BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Wrongly delivered mail, long waits and lost packages are making Bed-Stuy post offices the worst in America, residents said.
Service at the Shirley A. Chisholm Station at 1915 Fulton St. and the Brevoort Station at 1205 Atlantic Ave. has been a source of frustration for many locals, who voiced their complaints at a recent community board meeting.
“Now Shirley Chisholm, that poor lady is rolling over in her grave,” said Chauncey Street resident Brunette Rene, speaking about the late central Brooklyn icon and congresswoman.
“It’s the worst post office in America.”
Rene joined neighbors in sharing her grievances with the post office, saying that letters are rarely delivered to her mailbox and are instead found in the hallway, and going to the Fulton Street location results in long waits.
“I try to avoid going to it as much as I can because I know I have to put aside at least 45 minutes just to pick up a package that was never delivered,” said another resident who added that she frequently gets mail addressed to different homes.
USPS area manager Derek Kelley and customer relations coordinator Ronald Don fielded questions from the crowd and explained plans to improve service at both locations.
The manager at the Shirley Chisholm post office will be required to be involved and engaged in the community to address issues, Kelley said, and a new manager recently took on the role at the Brevoort station.
Supervisors also conduct wait-time observations to help speed up service, he added, timing how long it takes a customer to reach the front of the line.
If it takes more than six minutes, Kelley explained, he’ll contact the manager to inform them of the problem.
He also cited issues with staffing, saying that two clerks recently retired at the Shirley Chisholm location and they are in the process of hiring new employees.
“You are our eyes and ears,” Kelley told residents, adding that he will “hold people accountable” and that the USPS is looking for a customer advisory council to help alleviate concerns within the area.
Other complaints included the lack of accommodations inside the post offices for elderly customers and those with disabilities waiting on long lines, gates to brownstone properties being left open by mail carriers and employees talking on their cellphones.
“We’ve been doing this for years, years and years and years, and it’s the same thing over and over,” said Brooklyn Community Board 3 member Edna Johnson.
In 2013, USPS representatives visited the community board to address similar complaints at the Shirley Chisholm post office, including poor customer service and long lines.
Kelley told attendees this week that he couldn’t promise changes overnight, but that certain procedures were already being implemented.
Employees are trained to respond to and resolve complaints and hiring is underway, he said.
“I’ll do my job to hold people accountable,” Kelley said. “I’ll come here, I’ll listen to concerns and fix what I can fix.”
The USPS created gopost, an automated parcel locker system with 24-hour access, Don added, so that customers can ship and receive their packages without having to wait on line.
Community Board 3 has a postal committee, said chairwoman Tremaine Wright, that community members were invited to join once the board resumes meetings in September.