Westover residents complain about mail not being delivered

WESTOVER — Residents of apartments at 424 Holland Ave. are complaining to the U.S. Postal Service, saying their mail is not being delivered appropriately.

An official with the postal service told The Dominion Post the issue was being worked out with the owner of the apartment building.

The owner of the apartment building said he hadn’t been contacted by USPS or his tenants.

Earlisa Brockenberry said she has lived in the apartment building for five years. She works from home, doesn’t own a car and takes care of her grandchild, so she said she orders a lot of packages online.

“We’ve not gotten mail,” she said. “Every time it rains, we don’t get mail, and it’s just been so bad. Our packages are being held up. It’s just not good.

“We didn’t get mail for almost a three-week stretch. They claimed it was muddy out here, but there was no mud nowhere to be found. Every time it rains, we don’t get mail for like weeks.”

Brockenberry said she ordered a teething amber necklace from Amazon for her grandson on March 27. They said her order would arrive on April 2.

“I waited, and I checked my Amazon account,” she said. “The package didn’t come that day. Because it rained on the 29, but [Wednesday] was dry. When I checked my Amazon account, it said ‘attempted delivery,’ and I thought, ‘I was home.’ I’m always home because I work from home.

“The mail man didn’t come. He lied. All that week, and I screenshotted it, he put ‘attempted delivery’ on Thursday and Friday.”

Brockenberry said this was not the only item not delivered — she did not receive any mail or packages until April 14. She called the post office on April 2 to see what the problem was.

“When I originally called about it, I spoke to a supervisor there,” she said. “She wouldn’t give me her name. This is very, very unusual for the post office. She said she’d put me on hold to see who my carrier was and why I wasn’t getting mail.

“She put me on a two-minute hold, and then said, ‘He can’t come out there. There’s mud out there. You need to call your landlord and tell him to put some gravel down.’ ”

Brockenberry said she was confused because the rain from two days ago dried up.

“When the lady had got me off of hold, I told her, ‘Ma’am, there’s no mud out there. We backtracked. We went from the cars to where we live. There’s no mud,’ ” she said.

“She told me there was, and that she had seen the bottom of his shoes. I knew that was a lie. She didn’t even know who he was two minutes ago, so how did she see the bottom of his shoes so quick?”

Brockenberry said she then asked to speak to the postmaster but was told she wasn’t available.  She was then given a number to call for consumer protection for USPS.

“She gave me a 304 number to the consumer protection number for the post office,” she said. “That’s the number the inspector general gave me. That number is a voicemail. They have you to get a case number. I had gotten two cases. I have gotten one on fraud and one on misconduct. When I called and got the voicemail, it said to leave your case number. I left my case number several times, and I never got a call back.

“Then I talked to a postal analyst, and he took my full report. I never got a call back.”

Brockenberry’s neighbor Koren Kurcaba said she was in a hospital for surgery and didn’t know the mail stopped being delivered.

“I had come home, I had surgery because I’m in heart failure,” she said. “I was sitting at home, and here comes the electric company and handed me a notice. We thought it was kind of strange we weren’t getting any mail, but he handed me a notice that said my electric was being turned off the next day. I got nothing in the mail stating that I even owed anything on my bill. I mean, if I get my electric turned off, I’m done for. I have a lot of problems.”

Kurcaba said they got the bill paid and went to the downtown Morgantown Post Office looking for packages that should have been delivered. She said postal workers there were rude to her husband.

Kurcaba said the post office gave her husband a number to call, but when they tried several times, no one answered.

“He went back down there and said maybe they had given us the wrong number or something, and that we needed to get our mail and know what was going on,” she said.

“They were very unhelpful. It was the one on South High Street he went to. We got no answers whatsoever.”

Kurcaba said she waited for her packages until one day when she heard the dog barking outside and found six packages on her porch. She said she asked the mailman if he started delivering again.

“He said, ‘Yeah, I started delivering again. It was hazardous here.’ I don’t know where he thought it was hazardous. I thought maybe there was ice. Our driveway has potholes in it, but for walking-wise, it’s fine” she said.

Brockenberry said she filed two complaints with the post office over the matter — one for improper conduct for the lack of mail delivery and one for fraud because her packages were marked as repeated attempted delivery, but no one was delivering the mail.

Brockenberry said there is a little post office across the street from the apartment complex, and she didn’t understand why that was not an option if the mailman felt it was too hazardous to deliver.

“Instead of her sending someone out here to investigate before she made the decision, she didn’t even do that,” she said. “She didn’t give us the option of picking up our mail across the street at the little post office, and that could have been easily done. She didn’t even give us options.”

Susan Wright, United States Postal Service corporate communications officer, said the issue is being resolved with the property owner.

“The Postal Service has safety concerns with the walking paths at the apartment complex on Holland Avenue,” she said. “We have reached out to the property owner and are attempting to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience our customers have experienced and look forward to a speedy resolution to this issue.”

Apartment complex owner Eric Dalton said he had not received notice from the post office or his tenants that there was a problem with the mail.

“I’ve not talked to anybody,” he said. “A couple years ago, the post office told me they were no longer offering door-to-door service. They told me all tenants have to sign up for a P.O. Box right across the road from the apartment building. So, that’s the last I heard about that.

“As far as the road being muddy, both of the alley ways that lead back into the apartment building are Westover city streets, so I would assume if they needed gravel or something needed done, that would be on the city of Westover to take care of their streets.”

As of Saturday, Brockenberry said she had not received mail for the past two days.

Kurcaba said she would like to know when the post office will not be able to deliver mail.

“If they decided not to deliver mail, they should have given us some kind of notice about it,” she said. “Like I said, my electric almost got turned off over it.”