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Locals Fed Up With Problem-Plagued Inwood Post Office

By Nigel Chiwaya | February 12, 2013 12:13pm

INWOOD — Inwood residents say they've had it with an unreliable post office that's plagued by long lines, undelivered mail and lost packages — and add that their repeated complaints to USPS officials have fallen on deaf ears.

The Inwood station, located at 90 Vermilyea Ave., has long been a source of contention in the neighborhood, as locals say they spar with USPS staffers not only about delivery issues, but also about the snail's pace.

One building had their mail delivery cut off entirely after construction in the courtyard obtructed an entrance — despite the fact that an unobstructed entrance was right around the corner.

"If I have anything that doesn't fit in my mailbox, its a struggle," said Brad Aaron, whose Seaman Ave. building got a letter from USPS late last year that they would not deliver anymore as a result of the construction.

Angry residents scrawled messages on the letter, telling the post office to "do your job" and "stop being lazy."

And although the building's landlord resolved the situation with the post office, Aaron said he's still waiting for mail sent during that time — as well as subsequent bills that have gone missing and has even had books he has ordered online returned to sender without any notification from the post office.

"They're holding onto packages until they send them back," said Aaron.

When contacted by DNAinfo.com New York, a woman who identified herself as a supervisor at the post office declined to comment.

"We're kind of busy right now and I don't have time for this," the woman said before hanging up.

Lost packages are also a problem at the post office.

211th Street resident Dana Yeary, who has lived in Inwood for 15 years, estimates that only one package that couldn't fit in her mailbox was actually delivered to her apartment. The rest were either kept at the post office, lost, or dropped off in her building's lobby.

"When my husband went to complain, he was told the supervisor could not take a formal complaint because they had no idea of really happened," she said.

Yeary filed a complaint with the post office's complaint's desk, but has yet to hear a response.

Things aren't any better inside the post office, critics say. The station lacks automated service machines, forcing customers who just want to buy stamps to wait in long lines.

"I waited over 30 minutes to pick up a package, and when I left there were more than 35 people on line," said Cathleen Dwyer. Dwyer, who lives on nearby Academy Street, said that while the line for stamps and retail services are separate, customers who are mailing one package routinely cut in line.

Residents have taken their anger online, blasting the post office on Yelp.

"Long lines, bad service, bad delivery and over-all one of the worst post offices I've experienced in Manhattan," wrote one user.

"Their service is so poor, I called in to the complaint line while standing there," wrote another. "What else could I do with 20 people in line ahead of me and only two windows open?"

Other locals have taken to exploring alternative mail delivery, taking out boxes at FedEx, UPS or an Amazon Locker service — anything to avoid dealing with the the Inwood post office.

"Its not something you think about," said Aaron. "Mail is something you take for granted until you can't get it."