More than a month after United States Postal Service manager Randy Sauber met with Shelter Islanders to hear their concerns about difficulties receiving their mail, USPS spokeswoman Congetta Chiricello issued the following statement to the Reporter:
As a customer service oriented business the community of Shelter Island is best served through our commitment to good service – enhanced by maintaining an open dialogue with the community. One way in which this is evidenced is USPS’ attendance at the Town Hall Meeting on April 10, enabling us to hear – and respond to – customer concerns.
This statement’s intent is to respond to the issues and concerns recorded during the meeting.
USPS Responsibilities Re: Private Vendor Database(s)
The main mission of the Postal Service is to process and deliver mail to our customers. The maintenance or facilitation of private vendors’ software databases are not within the scope of the postal service’s responsibilities. Often the internal software used in identification of their customers is distinct from the USPS Address Management Systems database utilized to move mail through the automated postal systems.
ZIP Code Boundaries
Shelter Island – the physical Island location — is divided by the USPS into two ZIP Code Delivery Areas — Shelter Island and Shelter Island Heights. These separate designations are solely to identify the locations of the two Post Office Box Postal facilities. This was done many years ago to facilitate efficient and accurate mail delivery. This administrative delivery assignment did not — and never has — established “boundaries” of any kind on the Island which is Shelter Island.
Address Matching Software
Postal officials are continuing to monitor mail generated by third party vendors to identify their application of incorrect bar codes. Address quality improvement is a critical objective for the postal service. Every day offices are challenged to successfully confront inaccurate addressing. We can achieve improvement by working with mailers and third party vendors to validate address information and improve the quality and accuracy of addresses.
Additionally, when mailers and third party vendors apply improper bar codes the ZIP Code orientation is likely to cause the mail to be sent to the wrong delivery post office.
Each year due to bad addressing (estimates of the amount of mail that is undeliverable-as- addressed are in the billions of pieces) the USPS allocates $1 billion to manually process mail, which should — if readable — be processed through our automated operations. This manually sorted mail is handled — on average — several additional times more than automated processing.
Application – New York State Enhanced Drivers License
On Shelter Island Post Office Boxes represent mailing addresses as the USPS does not deliver to physical residences. Inquiries regarding DMV regulations concerning address information necessary for license application are addressed at the DMV or online at: www.dmv.ny.gov or by calling 1-518-474-9981. Determinations as to License address requirements — whether they be mailing addresses and/or physical residence addresses — are solely within the purview of the DMV.
Exceptional Customer Care
As a courtesy, each day the two Post Offices on Shelter Island monitor the mail for ZIP Code inaccuracies. When a piece is detected, it is placed in a mail tray and hand delivered to the other Post Office on Shelter Island to determine if it is deliverable. This process requires multiple re-handling of the mail. It is part of the exceptional customer service provided by employees on Shelter Island.
The USPS always appreciates the opportunity to address, investigate and respond to the issues and concerns of our valued customers. We look forward to continuing to provide the high level of service our customers have come to expect and deserve for everyone on Shelter Island.