WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced the initial results of her relaunched survey focused on U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail and delivery service delays. The delays constituents are facing are unacceptable, and Spanberger will use these responses to push for effective action and reforms at USPS.
Since Thursday, October 7, Spanberger’s office has received more than 1,500 individual responses from seniors, families, small business owners, and veterans across Virginia detailing significant delays in deliveries and shipments of medications, bills, checks, absentee ballots, and more.
Last month, Spanberger sent a letter to U.S. Postal Service Virginia District Manager Mr. Gerald Roane to outline the specific mail delivery concerns she has heard from Virginians living in the 22407 zip code — including the Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg areas. She also asked for answers as to how the USPS will address and fix ongoing issues — including staffing shortages, the end of mail pick-ups at local offices, and continued delivery delays.
“Since we first launched our USPS survey, my office has continued to hear from hundreds of Central Virginians who have experienced significant mail and delivery delays — and are feeling real consequences because of it,” said Spanberger. “In less than two weeks, more than 1,500 Central Virginians have shared stories of essential medicines getting lost in the mail, payments to business owners or goods to customers not arriving, late fees being charged when bills arrive past-due or payments are delayed in transit, and so much more. Many seniors and other vulnerable Virginians rely on the USPS for so many aspects of daily life, and we cannot allow these widespread delays to become commonplace in our communities. I am so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to share their personal experiences with our office, and I will use their stories to continue pressing for renewed support for USPS employees and improved service for Virginians.”
Earlier this month, Spanberger relaunched her survey — for the second time — as Central Virginians continue to experience USPS mail and delivery delays. In total, the Congresswoman has received nearly 6,800 responses from Central Virginians since first launching her survey in August 2020.
Some of the 1,560 responses that Central Virginians shared through the survey include:
“Our absentee (mail-in) ballots for this year’s election were postmarked (Richmond, of course) on Sept. 17 and we received them in Fredericksburg on October 2nd. They both had our correct address with the accurate ZIP+4.” — Alan, Spotsylvania
“Yes. We suffered a $117 late fee because it took 6 days for a check to go from our bank to a vendor. Today we got a news magazine 7 days late.” — Gilbert, Spotsylvania
“I’m concerned that if the mail slows any more that it will have an impact on me being able to pay my bills on time. I mail certain bills at certain times of the month based on my pay. It is not always an option to mail it earlier.” — Juanita, Amelia
“1st class mail is taking 7 or more days to reach me. I run a business and depend on timely delivery of mail and packages.” — John, Henrico
“My medications are mailed from the VAMC across town and it’s taking on average eight days to receive them.” — Roger, Henrico
“A bank-issued check was mailed to me in early August 2021. I have not received it.” — Diane, Culpeper
“Yes. It took 3 weeks for me to get a package that was sent via USPS 2 day priority.” — Kathleen, Powhatan
“I’m a 30 year Army veteran with 100% disability and I use the mailing system to receive my medication and glasses from the Richmond VA. I have received late delivery of my medication and glasses. I cannot order my medication until l’m within two weeks of running out and delays in the mailing system causes major problems for me.” — Eddie, Chesterfield
“I run a small business and had one check that never arrived. I asked my client in North Carolina to send another check for that payment and it took almost 10 days to arrive!” — Stephanie, Henrico
The Postal Service is the only organization dedicated to providing regular, affordable mail delivery service to every residential and business address in the United States. In 2019, the Postal Service:
- Delivered 142.6 billion pieces of mail to 160 million addresses in America,
- Delivered 1.2 billion prescriptions, including the vast majority of medications sent through the VA,
- Employed 633,108 Americans, including more than 100,000 veterans, and
- Served 70 percent of businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
Spanberger has long been vocal about the numerous ways in which Central Virginians suffer without a strong USPS. In February 2021, Spanberger joined an effort calling on President Joe Biden to fill existing USPS Board of Governors vacancies as quickly as possible. The Board of Governors has the power to appoint and dismiss the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General.
Last year, Spanberger cosponsored and voted to pass the Delivering for America Act, which would prohibit the USPS from making any structural changes impacting its service during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when more Americans have been relying on home deliveries, the legislation seeks to stabilize the USPS and its operations. Additionally, the bill seeks to prevent any targeted structural changes that would weaken the USPS or threaten the job security of its employees.