USPS Consumer Advisory Council Meeting 2

vintage postage stampsI’m a little behind in blogging about our second meeting of the USPS Consumer Advisory Council. We met last month to set a plan for our future meetings. We went around the room and each shared our personal list of three areas of improvement we’d like to see the Post Office focus on. We will devote the next meetings to tackling each item on the list. Here is the laundry list. Some items overlapped, but other items were unique to the individual council members. Items marked with an * are my responses.

  • customer service* (by far the most popular response and includes some of the items mentioned below)
  • facility maintenance
  • profitability
  • technology
  • supervisors/leadership
  • accessibility of management
  • signage
  • counter scheduling
  • placement of mailboxes
  • parking
  • partnering with village
  • passports
  • vacation holds
  • future of USPS
  • postal worker reputation
  • better advertising
  • worker health and safety
  • personal cell phone use by carriers during mail deliveries*
  • mis-deliveries*

We decided to tackle customer service in our November meeting (next week), working through counter scheduling, passports, vacation holds, cell phones, mis-deliveries, counter service and accessibility of management. Obviously, since we are working at a local level, it will be hard to tackle the entire list. For instance, regarding the postal technology point: we probably do not have enough pull to change the user-friendliness of the USPS website, but we can promote change with local package tracking. (If your package isn’t scanned by the carrier, the tracking is useless.)

Interestingly, the representatives from the USPS had their own list of top concerns:

  • misdelivery
  • worker attitude
  • product availability (The Oak Park PO is always out of stamps!)
  • worker safety
  • cell phone distraction

One member made a long speech about how our meetings were going to become “complaint sessions” and that we should be focusing on the positive. I personally feel like the committee was not created to sit around and pat the USPS on the back. The committee was created to fix the problems that are evident in the USPS and to help make the USPS better. While I appreciate the desire not to sit around and be a bunch of complainers, I think all of us on the council are very solution oriented and only have the post office’s best interest in mind. I’m looking forward to next month when we can finally get into the nitty gritty of our list.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback to pass along, don’t hesitate to get in touch via the comments or email.

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3 thoughts on “USPS Consumer Advisory Council Meeting 2

  1. Kelly M says:

    Luckily since moving to a house I haven’t had as much of an issue with the cell phones (in our apartment I heard some carriers actually making *drug deals* while delivering the apartment mail into the large individual boxes that were right outside my bedroom window. I was horrified and it explained the horrific service at that location!) but OMG the issues with temp carriers can be awful, and I didn’t see this on the list, I’m sure it’s probably within another heading. there was one who will just flat out balk at our stairs for packages and marked it as unable to be delivered yet didn’t bother to deliver ANY of our mail or leave a redelivery notice or anything, and I was literally in the room by the front door all day and never heard him try. Luckily it got redelivered safely the next day by our fantastic regular carrier.

    What a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the process. I used to live in the Berkeley, CA area and all you ever hear is horrible stuff about what shouldn’t be done an everyone is up in everyone else’s business (like with selling the downtown PO building without public input) but no one does anything but complain. It’s great to see a community working to solve community issues.

    Good luck! I look forward to hearing how things progress and if you can really make change happen! I love the PO!

    • kimberly ah says:

      Oh my goodness!! Shady cell phone deals?! That’s crazy!! It is a pet peeve of mine when our delivery person doesn’t call up to notify us about packages. It’s a shame that the lazy, irresponsible postal workers give the whole USPS a bad name. I know there are a lot of hard working people in the USPS, but they are overshadowed by the bad apples. I’m hoping, at least locally, our little group can help change that.

  2. Margaret says:

    I think it’s great that you’re a part of this. Worker attitude is a big one for me. When I was in Oceanside, a small town compared to the big city, there was amazing customer service and I knew everyone at the post office by name. Now that I am back using a very busy post office in the middle of downtown LA, I feel like the business I give the usps is treated as an annoyance.
    The counter has a giant drop off cabinet. One side opens up to the other side of the counter where it is sorted. You can not Open the front side of the cabinet until the backside door is shut. I think that is a security measure. Whenever I go to drop off packages the cabinet is full already. So I am not able to drop off packages until the cabinet has been emptied. The workers at my post office are always annoyed, there’s often a lot of sighing and muttering. Not like I need to be thanked for using the post office but I really don’t like being made to feel like I am putting them out.
    I dropped off at the post office about twice a week, and this is my busy time of year. I wish they were friendly.

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