Wicker Park Post Office: Don't get mad, get even

By Dan Nehm 

In December, our mail situation became intolerable. I searched through the U.S. Postal Service website and finally found a complaint page. (They keep it well hidden.)

When I have problems which I consider serious (Like getting someone else's first class mail, or mail I'm expecting, like my paycheck, never showing up) I've been filing an official complaint. This is happening about twice per month.

Every complaint is assigned an incident number, and I get a phone call for each one apologizing, and telling me they are monitoring my mail, or talking to the carrier, or whatever. Most of it is nonsense, but they do apparently have to respond, and I have no doubt someone higher up is tracking all this.

The more official complaints they get and need to respond to, the more the situation is going to be intolerable for them. So don't get mad, get even and file a complaint online when there is a problem.

The web page has a long, cryptic address which you will never be able to remember. So what I did is add the site as a button on the toolbar of my browser. It's always available now at the push of a button.

It is very fast, less than a minute to fill out the complaint. They make it a little confusing, if you've never done it before. Where it says "Enter your 'question," type in your complaint. Then under "topic" select "Delivery", and then "Delivery Issues" or one of the other selections that applies to your problem. Under "Comment Type", select "general inquiry". Then under "When you are done" push the submit button (or what appears for me, a missing icon represented by a question mark).

In a couple of days you will get an email with the tracking number for the problem, and asking you for all the information you already supplied on the form above. Again, it's less than a minute to respond. If you don't respond, the complaint will get dropped. That's it, now the problem is on record.

I also keep a log of all the incident numbers and dates.

It may all sound involved but it's really pretty simple and fast. If everyone complains via this formal route, we have a better chance at seeing results. Plus it puts you back in control of a frustrating situation.

Here is the page: https://hdusps.esecurecare.net/cgi-bin/hdusps.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_sid=e*SnrvPi&xssl=1

While you're adding that bookmark, you might also want to add the following address for the 1st Ward advisory council on the post office problems: http://www.wickerparkcouncil.com/

The website contains information on monthly meetings, etc, sanctioned by the Chicago postmaster general and Alderman Manny Flores. More importantly, they are specifically asking you to contact them regarding complaints, which are then discussed at the monthly meeting.

So I might suggest that when you receive the followup email in response to a complaint you file on the USPS web site, that you cc: your followup response to the advisory council, advisorycouncil@msn.com. That way you're slamming them from both ends, up the food chain from the local advisory board and down the food chain from the national USPS organization.

For more links for local ward offices, schools and other resources, check the Community Contacts and East Village Business pages on this site.
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