Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fighting with the postal service

Our mailboxes are at the front of our neighborhood. The Friday before last, my mailbox key worked fine. I didn't check the mail on Saturday, so I tried to get it on Sunday. When I got to the mailbox, the key wouldn't turn. I figured there was a box against the lock, something our mailman has been known to do on more than one occasion. I didn't get to catch the mailman on Monday, so I made a point of catching him on Tuesday so he could help me get the mail out.

There was no box against my lock, and the key still wouldn't work. The mailman gave me two numbers to call. The first told me I needed to call the other number. When I called it, I got a busy signal, and I continued to get a busy signal for two hours before the call finally went through. I was told someone would be there to fix my mailbox either Thursday or Friday afternoons, and that he would call me before he came. I was also told that I'd most likely have to pay $18 for a new lock, which I still don't understand why it is my responsibility to pay for a broken lock that belongs to the postal service.

Thursday, I went to the mailbox when the mailman came to deliver, and he told me that 1) the repair man was supposed to be there between 1:00 and 1:30 that afternoon (it was 1:15 already at this point), and 2) he didn't think I had the right keys (he'd tried all three of ours himself). I explained to him for about the tenth time at this point that these were the same keys we'd used for the past eight years, and that I knew they were the right keys. He still kept insisting they were the wrong keys.

I didn't hear from the repairman at all last week, and I waited again yesterday, until I finally had to leave to take care of Little Man's latest injury. By noon yesterday, I'd filed two complaints with the postal service through their website, on top of multiple calls to the city's office, and I was still getting no response. This morning, I finally get a call. The repairman told me he'd been out here on Thursday and that the mailman had told him that he thought I had the wrong keys, so he'd left. He said he didn't see anything wrong with the lock. I was livid!

Anyway, I let him know that I did indeed have the correct key. I told him the only way I didn't was if someone had somehow switched my lock without me knowing. He told me that wasn't possible, to which I explained "exactly!". Then he finally agreed to come back out. He told me he'd be here Thursday or Friday of this week. I gave him a good guilt trip then, telling him that I wanted him to make sure my mail got to me one way or another today. I told him that my husband's epilepsy medications should be in the mailbox soon, and that he needed them if they were in the mailbox. He said he'd tell the mailman to make sure my mail got delivered to my door tomorrow if I didn't catch him at the mailbox.

At around 12:30 this afternoon, I got another call. This time it was from a different repairman. He told me that the other man had told him about the situation, and that he had a couple of repairs to make in our area today. He asked if he could come by here and see what needed to be done. He got here at 1:50, took one look at the lock, told me it had served its purpose after eight years, and that it had died, and replaced the lock all before 2:00. And evidently the post office knew they were in the wrong because I didn't have to pay the $18 after all. He told me that he was supposed to, but had been told not to on this one job. I guess my persistence paid off in more than one way.

1 comment:

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