Returned to sender: Why is so much mail going undelivered in Northeast Ohio?


NORTHEAST OHIO (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered yet another problem with the U.S. Mail.

We found a local business getting piles of mail it sent out coming back marked “return to sender.” And, we found a Northeast Ohio town hall having the same problem. So much mail sent out just keeps coming back.

In Stark County, 5 Star Metering sends water and sewer bills out to mobile home parks in four states. But, in recent weeks, dozens and dozens of bills mailed out have come back with yellow stickers. The stickers say “return to sender,” and “not deliverable,” or “unclaimed.”

“We’re just not sure where the ball is dropping with the post office,” Tracy Gregg said, adding that all of those people getting bills didn’t suddenly move.

“We check with the park managers. Is so and so still there? Things like that,” Gregg said. “These people still reside there. So, we have to reach out to them and say, ‘Hey, we just got your bill back.’ Us being a small business, it’s costing us a lot of money.”

The I-Team first sent questions about this to the Postal Service by email. After 24 hours and no explanation, we went to the Massillon Post Office. We even took a piece of mail with one of those yellow stickers looking for someone to explain. But, we ended up with no answers there.

WJW photo

Meantime, we’ve learned a nearby town hall also has had a similar problem with bills sent out.

Later the US Postal Service released a statement, saying:

“We are working with the customer to verify the addresses on the mail pieces. In order for mail to be successfully delivered, mail pieces must be addressed correctly, the address must be readable, and proper postage must be affixed. In this case, there can be several reasons why USPS was unable to deliver the mail and returned to sender. The recipients could have moved and not filed a forwarding request, the sender may have the wrong address, or the address is vacant. If we are not able to deliver the mail as addressed, we will use the return address on the mail piece and return it to the sender.”

And, Gregg says she also filed a complaint, and someone from the Postal Service promised to investigate.

Still, the folks at 5 Star Metering believe there’s no way you can blame all of this on bad addresses or people suddenly moving.

“We have 40 different cities that we’re dealing with,” Gregg said. “So, 40 different post offices we’re having issues with? I want to know how and why?”

The Mayor in the local town having similar problems with bills didn’t want to comment on the record.

Meantime, 5 Star Metering will soon send out a new batch of bills. We will watch to see what happens this time.

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