Chicago mail: USPS names 4 worst-performing post offices; report shows 62K mail items delayed over several months

Friday, February 19, 2021
Over 60K pieces of mail delayed at 4 Chicago post offices: USPS
More than 62,000 pieces of mail have been delayed at just four post offices on Chicago's South and West Sides, according to a scathing USPS inspector general report.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There have been thousands of pieces of missing or delayed mail and no clear answers from the postal service in Chicago. Residents on the South and Southwest sides have been complaining about problems with mail delivery for months now.

A new report released Thursday revealed inadequacies within the post office. The USPS Inspector General report highlights the four worst-performing Chicago locations:

  • 83rd and Ashland
  • 77th and Cottage Grove
  • 46th and Cottage Grove
  • 3600-block of West 79th Street.
  • The delayed mail, including letters and packages from those locations, total over 62,000 from last September through February.

    RELATED: Chicago mail problems mount, US lawmakers get involved

    Congressman Bobby Rush, who joined local aldermen and mayors from Alsip and Evergreen Park in a morning press conference, called it unacceptable.

    "People who depend on the postal service, seniors, families, other people depending on the postal service day-in and day-out -- it's an absolute, epic, total, undeniable failure," Rush said.

    He is calling for the postmaster to resign and for a management overhaul. The report he highlighted also revealed inaccurate reporting of the delayed mail. Some of that included "voter information" from the Secretary of State.

    RELATED: USPS hiring to help resolve mail delivery delays on Chicago's North Side

    "We don't deserve the type of treatment we are getting in Chicago," said Pat Dowell, alderman for the 3rd Ward. "This is not just a South Side issue; it's happening on the North Side and suburban areas. It's time for a change."

    The report also focused on improper scanning and handling of hundreds of packages and letter carrier absentee rates, which in some cases were as high as 50%.

    The USPS named the 4 worst-performing Chicago post offices Thursday in a report showing 62,000 mail items were lost there over the last several months.

    ABC 7 spoke with those whose health is now being impacted by this postal delay.

    "Why? That's all I can say. Why? Why? Why?" said Classie Hardney, who has been waiting for her new prescription and insurance cards to come in her mail since the end of January.

    "The post office is not working. It's just not working," she said.

    She said she can't pick up her medications without those cards, and she only has a week left before she runs out.

    "I need my asthma pump, I need the blood pressure medicine and I need the cholesterol medicine. So if I run out, I don't know what I can do," she said.

    Lorraine Sardin finally had some mail delivered after three weeks, but is still waiting on her second stimulus check.

    "How often do I need to come up here and check for my mail?" yelled one man outside of the the 83rd and Ashland location before police were called.

    The USPS inspector general recommended postal managers must follow up on carrier absentee rates - in some cases as high as 50 percent - as well as other mail reporting problems.

    USPS said in a statement: The Chicago USPS management team is working to implement the OIG recommendations as detailed on pages 14-17 in the recently released OIG report.

    Read the full report here.