TAHLEQUAH — A handful of rural residents in Cherokee County have complained in recent weeks about mail delivery from the U.S. Postal Service, saying their mail is being put in their neighbor’s boxes, or they’re not getting it at all.
Park Hill resident Jennifer Gibbs contacted the Daily Press, asserting she’s had prolonged problems receiving her mail, and that the local postmaster has done little to rectify the situation.
Gibbs says her mail is being delivered opened or torn; mail is delivered to her address that belongs to other people at other addresses; and her mail is often returned to sender with a hand-written note stating “not at this address,” “doesn’t live here,” or “left no forwarding address.” She also says she’s gone a week or longer with no mail delivery at all.
Tahlequah USPS Postmaster Wendell Brown said he is aware of Gibbs’ complaints.
“We’re doing a quality control check [in her delivery area], and doing everything we can to accommodate her,” said Brown. “I turned the complaints over to my boss, who, in turn, has turned it over to her boss.”
Gibbs said she just wants to receive her mail on time, particularly her bills.
“I have tried many times to reason with Mr. Brown and just want my mail delivered on time and in a normal manner,” said Gibbs in a written statement to the Press. “Because of all the issues that continue to arise, to date I still have not received our water bill that was mailed out, and I brought to Mr. Brown’s attention that I got someone else’s three weeks ago. My cell phone carrier has not been able to send me mail through the postal service due to the fact that for two months, it keeps being returned stating I do not live here and I left no forwarding address. My husband ended up with a collection letter for a bill we never received a statement on.”
Three residents along State Highway 10 also reported they’ve been having trouble with their mail. An employee answering the phone at the Tahlequah post office last week explained there was a new carrier in that area who was just learning the route.
Arlene Sanchez, USPS Southern Region Corporate communications specialist, said all customer concerns are taken seriously.
“The U.S. Postal Service takes seriously any issues regarding mail delivery,” said Sanchez via email. “When customer complaints are received, we research the information. If deficiencies are identified, we take appropriate action to address the concern.”
Sanchez said customers with postal issues are encouraged to contact their local post offices, or can contact the Oklahoma Consumer Affairs office at 405-815-2342. Customers may also submit their concerns at any time at usps.com.