In 2016, John Schachinger won a contest for a jersey from the Austrian National Football Team. It was supposed to be mailed to his house on Earle Avenue, but Schachinger never received it. His mother, Elizabeth, said she then called the Lynbrook post office to complain and was told that it may have been lost in customs, until she explained that it was being shipped from Manhattan.
The Schachingers also never received a five-by-seven rug. “It took days of me calling and they’re like, ‘I don’t know where it went, it’s not on a truck,” Elizabeth recalled. Elizabeth was one of about 30 residents who responded to a post on the Herald’s Facebook page about having issues with their mail.
Elizabeth added that when she orders items from Amazon, the packages are delivered to the Lynbrook post office, but are delayed in getting to her house. Once she started complaining, she said, the post office employees would scan packages at the post office, at 100 Broadway, rather than scan them when they arrived at the house. Elizabeth said that this was done to show that the items arrived on time, even if they were not delivered to her house.
Other mail, such as tax forms, credit card statements and mail from the Lynbrook School District are still being lost, she added. According to Elizabeth, she would only find out about mail from the school district from Facebook and would have to go to the high school to pick up any forms.
“This has been going on for years and years,” she said.
Representatives of the Lynbrook post office said they could not comment, and directed any questions to the federal office. Christine Dugas, a spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service, said in an emailed statement that the federal post office system has not received many complaints about the Lynbrook post office recently.
“Service is among our top priorities and we encourage customers to bring postal issues to the postmaster, along with the letters in question, so that we can determine what went wrong,” Dugas said. “We are committed to providing the best service that we can to our customers throughout Long Island.”
However, Elizabeth said the problem that she is experiencing is that she is the last house on her mail carrier’s route. In order for a mail carrier to end his or her route, they used to have to scan a barcode on Elizabeth’s mailbox to prove it was completed. About two years ago, however, the post office moved the barcode to her neighbor’s house, but that did not solve the problem and Elizabeth said she is still not receiving her mail. “Sometimes if I come up the block, I see [the mail carrier] come to two houses, scan the barcode and get in her truck and drive away,” Elizabeth said. The post office could not confirm or deny the claims.
Elizabeth said she complained to the post office again, and was told that the mail carriers may end their route earlier in the winter because it gets darker earlier in the afternoon. She was also told that her steps were too steep for the mail carriers to deliver her mail. “They come up with all these insane reasons as to why it’s unsafe to deliver my packages,” Elizabeth said.
Down the road, another resident who declined to be named, said that sometimes she does not get her mail, and when she does get mail, she either gets it late or gets other people’s mail. “It’s not even close to me, it’s not even close to my last name,” she said.
Her mail woes became worse last year because she never received a packet to renew her health insurance, which left her asthmatic son without coverage for the entire summer. It also negatively affected her online business, which relies on sending and receiving packages.
“I’ll probably go to East Rockaway,” she said, referring the East Rockaway post office.
Further south, on Putnam Avenue, Carol Renz also complained to the post office that she wasn’t getting mail. She said a representative at the post office told her he would put a sticker on every piece of her mail to show that he processed it. But Renz never got a sticker on her mail and when she called, she said, another representative said he forgot.
“The complaints are going on deaf ears,” Renz said. “I’ve made many calls to them.”
Renz said she is also worried that someone else may get her mail, because she is getting other people’s mail. She said that a few weeks ago, her husband saw an Optimum bill in the mail, and opened it thinking it was theirs. It turned out to be their neighbor’s. They returned it to their neighbor without a problem, but Renz said she is still concerned.
“If we get our Social Security, I don’t want anybody else getting that,” she said.
To file a complaint about the post office, visit www.uspsoig.gov/form/new-complaint-form/
To file a claim for lost or delayed mail, visit www.usps.com/help/claims.htm