Postal routes across the country have struggled to keep up with postal demand due to staffing issues, but a neighborhood in Cleveland, Tennessee hasn’t been receiving mail for a completely different reason.
Neighbors in the area received a notice earlier this year, telling them they had to raise their mailboxes. They were too short, and needed to be raised to be 45-48 inches tall.
Cerise Batross was told it was because the local post office was getting a new truck, and the driver wouldn’t be able to reach the mailbox.
“The more I thought about it, the more frustrated I was,” said Batross, who refuses to alter her mailbox to this day, and hasn’t received mail since June as a result.
But Batross’ mailbox is perfectly in line with the guidelines detailed by the USPS. The agency’s website says mailboxes need to be anywhere from 41 inches to 45 inches tall, as measure from the ground to the bottom of the box.
She still hasn’t received critical pieces of mail. Bills, checks, and registrations all never made it to her home.
“And I start seeing on my route all of these mailboxes that are just kind of DIY boogered up,” she said.
The mail route has turned into a bit of MacGyvered mess of mailboxes. Boxes are placed on top of planks of wood to elevate their height. Other mailboxes have been lifted using a pole at the bottom. Other boxes were placed on top of other mailboxes to reach the height being required only by this particular mail carrier.
“We’re in the middle of an inflation,” she said. “And not everybody has a skill saw sitting in the backyard or can just run out and buy a new mailbox at whim because you won’t deliver their mail.”
In a statement to Local 3 News, a spokesperson for the USPS said the notices were sent in error, and anyone with mailboxes 41-45 inches tall should not have been told to alter them.
“We regret the miscommunication,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “Local management reports that all mail is currently being delivered promptly and correctly to customers in the Cleveland area.”
But Batross said she wasn’t told of the mistake until Local 3 News told her about it, and she still hasn’t received her mail in months.
“This has been going on for months it’s a little bit more than an ‘oops,'” Batross said after Local 3 News told her of the statement from USPS. “It’s just not fair, period, to have to fool with something like that. So, you’ve made this mistake and you’ve not even notified anyone.”
The spokesperson said anyone with continued issues should call the USPS helpline at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). You can also bring this story directly to your local post office.