Service of Fixing a Glitch: Here’s to the USPS in Manhattan!

October 19th, 2020

Categories: Customer Service, Post Office

I moved my office home in June. I let the United States Postal Service [USPS] know the new address and promptly received a confirmation. I sent myself a letter to check that all was well and forgot about it.

I suddenly realized that I’d  never received that letter.

So I sent myself another letter at my former office with my home return address. I got it back only because it was sent to my return address. The yellow self-stick post office label said “Return to Sender Attempted–Not Known Unable to Forward.” The sticker made no sense but worse, it meant that the USPS wasn’t forwarding my first class mail.

I brought that envelope and USPS change of address confirmation to the Grand Central post office. A customer service clerk told me that my former office address was a “Drop House,” which, she explained, means that the USPS drops off the mail at the building and that building distributes the mail.

Turns out that this wasn’t quite accurate. Clarification in a moment.

I went to the office building immediately and the doorman said that nobody  distributes mail for the USPS.

So I wrote to the District Manager, Postmaster New York District who forwarded my dilemma to a super problem solver, Michelle Linton in the district consumer affairs department. She called me, explained what the “drop house” concept meant in my case and sent a test letter which I’ve yet to receive. The “drop house” referred to our office, the section of the 11th floor where seven businesses shared space. The postal delivery staff dropped off one package of mail to 11-South and one of us distributed the mail. None of us are there anymore; the office is closed.

Linton and I stayed in touch. She sent  a second letter, this time with a tracking number, which she again called me to share.

Saturday I received the letter I’d sent myself on October 8th and was thrilled. Linton had unclogged the glitch in the system. The address on the yellow forwarding sticker was correct. [I’d put a friend’s return address on the letter this time.]

I haven’t yet received Linton’s first letter or the one with the tracking number, which is troublesome [what else might I be missing?], but I have every confidence that if I never get it she will iron things out.

Can you share examples of other customer service or consumer affairs staffers who are dedicated to solving glitches in their systems and have helped you out?


8 Responses to “Service of Fixing a Glitch: Here’s to the USPS in Manhattan!”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    The answer is yes, but I don’t recall anything so troublesome as non receipt of mail. You are fortunate in getting so diligent an ally, since one of the red flags of identity theft is vanishing mail. If there’s no one in your former office, is there a cleaning staff? Is unpicked up mail just lying there, and if so, what happens to it? A visit to the premises, if not made already, might be in order before a new tenant arrives.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Everyone was out of our section of the 11th floor by July and the building was going to remodel the space for a new tenant. On our floor there were three other office entities and I think only one that was there before the pandemic remains.

    I notified clients and vendors of the move when I did the USPS. And the USPS forwards only first class mail. No doubt someone tossed the first letter I sent myself because I didn’t get it back–my return address was on it. I hope I didn’t lose mail I don’t know about. Most people use email or text these days so we’re all fortunate in that regard.

  3. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: 311 responded to rats spotted at specific locations and homeless encampments in the neighborhood

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Wow! That’s big! I’m impressed. Go 311 and good for you for alerting them.

  5. Martha Takayama Said:

    I mostly deal with people after endless waits who do not I solve any glitches, but may even create new ones! The Bank of America seems to have elevated themselves to a PhD level of exhausting failure to run things correctly, offer honest explanations or solve any glitch. Comcast Xfinity is nearing on a par, but today s kind and competent agent did correct a problem with my land line. I try to understand why so many things have so many glitches and why solutions are so hard to come by. I can’t attribute it all to the Pandemic .

  6. Kathleen Said:

    One good experience,not with the USPS but rather with a miscorrect medical billing that I was late in connecting the mistake to Medicare, my Part B Insurance and eventually my credit card, all had been uncorrectly billed. All three were intelligent and gathered my information data in a pleasant way. The medical company, after contacted by them, corrected their wrong billing and credited by the three companies to Medicare, my insurance company and my credit card. No struggle, rather within 4-6 weeks all the problem solved. Thank you Medicare, insurance co. and credit card. I was surprised!

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I have noticed that to save money many larger institutions fire/layoff more expensive, experienced staffers. Customers are often left with inept or inexperienced people who have nobody to advise and train them.

    Imagine having to replace and train staff during the pandemic. There are millions of women who have had to give up their jobs because they can’t do them properly and oversee their children’s schoolwork. This may be what’s happening at Bank of America–though I may be bending over backwards to be understanding when the bank doesn’t deserve it. I suspect there are plenty of bright people who would welcome a good job at a bank.

    It’s the luck of the draw if you get someone like the Comcast service person who fixed your landline. I couldn’t access Netflix in the middle of a sleepless night and I searched the web before calling which I was planning to do the next morning. It still didn’t work but I followed one of the instructions which fortunately fixed it. I avoid getting help because of the expected waste of time, frustration and incompetence that so often is the case.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Your glitch sounds like a super nightmare. Only someone diligent and smart would even know where to start! Dealing with matters of health insurance has always been tricky.

    1,000 years ago before the rules now such as “for brain surgery: You get four hours in the hospital and out,” I had four star insurance from my employer and what it didn’t pay my husband’s five star insurance picked up. I followed every required step before a procedure, got the approval number from the insurance company without which the hospital wouldn’t have done anything, and a week after received a letter from this company refusing to cover it. Thank goodness my husband was patient and diligent as are you–I saw red and could hardly speak–and he sorted it out. They paid. But golly Moses the scare!

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