USPS stops delivering Bay Area woman's mail

When a Bay Area woman stopped receiving mail for several months, she turned to 7 On Your Side for help.
March 21, 2014 7:26:39 PM PDT
What would you do if suddenly you stopped receiving any mail. It happened to a Bay Area woman who didn't get a single piece of mail for months.

At first she thought someone was stealing her mail. Later she found out that the U.S. Postal Service was returning all her mail to the senders. She didn't know what bills were due and when and had to keep checking with utility companies, insurance companies, and banks. That's when she came to us for help.

Adriana Diaz of Oakland was really worried. Every day she checked her mailbox and every day it was empty.

"I thought my mail is being stolen," she said.

That's why she installed a lock. But after that, still no mail. Finally she saw the mailman and asked him why.

"He was surprised to see me," Diaz said.

Indeed he was surprised. The mail carrier said she was on a list of residents who had moved out and left no forwarding address. The post office was returning all her mail to the senders.

But, Diaz said she'd been here the whole time.

"He said, you know I don't know, there was some problem in the postal system and you got on that list," she said.

So Diaz told the Postal Service to get her off that list and start delivering her mail. The post office agreed. But somehow it didn't happen.

"Nothing was coming," she said. "The only thing I was getting was something to occupant."

But her all-important bills and statements were still going back to creditors.

"It was the strangest episode of constantly calling my credit card companies to say I know my statement must have been returned, I don't want you to think I ran off," she said.

Weeks later her mailbox was still empty. Finally Diaz contacted 7 On Your Side. We asked the Postal Service to investigate and it tells us it had appeared she had moved.

In a statement a spokesperson told us, "The mail carrier reported that mail was accumulating at that street address because the customer was not checking her mailbox. As per policy, the carrier removed the mail and left a notice that the receptacle was full and she could pick up her mail at the post office."

When she did not respond, the carrier reported that she moved.

Diaz says she never got a notice in her box. But the Postal Service office finally cleared things up. Now she is getting her mail. And what a relief.

"It's a strange thing not to have anything show up, I never thought I'd be really happy to see my bills in the mail," Diaz said with a laugh.

Diaz says this ordeal did teach her one thing. It's a good idea to put a lock on your mailbox. Her mail was piling up when she went out of town and it could have been stolen.

So if you go on vacation, lock your mailbox or notify the Postal Service. It will hold your mail until you get back.

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