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USPS delays create problems for residents paying bills through mail, receiving packages

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Have you sent a Christmas card that still hasn’t reached its destination? Are you getting bills after they’re already past due? You’re not alone.

Major delays in the United States Postal Service are having a trickle down effect and costing some customers hundreds of dollars through no fault of their own.

Carla Frey like many of us is getting her mail late. On Monday, she got a JC Penney catalog with coupons that expired December 20. She said she’s lucky to have her lights on seeing as checks she sent last month still haven’t cleared and if she hadn’t taken Tuesday to clear up the mess, late fees could have cost her hundreds of dollars.

She got a warning call Monday night.

“I have a message from BGE saying my bill hasn’t been paid and I could be subject to a turn off notice,” Frey said.

A bill-paying nightmare for Frey, who says she always pays her bills when she gets them in the mail, sending payments about two weeks before they’re due. She sent the BGE payment along with her other bills in late December.

“I mailed five checks on the same day and nothing has cleared,” Frey said.

Fortunately, the bank waved Frey’s stop check fee so she can pay some of these bills over the phone, but she’ll be subject to late or convenience fees.

I don’t like paying these bills over the phone,” she said. “I don’t like putting these things on my tablet. I’m just comfortable sitting writing out a check. I want something in my hand that says yes you paid.”

She called USPS to find out what was taking so long.

“I feel so sorry for the postal workers because they are overwhelmed,” Frey said.

USPS tells WJZ records were set in the 2020 holiday season with more than a billion packages delivered.

A spokesperson for the federal agency released a statement to WJZ saying,

Shippers across the board were challenged with airlifts and trucking capacity for moving historic volumes, causing temporary pockets of delays. As is our duty, we accepted all volumes and our employees rose to the occasion to deliver for America. This epic volume was also amplified by employee availability challenges and necessary COVID-19 policies designed to keep our employees and our communities safe.

We echo the thanks of so many of our customers who are saluting our dedicated employees who proudly carried out their duties to the American public. They are to be recognized for their service during the pandemic, an intense election season, and now this record-setting Peak Season.

Frey said she just got her cable bill, with a due date of December 27.

“And nobody yet has any answers as to how long this will take and when the bottom line comes down how do I even trust the United States Postal Service,” she added.

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