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(WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team investigated what’s behind delays with your mail delivery, and we had to cut through U.S. Postal Service red tape to get answers.

Seems, by now, everyone has run into trouble getting regular mail delivery.

So, the I-Team tried calling the Postal Service customer service line. But, we found the helpline provides no help. We got the same recorded answer explaining delays in delivery for a couple days and for delays of many days.

The recording said, “Due to the COVID-19 virus, employee availability has impacted some delivery operations.”

And, we found, we’d have to wait “at least 60 minutes” to talk to a person on the customer service line.

Customers have lost patience.

One man going into the main post office in downtown Cleveland said, “They’re being stone-age. I sort of live with it. But, I’m getting really fed up with it.”

And while many  of you have contacted us about mail not arriving, we also spoke to a man worried about a big check he sent that hasn’t been delivered.

He told us, “I mailed a payment on the 30th of November. They said, ‘No, they haven’t received it.’”

The Postal Service would not answer questions for the I-Team.  Instead, a spokesperson sent a statement that has been sent before referring to “unprecedented challenges” and “significant volume increases” and  “employee availability reduced due to  COVID-19.” The statement also includes a promise to “deliver the mail as quickly as possible.”

The I-Team also tried something else to find out more about what’s really going on with your mail. We sent a producer into two local post offices. We asked clerks at the counter the same questions you would.

One clerk blamed COVID saying, “We’re a little backed up right now because of the holidays and COVID.”

Another clerk said, “And, if one person gets sick, the whole unit is shut down.  

So, we reached out to U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan.

He told the I-Team, “They should have seen this coming. They could have prepared. They could’ve beefed up staffing.”

The Congressman says he and other lawmakers have been demanding more money for the postal service to get more workers and more equipment.

But, now, he believes it’s too late to change anything during the holiday rush.

Congressman Ryan says he’ll keep pushing to fix the postal service.

He added, “We’re going to continue to try to push for more revenue and change these policies. And, the machines that they need, and all of this. We’ve been talking about this for months.”

Even municipalities have been hurt by the mail delays. Thursday afternoon, Medina sent out a news release saying utility bills mailed Dec. 2 have been delayed at the post office, yet the bills are due in in a week.

Meantime, don’t expect help on the customer service helpline.

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