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Long lines and misdelivered mail are just some of the problems that area residents have with the Vanderveer post office.
At the April meeting of the Fraser Civic Association, held at Yeshiva Tiferes Yisroel, 1271 East 35th Street, residents plied Archie Warner, who attended the meeting on behalf of the United States Postal Service (USPS), with complaints about the way mail is delivered as well as about conditions at the station, 2319 Nostrand Avenue.
Complaints about misdeliveries were common.
“Sometimes I find my mail in my neighbor’s box,” complained one woman. “Hers is sometimes in mine. And, I’m not getting all my mail. I lost a bank statement two weeks ago, and the gas company had to call me because I never got the bill. I don’t know if they can’t read or what. It’s ridiculous.”
“I have the same complaint in two different zip codes,” said another, “at my home, where it happens less frequently, and at my business, where I get the wrong mail at least twice a week. I’ve talked to the mail carrier. I’ve made complaints. The mail carrier said if I get the wrong mail, I should throw it away. He’s still delivering mail.”
A third woman said that, while she lives on East 36th Street, she frequently gets mail, “For a person who lives on 36th Street in Boro Park. It’s only been happening for the past few months, but it’s constant.”
One man complained about the fact that the postal carrier delivering to his three-family house often stuffed the mail for all three households into a single box, even though there are three mailboxes.
There were several beefs about the condition of the lobby at Vanderveer, as well as about the wait.
“The station is filthy,” one man complained. He also said that, often, in the late afternoon or early evening, there were “only two windows open and the line’s out the door. During the rush hour time, you would think logically you would want more people.”
“A couple of years ago,” recalled one woman, “there was a floor manager there for five or six months.” He had helped expedite the line, she said, before he had been removed, whereupon the wait had become longer. “I personally will avoid that post office unless I’m bleeding,” she told Warner.
Another attendee at the meeting had a complaint about the Ryder station, 2222 Flatbush Avenue. “When I go out of town,” he said, “I have no luck getting them to hold mail. I’ve got my confirmation number, but it all ends up in my box every day.”
For his part, Warner offered no excuses but only apologies and repeated promises to look into the problems that had been revealed.
Putting the mail into the wrong box, he said, is, “Carelessness. That’s unacceptable,” he told the group. We’ll get it resolved. Things like that can continue going on for years and years unless management knows.
“The ones who aren’t doing their job right are making it miserable for people,” he added.
Mail addressed to 36th Street that ends up at East 36th Street could mean a glitch in the automated system, Warner said. With 80 percent of mail sorting, “Done by automation,” he told the group that there, “Could be a machine error we’re not aware of.”
Mistakes made by carriers, he added, could reflect the fact that, in recent years, there has been, “An extremely high turnover of letter carriers. A lot of the new hirees are not as conscientious as the people we had in the past, so we constantly have to remind them they are doing a public service.”
Warner also said that the new Brooklyn postmaster has been taking a “proactive” stance with regard to service. Among the things he has tackled, said Warner, are late deliveries. In addition, Warner said, the postmaster had formed a community advisory committee to provide feedback about local postal service.
But, he stressed, “I’m not giving any excuses. These things should not happen.”
And, he promised that he would pay a visit to the stations that serve the community, “Giving them feedback and letting them know about the complaints. It’s not going to stop here,” he told the group.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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