People care a lot about their local post offices, at least if the number of news stories on the topic and the comments we receive on our blog and Audit Project pages are indications.

For some, the neighborhood Post Office serves as everything from the source of a community’s name and identity, to a spot where neighbors can connect and keep track of each other. Of course the Post Office is also the place where folks drop off holiday goodies and care packages, or buy stamps and other mailing supplies. And rentable Post Office boxes create physical addresses for local entrepreneurs.

So, it’s no surprise that when the Postal Service decides to relocate a Post Office – whether moving it to a less costly property or consolidating several facilities into one –communities have an opinion about it.

The ubiquity of its Post Office network is one of the Postal Service’s most valuable assets. But, the Postal Service says more than one-third of postal retail purchases are now made somewhere other than a Post Office, including on usps.com. It’s therefore understandable that the Postal Service is making changes, such as instituting shorter hours of operation, encouraging local businesses to offer some postal services, or consolidating low-traffic facilities.

The Postal Service recognizes that it matters to customers when their local Post Office is shuttered. And there are specific regulations and guidelines designed to give affected communities information about planned moves, and the right to appeal portions of those plans. But is the Postal Service following the letter and spirit of those regulations and guidelines? Our recent audit looked at the relocation process and we found it could be more transparent. The public may not always have the information it needs, when it needs it, to understand the implications of relocations and make meaningful comments on them.

What about you? If you have experienced a Post Office relocation in your community, were you satisfied with how and when you were informed? What, if any, changes could be made to make Post Office relocations more transparent or otherwise improve the process? 

Comments (26)

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  • anon

    Local Post office in Greenbackville, Virginia closed with NO NOTICE. A couple of days later outside postal box wrapped in plastic and tape so we couldn't even deposit mail for pick-up. WE have been forced to drive @10 miles to Horntown, Virginia to deposit/pick up mail. This is a real hardship for the many elderly residents in this little village. NEw residents have been told the surrogate P.O. Has no more boxes in their newly set up Greenbackville kiosk available and that they will have to get general delivery mail! We have been suffering this situation for months....we need a bank of boxes in our village or an expansion of rural delivery....there are some rural box deliveries in our town on STATELINE ROAD but were told that the postal delivery person had "all they could handle" so no more boxes could be added to their route. WE NEED RELIEF from this intolerable situation. We have been greatly inconvenienced for months.....10 miles to get/deposit mail INTOLERABLE!

    Sep 07, 2017
  • anon

    Dear Linda, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day post officeissues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service on the USPS website.

    Sep 08, 2017
  • anon

    in a remote community where post office is only way to get things in other than freight. Our post office been close for a week cause lady decides she wants to go on vacation An she doesn't get fired. Postal inspector even can An found out she has been stealing people's mail, um I'm missing something but isn't the all illegal? Or even keeping the post office closed, is usps breaking some kind of gov law?

    Aug 04, 2017
  • anon

    The USPS does not follow the ADA law. In the Downtown Berkeley Post Office, in Berkeley, CA, there is no longer a machine were people can take a number and sit down to wait for service. Last Tuesday there were 20 people STANDING in line, with no accommodation for the old and disabled. and ONE clerk at the window. When I complained to the Office of Inspector General, they referred me to my regional administrator. But our Postmaster told us that this was a decision made at the National level. What to do?

    Apr 08, 2017
  • anon

    Could you please give me specific information regarding the mandatory notice that must be given to postal patrons before relocating a post office that serves a community with NO residential delivery service? Thanking you in advance, Idgie

    Apr 08, 2017
  • anon

    We have just been informed our post office in Pine Mountain Club Ca 93222 is being closed. We are a mountain community of 2,315 population. We have never had delivery and must go to our town PO. The closest town to us with another post office is 15 miles away on winding mountain roads. Having to drive this far and dangerous on winter roads are out of the question. At this time they don't even know where they are moving our PO. But we are now going to have to pay for our boxes that were free for the 26 years i have lived here. I also found out today that in order to keep our PO open since our last PO manager (BOB) passed away, the new managers (Betty an her husband) have been working all this time WITHOUT PAY. I was also told Bob was paying for many things out of pocket just to keep it open (disgraceful) But these are the things that have been going on for years by these selfless people to keep our post office. The postal service should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. It's call greed. I would like to know why all the profits made by OUR post office is being cerdited to the Frazier Park post office. Frazier Parks employees are being paid and ours aren't. There will be a meeting 12/12 (this monday) at the club house. I hope a representative from the PO making these changes will attend.

    Dec 08, 2016
  • anon

    Weeks of reading I see USPS dies not have to adhere to ADA. Odd. Anyway. Live in a town of 226 where no o e has a choice. You must have a PO box. I'm totally disabled 6 1/2 yrs now. The double doors and breezeway are next to I possible in my wheelchair but did my best. I'm failing farther now and even trying to wheel myself down is next to impossible and with packages-there is NO WAY! My old postmaster -especially in winter when he knew I couldn't get down the road in my wheelchair he bring my mail. There is a delivery driver who handled the country routes who passes my house coming and going. Could not the USPS deliver in a situation like this? I've seen dr letter need-I have a team of doctors who would write a letter but -town of 226-everyone knows . You take a passing glance-not even a full on look-and you know. I usually wait until-if I'm lucky-get a visitor once every couple of months but if the visit is out if the open hours still screwed except what's in the box. Right now-I have Chrstmas gifts, food(I have no way to get out so order groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries-everything online and most send UPS or FEDEX which are so KIND and ACCOMODATING which might be why y'all are going broke. Just a thought. Without help-food will go bad, ppl won't get Chrstmas gifts and really all because if a simple solution. Instead if new employees being nasty shrews on the phone over a full mailbox-take steps to help those in need and then the rotating door of employees may get it. Thanks for listening. From the terse responses above I don't have high expectations but you'll be glad to know you are the only organization not stepping up to fix a real problem-that seems an easy fix. Congratulations on being my number 1st something. Merry Christmas one snd all and those not getting a gift-send you thank you to USPS.

    Dec 15, 2015
  • anon

    we are forced to use a post office box in our small town to get our mail. Unfortunately, we cannot use a po box anywhere on our address at times, to apply for credit, etc. If we do not have our po box on our mail, it gets sent back. Bills are late, important documents aren't received in time. our postmaster knows who we are and which box is ours. like i said, small town. My street address, however, doesn't exist according to the post office. Why do I pay property tax on an address that doesn't exist?. Why were we forced to pay box rent for years to get our mail when others in this country got theirs for free? why can't we just get our mail??? It's a horrible situation. and there's no solution. we've been trying for years. the only way to get your mail is to move to another town.

    Nov 20, 2015
  • anon

    Our local post office has seen better days. It is in bad shape and in need of repair. The nicest people work there and I hate seeing it look so run down!

    Nov 11, 2015
  • anon

    Hi, I need to help. My need to returns my backpack please the number track is 9405511699000418402994. Is since December 15th, 2014 I need my pack.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    Hello Leidy, Thank you for taking the time to notify our offices of this occurrence. The role of the USPS Office of Inspector General is to investigate waste, theft, fraud and abuse within the Postal Service (USPS). Unfortunately, this issue falls outside of the jurisdiction of this office. However, please contact your local Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-275-8777, so they can look further into this matter for you.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    Post Ofices are a trusted organization that protects the privacy and security of the people... ezmove.in

    Feb 10, 2015
  • anon

    Post office closings are necessary. However, the wrong ones are being closed and others are being left open for a portion of a day when they should have either been closed or consolidated. The decisions were made indiscriminately, probably by someone only looking at data on a computer. I will give one example; the post office with the county's largest school system, many businesses and customers was reduced to 4 hrs per day and the Postmaster moved 6 miles down the road to a hole in the wall, falling down, leaking, leased building with insulation falling from the roof. The office that is open 4 hrs per day is postal service owned and in great condition. Transportation drives the mail by the 4 hr office to get to the broken down office which has zero businesses and then returns back by the 4 hr office to get to the plant. The carriers in the broken down office deliver the mail to all the businesses in the 4 hr office, driving past the office itself. Revenue was not a factor in this decision, nor was public input. The manager at the "input" meeting stated publicly that the "decision had already been made." This is only one example. I can provide many more. I am not against closures but they should be done the right way.

    Oct 25, 2014
  • anon

    Case #CA119015538 My reason for writing is to inform you of the deplorable condition of the facility on Bill France Boulevard, Daytona Beach, Florida. For several years the condition of this facility has deteriorated, with the grounds barren, no grass, dusty, weeds growing all over the property, disabled lines and regular parking lot lines faded, the windows are milky looking, the sidewalk needs to be pressure washed. Recently the flag was all tattered; I see today that it was replaced. Roughly ten years ago, there used to be a postal worker that was in charge of mowing, edging and weeding the grounds, picking up debris, etc for a salary of $46,000 yearly. Today no one seems to give a hoot. I used to have a post office box but because of a cost factor I no longer have it. Maybe you can send someone to make a surprise visit to view this property. I am not the only one to complain. There was an article in the News Journal from a veteran and he was appalled at the condition of this site. He called the postmaster and sent emails and got no response. I wrote a letter to the Daytona Beach Postmaster and to date have received no reply.

    Oct 22, 2014
  • anon

    Hello, The primary responsibility of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General is to prevent, detect, and report fraud, waste, and misconduct; and to conduct independent audits and investigations of Postal Service programs and operations to ensure their efficiency and integrity. The issues raised in your correspondence do not fall within the jurisdiction of this office. These matters do appear to be within the jurisdiction of the office listed below. For further information, please contact: United States Postal Service Consumer & Industry Contact Office 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1060 Tampa, FL 33607-7160 (813) 354-6200 or (800) ASK-USPS Thank you for your interest in matters that affect the Postal Service.

    Oct 23, 2014
  • anon

    I have had 2 hip surgeries and 1 knee replacement in the last 1 1/2 years. I have another surgery Scheduled Dec 9th of 2014. My husband travels a lot and is most times gone from Monday to Friday. My regular postman has been great during this time by knocking on the door and giving me my mail. It takes less than a minute to do this. I don't know what I would do without him. If the mail would be put in the mailbox day in and out someone might see this and think the house was empty. I am alone during the week and it comforts me knowing the postal service is helping me. Recently he was on vacation and his replacement stacked my packages in front of the door so there was no way I could open the door. Thank goodness my mom was visiting. She had to go entirely around the house to get the boxes. I called the main post office to talk to the manager to ask him please do not do that again in case an emergency arose and that was my only way out. I would of had to crawl to get out but at least I would have an exit. She told me that if a postman wants to help me that is fine but his replacement doesn't have to help. She then told me The Post Office does NOT help the handicap. Their only job is to deliver the mail. I was shocked and had to ask her 10 times for her name before she gave it to me. I complained to the main USPS customer service number and they told me to fill out a hardship paper from my Dr. and then there would be no trouble and that her remarks was cruel and mean and they would take care of it. The next day my regular mailman came and told me that he was not allowed to help me anymore. All of a sudden I complain about what she said to me and he cannot help anymore. I called customer service again and they told me they would take this matter to higher ups. The higher up person called me and told me she would take care of this. To make sure I get that hardship paper and that I didn't even need to put a reason. I called my doctor and had her fill out the hardship slip I needed. My husband returned early on Wednesday. He went to the main post office to give the hardship paper to the post master. She had no idea what was going on. My husband told her that the manager said "They do not help the handicap. Their only job is to deliver the mail. She told my husband while she can be aggressive. That's all she said. The manager can be aggressive. What kind of comment is that?? I have never received an apology. I received a letter the following week saying my hardship was denied because my postman was to busy to help me. He could deliver me a package but that was all. I thought wait a minute... The manager said it was up to each postman if he wanted to help. He has been helping me for a year and a half and all of a sudden he is too busy. This was written by the post master. Meanwhile my mail is going to pile up all week until my husband comes home from his work trips. I just pray nobody notices this because I am very afraid they will see the piled mail and think the house is empty and rob me. I am on a walker. I cannot walk by myself and there is no way I can defend myself. I just don't understand the post office. My postman helped me for a year and a half. The manager said it was ok if a postman wants to help but I was denied hardship. It takes less than a minute for my postman to knock and for me to get up and he puts the mail on my walker seat. It is a SHAME that the Post Office DOES NOT help the handicap. I have no problem with Fedex or UPS helping me. They believe in helping the handicap. Thank goodness for kind businesses that help the handicap. I applaud them. I give a big BOO to the USPS. I am going to contact the handicap association and tell them what happened. I will also post this on my facebook and twitter account. I will let channel 5. Cleveland on your side and let them know what happened. I will tell anyone who listens about my story on how the Post Office takes the stand that they DO NOT help the handicap.

    Oct 20, 2014
  • anon

    Ms. Cordero-Shaffer, So we can assist you, please file a complaint with our Hotline: https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/new-complaint-form Thank you, Office of Inspector General

    Oct 21, 2014
  • anon

    As a postal employee I'm amazed that my pay stub has a return address of a facility that the USPS left over a decade ago. We want postal customers to use correct return addresses but we don't.

    Oct 18, 2014
  • anon

    Mandatory pre-funding is killing the Post office. And Donahoe is a complete dunce. Why should my local GMF be closed and delivery stanadards be relaxed because of pre-funding? Does not make good financial sense!

    Oct 15, 2014
  • anon

    Thanks to our local plant closing we (the community) look forward to receiving our mail at 7pm! If the post office doesn't care about the service, why should we! Mail should be delivered early in the day period! More plant closures will result in later mail delivery, but hey who doesn't want to go check their mail at midnight!!

    Oct 15, 2014
  • anon

    The Postal Service should be expanding it's services to the communities not ending it. Post Ofices are a trusted organization that protects the privacy and security of the people. The federal law (39 U.S. Code Section 101 and Section 301 as amended) states the basic function and obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. When post offices close, communities are being denied their rights under the law. When the Postmaster General cuts mail processing services out of the communities by closing a mail processing plant, the Postmaster General violates the law by denying certain areas and certain patrons services that others around the country get to preserve. The Postmaster General is delaying services across the country right now and are not meeting the service standards that the law is supposed to guarantee. Soon all overnight service will be gone unless we all stand up and demand our Congressional members to pass a bill to stop consolidations and closures and protect services and overnight standards for all patrons. Stop catering to the big businesses to the detriment of us all. The postal services basic function to serve all people. Get involved with your Congressional members now. We only have the next 2 months to stop the Postmaster General.

    Oct 14, 2014
  • anon

    i don't want to see any post office closed because all your doing is stopping the mail service and you need to get back to your roots because you have enough money to keep them up and running .

    Oct 14, 2014
  • anon

    the oaklawn post office in texarkana ark/texas mailprocessing operation was relocated to shreveport louisiana. the mail is late on a routine basis. also we lost our community postmark. i thank this decision should be revisit in the future

    Oct 14, 2014
  • anon

    I live in Methuen,MA. The zip code is 01844. The Methuen post office is handy and close by. I use it a lot. Please do not move it or relocate. The only problem I see is that the Methuen postmen have to go to the Lawrence post office in the morning to pick up the mail for Methuen for that day. I don't know if it affects the delivery or quickness or whether it is cost effective.

    Oct 14, 2014
  • anon

    the way the ShopRite selling stamps and is mail going to this address every day, Yes yes as with a lot of other convenient spots like food stores 7/ 11 on n on the need for convenience and no brick and mortar post office, super post all service , taking larger boxesand post service

    Oct 14, 2014
  • anon

    Postal management could stop turning a deaf ear to the wishes of the people. Here in Berkeley we have may our position absolutely clear - we don't want our Post Office relocated and sold off. Yet Post Office management totally ignored and continues to ignore he voice of the people.

    Oct 14, 2014

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