From wearing masks and working at home to popularizing terms like “social distancing” and “contact tracing,” the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on life has been far and wide. Most people just don’t do things the way they used to, and according to our new survey, that includes some of the ways they interact with the U.S. Postal Service.

As you can see in our recent white paper, Customer Perceptions of the U.S. Postal Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic, our survey found that 96 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that mail was important. Yet, while seven out of 10 said they would be comfortable visiting a post office during the pandemic, fewer people reported having done so in the past month compared to previous years.

Respondents were also sending fewer letters and packages but checking and reading their mail more frequently. And — unsurprising for a time of social distancing — more people reported ordering more items more frequently online than in previous years. In fact, the Postal Service delivered more than 1.1 billion packages between October and December last year! Respondents said that, even after the pandemic ends, they expect to continue shopping online more than they did before the pandemic started.

Other trends haven’t changed, though. Most people still to want to resolve postal-related questions in-person at a post office, and almost three in 10 respondents continue to pay their bills through the mail. And people’s opinion of USPS? That one held steady, too: 91 percent of respondents reported a favorable view in 2020, compared to between 88 and 90 percent in the two previous years.

What about you? How have your mailing and ecommerce behaviors changed — or not — during the pandemic? Tell us below!

Comments (14)

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  • anon

    A letter I paid almost 8 bucks to be delivered had a signature card on it to come back to me. The letter was delivered to the adjacent address and the card was signed by an unknown person. The letter was found unopened in a mailbox of the wrong person. The post office said they used the covid rule for delivery. I say they used the lazy rule. There was no attempt to find the person named on the envelope. No pink slips were left at the correct address. The letter was handed back to me by the box recipient.

    Sep 17, 2021
  • anon

    Talk about terrible service. I'm in 27909, Elizabeth City, NC. We have not had mail delivery for 3 days in a row now! I've lived in 4 states and dealt with at least 9-10 post offices. This one here in Elizabeth City has to be the most poorly run post office I have ever had to deal with. Once a got a mailed from our insurance company with what was supposed to be a needed prescription. The package was delivered with a hole in the bag and no prescription and no note or anything. When I went to the post office I was told it was not their problem!! My friend lives across town. He has said on numerous occasions that hardly a week goes by with him not getting a mail delivery. I can't wait to get my Wednesday newspaper.... sometimes!!

    Aug 06, 2021
  • anon

    So sorry, as i have stated in the past. USPS can when accountability is the rule of each day, rather than sometimes, or maybe if the time is right in the future. It can do the work of the people as it has done for over 200 years. It is as important today, as it ever was. You are right to say that some at USPS could use some help seeing the way to see their way of doing the right thing for the public!.

    Aug 12, 2021
  • anon

    I have worked at USPS for 22.5 years before retiring. The sad current fact is that there is not enough accountable persons in Management. One office can do great work while other offices have no standard. Like all networks its service is only as good as its weakest link. The problems are the same for all companies, but without oversight the problems only increase. I feel bad for the workers, whos outstanding efforts are going to waste.

    May 24, 2021
  • anon

    I think the USPS is using COVID as an excuse for sloppy service - cases are down, vaccines are increasing, and there is no excuse for this BS. USPS has gotten BILLIONS of dollars but is mismanaging it. This is why people use Fedex, UPS, and why companies like Amazon are making their own deliveries. If the USPS and its management had a brain, they would pay more attention to that.

    May 10, 2021
  • anon

    I am on hold with USPS for over 1 hour and 25 minutes STILL COUNTING..... This is unacceptable. Using CoVid as an excuse for customers to wait on the phone or for a call back over 20 minutes is unacceptable, to wait over an hour is infuriating, and outrageous. The United States is open, please adjust accordingly and take care of your customers, as there are many other ways to ship packages. I would like someone to call me back as to why I am on hold for now 1 hour 30 minutes and still waiting for a person to accept the call

    May 04, 2021
  • anon

    They say 98% of people approve of the USPS actually 1.1 star rating with the public is the truth look it up folks my stimulus was mailed 20 days ago and I still have not gotten it I have filed several complaints and I never heard anything back

    Apr 14, 2021
  • anon

    4/13/21 Dear USPS: I for one am very grateful for my local NY 10602 post office being open over the last year in NY so I could get & send mail, & buy stamps and money orders, so I could pay bills on time. The consistency mattered. Really. I'm glad that USPS employees advised the public with posted signs to be mindful with behaving safely with masks and distancing, yet I saw many customers not complying with the rules and being rude and offensive with other customers and USPS employees, almost starting fights and making threats. Irate customers made remarks that their postal needs took priority over others waiting in line, and they acting like they were "more important" than any others, cutting the line and not waiting 10 in line like all the others. It became chaotic though. The USPS wouldn't install a mailbox outside the USPS satellite front door office so public could mail letters. To do so would have alleviated the angry verbal customer fights on the sidewalk outside the USPS office. Public was desparate to mail letters. The USPS employees were too busy with customers to come out and stop the fights. I've been going to my USPS local office for 29 years almost every other day, and I've never experienced such racial name calling, as a customer waiting in line being told I was going to "be arrested by the White Plains cops" because I waited in line early in front of others just getting there and they refused to wait in line. I was was afraid to go there anymore and get my mail from my mailbox. I was afraid about being hurt by the irate customers, both by verbal insults to get out of their way so they could get in first to the USPS office window. I had to change the time of day I went there when there was no one in line. I was afraid of confrontations. I didn't want to be arrested or threatened by customer while mailing bills and buying stamps.

    Apr 14, 2021
  • anon

    I am reluctant to order merchandise online. My parcels have been returned to the sender and have been stolen. I use a PO Box exclusively. If a retailer cannot ship to my PO Box, then I must provide my house address assuming the parcel will be delivered by UPS or FedEx. If the retailer chooses to use SmartPost or SurePost, then I will not receive the parcel.

    Apr 13, 2021
  • anon

    My mail delivery has slowed down immensely. Some pieces take over 30days for me to get. I reported misuse of my credit card and the complaint paper was due in 10 days but it took me 26 days to get that paper telling me that therefore I was denied as I didn't reply in time Thanks TRUMP and USPS. That is just one example of the many incidents (at least 10) that screwed up things especially financial matters for me.

    Apr 13, 2021
  • anon

    Most poorly run organization I ever dealt with. Cannot complain because form won't go through. PRIVATIZE. Maybe then mail will get delivered

    Apr 13, 2021
  • anon

    It is so sad that since october 5, 2020, 6 months now, today is 4/13/2021, the USPS has not been able to deliver my package nor give me any information on what is going on. I have been from custom to USPS back to custom and again. Actually, I thought the delay was due to the pandemic, but this doesnt seem to be the case at all. My birthday was August 8, and my mother made me some of our traditional wears and sent them, --which I don't really need here anyways, but, "who doesn't want to know what mama has in stock for them?" It's been 6 months and I am tired looking for it. USPS, you can keep the package now, after 6 months, I have made peace with it. It is yours now, it wont fit anymore. But, so you know, I work in healthcare, and information is very important if you want to get things fixed. Your information system is very poor. You need to do better in providing information, you are dealing with human being not animals. I am a nurse, and I would not be ok to have you in hospital bed for 6 months for a minor injuries, and even worst when i dont give you any update regarding your health. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. I just hope this message has an impact on just one person. Goodbye.

    Apr 12, 2021
  • anon

    Thank you Hillary You and your family are what good people go miles to serve. Thank you for noble efforts for your fellow Americans. I know the value of you Nurses hearts. I once had one holding my hand with a bullet hole a quarter of an inch from my heart. You move mountains for those in need!.

    May 26, 2021
  • anon

    You are NOWHERE near Wichita area.................service people there would have solved that a long time ago!

    Apr 13, 2021