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Problem Solver: Post office not so forward with mail

Oswego family went weeks without a clue at new address

Jon Yates What's your problem: Janice Jasiak

Janice Jasiak at the “neighborhood delivery cluster box” where some of her mail had been misdelivered; mail forwarded from the family’s former home is not reaching them at their new home. Both residences are in Oswego. (Corey R. Minkanic, For the Tribune / August 6, 2012)

The Jasiak family's move was short, less than two miles from one Oswego house to another.

Their belongings made it without issue.

Their mail, however, did not.

Although Janice Jasiak filled out a change of address form asking that the family's mail be forwarded to the new house starting July 14, weeks went by without anything arriving in the family's mailbox.

"We've been calling the post office every day now for the past week and they keep saying they are looking into it," Jasiak said in an email to the Problem Solver on July 31. "At one point, they said the mail was delivered and it was pretty full. It must be a pretend box because I have yet to see a piece of mail."

Jasiak said her nephew sent a thank you note for a graduation gift, which was returned to him as undeliverable. She has no idea what happened to her other mail.

"I Googled 'mail,' as far as our rights as citizens, and I do have a basic right to receive my mail," she said. "We moved from one house to another in the same town, in Oswego. It should not be that difficult, you'd think."

Within a few days of Jasiak's email to What's Your Problem?, odd pieces of mail started trickling in, but none of the forwarded mail.

"I don't know what they're doing with everything," Jasiak said. "I feel like I'm being punked."

The Problem Solver called Beverly Howard, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service.

A short time later, the Postal Service's Oswego supervisor called Jasiak in an attempt to get to the root of the problem.

Jasiak said that as the Postal Service was trying to figure things out, her husband watched one day for the mail carrier, then followed her to the mailbox. Seven houses on her block share a common mailbox, known in Postal Service terminology as a "neighborhood delivery cluster box." Each house has a locked receptacle within the cluster box.

The Jasiak family's receptacle is No. 7. Turns out, Postal Service employees had been delivering the family's mail to No. 6, where it had been piling up.

Jasiak said the family retrieved several weeks worth of mail, but none was forwarded mail.

To further investigate, the Postal Service sent test letters to Jasiak's old and new addresses.

"These letters are a measure of quality control to show mail is forwarded and delivered in a timely and efficient manner," Howard said.

On Aug. 8, one piece of forwarded mail made it to Jasiak's new address.

"It was just one," Jasiak said.

The test letters had not yet arrived, nor had other pieces of mail sent to her old address.

"I don't know if most of everything else is just being returned to sender," she said.

If and when the missing mail is found, the Problem Solver will provide an update.

Twitter @wyp_tribune