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Mail delivery challenges increase during holiday season

Complaints about inconsistent delivery increased in recent months in the Brainerd lakes area, especially with the shortage of workers to cover any open routes.

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Dale Bartel leaves the Brainerd Post Office Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, after picking up his packages.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Recent inclement winter weather and a busy holiday season has resulted in a challenging time for the U.S. Postal Service delivery on some mail routes and package pickups in the Brainerd lakes area.

Complaints about inconsistent delivery have increased in recent months, especially with the shortage of workers to cover any open routes. And now the challenge has grown with the recent snowfall and extra holiday mail and package deliveries.

The Brainerd postmaster said they’re not allowed to talk with the media. But an email from Desai Abdul-Razzaaq, with the U.S. Postal Service corporate communications office in Minneapolis, noted “The Postal Service is committed to providing the best possible service to our customers and we apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced.”

The email added: “Local management in Brainerd and Baxter are aware of delivery issues and taking steps to address the concerns. We appreciate the patience of our customers. We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and are proud of the efforts of postal employees as they define essential public service every day. When mail service issues occur, we take steps to quickly resolve customer concerns. We gladly work to address any specific issue from the community when brought to our attention and we encourage customers to reach out to their local postal station.”

The email said that customers can also go to the website usps.com and click on “Contact us” at the bottom of our homepage, or utilize this direct web address: https://usps.force.com/emailus/s/ . Every email will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service, according to Abdul-Razzaaq.

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In addition, the official Twitter account of the United States Postal Service, managed by the Social Media staff at USPS HQ, can provide help. For customer service, please tweet @USPSHelp. Customers can also call their state and federal representatives to share their concerns.

Inconsistent mail delivery on some routes has been especially frustrating for some customers receiving the Brainerd Dispatch, which switched all of its printed products to mail delivery in November.

“We’re letting our customers know that we are doing everything we can to make sure their concerns are heard so they can get the service they deserve,” said Dianna Blanck, Dispatch circulation director.

The Dispatch is represented on a state task force formed by the Minnesota Newspaper Association that is looking at delivery challenges around the region. The task force has learned that delivery issues are not happening in all Minnesota communities, but recent troubled spots appear to be in Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Duluth and Rochester.

The postal service, like many businesses, needs additional staff. Anyone interested in a career with the U.S. Postal Service can apply online at usps.com/careers .

PETE MOHS, Publisher, can be reached by phone at 218-855-5855 and my email at pete.mohs@brainerddispatch.com.

Related Topics: BRAINERD DISPATCHBRAINERD
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