USPS Killer Customer Service – Is Killing The Message

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When I say, inept, mismanaged, archaic, thinking like dinosaurs, behind the times, unimaginative, stuck to the old way, couldn’t think outside the box even if they were litery standing outside the box what quasi government agency comes to mind?  For me it’s the United States Postal Service.  Now I know It is easy to poke fun at this agency especially with such great characters you love to hate like Cliff Clavin and Newman, but it’s hard to laugh when they lost 15.9 BILLION dollars last fiscal year.  It’s also hard to laugh when they make strides to improve mail delivery but have NO clue on customer service.  If they were a real company in todays world, would they even still be in business?  No they wouldn’t, because their culture of secrecy, poor customer relations and ability to communicate to the public won’t allow them to make improvements since so many of their inept, lazy managers are threatened by making service improvements and might actually have to think for a change.

When I read about the voice of the customer and how companies monitor that voice to make sure they keep customers happy, the USPS uses deafness and silence as their voice of the customer.  I guess it’s much easier to monitor and you can always look good on your benchmarks when you don’t hear the public.  There is no incentive to listen since they couldn’t care less and have no fear of losing their jobs.  In light of the money they keep losing, someone hit upon the idea that without communication or returning a simple phone call they’ll save money like the supervisor at the Vallejo main post office who took the time to write down my name, address and phone number, promised to call and I never heard from him again.  Dollars saved, what a great idea, why hasn’t GM or Apple thought of that?

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I live on a Cul-de-sac and our community mailbox that services 12 families was vandalized and rendered unusable.  You can see that both back service doors are dangling.  This happened on June 6th. and that is when this odyssey began, of trying to get information from the USPS but you would think our community mailbox was involved with national security they’re so tight lipped.  First I went to the main post office on Santa Clara street and asked the clerk when it’ll be repaired.  She couldn’t answer and referred me to a supervisor whom I waited 15 minutes for.  As I said earlier he took all my info and never called back.  So I tried calling the main post office and they don’t answer that line and there must be no voice mail since it never picked up, again saving money.

So I contacted the Postal Service Customer Advocate at 1-800-275-8777 who are in Washington, D.C. on June 12.  They agreed it was poor service and gave me  case #CA113468629 and someone would get back to me tomorrow.  Yea right, but you know I wasn’t surprised because when you call the 1-800 line, the receptionist bot that answers has a lousy menu to start with and when you say or type your zipcode, it came up, with a male voice who said, “94589, Viejo, Ca.”  The problem is I live in 94589,Vallejo, Ca.  So on June 14 I called my Advocate to see if they were still advocating for me.  I gave her the case number and guess what?  They had nothing!  So she gave me the number at the Main, main Post Office in Oakland, for the Customer Relations at 510-874-8737.  I called and promptly got their voicemail.  As the machine had requested I gave name, address, phone number and the issue along with the case number, and this was early in the day.  As of today, June 17 I hadn’t heard back and called again and got a LIVE PERSON.  I discussed with her the issue and that I would like to have some answers.  Oh Yes, I can see why, She said, I’ll call you back, but this time Regina did call me back!!  She told me she spoke to supervisor Taylor at the Vallejo Post Office who explained that they only had ONE technician and that it won’t be repaired until next week, but couldn’t give a specific completion date.

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What a lousy cheap excuse.  Only one technician.  The manager here should be embarrassed with an answer like that.  You mean there is NO provision to contact other districts to see if they could borrow another tech for a short period?  I guess it’s very hard to think when you’re stuck in all that secrecy.  Can you imagine a fire district saying, we have only one engine on duty and not call a neighboring city for assistance?  Even the cable company offers better service.  So my neighbors and I will be without a mail box for a total of 21 days, figuring they’ll fix it by June 29 as projected and continue making the 7 mile round trip to the main post office.  The drive time is nothing, it’s the wait time on line just to get your mail that they are so graciously holding for us at no charge.  What a great group.  And that’s why this maze to go through to get some answers.  They hope over time you’ll get tired and stop.

This is where the USPS drops the ball in their culture of lack of customer service.  What good is getting packages and mail delivered on time when you have no place to deliver it?  There wasn’t even an attempt to notify affected customers as to what was going on, what the plan was, and when it would be completed.  They couldn’t send a representative to visit us, do handouts, communicate in anyway that they cared and would be held accountable?  This is a big reflection on not only the workers but the poor managers they have running the asylum since the workers only do what management lets them do.  It’s time to re-organize the Post office into independent operated districts and a thorough cleaning of the old management.  Bringing in entrepreneurs to operate the new postal districts will make it 100% better than now.

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I will keep you all posted, (haha) as this odyssey continues.  

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