(July 7, 2014) SAN ANTONIO — Hundreds of postal customers are making their own mail runs on the city’s northwest side.
The problem: there’s a backup in changing the locks on mailboxes within subdivisions.
“The people who send me mail, they pay postage. They’re paying for something to be delivered to me, and it’s not getting delivered to me. And I spend my money, time and gas going to the post office to collect it,” said Chris Rogers, who moved into the Alamo Ranch area and who has been waiting a month for his mail to make it to the mailbox.
Postal officials tell new tenants and homeowners in an effort to reduce identity theft, they need to get new mailbox keys and new locks, issued by the post office. But newcomers say the 10-14 days they were quoted for mail service has ballooned.
A check at Rogers’ local post office station, the Heritage Station, confirmed the trouble, with lines snaking down the corridor and wait times of 45 minutes or longer. The line contained customers who were forced to visit the PO to get their mail.
A woman in line told the KENS 5 I-Team she finally got her mailbox keys after 3 weeks, but others have complained the delay has reached two months.
“We’d meet other people in the same boat. I’ve met people on their third week, their fifth week. They’re on their seventh week,” Rogers said.
So, what’s causing the delay? The postmaster’s office told us population growth is forcing a backlog.
“The community serviced by the Heritage Station has been growing and the rekeying and reissuing of mailboxes in that area has increased dramatically. The delivery growth coupled with the increase in reissuance that always surrounds the summer months when many of our customers move, has kept us rather busy,” said USPS spokeswoman Arlene Sanchez.
“Some customers will have their mailboxes issued as early as tomorrow and we anticipate that all affected customers will have keys to their mailboxes by the end of this week,” she added.
In the meantime, it is estimated that hundreds of customers are affected in at least four zip codes.
Rogers travels 9 miles on his own personal mail route.
“The first thing you hear when you call Washington DC and the main postal service is no matter if it’s a move across town or across the country, you can depend on the post office to deliver your mail on time. They’re not delivering it on time. They’re not delivering it at all. I’m coming to get it,” Rogers said.