Friday, March 09, 2007

Boerum Hill Thankful Pottery Barn Uses UPS

Is there a neighborhood in Brooklyn where people are happy with the service they get from the Post Office? Well, we can say with some confidence that it's not Boerum Hill. We came across a bunch of emails that have been circulating in Boerum Hill groups. So, we thought we'd excerpt from a few of the more pointed complaints, and particularly note the person that got 23 pieces of misdelivered mail at once. There's this email:
I have been having much difficulty getting packages to be delivered by the USPS. The delivery person will not even ring the bell, but come by on days when I am home and just sticks the notice on the outside door and walks away. This happens even when I leave him a note in the morning saying, "hey usps deliveryperson! I am home! please ring!!!" Then the notice is taken from my door, and the package is never brought. Without this notice, they will now not let me pick up my packages.
Which prompted this reply:
We always get misdelivered mail. Always. One day last week we got no less than 23 (yes, that's twenty-three) letters addressed to other addresses -- in a single mail delivery. We are on Dean, and the letters were to others on Dean St., Bond St., Hoyt St, and . . .Utica Avenue. We often get mail addressed to Carlton Avenue, Dean Street about 5 miles east of us, and various Coney Island addresses...Plus, my son's subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids came in December (first issue on subscription). But his SI for Kids was stolen for the January, February, and March issues...

The postal workers at the 11217 station -- notwithstanding any brief show of "change" trotted out for a couple weeks to answer the community's concerns -- remains a travesty of inefficiency, meanness, rudeness and attitute. I might add that it is a disgusting mess, which is a reflection of the management and people who work there. Obviously nobody at that post office cares.

What a contrast to the small postal offices scattered in the suburbs, exurbs, and the country. Frankly, even 11201 doesn't seem so awful compared to 11217 (though it is far from a model of efficiency and pleasantness either).
Which led to this response:
Please include 11201. We have one or two mailmen in particular who never deliver packages, or who set them outside the front door (!) They put the 'failed delivery' notices in with the regular mail. That is, the notices are bundled, in a rubber band, inside the regular mail. Hmm.. wonder how they know they will not be able to deliver the package even before they come to the house?
And this:
Something dramatically wrong is clearly happening in 11217. It sounds from some of your descriptions as if there is a struggle between the management and the others in which all parties are attempting to get the others in trouble because they are seriously disgruntled. Or is there an animus on the part of some of the employees against brownstone owners?
Just a selection of the emails, mind you.

Followup Post:
So, (Almost) Everyone in Brooklyn Says Their Mail Sucks


Blogger Brooks of Sheffield said...

Add to your list the Red Hook post office, serving 11231. Truly abysmal. In five years, they have never succeeded in delivering a package successfully to our door. They never ring the bell; I would know since I work at home. We never get a first notice, or second notice slip—only the FINAL notice. They ignore messages I leave for them on the door. ("Please ring! I am home!") And when you make the long trek to the post office, they are slothful and inattentive and always have trouble finding a package. It took them a month to find a Christmas package my sister sent last December. It's gotten so I have to keep on the lookout for their arrival every day and run them down like a dog if I am expecting a package. They truly suck.

9:25 AM  
Blogger @alyssa ettinger said...

please add 11215 (park slope) to that list! there have been whole discussions about it on, and it's completely out of control. it's gotten to the poins that i am afraid to mail bills out from here because i have had so many get lost in the mail.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, as a resident of 11217, I can verify all of these complaints and more. I was just at the post office this morning at 8:50 AM to pick up a package that I received a slip for even though I was home. Of course the package pickup window wasn't open so I had to stand on the line, already 8 people deep with only two windows open. After their periodic disappearances and reappearances, all 8 customers were waited on and it was my turn. It was 9:15. Slip and ID already slipped into the window, I was greeted by the clerk with a "good morning", followed by a prompt disappearance to go and futz around with a roll of tape. She then came back, then left again, then came back, said "good morning", which I ignored this time, left one more time, and finally took my slip. I literally had to keep myself from exploding with anger. I understand that perhaps there were things that needed to be attended to (though why she said "next" when she obviously had better things to do is beyond me) but the attitude is what gets me. Even an "excuse me" prior to the leaving the window would have assuaged my anger, but her cavalier attitude of making me wait for her without explanation is what really almost pushed me over the edge.

11:12 AM  
Blogger gina said...

When I first moved to Brooklyn & started getting missed delivery/final notice slips when I was home to receive the packages, I honestly just assumed that postal workers in NYC did not deliver packages to people's addresses since attempts were never made and the missed delivery cards were all filled out and delivered in the bundle of regular mail. It made sense to me--afterall, I saw my postwoman pushing a small cart of envelopes down the street and there was no way she could transport packages that way.

After living in Williamsburg for three years and never receiving any packages, it wasn't until I moved to Red Hook that I received my first USPS delivered package. It was great--very convenient for someone who can't make it to the post office during the week due to my work schedule. Unfortunately, I think I have a new carrier now, because I am back to getting missed delivery slips.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My postman is AWESOME! Sometimes he'll even leave packages at my apartment door (on the 2nd floor) so I do not have to go to the P.O. and pick them up.

Miss Heather, 11222

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, living in 217, it's all true.

anyone who's concerned about "gentrification" need only visit the post office on Atlantic Avenue to see that Boerum Hill is still keeping it real. real ghetto.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Gringcorp said...

I can't say that the Times Plaza 11217 post office is any better or worse than the other ones I've used. Certainly, it is smaller than, say, the Cooper Station.

What drove me nuts was the habit our 11217 postman had of dropping the mail key he/she had for getting into the building. I think we've had two or three dropped, and there never seemed to be a good way of returning it, save for being in when ever they came by, noticing them, and grabbing them.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to second the complaint leveled against the post office in Red Hook. In addition to going days without mail (typically followed by one day of 15-20 letters), I have only had one package delivered successfully. I was home sick at the time and watched the mailman leave the missed package slip without ringing. After running downstairs and knocking on the window of his van, he begrudgingly handed me my mail and informed me that it was a good thing he decided to "chill" there for a few minutes or I would have missed him. My question: why does the package slip imply there'll be second and third attempts if they don't even try once? The abysmal service in Astoria was better.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have this same problem in the East Village. My individual mail guy is great and very nice, but the package delivery people are a different story. I often get the slips when I'm home- but they're dated from days before and I've always believed it is because they had attempted delivery, failed and then the slips get put in the mailbox by the regular mailman.

I noticed that after the President's Day holiday some of my mail went missing. I was expected two packages that never showed. They are very good, however, about delivering mail for the past ten other tenants who've lived in my apartment.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Miss Lo said...

Oh those wacky denizens of Boerum Hill! Someday it will turn into the small town/suburban sub-division they secretly crave...but for now: what exactly IS that huge building with no windows and the razorwire across the street from my $2.5M townhome?

for a good time, visit the 11231 post office. Winner of the Surliness award for the past several years.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add another disgruntled 11231 to the fray. I don’t actually mind that the mail person just leaves packages outside the door without ringing the doorbell because I’d rather risk someone stealing my boxes than having to deal with the Red Hook P.O. pickup in person. When I first moved into my building three years ago, most of the mail would just end up in a pile on the floor inside the non-locking front door. One of the other new tenants (the building had just changed landlords and was going through a gentrification wave, i.e. higher expectations like, you know, actually getting magazines and packages you paid for) made numerous calls to the Post Office to no avail. She made such a fuss that in so many words she was told by a supervisor that the more trouble she made, the more trouble we’d have. The best solution that someone (I have no idea who) came up with was to put a little stool in the entryway so the mailman has a spot to mass dump on. On good days, we get some letters in our box but anything bigger than a normal envelope ends up in a pile on the stool. I get maybe 60% of the magazines I subscribe to.Yesterday, I opened the mail box and it was empty and all five tenants’ items were rubber-banded in one big wad together on the stool. This threw me into a minor tizzy because I had been expecting a check for days that hadn’t arrived yet. It’s obvious when the regular carrier is not working because it’s the only time that all the mail and magazines have been separated and placed in the five individual slots.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our corner of 11201 Cobble/Boerum Hill, our mailman is pretty on the money. In fact, on his birthday, people come out and give him soda and hugs.
It's actually a bit odd, but maybe it's just our block.

As far as USPS Packages, they get left with the super if someone isn't home - which is fine.

UPS/FEDEX have delivered items to us with no issue and if we aren't here, our super takes them.

That said, I still have the majority of my packages sent to my office in manhattan.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Heather, of 11222, is lucky to have a postman who fancies her or something, because that is not the norm. I shouldn't waste too much breatch complaining, since I just moved from the 222 after seven years of outstandingly bad mail service, but aside from undelivered, returned and damaged mail there were days when the postman just didn't show. You could tell by looking at the little slots in the mailbox whether they are empty. An odd coincidence that once or twice every couple of weeks, no mail at all would come to my eight - unit building.

I've since defected to 211, where our mailman has recently decided neither me nor my roomates live here,and has taken to helpfully returning all our mail. It's like a little touch of home.

Off topic: I'd just like to give a shoutout to some unsung heroes: UPS guys. In Greenpoint and the Burg, those dudes have always been awesome.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Our mailman in 11238 (Prospect Heights) is awesome. We rarely get other peoples mail and in general packages have never been a problem. As I read this he rang the doorbell to deliver a package for my wife... go figure.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a good postman anywhere is hard, but those of us in 11215 who are served by Paul have the best of the lot. Magazines always on-time, very small packages delivered. Nice to talk with, pleasant. He'll also work with you if you're away for an extended period, and will deliver the accumulated mail when you're back.
He knows of the mess that the Van Brunt main office is if one has to stand on line for anything.
That being said why, for the big mail order stuff, I have a PO box elesewhere.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the service level is really dependent on the individual post(wo)man and, having read the other comments, I feel supremely lucky to have a great one here in 11231 (Carroll Gardens). He does sometime dump magazines and catalogs onto the floor, but in his defense, we have the world's tiniest mailboxes and, frankly, it's much easier retrieving them that way than wrestling them out of the box. I receive packages nearly every week and he always rings me or our elderly home-bound neighbor who buzzes him in.

That said, the Red Hook post office is horribly mismanaged and I've never waited less than 30 minutes to mail something. The Atlantic Ave. one is the same if not worse, but does have one of the self-automated mailing machines which makes it worth the extra walk.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should at least mention the state of affairs inside the Red Hook (11231) post office. That place is so goddamn far away you can barely walk there. The interior is also littered with garbage and refuse and contains no packaging materials whatsoever. I once went in there and stood in the middle of the tiny room for a full 10 minutes before anyone emerged at one of the filthy, scratched, bullet-proof service windows. Before the lone woman poked her head out, I thought I had somehow broken in when it was closed. Also, I got a box of Christmas cookies on Monday.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another unhappy 11222er here. No packages, checks go missing (among other things expected), and if you ever have to go the Greenpoint Post Office to mail anything, woe be unto you. I have stood there for 45 minutes before and the line hasn't moved. I now go to Cooper Station where the lines may be just as long, but I'm never there longer than a half hour.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in 11201 for 2 years, never had a problem, I've been in 11217 and we've had packages returned to sender without getting a notice twice, packages sent from the post office that never showed up (also twice) and a package sent to us that never arrived and was never returned. plus the staff at the office on atlantic is terrible. seriously, fuck all of them, and fuck the managers, i hope they all get fired.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mail in 11215 is hideous. I live on 18th Street and regularly get mail for East 18th in 11226. I get so many misdelivered letters(and mail for people who haven't lived there in years) that I regularly write either "No longer at this address/return to sender" or "Please deliver to East 18th in zip code 11226" and put them back in the mailbox. Not once, but THREE times, I had them ALL returned to me, neatly bundled up with my writing on them. I've even taken them and dropped them off at the post office and complained, only to have them turn up at my door again. My own mail rarely gets there, packages have gone missing and are often sent back. Letters are regularly returned to sender with a note that the address doesn't exist (I've lived there for 6 years). I had a package that went missing and was never returned to sender. The package (mailed July 2002) showed up at my house in December of 2004! Original postmark on it, no explanation. I've complained numerous times to no avail. My mail is regularly sticking halfway out of the mailbox, where it can be stolen or get soaking wet (is it too much to ask that the carrier shove it all the way into the locked mailbox?). Packages have been left in full view on my stoop (or they leave notices when I am home. I have actually seen the carrier leave a notice without ringing the bell and I've chased the carrier down the street to confront them. I got a shrug and a "Whatever.") Best of all, my magazines sometimes show up weeks or months late, with pages torn out of them or the freakin' crossword puzzles already done. The mind boggles... Isn't tampering with the mail a crime?

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 11201 resident, blessed with a very good mail carrier and a truly suck-y local post office branch. My local, at Cadman Plaza, is the main Brooklyn post office - why then do they rarely have more than three people working the windows? I count on a 30- to 45-minute wait every time I go. The imcompetent "manager" will assign one person to work the collectable-stamps window when there are 20 people in line waiting to mail packages! I've been there at 8:30AM to pick up held mail only to be told that the entire delivery department is "on break" - at 8:30 in the morning! - and I'll have to come back later. I've witnessed numerous incidents of eye-rolling, "that's not my job" comments, and general rudeness from all the workers, especially the so-called "service" desk where you pick up held mail and packages. I now travel into Manhattan and do all my post-office transactions at the tiny post office on Exchange Place.

10:09 AM  

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