, he was at lunch and he would not come and talk to me,” said Watson.

She doesn’t drive, and because of recent hip surgery, she says she can’t walk a mile to their nearest dropbox. So mailing and receiving her bills has become a game of chance.

“Terribly sporadic. I am getting bills late. I had a bill that came last week for my consumer cellular, which is my only lifeline and it was due last week,” said Watson.

Postal problems have been plaguing our entire region for more than a year. In April, the 7 Investigators showed you how more than 600 postal workers in metro Detroit were out on paid leave as part of the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress.

Union officials tell us staffing is getting better as those leave hours run out, but some post offices like the Joyfield Station on Detroit’s west side are still understaffed.

“These poor people! They’re working as hard as they can but something has to change,” said Watson.

Kathie says she even called Congressman Andy Levin about the problem.

In a statement, he said, “Since the onset of the pandemic, thousands of Ninth District constituents have reached out to our office sharing their concerns regarding the United States Postal Service (USPS). Clinton Township has been one of the most impacted communities in our district with frequent mail delays. Our office has been in constant contact with congressional liaisons at the USPS to develop solutions to address staff shortages. I remain laser-focused on ensuring the USPS can carry on its important mission to serve all Americans. My team and I stand ready to assist residents in the Ninth District impacted by mail delays and we welcome them to contact us.”

The 7 Investigators also contacted the USPS and received this statement:
"The Postal Service appreciates its customers and always strives to provide the best possible service to them. We apologize for any inconvenience that may be experienced by customers living in the Townhouse Green Co-Op in Clinton Township, MI. Some mail delivery was sporadic as we matched the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Those issues have been resolved and customers living in the Townhouse Green Co-Op can expect daily delivery. We appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis."

If you have a story for Heather, please email her at hcatallo@wxyz.com