Nothing gets the attention of stakeholders like mail service issues. Late last year, our audit report on delayed mail generated headlines about inaccurately reported counts of delayed mail.

In our latest audit report on the topic, we find the U.S. Postal Service accurately reported delayed mail in the Great Lakes Area, an important step in meeting USPS service standards.

The Postal Service considers mail to be delayed when it is not processed in time to meet the established delivery day. Mail processing facilities are required to complete daily mail counts and report into the Web Mail Condition Reporting System (MCRS) all on-hand mail, delayed mail, late-arriving mail, and mail processed after the cut-off time.

The three processing facilities we reviewed accurately reported their delayed mail. We found no significant difference (less than a half-percent) between our counts and the Postal Service’s on the day of our observations at the three facilities.

However, one facility did not include all late-arriving mail and plan-failure mail (mail processed after the established cut-off time for completing mail processing) in their MCRS reports. When mail condition reports are not accurate, management uses incorrect information to make decisions on staffing, mail processing equipment use, transportation of mail, and preventive maintenance. This can ultimately affect performance goals and service standards.

Upon inspecting trailers at the facilities, we also found some First-Class Mail and Priority Mail that had not been processed for delivery nor were considered undeliverable for any reason, yet were mixed in with the Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail that was set for recycling. Management took immediate action upon notification of mail in the trailer.  

Our previous reports have highlighted the potential for lost revenue from delayed mail, which spiked in 2015 after the Postal Service closed or consolidated more than 140 facilities as part of its plan to optimize its operations and workforce. And while USPS did not necessarily agree with our findings in last year’s report, it agreed with our recommendations in this current report. Most of our recommendations focused on training of personnel to ensure they are aware of mail reporting requirements and standard procedures for verifying and handling undeliverable bulk mail.

Comments (7)

We welcome your comments related to the topic on this page. Complaints about the Postal Service, including lost, stolen or mishandled mail, that are unrelated to the content on this page, will not be posted. Please visit the Contact Us page for information on where to file formal complaints with our agency or the Postal Service.

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  • anon

    Apparently after reading some comments there is a major issue with accountability within the USPS. Regional distribution centers misplacing mail, delayed mail (until someone files a complaint or PD report), and suspected theft within the USPS not addressed. Depletes the public trust with USPS and the only option has been to address it through the constituent's Congressional representative. I personally have been following claims of "lost" mail with merchants and it has been localized in their regional distribution (NW Rochester NY). Unfortunately, with the consistent disenfranchisement by USPS and lack of accountability by those, from theft to consumer reporting with the administration to investigation and prosecution, funding should not be increased.

    Jun 13, 2018
  • anon

    Based on the audit reports, the OIG has the ability to point out problems and make recommendations. What seems to be lacking is the ability to take action on Postal Offices that do not implement recommendations with good faith and continue to under perform. What incentive, other than personal pride in a job well done, is there for Postal employees to improve their performance? Who, if not the OIG will take action?

    Jun 12, 2018
  • anon

    Garbage worst service ever is all I can say. I have sent two packages with USPS one never delivered for a week when it was supposed to be next day and the other never delivered. Web site not worth a damn cant sent email because the frames don't load correctly so I called and was told it would be 1 hour 20 minute to 1 hour 40 minute wait to speak with someone. REALLY!!! are you kidding what is going on? Packages are delayed consistently first it was supposed to be delivered on 6/8 then 6/9 then "delivered" but NOT...never delivered at all can't file lost package because those frames also don't load. Amazon is right for not paying full price for anything delivered by USPS they have no commitment to the person sending nor receiving. I can't even request a refund for 30 days although it was "delivered" Garbage horrible company should be shut down and start over again. They take no responsibility for their mistakes and customer service beyond the worst. NEVER again will I ship with USPS and will recommend the same to everyone I know USP and FedEx beyond excellent never miss a delivery

    Jun 11, 2018
  • anon

    Informed delivery-An improved method of detecting lost mail. •Most of my mail is delivered as stated, with the exception one piece of mail from a specific sender! Now why is that? •Opted to rent a mail box to prevent the interruption of mail only to experience the same at the post office. •USPS 800# has over 50 minute wait and longer if you actually call and hold for next available customer service representative. •USPS CHAT disconnected our connection 3 times prior to connecting and when I did connect the Chat Rep disconnected conversation when asked “what they could do for me” and or object to the disconnect! •Local USP office found my mail on several ocassions after urgent staff to dig deeper! There is no problem with the senders the problem lies with the post office staff. •The loss of mail has cost me hundreds of $$$. •I’d like to formally request community mail boxes for my neighborhood. We have mulled this over and are opting to stop renting boxes and use community mail boxes. It’s not worth paying a semi or annual fee to receive lost mail, long 800# waits and disconnected chat calls. And most importantly no answers in regards to our lost mail! Please have a real life person from a local USPS contact me at my email address to further discuss this issue and resolve it! Our communities depend on as much accuracy as possible when mail is concerned. Stakeholders you should be really concerned and do not back off! Keep the USPS accountable!

    Jun 09, 2018
  • anon

    Please correct our mail carrier !

    Jun 08, 2018
  • anon

    Oig many times we try to tell you all that the station Mgr at holiday city in Memphis tn were delayed mail the stakes holder needs to be upset it's nothing news mail been delayed just as well as packages Amazon's Mgr so bold they take your I'd put it in another scanner just to throw off the postmaster which he didn't care what they were doing scanning the amazon under the right route to fake scan delivery and they still sit inside the station and here it's is they promote managers for a job well done anytime a carrier's hide mail in a field but you all can't walk into a station and look at how Memphis Mgr have gotten over delayed mail everyday now since routes are so long they tell the CCA to kill the first class mail they got mad at me for reported to the postmaster general in Washington dc that they were hide mail station Mgr and her guard mom the area Mgr put me off the clock December 1,2017 I been off the clock since then caused I send Mrs. Meghan Brannon an email that my Mgr were delay mail they always say a giant will fall caused of dirty that these 37 years old Mgr will do I were the one who told you all to track letters mail it don't do no millions of customers are sign up online track their mails the CCA are killing mail like crazy route 1873 mail get killed everyday the CCA that been on my route said that station Mgr told her to kill all the mail she can't delivery until you all step up the plate the mother and guard child team will never ever be caught they own the USPS

    Jun 03, 2018
  • anon

    Having a problem with mail carrier trying to find away to solve the issue. Im not getting all my mail and they orleaving it on my step sticking up facing the road for everybody to see. did not know it was out there until i open door to clean outdoor window. also a couple weeks ago mail on concrete right in front of garage. what can i do to stop them from doing this , can they take it back to post office if they can not get in on my screen in porch. if they knock i can not hear them i do not have a door bell and someday i might forget to unlock door but is trying to remember to open it by 8 olclock or leave it cracked so they will never ever do that again.

    May 29, 2018

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