It makes no difference what part of the country you’re in, post offices nationwide are in need of upkeep and repair. A majority of post office lobbies we reviewed in the Eastern Area have many of the same problems found in other areas.

We are nearly done with our series of audits on postal retail facility conditions in all seven U.S. Postal Service areas, which we reviewed to determine if USPS management is adhering to building maintenance and to standards for safety, security standards, and employee working conditions. Problems in the Eastern Area post offices were similar to other areas and included:

  • More than 60 percent of facilities reviewed had building safety and security issues as well as potential Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations.
  • Almost half of facilities had cleanliness and maintenance issues.
  • Nearly 70 percent did not maintain a customer complaint log or monitor how promptly complaints are resolved.

Our previous audits done over the past year found that building appearance problems ranged from mold and signs of rodent and bug infestation to poor landscaping and foliage growing inside the facility. Other problems included deteriorating metal or wood on door frames, filthy exhaust or ventilation fans, and exposed furnace fires.

We found that the conditions were due, in some cases, to landlords failing to perform requested repairs, or failing to complete the repairs. In other cases, local management said competing priorities interfered with general maintenance and repairs or following up on customer complaints. And at times, local postal management blamed budget constraints.

Local management began taking corrective action on certain issues raised in all the reports, in particular on putting up safety posters, unblocking obstructed doors and exits, and securing unlocked vehicles. We made a series of recommendations on developing a process to improve coordination among facilities personnel, managers at post offices, and lessors to resolve repair issues in a timely fashion.

Improving facility conditions is important, of course, from a safety and security perspective. It’s also important from a strategic one. The post office is the business office of the Postal Service and often the only close-up look at postal operations that many customers get. Post offices are the Postal Service’s “face” to the public. Their appearance directly affects the USPS public image.

Next on our review list will be looking at conditions at processing facilities. Please comment below if you have insights to share on processing facilities in your area. 

Comments (19)

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  • anon

    many,many times i have needed to mail something but didnt have a stamp. now for reasons unknown we had stamps for sale in the lobby but it was removed. i cant understand why .because so many times and many,many people have the same thing happen. i'm sure they too ask themselves what happened to the stamp machine ? so,... why dont they put the machine back in the lobby? also, in my 50 years of using this po have any upgrades to the lobby or any part we use been done. it for sure needs it along with every part of that building. cant we get updated in our lil town?

    Oct 16, 2017
  • anon

    I would be thrilled to have our old Post Office reopened. I live in a rural town that has never had rural mail carriers. We always went to the post office and got our mail from the box at the post office, less than 1 mile distance for everyone in town. It had been this way for over100 years. For reasons unknown to anyone and without any chance for public comment our post office was closed. Now if the 200 people in our town want mail we have to drive 10 miles round trip to pick up our mail. We drive by houses that have mailboxes for rural mail delivery. Some people in town are over 90 years old and have to drive 10 miles round trip for mail. So just be glad you have a post office nearby in any condition. I would give just about anything to have our post office back or at least have a mail carrier bring the mail a little closer.

    Aug 22, 2017
  • anon

    My post office in Luna Pier Mi. 48157 The entrance and lobby of this building are in very poor condition there is paint peeling off the walls the rugs are not swept and totally worn out numbers are missing on boxes the windows and door are filthy in winter the walks do not get shoveled they just throw down great amounts of salt which eventually makes everything worse. Granted we are a small city some of the buildings are showing there age but I see no reason that the UNITED STATES POST OFFICE should be the worst looking building in town. Even the signage out front looks like you don't care.

    Aug 12, 2017
  • anon

    I find it very odd that the federal government has an a d a law and the post office abuses it the most try applying to the post office with a disability you'll get laughed at I've actually seen my information thrown away before I even left the building now that's a shame

    Jul 31, 2017
  • anon

    This seems to be the only place I can find where I can make a comment on the USPS website. I wanted to compliment one of your workers named Rolly who works at the Belmont Shore facility 90803 in Long Beach, CA. Rolly took the time to guide me step by step to teach me how to use your new computerized weighing device so that you don't have to stand in line for services to mail anything or even get stamps. He was both patient and caring, He made sure that I understood (step by step) how to proceed. In the future, I feel confident that I will be able to operate this machine on my own. Rolly was the perfect choice to help the technically challenged.

    Jul 30, 2017
  • anon

    The stockbridge, ga post office has two sets of doors that don't shut tight, the both stay open @ 4 inches. One is a foyer swinging door. The other is the interior door. Wonderful cold air hits you as you enter this very friendly office. But hey, is there no budget for electrical use?....not to mention moisture and critters coming in???

    Jul 30, 2017
  • anon

    please look at concord Tennessee 124 Huxley drive 37922 What is the plan to improve things? We have outgrown our building and we dissolved five routes because of the last rural contract

    Jul 26, 2017
  • anon

    How difficult would it be to discontinue satutday Delivery

    Jul 26, 2017
  • anon

    Very nearly impossible. USPS has had the elimination of Saturday delivery on the agenda for years, but because of the unique way USPS is operated, any such decisions require Congressional approval. The most recent Congress seems to have no interest in making moves to save USPS, and have voted on such issues accordingly.

    Aug 14, 2017
  • anon

    Wow - You even have to scan your comments before posting - no wonder there are so few!

    Jul 25, 2017
  • anon

    Who cares? I'd like to have some nice service (I realize asking for competent and fast service would be impossible for USPS employees) at the Davie Post Office on University Drive. LINES are out the door most of the time and the postal workers could care less. Check out their google reviews - I think they have 1 star and that is because people can't give it less than that. USPS - there's some thing Trump should attack! Can't cover their payroll or do their jobs and are nasty to customers on top of that! Hey Inspector General - do you read these blogs???

    Jul 25, 2017
  • anon

    Hi Lorraine, and thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service which investigates fraud. waste, and abuse within the Postal Service; and day-to-day mail delivery and post office building issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service.

    Jul 25, 2017
  • anon

    Thank you for your message. If you believe mail theft was committed by a non-postal employee, please file a complaint with the Postal Inspection Service on their website or call 877-876-2455.

    Jul 25, 2017
  • anon

    Mason Michigan has a parking lot that is falling apart. There are huge potholes that are dangerous.

    Jul 25, 2017
  • anon

    Can we get 'Handicapped' entrance at 300 Broadway, Waukesha WI 53186-9998. A lot of disabled people use this retail facility. The current doors are hard for wheelchairs to get through.

    Jul 24, 2017
  • anon

    Sadly, we have so few management people taking pride in the post office they are assigned to. Too many postmasters and supervisors are being outsourced on a regular basis and aspire to bigger and better things. They do not have ownership and really don't care. It's all about playing the game... making the numbers and moving on. No pride.

    Jul 24, 2017
  • anon

    Because I need a mailbox and I rent a mail box that is in the post office I am concerned about vandalism and the fight I am having to keep my mail safe from thieves in the downtown community of San Francisco I wrote a complaint once that my box had been infiltrated by common thieves that follow looking for school and welfare checks I asked that my key and perhaps box location be changed but received a new key that went with same box so I may have been taken for mail out of that box by whom ever took those keys because a thief stands out when looking to take something that does not belong to them. i want to have a video investigation of the area around the mail box done by hall of justice investigation I ask this as a concerned person who knows that such a problem can start any where and grow because it is a equal fight to have stopped a thief that does not care about any thing but taking form a source open to the whole of society when people become subject to thieves it just does not start with me and stop money in the eyes of a thief is greed I have to state I understand the motive or reason just that I am tired of these live ghost who are on a funny and ride show for all to see. enough.

    Jul 24, 2017
  • anon

    A true value. Thank you, USPS.

    Jul 24, 2017
  • anon

    I have been in many of USPS facilities such as NDCs and P&DCs and I saw the same issues as described in this report. NDCs' machine operators are on higher ground on platforms and you can see the filth and black dust on top of everything starting with the machine itself, exhaust fans, ac/heating ducts etc. Management says "competing priorities interfered with general maintenance and repairs or following up on customer complaints" but we all heard this expression that "we can eat an elephant one bite at the time", correct? When I worked in the Baltimore district, we had mice problem. They were all around us, in the filling cabinets, desk drawers, lockers... and it did distract employees as they were working and guess what? Work did not get completed as it should have been. So, "Competing priorities" ??? By the way, this is not to put down USPS, I have been part of it for over nine years and I love working here, but I always look at the big picture and this should not be part of our future. I also heard people in the post office commenting on how filthy the lobby area is. I was embarrassed but couldn't do anything about it. When I introduced myself to the post master and told him about it, he told me I am under staffed and I'd do what I can do. Thank you for posting this article.

    Jul 24, 2017

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