North College Park Post Office Draws Questions, Criticism

City residents, councilman question U.S. Postal Service operations located on Hollywood Road

Complaints over a College Park post office not properly delivering mail are pouring in from frustrated residents, some of whom say the issue has been going on for years. And now, city Councilman Patrick Wojahn intends to do something about it.

“I’ve received a lot of complaints,” Wojahn said, from undelivered and mis-routed mail, to botched holds and certified letters getting lost. “It seems to be a real problem,” he said. “I myself have experienced a lot of delivery problems.” 

Wojahn intends to summarize much of the input provided by residents in a future work session, as well as copy that summary on to Congressman Steny Hoyer, he said.

While Wojahn continues to use the U.S. Postal Service office, located at Hollywood Road and Baltimore Avenue, he said the ongoing problem “gives me pause.”

Brian Choper, a resident and musician, said it’s come to the point now that he’s opened up a postal box at a nearby UPS store. “To the best of my ability I have stopped using (the postal office),” he said, recounting several instances of misdirected mail. “It is an ongoing issue,” he added. “It is an issue that makes everybody lose faith in them.”

College Park resident Sarah Jazs agreed. “I don’t trust them,” she said, describing a property-tax payment she was assured would meet its destination within three working days. “When I looked online to check the tracking, it showed that it went from the (Hollywood Road) post office to some other spot in Landover,” she said. “So I called the post office and asked what was up. They said they were not able to locate it, and we’ll call you back.’”

“They never called me back,” Jazs said. That payment turned up some four weeks later, according to Jazs, who in the interim drove to Upper Marlboro to make the property-tax payment in person. “It is definitely frustrating.”

The post office in question covers “approximately 10,000 to 15,000” homes and businesses, according to Raynell Jett-Aka, acting supervisor at the post office. “And we get the mail out as expeditiously as possible,” she said.

Jett-Aka, who has been with the post office since 2007, also said that her branch has earned a 5-star consumer rating. “That’s for our branch,” she said. “And the (USPS) has been named one of the No. 1 services in our government.”

While the latter appears to be true in terms of fostering a diverse workforce, it is unclear whether this rating relates to proper mail delivery.

The branch is, however, undergoing “major” changes due to downsizing, Jett-Aka said, adding that government cuts are impacting  “the post office, every branch.”

The U.S. Postal Service, which lost some $8.5 billion last year, may see tens of thousands of its offices go away under pending rules that would make closures easier. Whether this will impact the Hollywood branch remains unclear.

Rose April 10, 2011 at 03:33 PM
It is true, I am also 'helping' the carrier... letters intended to other people/ addresses are constantly landing in my mailbox. Sometimes I even opened them, not paying attention to the names - then I realize that it was intended to somebody else... Too bad... too bad...
Emil Farkwarp April 12, 2011 at 04:18 PM
The overwhelming majority of mail you receive is processed, prepared and read by machines which then place it in the order the carrier is going to deliver it. Many letter carriers (the newish term for mailmen) don't look at their mail much anymore. I also live on a "place" and frequently get mail for "street" and "ave" with my house number. I generally assume it is machine error. The one recent time the PO lost my letter was when I sent it certified. They NEVER found it! Y'know, I can't recall who was president the last time I used a blue mailbox. It was probably Bush 41.
ksgarvin April 15, 2011 at 03:20 PM
This post office lost my credit card payment, which made my interest rate go up. They literally have cost me hundreds of dollars. I get my neighbors' mail at least three times a week and I don't want to hear excuses about machines sorting the mail. UPS and FedEx and other independent carriers also use machines but I don't seem to have problems receiving packages from them. I've also seen the postal carrier leave a package on the stairs down by the road (I have four steps up from the street to my sidewalk) and on another occasion he THREW MY PACKAGE AT MY GLASS STORM DOOR! There are no excuses for this behavior!
ksgarvin April 15, 2011 at 04:26 PM
I forgot to mention that I have written Rep. Hoyer about past problems with this post office. He in turn wrote a letter to the Post Office, which basically replied "Hey, we're busy." So essentially nothing was done about the issue. Patrick, thanks for taking this up. I think I still have a copy of the letter I received from Rep. Hoyer if this will be of any help in establishing a history of mail problems with our community.
Laura J April 03, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Their telephone is disconnected today. I called to report that my mail wasn't delivered yesterday and got a recording. didn't they pay their bill?!


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