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USPS customers frustrated, experience shipping delays during holidays

After two weeks, Venus Hill is waiting for one of three packages shipped for family and friends to arrive even though she paid $90 for priority shipping.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the Hill family, Christmas has always been a big family gathering filled with presents. But this year, like most of us, they’re celebrating apart.

“Because we can’t be with family right now because of COVID.”

Venus Hill did the next best thing. She mailed gifts to family.

“Everything from gift cards to clothing to items made, personalized items for a couple of my nieces and nephews that just got married,” she said.

Hill sent them through the U.S. Postal Service using Priority Mail. It’s a service that includes tracking and faster delivery, with packages sent between one and 3 business days. And she paid for it.

“Right around $90,” she said.

Two gifts were received about 9 business days later, three times as long as what USPS promises. The third gift, still in transit. It’s been over two weeks.

“So, I went back to the post office to find out what was going on and that’s when she told me well, we’re almost two weeks behind,” she recalled.

Hill turned to the FOCUS investigative team for help.

“I said I’m going to call WHAS ‘cause they’ll get something done and they can at least find out something for me,” Hill expressed.

She blames USPS for lack of transparency.

“There has to be a process to make the customer, the consumer aware that you’re not going to be able to deliver what you’re charging me for.”

We asked USPS directly, when it comes to Priority Mail, how are they notifying the public about delays? Will people like Hill get a refund? They didn’t directly answer our questions.

Susan Wright, a spokesperson with the postal service said:

“USPS sincerely apologizes for any delays our customers are experiencing. During a historic year we remain committed to our goal to deliver packages home for the holidays.”

It’s an answer Hill is just not satisfied with.

“It’s like you’re ripping the people off.”

USPS has said an historic record of holiday volume and employee shortages due to COVID-19 are leading to temporary delays.

Still, Hill wishes they had communicated that at her local post office when she spent $90 for Priority Mail.

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