Bethany Adams, For The Tribune
CENTER POINT – Joanna Nicholas and her husband have lived in their house in Center Point for 13 years, and have never had a problem with deliveries before. So she was surprised when the recent delivery of a package from the Center Point post office turned into a bit of an ordeal.
Nicholas, who has security cameras installed on her property, said that she watched footage of her mail carrier sit at her mailbox for around six minutes before leaving with a package that was too large to fit in the mailbox.
“I saw her sitting here for all this time… and she never came up to deliver it,” Nicholas said. “She never came out of the truck or anything.”
When she tracked the package, Nicholas said that the carrier had reported “animal interference,” even though Nicholas said that her dogs—a golden retriever and four miniature dachshunds—were inside at the time, and that according to the video, they weren’t barking.
When she was unable to get through to the local office, Nicholas said that she called the national number, at which time she was told she would be able to pick up the package after hours when she got off work. When she arrived, the staff told her that they couldn’t help because the office was closed.
Nicholas was later told that her package was on the truck to be delivered, but when the mail carrier arrived, it wasn’t.
“It just seemed like nobody there wanted to help me,” she said.
Eventually, she was put in touch with Bobby Allen, the station manager, who took on the case personally. Allen delivered the package himself, although Nicholas had to call the office when she saw via the cameras that he was about to leave before delivering it.
“The package could have potentially gotten wet,” Allen said, explaining that it was raining at the time. “But we did bring the package out.”
Allen also stated that there was “nowhere to leave the package on the property.” He explained that the original reason that it wasn’t delivered was because the driveway on the property, which goes up a steep hill, poses a hazard.
“The driveway is long, it’s narrow, there are a lot of leaves,” he said. “That would have been potential for an accident.”
Other customers have had similar complaints, including one woman who spoke to the Tribune at the post office, where she was attempting to find a letter that had been lost. She said that she had not received a notification for the letter, which concerned an important legal matter.
She also said that she found a notification for an earlier letter on the ground by her neighbor’s mailbox, and that some packages she had sent from the Center Point post office did not reach their destinations.
Allen said that, with an increase in work that comes around the holidays, the post office staff is working to keep up with demand.
“We don’t always have someone manning the phone,” he said. “We have to go out and deal with issues like this.”
He said that customers can send written complaints or concerns to the office at 2365 1st St NE. Customers should make complaints out to the station manager.
“We’re really trying to get everything delivered accurately,” Allen said.