Negative public reactions to U.S. Postal Service plant closures are growing so much that even the postal service is beginning to notice. In at least one recent case a local Congressman and some of his constituents suspect the agency is trying to exact revenge on those who are complaining about slow service.
In Omaha, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican, complained to the local Postmaster that slow deliveries were causing his constituents to receive credit card bills late subjecting them to unnecessary overcharges.
More importantly, this tardiness also led to prescription medicine arriving too late, and things like that, according to Omaha.com http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/fortenberry-takes-complaints-of-slow-mail-delivery-to-u-s/article_f2eeaba6-1bdd-55b9-afdf-bcddfcf9d70a.html.
For his trouble, the postal service allegedly delivered invitations to a local town meeting Fortenberry sponsored in Bellevue, NE on the exact day of that meeting, making it nearly impossible for people to make it on time.
While local USPS officials apologized for the screw-up they didn’t explain why those invitations, which were due to out several days before the event were held up.
Draw your own conclusions.
More importantly, delays in the delivery of mail order medicine can endanger lives—especially those in remote and rural areas that depend on getting refrigerated medicine on time, say pharmacists in Idaho, according to the Idaho State Journal http://www.idahostatejournal.com/members/pharmacists-say-postal-service-closure-delays-medication/article_d743c85d-2a99-5b6f-ac74-ab570dda871a.html.
In some of those locations, there are no retail drug stores and pharmacists are urging their patients to plan ahead to avoid getting stuck.
But how are these ordinary, often elderly people supposed to know about things like USPS nationwide service cutbacks when all they want is to get their medicine on time as they always did?
Maybe somebody has to die before the USPS relents? And would that even make a difference to detached bureaucrats in Washington. And then what?
No matter what the postal service remains intent on cutting services, even though last May it delayed until next year its latest round of closing 82 distribution facilities. But that only came about after several key Senators from rural states raised enough hell.
Maybe the USPS hopes no one will notice plant closures next year.
If so, the postal service is likely to face an even stronger backlash from disgruntled customers. And that’s dangerous in a Presidential election year.
USPS closures are affecting booming urban areas too. One key example is Phoenix, AZ where Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, recently reintroduced a bill forbidding the USPS from closing post offices in such locations http://grijalva.house.gov/news-and-press-releases/grijalva-to-reintroduce-bill-preventing-post-office-closures-in-highgrowth-zip-codes/.
Maybe these efforts will help raise the profile of postal issues in the next Congress?