Mark McHugh

Updated (again) – Turbo doesn’t pick up his mail (or does he?)

In Open Thread on Friday, August 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Updated update:  The US Postal Service has replied to me, and for that I give them credit.  Their reply has been added to the  post.


I’m getting seriously annoyed here:

Last Saturday I sent an Express Mail Letter to the Treasury Secretary of the United States via the United States Postal Service.  It cost me $13 bucks.  I was supposed to get a signature confirmation of delivery and as you can see, the package was supposed to be delivered MONDAY!!!!!

Apparently the USPS tried to deliver it SUNDAY (when nobody’s there) and left a notice….and then did nothing.  Treasury also did nothing (surprise surprise) so the letter is now on it’s merry way back to me.  FYI – I cannot request redelivery, only the recipient can do that.

This is your tax dollars at work.

Come Monday, I will send another copy to Treasury….


On the advice of reader (and friend) James H, I have sent the following letter (via email) to the Postmaster General (shown below)

Dear Postmaster General Potter,
Last Saturday (August 21, 2010) I attempted to send an important letter to the United States Treasury.  Because I wanted signature information and tracking, I was directed to use Express Mail and delivery was guaranteed by Monday August 23, by 3:00 PM.  Apparently, the local carrier attempted delivery on Sunday (when I assume Treasury is closed), left notice and never attempted delivery again.  Please see the attached tracking info.
Questions for you, Postmaster General Potter:
  1. I neither requested, paid for, or expected a Sunday delivery.  Why was a Sunday delivery attempted?
  2. Don’t local carriers know when the UNITED STATES TREASURY is open for business?
  3. Why wasn’t a second delivery attempt made on Monday?
  4. Why can’t a sender request redelivery?  (especially when failed delivery occured on Sunday).
  5. Would you say that this is typical of the kind of service one can expect from the USPS?
  6. Am I entitled to a refund?
  7. What do you think of my experience?
I very much would like to know how the postal service managed to fail in such a simple task.  Please reply.
Mark McHugh


Will anything come of this?


The Post office did reply.  Let me be 100% honest, responding to questions goes a long way with me.  If nothing else it shows a sense of duty and accountability and I admire that.  I’m not happy with the Post Office’s explanation of events (hell, I’m not even sure I believe it), but they at least offered an explanation and for that I am grateful (and far less angry).  Here it is:

September 8, 2010
Dear Mr. McHugh:
I  researched this issue and  found that your letter was delivered on August 23, 2010 and signed by R. Deyo.  We do not know why the system did not include the scan.  On Sunday, August 22, postal personnel at our Government Mails section prepared the mail for distribution for the next business day, which was Monday, August 23.   The mail was entered onto a “firm sheet” to consolidate delivery to the U.S. Treasury Department.   When this was done, it generated a “notice left” scan.  There was no attempt to deliver the item on Sunday.  The actual delivery date was August 23, 2010 at 7:21 am.   I have attached the track and confirm record for your review.
I apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.  Thank you for contacting the United States Postal Service.
L. Hyson
Postal Service Headquarters


Like I said,  I’m not happy but I’m not going to bash someone who had the decency and sense of duty to respond.

This means that Treasury has received three copies of the 15 questions.  Two were signed for, one was sent standard mail.  I guess we’ll find out very shortly whether or not the United States Treasury shares the United States Postal Service’s sense of accountability.

  1. mark,
    At this point you should send a letter about this matter to the US Postmaster General — with signature confirmation. If he/she won’t sign for your letter, then you can write about that, too. The Kafkaesque possibilities here are limited only by the extent to which your government just couldn’t give a shit. And I’m betting they don’t.

  2. Since when did the Post Office start delivering on Sunday?

    I smell fish…

  3. You know James, I’m gonna do just that. I called the Post Office today (it was like a Crank-yankers call) and I said, “I didn’t know you delivered on Sunday? Do you?” and I think she replied, “no, unless it’s express mail”
    But quite frankly, my memory is not admissable as evidence. My blood pressure was so high during the call….that’s why I need things in writing.

  4. I sent an email, James. At 13 bucks a pop, I can’t really afford to prove the point right now.

  5. LOL. The Kafkaesque — yet another victim of the Greenspan-Bernanke Depression.

    This could get interesting. Ironically, I bet the Postmaster General doesn’t get quite as much mail as Turbo Timmy.

  6. btw, I graduated college with Franz Kafka’s (great, great?) nephew. He was completely normal and well adjusted.

  7. In all honesty, I had to look up Kafka (I’m ig’nant); thought you meant the guy who directed “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

  8. mark, still no response from PG Potter? (maybe they tried to deliver on Sunday)

  9. No, no response from Potter…

    But my second Express Mail letter was received at Treasury today. R GAMBAO signed for it! WhooHoooo!

    This one cost 18 bucks (went with the cardboard this time), still haven’t gotten the first back yet, or my 13 bucks.

  10. Nice work, you rabble-rouser. (Or maybe we’re just part of the rabble)

  11. I’m beginning to realize that I’m here to be entertained… thank you.

  12. Nice job, USPS!

    Truly amazing. My expectations for government “service” are so low, I’m almost choked up right now — just marveling at the humble glory of it all.

  13. Me too!

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