Issues with the U.S. Postal Service has become an ongoing issue for people living in Ward County.
Some say they haven’t received their mail in over a year.
KX News spoke to residents who are expressing their concerns and also pushing for solutions.
“It’s hit or miss if we’re going to get our mail,” Surrey Resident Tiffany Wheeler said.
Wheeler says this isn’t her first, second, or even third time she’s been missing her mail.
“I think my husband missed something for about four months and then it finally returned to sender,” she said.
Her family has missed out on items like books, camping gear, animal supplies, and even an engine for a boat her daughter has taken months to build.
“It’s really aggravating that this is the second time we’ve ordered this and it’s the second time that we’ve had to ask Surrey residents: “hey, did anybody happen to get this?”,” Wheeler said.
She says she’s reached out to USPS, but she feels she’s been getting the runaround.
“We usually get the bucks passed. “Oh, well, we have a contractor that does this and it’s not USPS,” but at the end of the day they contracted them,” Wheeler explained. “That’s usually our answer or “It must be at the Minot one,” and then it’s hit and miss if you’re even going to get to talk to somebody that has the time to find it at the Minot office because they seemed overwhelmed also.”
KX News reached out to the postal service for an interview to see why mail items seem to be missing, late, or if they’ve been sent at all.
We were contacted back by the district’s communications specialist who declined an interview, but sent this statement:
“Our staff is working diligently to connect customers to their essential goods and correspondence and we look forward to improvements that will benefit the community.“
KX News also asked if reports of a nationwide staff shortage have been an issue and this was their response:
“USPS around the nation is hiring now, just as we do all year round. Like many businesses, we face the same issues with onboarding new employees in a competitive job market.”
Whether it’s a direct correlation is still unclear, but one resident who has also been affected feels she has a solution of her own to try and solve the problem.
“I think we need to open a case per package that’s missing or per package that’s running late and that’s the only way that USPS is going to know that there’s a problem. If we keep just taking it to our neighbors and just waiting and waiting and waiting, then they don’t know and they can’t quantify or put down data as to how many packages might actually be lost,” Surrey Resident Sarah Tyler said.
Other complaints being made are carriers holding packages in their trucks days at a time, and also outgoing mail not being picked up until days after the flag was up on the mailbox.