Montana News

Jan 16, 2013 1:52 AM by Lindsey Gordon (

Helena customers complain about slow delivery and lost parcels at USPS

It's been over a year now that the United States Postal Service consolidated the Customer Service Mail Processing Center for Helena, Butte and Great Falls.

One Helena man, Carl Hendrix, said he lost four checks in the mail during the month of December.

"Something is going on, because we had no problems. We've had the same address for twelve years. We had no problems at all until they consolidated in Great Falls," said Hendrix.

Hendrix said he only received one notification from the postal service, saying his parcel had been shredded.

He feels lucky that he hasn't had any late fee charges, but he got a call from his landlord about not receiving his rent and he noticed a double payment on his phone bill, a sign it never got paid.

He doesn't own a computer and pays all his bills by mail.

"Individual situations like this are unfortunate, but we stand by the record that we have of service to the American people and we certainly hope that he would give us another chance," said Peter Nowacki, a spokesperson for USPS in a phone call from Minneapolis.

It isn't just lost parcels, but most complaints are about transit time for mail.

"I think most of the time they have a problem within the state, or Helena to Helena mail," said Janet Kosnik, the president for the Helena chapter of the America Postal Workers Union.

This is a frequent complaint that Kosnik hears. She says to her knowledge, it is more rare for parcels to be lost.

She adds, "It happens occasionally. You know there's such a large volume no matter where the mail is processed."

Hendrix can't seek remedy. After one check was lost, he had to get a stop-payment issued from the bank, which cost him $30. USPS won't reimburse you for anything, unless you've paid for insurance.

After four lost checks, Hendrix has some choice words:"Do something. Their quality control is no good at all."

Kosnik agrees that since the consolidation, things are not the same.

"I still wish our mail could come back, but it will not. It's a shame, because we did give better service," finished Kosnik.

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