Barbara Kessler said she has lived on Durland Road for 12 years, but it was only recently that she has encountered issues with getting her mail.
She explained that she lives in East Rockaway, but is in an area where the Lynbrook Post Office delivers her mail. About three weeks ago, Kessler said, she began noticing that mail was only getting delivered to her if Lynbrook was written as her address, but not when it is labeled East Rockaway.
Kessler said she was not receiving mail because it would be shipped to the East Rockaway Post Office. In the past, the post office would transfer her mail to Lynbrook, but employees are now marking her mail return to sender.
“They said that my legal address and my mailing address are two different things,” Kessler said of the post office. “If I have stuff sent to my legal address, it will be marked return to sender because that’s not my mailing address.” Kessler clarified that her license and deed to her home have an East Rockaway address on them, but she is in a zone where the Lynbrook mail carriers deliver her mail.
According to Kessler, homes on Durland Road, Rowe Avenue, Murdock Road, Stanton Place and Ocean Avenue have not been getting their mail when it is addressed to East Rockaway. She added that about 100 residents are affected.
Christine Dugas, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service, said that the mail is not going to those homes because the parcels are improperly addressed. She noted that the East Rockaway Post Office used to just transfer the mail to the Lynbrook Post Office, or leave it for Lynbrook to pick up, but no longer has the staff to do that.
“There is new management in the post office who can not accommodate shuttling the mail back and forth,” Dugas said. “It has to do with carriers delivering mail in the most efficient manner. You can’t re-route carriers, because it’s not fair to customers and each carrier is assigned to a certain area.”
Dugas explained that postal boundaries changed throughout the years, which could be the reason why Kessler’s legal address is different from her mailing address.
Kessler said she was not receiving her mortgage bills because they are under her East Rockaway address, and her son did not receive his paychecks from the Town of Hempstead because they were delivered to East Rockaway, and marked return to sender. She noted that there are people who may not get their social security or pension checks because of the change in policy.
Kessler added that she could change her address to Lynbrook, but it would be very time-consuming to adjust it for all the mail she receives. Dugas said changing the address is the easiest way to fix the problem.
“People think that zip codes mean a town, county or school district — none of that is true,” Dugas said. “Zip codes were made for efficiency of the mail. When you’re using the wrong zip code, the carriers have to shuttle it back and forth, and we don’t have the staff to do that.”