BEND, Ore. - If you've had issues with the United States Postal Service office in Bend, you're not alone. One couple said they've had several business delivery-related problems since moving to Bend in August.
Alison and David Burke both run online businesses from home. So they depend on the post office to get packages to their customers.
They said they've had serious problems with the local post office, and issues are getting worse over time.
“It’s the worst service I’ve ever encountered in my life in the U.S. Postal Service here in Bend,” Alison Burke said Monday. “I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone who has a positive experience. Every neighbor, every person in this town has had complaints about the U.S. Postal Service.”
The Postal Service website says all packages should be scanned. That's how customers track their purchases.
In a letter to Rep. Greg Walden, the Burkes said the Bend post office does not properly scan in packages that are dropped off or picked up. They said they were told the office does not have enough manpower to scan all packages.
The Burkes also said they've put in online requests for scheduled pickups, but the carriers don't receive the notification until many days later. That can mean the package is not delivered to the customer on time.
A former employee of the Bend post office who wanted to remain anonymous told NewsChannel 21, "There's basically two weeks of training prior to you coming to the office and actually working on a route. Other than that, you don't have any specific training. It's just basically learn along the way."
Another problem the Burkes cited is lost or missing packages. They said there have been several instances when tracking data shows the packages arrived, but they never actually did.
They said working with the post office to solve these problems has not been easy.
"That's been really problematic,” Alison Burke said. “I went in and I would present myself at customer service. Everybody in the post office has been very polite, they're considerate -- but nothing ever changes."
The Burkes said they've contacted the manager of the Bend post office, but all he's given them are empty promises.
They said they hand-delivered a letter for the rural route manager at the post office, but they've received no response.
Officials with the Postal Service said the postmaster will follow up with any problem the Burkes have. The Burkes said they tried to speak with the postmaster twice, and he would not speak with them directly.
So they said they tried to set up an appointment with the post office instead, but no one has responded to their request.
Not everyone has had such serious problems with USPS and business deliveries. B.J. Thomas contacted us after this story initially aired. She said she has been selling items on eBay for 20 years and Etsy for 5 years and has had good experiences with tracked priority shipments, with very few and quickly resolved issues, compared to the "more expensive and careless FedEx or UPS."