U.S. Postal Service delivery points are increasing each year. Package volumes are rising steadily as well. And so are customer expectations. This paradigm tends to lead to an increase in customer complaints, especially when delivery performance doesn’t meet expectations.

Given these pressures, we are seeing an increasing risk in the areas of delivery and retail performance. Our audit teams are designed to quickly evaluate delivery and retail operations and provide meaningful results to Postal Service management and our stakeholders. Relying heavily on data analytics, teams target high-risk delivery and retail units based on a series of operational factors and trip wires, tools that let us focus on one or two data points to identify events that indicate a high likelihood of control weaknesses.

For example, we have seen an increase of delivery scanning issues at various post offices and annexes, where carriers sort mail for delivery. We found carriers were improperly scanning packages as “delivered” while still at their post office rather than at the delivery point. The carriers reported a variety of reasons for the improper scans at their locations, including saving time, fearing they’d forget to scan, following management instructions, or simply trying to be efficient when many packages were going to a single business address.

We recommended that district managers instruct unit managers on working with their staffs to ensure they follow standard operating procedures for scanning mail pieces. See recent internal control audits on delivery, scanning issues, and customer service issues:

You can find a full list of reports and white papers in our documents library.

Comments (20)

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  • anon

    I had a "Sorry We Missed You" receipt left in my mail box today, 11,13,19. I live in a condo complex and was home all day waiting for the delivery. According to the receipt left the mailman tried to deliver said package but was unable. No attempt was made to contact me and I feel that the mailman or his floater was simply just to lazy to come up to the apt and knock on the door. I have tried calling the P.O. here; Paradise Valley, 4975 University Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89119. I have the station phone number (702) 736-7910. However the phone just rings and no one will answer yet they were still open, this is an ongoing practice of this P.O. as they simply do not want to deal with customers. I have spoken with the Station Manager in the past on the rare occasion that the phone was answered and he was rude and condescending at best. I was a Letter Carrier may years ago in Chicago and I find it absolutely appalling at just how low the Postal Service has sunk regarding anything resembling customer service. I try my best to see that any package mailed to me is via any other delivery service other than the Postal Service for just this reason. I am almost positive I will hear nothing from you (the P.O.) because as I stated before that all of you just simply do not give a damn! I am still waiting on hold to speak with someone on the phone and I'm sure their just hoping that I will hang up before they have to assist me. I will be visiting the P.O. Station stated above tomorrow morning to collect my package so that your lazy mailman or floater does not have to exert and excessive energy and come to my door to see if I am actually home.

    Nov 13, 2019
  • anon

    I've had an excellent rural route carrier for 15+ years whom I adore and never had a complaint. The previous one was terrible. That being said, sure the staff has a lot to do with accuracy, timeliness etc. But remember, they don't get funded like other Government agencies so these's some outdated equipment and the fact they pretty much get paid a flat salary. A few hours over during high volume times or due to equipment failure (mainly scanners and delivery vehicles) is free labor essentially. Go to your local Postmaster if you have an issue and keep going up the chain if needed. Most of the people down the ladder are working hard and doing their best with what they have available. And no, I don't work for the Postal System and not related to anyone that does.

    Nov 09, 2019
  • anon

    Although my package was only a day late i thought it may have been the weather but after tracking my package it was delilverd to Mansfield ,Pa then back to Harrisburg as (Missent) then to Wellsboro then to our post office in Middlebury center before being delivered. On another note most all of my packages I recieve look like they have been through a war zone, half opened, torn or holes into the boxes. Ill never have anything sent through the Phili airport. I usually dont get it or its broken upon arrival.

    Nov 09, 2019
  • anon

    I am told that scanning my outgoing packages before they leave my property is a courtesy, and many times they are not scanned when the carrier gets to the PO. And since I am an eBay seller, EBay doesn't understand that sometimes packages do not get scanned accepted, and I lose the status I have with EBay for something that is not my fault. My new carrier doesn't want to take the time to scan them, she is always in a hurry, yet I bet when it is time for count she will scan them on my porch.

    Sep 17, 2019
  • anon

    My carrier delivered a package addressed to me to the wrong address and scanned it as if it were delivered to my house. I contacted the local post office and they began an investigation. After several days of not hearing from them, I called back and was told that yes, the carrier delivered it to the wrong address and that they were attempting to recover the package. Several more days passed with no word so I called back and was told that they could not reach the home owner at the wrong address and that I needed to file a claim. I filed a claim and it was denied several days later. I called the person at the district office that issued the rejection and was told that since there was no insurance that they would do nothing to compensate me. Even though the carrier admitted to delivering to the wrong address, that they could not recover the package and that I had video evidence, the post office accepts no responsibility. What kind of business can operate like this? Oh, I know, a government funded business!I I will do everything possible to not use the post office i the future including alternate shipping and signing up for every e-statement possible. It's no wonder they are floundering.

    Sep 13, 2019
  • anon

    When i track my item on your website it says shipping label is created, awaiting item but when i ask my seller about the status of the product he says to me that is already sent to usps post office. Who to trust?

    Sep 13, 2019
  • anon

    Hello there Gerti, As a seller myself - this has been a big headache for us using USPS. Being that your seller has nothing to gain from not sending your package ( it will be their loss in the end anyway if they didn't - and having to refund you) it is likely that they did indeed drop it off and that usps either didn't scan it at arrival (pre-paid packages can be dropped off without waiting in line) or the scan gun wasn't working. This was my personal post offices excuse today as I am actually having the same problem. So before you go pointing any fingers - wait it out until the expected delivery date before taking negative action against the seller

    Oct 08, 2019
  • anon

    Hello, Gerti. Thank you for your comment. Regarding your concern, we recommend contacting your local Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-cam.cfm. You can also file a complaint directly with the Postal Service at https://www.usps.com/help/contact-us.htm.

    Sep 13, 2019
  • anon

    I know that with the USPS as well as other package delivery companies, the shortest route is not necessarily a straight line. However I'm currently tracking a package being sent to south Mississippi. It has gone from Houston, TX to Mobile, AL and now is shown to be in Orlando, FL. ???????

    Sep 08, 2019
  • anon

    Cameras with audio need to be installed at all post offices they would save enough to pay for them in one year

    Sep 07, 2019
  • anon

    The Carrier's scanner could have an alarm activate when a parcel is delivered outside the 100 feet delivery point and the carrier would have to acknowledge the missed delivery, right at the time of delivery. This would eliminate mis-deliveries, plus cut down on office personnel trying to find out what happened.

    Aug 20, 2019
  • anon

    It already has that capability. A year ago or so that alert function was enabled for a week or so. Meanwhile 10% or so parcels are mis-coded so that the printed address doesn't match the address the bar code reader reports.

    Aug 20, 2019
  • anon

    Within the last 5 years, the quality of our mail delivery has drastically gone down, and it’s not due to anything but a lack of attention by the sorters and carriers. We are constantly getting mail for our neighbors, and they are getting ours. We will also get mail for the next street over, but same numerical address. Lack of accountability and failure to discipline careless employees is the real issue here.

    Aug 12, 2019
  • anon

    this pharmacy uses usps everyday, we count on your service, the pharmacy packages are very important to our patients, your post office is losing our packages and NOT scanning them out. we tried calling the post office at the number given to us from the 800 number but nobody ever answers. what should our pharmacy do as the next step. we haven't got back lost packages, and again nobody to call.

    Aug 07, 2019
  • anon

    Mailed my college son's drivers license on July 23, 2019 using 2 day priority from Wrens, GA to Cookeville TN. Tracking shows time post office took possession and departure time. After that, never scanned again. Now it is August 6th, I have filed every claim for I can. Last form was for mail recovery. Did a test and sent empty envelope with first class stamp and it arrived in TN in 3 days. Why did I pay extra for tracking when scans are not be done properly. I just want the driver's license.

    Aug 06, 2019
  • anon

    Same I recently had two packages delivered to the wrong address; I tried to intercept delivery during the process but no one responded and it was delivered any way.

    Aug 05, 2019
  • anon

    I recently had two packages delivered to the wrong address; I tried to intercept delivery during the process but no one responded and it was delivered any way.

    Jul 21, 2019
  • anon

    I recently left a note in my rural delivery mailbox complaining that I could rely on mail being delivered by approximately 2 p.m. but recently mail.has been delivered after 5-5:30 p.m. That same day, the rural carrier came to my door to respond (and, for which I thanked him). He explained the increase in mail volume, including Amazon packages, was causing delays in sorting and deliveries.

    Jul 16, 2019
  • anon

    As long as mangers demand 100% scans with no excuses the supervisors will provide 100% scans, not deliveries by any means necessary

    Jul 15, 2019
  • anon

    One factor that must be considered is simply this: "You touch it, you scan it." As a clerk who sorts mail at a carrier facility, I see the odd PSE who, unable to obtain an AAU scan on the PASS machine, simply tosses the package into a hamper (sometimes even having to look up the correct route). I see returned parcels, and forwarded parcels in which the label is stretched across the barcode -- and I can tell that I am the first person to have lifted that label (and reposition the same in a correct manner) since the label was affixed by some other non-caring clerk. Or -- and this is common -- a barcode simply cannot be read by any scanner -- PASS, IMD, ring scanner -- and so they frequently are tossed into a hamper without an AAU scan. For that matter, when the manual input feature is used on the touch screen of a PASS machine, why isn't the route number automatically given on that screen? Most of the time (perhaps 90% of the time) a package which has to be manually input then has to be manually looked up on a scheme board. Isn't this a colossal waste of human resources? Since the machine is hardwired into the national database, write a few lines of code to include the route number. Now, I'm not talking about delivery scans, but the fact that a package hasn't been scanned even once from the left coast back to Missouri should be giving us pause. Clerks need to be taught, or to be given a refresher course, on how to properly affix forwarding or return to sender labels. It needs to be stressed to one and all -- "You touch it, you scan it." One last thought. I frequently serve as the closer for our carrier station, and this means that I also handle the customer service window (we do not provide retail services). It is embarrassing to run a tracking inquiry only to find that the ONLY time a package has been scanned was to show it "available for pickup" or another carrier-input scan -- because the barcode was covered by a sticker, or it could not be read at all. I don't like having to explain things like this to the customer.

    Jul 15, 2019