WEST TOWN — Last week's extreme cold weather is over, but gripes about U.S. Postal Service delivery and pickup continue to pile up in West Town.
"They are holding the packages hostage at this point. They have [the packages] and can't deliver to me and won't let me pick them up either," said B.J. Pichman, a resident of the 800 block of North Campbell Avenue in West Town.
The source of Pichman's frustration is the postal service's Wicker Park Carrier Annex at 1419 W. Carroll Ave., where packages are held before delivery or stored after an attempted delivery.
Pichman was among several residents who took to a private Ukrainian Village Community Facebook page Monday to complain about undelivered packages.
While visiting the annex on Thursday in search of six missing packages, three of which had expected delivery dates of Dec. 30, Pichman said he stood in line with five other people who received "the same canned responses: They tell me they have too many packages and can't possibly sift through the pile to find mine."
"I get it you are behind, but they won't even let me pick it up or at least look for it," Pichman said.
Though three of Pichman's packages finally were delivered on Monday, Pichman, who works from home, said he fears his other three packages might get returned to sender because the post office has listed them as "attempted delivery," even though he was home.
Mark Reynolds, a Chicago spokesman for the postal service, acknowledged the delivery delays.
"There was a backlog as a result of the weather. We didn't get every single route delivered every single day at the height of the storm," Reynolds said.
"The Wicker Park team is working diligently to get caught up on its package volume after last week’s weather. An extra package delivery run has been added, in addition to the regular mail delivery. The station expects to be completely current within the next couple of days, and thanks its customers for their patience," Reynolds said in a written statement.
Michele Seiler, brand manager of Field Notes, which sells notebooks from a multiunit building in the 400 block of North May Street in West Town, took to Twitter to complain on Monday.
@usps_PubAffairs Getting no help from Wicker Park office on lack of mail pick up for two weeks, can you pls help us??," Seiler tweeted.
Seiler said she's called the annex several times also to complain that packages she's leaving to be picked up by carriers haven't been taken in the last two weeks.
Seiler said Field Notes sends 10 to 30 packages to customers daily.
"They are small [packages]; they are notebooks," Seiler said.
When mail carriers don't pick up the packages, Seiler said her employees have to drive them to the post office.
"It's inconvenient," she said.
Another West Town resident, Abra Aducci, said she's been waiting on three packages mailed out on Dec. 27.
Referencing the codes given by the post office for package tracking status, Aducci wrote, "One [package] eternally "out for delivery" brings hope. Two falsely marked "delivered" crush my materialistic dreams. "
Aducci said she's "requested investigation and issued claims" but has had no response.
"I want my American Apparel harem pants, damn it!" Aducci said.