Larry Weimer says when he tried to put a hold on his mail last December, dealing with the U.S. Postal Service turned into a four-month headache.
“I got the runaround,” says Weimer, 60, of Austin. Then he says he filed two written complaints about customer service, and the runaround got worse. His two written complaints, which postal service officials say were not recorded in a tracking system, went unanswered.
“All they had to do from the beginning was call me back,” Weimer said. “They ignored my complaints and probably threw them away.”
After Statesman Watch followed up on Weimer’s complaints, postal officials called him right away, on Monday, to apologize and acknowledged his complaints were mishandled.
“Initial investigation reveals his situation was not handled properly,” said Sam Bolen, a spokesman for the post office. “We expressed our regrets to Mr. Weimer for any inconvenience he encountered and we now are following up with all concerned to ensure similar incidents do not happen in the future.”
Weimer says his problem is solved for now, but “it’s just been so frustrating, and people were so unprofessional.”
It started last December when someone broke into Weimer’s mailbox at his apartment complex on Rundberg Lane in North Austin and removed the small metal door. “I feared my mail would be stolen or even worse, my identity, so I went to the Bluebonnet Station to request a hold on my mail,” he said.
As a temporary fix, a letter carrier started to deliver his mail to the apartment office, but Weimer didn’t like that arrangement. “I was missing some mail,” he said.
In late January he went back to Bluebonnet to again inquire about holding his mail there. One employee told him the hold service was going to be expensive, he said. He later discovered that the service is free. “The female employee then sent me to the downtown post office where I could get my mail through general delivery,” he said.
A downtown supervisor routed him back to Bluebonnet to talk with customer service supervisor Leah Mangham. “That didn’t go well but I turned in a form to hold my mail and I filled out a complaint. I asked Leah when I’d get a response to my complaint. She told me a couple of days,” he said.
No one got back to him and when he returned in a week to get his mail, he was told there was none.
Weimer was next referred to customer service supervisor George Binger at the Cross Park post office east of Interstate 35. “He listened to me and said he’d look into my complaint and get back with me. He never called back,” Weimer said. Binger referred his complaint back to the Bluebonnet Station, post officials said.
Postal spokesman Bolen said he could not comment on whether any employees were disciplined as a result of the handling of Weimer’s complaints. However, he did say Mangham, who still works for the U.S. Postal Service, is no longer assigned to an Austin post office.
Weimer is getting mail again because his apartment complex assigned him a new mailbox. “I’m fine now but it took so long to get to this point,” he said.
What happened: Larry Weimer says U.S. Postal Service employees were unhelpful when he tried to put a temporary hold on his mail, and workers at the Bluebonnet Station post office didn’t respond to his written complaints about customer service.
Who’s responsible: — Leah Mangham, former customer service supervisor, and Bradley Colquett, manager, Bluebonnet Station post office on Braker Lane
What they’re saying: U.S. Postal Service officials say Weimer’s complaints were mishandled, and he got an apology.