MILWAUKEE — TMJ4 News has gotten hundreds of complaints about long shipping delays from customers and business owners. Many tell us their packages are sitting idle at the U.S. Postal Service’s Oak Creek facility.
“It says it’s still there six days after I mailed it,” said Madeline Kuzera of Slinger, who is trying to get a present to her grandchildren in Colorado.
“I wish I could just drive over to the warehouse and get my package,” said Jessica Barnes of Beloit. “This is crazy.”
“Every package we’ve sent out has been sitting at the Oak Creek facility for at least a week,” said Dan Porinsky, owner of Cream City Vapes. “It makes us look terrible. We’re dealing with a lot of unhappy customers, and all we can do is apologize and be totally transparent about the situation.”
Porinsky says the Postal Service delays are impacting his business at a critical time.
“The amount of backlash that I’ve dealt with in the past two weeks, and the amount of damage control I’ve had to do, on top of the numerous orders in the busy season, has been so unnecessary and overwhelming,” Porinsky said.
All of these postal service customers tell us they paid extra for priority shipping, and were ahead of holiday mail deadlines.
“It was something I really needed, and that is why we decided to pay the extra money,” Barnes said.
“Why are they accepting priority mail payments if they know they can’t do it?” Kuzera asked. “I understand they are very busy, and that this year has been different, but something has to give.”
Dave Davel’s package to friends in Arizona has been in transit for 11 days now. He paid extra on Dec. 2 for it to get there in two days. The last update he received is that it’s still in Oak Creek.
“It’s impossible to get anyone on the phone,” Davel said. “Really the situation is just an absolute cluster. No one knows what happened to my package, and there’s nothing for me to do about it.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service in Wisconsin did not specifically answer our questions about why packages seem to be getting stuck in Oak Creek. Bob Sheehan, Customer Relations Coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service in Wisconsin, sent us this statement: “We are utilizing our available resources to match the workload created by the impacts of the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, coupled with considerable increase in holiday package volumes.”
We reached out to Congressman Bryan Steil’s office, which confirms it’s been making some calls on postal service delays after getting complaints from constituents. Steil’s office said a representative with USPS told them it’s all due to COVID-19, and there’s really nothing that can be done at this point to speed things up.
That’s an answer customers aren’t happy with.
“They knew this was coming,” Davel said. “They didn't take the proper steps. The pandemic and holiday shipping rush shouldn't be a surprise. There are people looking for work. Very capable people. Why is it the post office didn't staff up accordingly ahead of Christmas?”
This week and part of next week - Dec. 14 through Dec. 21 - is the busiest of the year for the U.S. Postal Service.