When a cluster mailbox fell over in Amy Anderson’s Atascocita neighborhood, she wasn’t worried about the post office’s response.
Months earlier, the same thing happened to another box, and it was replaced immediately. But this time, there seemed to be no rush.
“I started to get concerned after two weeks went by," Anderson said.
She called her local post office, got a case number but was told it would take some time. The mailbox had to be shipped from Washington D.C.
“I can only imagine how many of these cluster boxes must be in this area,” Anderson said. “I would think they've got to have some sort of back supply."
But after six weeks of waiting, Anderson emailed “Tell Tiffany” for help.
“I did see a report that you did a few years ago about a similar situation with the Post Office,” Anderson said. “I am extremely frustrated and I’m so disappointed, too.”
While the mailbox was in the mail, Anderson and her neighbors had to drive 15 minutes to the post office in Humble.
"You have to drive all the way over there to get your mail?" asked consumer reporter Tiffany Craig.
“That's the only way I can get it," Anderson said. “I have to show ID, and that’s the only way I can get it.”
We were more than happy to help in this situation and started by simply emailing the U.S. Postal Service. Our question was simple: What’s taking so long?
The very next day, Anderson and her husband heard progress coming from the mailbox area across the street.
“My husband said, 'I think they’re putting a new mailbox in,'” Anderson said. “Sure enough, the postal worker was out here grinding down the old bracket and putting the new mailbox in.”
In an emailed response to Craig, the U.S. Postal Service apologized for the delay and sent some additional information:
“The Postal Service seeks to make repairs and replacement of Centralized Box Units (CBU) as quickly as possible A supply of CBUs are kept locally, however, due to hurricane storm related impacts in the area supplies are limited.”
If you find yourself in a situation like Anderson’s, the U.S. Postal Service asks that you contact its Customer Care Line at 1-800-ASK-USPS. It’s also recommended that you contact your local post office to explain your mail issue.
If you need help with a consumer issue, email email@example.com or call our tipline at (713) 521-HELP.