PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The United States Postal Service says it continues to experience an “unprecedented” increase in mail as some people in the Pittsburgh area claim they’re experiencing delays.
The USPS website thanks customers for their patience and warns it is “experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19.”
KDKA has received multiple emails from people saying they have not received magazines, periodicals or catalogs they typically get on a weekly basis.
For Rich Zahren of Mt. Lebanon, that includes his weekly shipment of The Economist, a world politics and business magazine.
“There’s three of those I haven’t received,” he said.
Zahren says for the last three weeks, certain things have been noticeably missing from his mailbox.
“Magazines, periodicals, catalogs just haven’t been coming, and it’s not just an issue for me personally,” he said. “I see our neighbors are seeing the same thing.”
A man in Allison Park claims he’s experiencing something similar.
John Walluck says he has not received any newspapers, magazines or periodicals over the past two weeks. After noticing certain publications were not coming in the mail, he called his local post office.
He says the person he spoke with on the phone told him they’ve been prioritizing Christmas packages.
“Then he said don’t expect to get any delivery of magazines, newspapers or periodicals until February,” Walluck said of his phone call with the post office.
Though a spokesperson for the USPS did not provide any information as to when delayed mail may arrive, he did say shippers everywhere have faced challenges through the holidays. The spokesperson provided a statement, saying:
The U.S. Postal Service, similar to the broader shipping sector, continues to face near-term pressure on service performance across categories as it manages through a historic record of holiday volume this season. The Postal Service’s 644,000 employees remain focused on delivering for the nation.
Nationally and locally, we delivered a record amount of packages this holiday season in the midst of the pandemic which significantly impacted our workforce availability. Capacity challenges with airlifts and trucking for moving this historic volume of mail also lead to temporary delays. These challenges were felt by shippers across the board. We are accepting all volumes being presented to us, which adds to the challenge of the workload. Our entire Operations team, from collections to processing to delivery, worked throughout this past weekend and continues to work around the clock to address the historic volume, which includes returns.
We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees, and will continue to work around the clock to deliver all packages and mail entered into our system, including returns. We thank our customers for their continued support and understanding.
Still, people like Walluck and Zahren are still hoping the products that they paid for show up soon.
“I’ve paid for it,” said Zahren. “The Economist has paid to get them delivered and I’m not getting them. I at least ought to understand who made the decision, what decision did they make and what are they going to do to fix it?”