Post office: Pick up your mail now! | AspenTimes.com
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Post office: Pick up your mail now!

Jeremy Heiman

The Aspen post office has a problem.

Far too many post office box- holders are not picking up their mail in a timely fashion, causing a slowdown in delivery of mail to other patrons.

“If we can’t put mail in the boxes, that kind of backlogs the whole process,” said Jarman Smith, officer in charge. Fifty percent of the boxholders aren’t picking up their mail on a daily basis, he said.

“That makes it tough for the employees,” Smith said. They have to store mail on shelves, which means handling each piece at least two additional times.

The problem is costing the Postal Service at least five hours of labor per day in Aspen alone, Smith said. And with 8,500 boxes in Aspen and 2,300 more in Snowmass Village, that’s a lot of backed up mail.

Customers are also failing to pick up parcels from lockers in the lobby. When all the lockers are full, Smith said, postal employees must place yellow slips in boxes, requiring customers to pick up their packages at the counter. This adds to long lines at the counter, increasing customer frustration and requiring more employee hours.

As a result, customers whose boxes overflow 12 times in a 20-business-day period will be required to rent a larger box – or be assessed a caller service fee of $225 per half year.

Customers who request vacation holds beyond the 30-day time limit can pursue one of three options: have their mail forwarded temporarily; designate in writing an individual who will pick up their mail; or give a someone a key to their post office box and have them pick up their mail regularly.

Post office workers are also upset with box customers who shove their “junk mail” back through their boxes onto the floor of the work area. Postal employees are bound by law to deliver mail, and they have to keep putting the third-class articles back into people’s boxes, Smith said.

“You can call it what you want,” he said, “but it’s all mail to us.”


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