Chicago mail is still the WORST IN THE NATION!

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Maybe mail service in Chicago ain' t ready for reform.

It's been more than a year since mail delivery service here reached the seventh circle of hell — when our mail from across town would show up weeks late, bills and sale fliers arrived after after our payments were due and sales were over — and our overnight delivery remains the worst in the country.

Worse than New York City.

But the spin coming from the mail service is that "improving scores in Chicago show that several changes to the city's delivery system in recent months are working. Among the moves made in 2007 by Postmaster Gloria Tyson was to hire 337 new mail carriers.

"We seen a consistent trend pointing upward," spokesman Mark Reynolds told AP. "We think we still can continue to make progress."

The improvement Reynolds is talking about isn't much given all the "improvements" being made after public officials raised a stink in March following I reported about the mail delivery problems folks were complaining about all over the city.

Especially since U.S. Postmaster General John Potter came to town a few days later and promised improvements fast.

Overnight mail between Chicago Zip codes made it to the correct address the next day 94 percent of the time. Up from a dismal. 91 percent between June and September 2006.

But are they setting the bar high enough?

U.S. Mail spokesman Mark Reynolds says an verhaul of the sorting equipment at the main downtown office is finished, and efforts to correct errors in the city's database of addresses also should end soon.

He predicted that Chicago no longer will be known for the country's worst mail service by the end of next year.

How about shooting for something better than that. After putting up with horrible mail service — for decades, really — Chicago deserves better.

Has your mail delivery improved? Is it worse? Has the mail service been responsive to your complaints? Tell your stories here.

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9 Comments

Worst in the nation maybe doesn't cut it.

While on vacation in September, in a different state, I sent 2 postcards. One went to India (you know a different country!) and one was sent back to 60707 (Chicago not Elmwood Park!)

The postcard to India was delivered to its destination in 6 days. The postcard to Chicago took 3 weeks!!!! I was already home by the time it arrived.

Postal service is worse than in a "developing country".

It's worst in the world.Old Time delivery by horse was probably faster than mail delivery here. I'm gotten postcards advertising sales weeks later after the sale has ended. Weekly magazines arrive weeks later and sometimes not at all. Mail arrives damaged. I get magazines ripped and torn to bits. On top of that, the carriers can't deliver right. I get mail that isn't for my house all the time. How hard is it to deliver to the right address?

When I lived in Naperville, I used to have to trek all the way down Ogden Ave. about 6 miles to go to the Lisle PO where service was what you would expect of the USPS on a semi-bad day. I used to think it was just me or just my address being abused until I happened upon postal worker Patti at the Lisle PO who used to be my mail carrier in Hinsdale where I had my business. She claimed no, there was a problem and reached her hand under the counter to produce immediately and without even looking down, a complaint form to fill out and return to the USPS headquarters. I filled it out. Nothing happened. I continued to go to the Lisle PO. While in line I would catch up with my neibhors and friends who were also avoiding the worse than awful mail service in Naperville.
Oh, how I long for those days!
I went from the frying pan into the fire by moving to chicago a few years ago. So Congratulations to the Wicker Park 60622 post office for being by far, the absolute worst post office in the world! Forget waiting in line there. You will absolutely waste 80 precious minutes (this is not an exageration) of your short life for seemingly, unanswerably no reason. I have to say it is a sight to behold watching the first-time unsuspecting customers having unwittingly wondered in expecting service, twist and flail as they try to comprehend why the line does not move as they watch the glacially slow mail personnel take their sweet time doing whatever it is they do. Once in a while, one will break line and go pound on the counter for service only to be impressively ignored by the USPS personnel guy who's work station AT the counter is no more than 2 feet from the irate customer... or worse, listening to the 60622 PO personnel hiding behind the partition wall making comments and laughing at the frustration of the pounder as if no one can hear! That is a real Chicago experience.
I have actually lost count of how many packages, letters and OVERNIGHT packages show up months later or have been ripped open (contents missing) if they do actually make it to my address. I have people tell me "oh I sent that to you months ago. Didn't you get it?". The answer is always, sadly, no.
My husband and I have decided to move away from Chicago. The mail isn't the only factor but unfortunately for us, our business relies on it much of the time.
I sincerely wish nothing but luck to all of you who remain here because luck is what it will take as long as Daley is in charge of this city.

When the subject of identify theft and fraud comes on the news, on my block of N. Winchester, zip 60622, I need look no further than my mail carrier to see how easy it is to steal an identity. For the past 3.5 years, each year around the time W-2's start getting mailed out, we receive not our W-2's (I mean, why would we get mail addressed to us in our box?!), but the W-2's of darn near the entire block.

You see the articles, or Warner Saunders saying to shred your papers with sensitive info, well, what good will that do when it gets hand delivered to someone else?! Full name, address, SS#, phone numbers, and place of business, all on my W-2, in someone else's mail box, up to them to be honest enough to re-deliver it.

Dividend checks? Credit card statements? Bills? I'm lucky if I get them in my mailbox. Funny thing is, they don't get returned to sender either... they just disappear.

Other people's mail? - every day - Every. Single. Day.

Name on mailbox? Check
Apt. number on box? Check
Easy access to box? Check
Incompetent mail carrier? Check

I am not even sure what I can do. I have filed complaints, roughly 6 of them, usually one around this time when other people's W-2 form start showing up in my box, and usually one about 6 months later. Nothing helps, nothing changes.

Is the USPS really that bad that I finally am resorting to finding the closest mailbox rental? Yes, yes it is. Hopefully they can sort that mail properly as well, though I am not counting on it....

-resident of ZIP 60622.

Diversity is the problem. Hire the best and you get the best work ethic. Hire people due to race, sex, religion etc you get the worst!

Hey you Ughville,

I don't think diversity has anything to do with your mail delivery problem. I'm not trying to read anything into your stupid comment, but what is your race, sex, religion, etc.? So what type of people should the U.S. Postal Service hire to ensure you get the best service from those with the best work ethic. Is this a black, white, hispanic, asian, indian, issue? If you take the time to make a comment, at least back it up, and don't be wimpy about what you're trying to say. I'm a black letter carrier in a town just north of Dallas Texas. I'll bet you my yearly salary, that 95% of the customers I serve are satisfied with my daily service. I can prove this at Christmas time each year, boy you should see the gifts and tips I receive. Don't think bad service and a poor work ethic would deliver this result. The other 5% of my customers get the same service as the 95%. But you can't please everybody, and I don't try to. I just do my job as my job description states, and follow, postal regulations, and directions from my supervisors. The result is that 95% of my customers are satisfied. By the way, my customes are white, but they would receive the same service from me no matter, what their color or background is. I just deliver the mail to the mail box it's addressed to. But guess what, sometimes I deliver to the wrong mail box. I guess this happens because I'm human, and sometimes makes mistakes. So I guess the U.S. Postal Service should clone you, and then they would have the mold of the perfect postal worker. Hey I'm done, maybe we can visit again soon.

I live in the Chicago Loop (South) and I've had "First Class" mail take over 10 DAYS to get across town and over THREE WEEKS to get across the country to various points.

Let's face facts, the USPS is a dead service. Not simply ailing but demised . . . passed on . . . worm food.

One last thing to consider: the USPS, while regulated by our government and tax exempt, is a PRIVATELY RUN COMPANY. What would you normally do when some other private service performed so badly? You'd switch on an alternate service like email, FedEx, DHL, online bill payment, UPS, etc.

well at least you guys are getting mail (even as late as it is)
i just moved and did an address forward from my old address to here and i have not received hardly any mail at EITHER address in 2 weeks.

both addresses are in 60647 (logan square)

i live in a very large senior citizen 60622 building that has nothing but problems with the postal service. complaining about it to the local P.O. does not help either. an example: a package comes. no apartment delivery because they say its a CHA building even if it is a senior building. package is put into the building locked mailroom that only the mail person has a key 2 and no notice is put into the apt. box. so u go for days not knowing if u got it or where it is. if someone sends u a package and u dont know about it being sent to u like at xmas time you will never know its downstairs because no notice was left. another problem im having, i changed apartment and put in a change of address. now when i get mail that has my old apartment number on it its sent back to sender "moved". ive talked to everybody at wicker park postal station and i get assurances something will be done about all this but to date nothing has been done. i could go on and on about this service but we all in 60622 now 60642 (p.o. changed zip code but still the wicker park station) but u get the drift. nothing new same ol same ol. 679yhd

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on November 20, 2007 10:18 AM.

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