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Altadena’s U.S. Postal Service–Are You Satisfied?

How would you rate your delivery service -- first class or … ?

Mail is something of a miracle and a mystery. To me it is, anyway.  How that humble envelope can set off from one house and, against all odds--drought, windstorms, blizzards and human error--perform a perfect landing at the right address somewhere far away.

But it happens every second of every day for the price of–well, whatever the price is of the stamp nowadays, as it’s not actually printed on the stamp. Apparently the P.O. fears we’ll suffer sticker shock. But 40 or 50 cents wouldn’t send me reeling.  Especially since the last time a letter of mine went missing was well over three years ago.

But according to local resident Lori Paul, not all Altadena neighborhoods can claim the same level of service.  The recent and on-going USPS re-organization has resulted in some carrier re-assignments at the local level. According to Paul:

“In the process of reassigning the 'new' routes, seniority with the USPS has taken a backseat to merit and good performance. ... Unfortunately in this process the Chaney Trail Neighborhood has gotten the short end of the stick. Several times we've had to re-deliver mail incorrectly put in our box to the proper address. ...

“After finding First Class mail we wanted to go out left in our box among our daily mail several times, even though we had the flag up on our box, I finally complained directly to our Post Office on Lake Avenue.“

And Paul has not found the USPS particularly helpful or responsive.

What about you? Have you noticed a change in the quality of your postal service? Keeping in mind that whatever changes you may have noticed thus far are certainly not the last we’ll see as the USPS struggles to stay afloat.

Karin Bugge January 21, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Why, yes I do, Kristen. At this stage, the shut-down of the Altadena Postal Office is a rumor. I'm going to quote the Altadena Patch Editor Dan on this one: "The post office is required to schedule and hold a hearing before it does this, which would require several months. The office, like all others, is certainly a threat to close down some point in the near future, but plans are not in motion." You can find more info by linking to his article - http://altadena.patch.com/articles/will-the-altadena-post-office-be-shut-down
Jon January 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Several times we've also had to re-deliver mail incorrectly put in our box to the proper address and not just to next door but streets away. Sometimes when it is so far I just drop it in the nearest post office even though it is a couple of weeks later. First Class mail we wanted to go out was left in our box among our daily recieved mail several times, even though we had the flag up on our box. I finally had to take that to the post office. I ordered stamps online the first of December so I could send out Christmas cards. I got them FINALLY three days before Christmas. I looked all over the place to talk to customer service and couldn't find anything so I called the Altadena post office -it rang 42 times before it was even answered - and the man (I think his name was Stan) told me that I couldn't order stamps online, that I had to get them through the carrier. I ordered $100.00 worth of stamps and the carrier didn't carry what I wanted or needed!!! I don't think they need to close the Altadena PO but rather replace the people there. They sent the best carrier we ever had someplace else. Her name was Deb O'Brian. I never had a problem when she was on our route.
ed meyers January 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Unfortunately, all those bills I don't want are delivered on time!! I spoke w/ a regional USPS office about 2 wks ago. I was told the Lake Ave. PO was NOT shutting down. However, the carriers & trucks will be relocated to another office (along with mail sorting). I was told that eventually, the Lake Ave office will move (within Altadena) to a smaller retail location since they won't need as much space once the carriers/trucks are relocated. The ACONA neighborhood group is having a meeting this Tues @ 7p at the Library. The topic of Pasadena/Altadena USPS closures will be discussed.
Lisa Maiorana January 22, 2012 at 03:33 AM
So that's great, no post office on Lake, empty lot across the street, business leaving left and right, sure hope Altadena doesn't end up a ghost town.
ed meyers January 22, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Lisa, there is the chance that the post office will still be on Lake but in a different store front. Right now, there are a few available sites on Lake. From what I heard, they'll likely wait until their lease (less then 2 yrs from now) runs out at the current location before relocating.
Marcia January 22, 2012 at 02:31 PM
When the reassigment happened, our whole block was left without mail pick up or delivery many times in one month, until I complained to the postmasters several times. Now, we have a very nice, efficient young ladt who is our regular carrier. Yet, ths sorting sometimes leaves much to be desired, as I often get mail from the same number, different street, and vice versa.
Pat January 22, 2012 at 04:08 PM
The desk staff, except for one young man, needs to go. They are rude, slow, and prejudiced. They spend time conversing with their friends while those in line have to wait and listen. They 'disappear' from their station when there is a line of customers waiting out the door. The only reason the USPS is broke is because they can't afford the pension and health plans the employees have. They are 'out of' stamps frequently or the 'supervisor' isn't on site to restock them - and this is at 11am. Webster's will do just fine as the replacement post office.
Laura Monteros January 22, 2012 at 04:54 PM
One of the first people to greet us when we moved to Altadena was the letter carrier, Pat. He came around to the side of the hosue where we were working to introduce himself. Even if a letter or package was misaddressed, he would deliver it to the right house. When the routes changed a few years later, we were very sad to lose him and if I saw him walking, I would always pull over to say hi. How many letter carriers know their customers by sight? Since then, we have had several, and all have given great service.
Holly Rundberg January 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I have always been happy with my mail delivery. They use a car up here. So I often hear them coming and get to go out and say 'Hi." Our new carrier is pleasant, but I do miss Kim whom I got to know well. She is a dear lady. She is still a carrier, but was moved somewhere else.
Angela Odom January 22, 2012 at 07:16 PM
My experience with the postal service went from excellent to horrendous. I've had mail delivered to my house with the same number, wrong street; wrong number, right street; packages delivered to my house that was addressed to someone on another block. Around here, we're delivering our own mail. I have now opted to go paperless for many things now because the postal service has gotten so bad and I don't dare walk into the post office on Lake. If I must, I will typically visit the post office on Colorado in Pasadena. The Lake office is that bad.
Kim Kenne January 22, 2012 at 07:55 PM
My main complaint has to do with weekly magazines. In the past, my weekly was delivered on Friday, the same day it appeared on newstands. Then it occassionally came on a Saturday - still fine. But for the last 6 to 9 months it turns up on Monday or Tuesday. And heaven forbid there is a Monday holiday - then it comes on Wednesday. The best was when it came an entire week late - on the day the next edition should have arrived (and after I'd already purchased a copy at a store). When I've spoken with the Post Office they told me 'we have new sorting machines and there have been problems'. Unfortunately these problems seem to be lasting for months.... Makes it hard to justify having a weekly magazine subscription.
Daisys Mom January 22, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Patrick. our original carrier was great. Everyone knew when he went on vacation because the mail would get all mixed up. Then Patrick retired and horrible service began. One of temps used to disappear, the other carriers had to finish her route. I DO NOT TRUST THAT MAIL WILL GET DELIVERED TO ME here in Altadena. Some things that have happened: 1) $100 in business merchandise delivered to someone else. Carrier was called at home and someone was able to retrieve before package was taken into the home where it was delivered. 2) Express Mail from China not delivered to my door because they couldn’t free up someone to come over in their personal car to deliver. 3) Mail dropped in mail slot and not curbside mailbox. USPS can’t change delivery to SAFER mail slot 4)Packages placed on top of our exposed curbside mailbox for everyone to see AND STEAL! 5) Priority Mail supplies that never get delivered requiring repeat orders. 6) Getting other people’s mail and vice versa. I know the lady well who lives one street over plus the house up the street. Home delivery service has improved in the last few months. But anything important gets delivered UPS or FedEx or to my South Pasadena PO Box. My daily business mailings go through Lincoln which is better staffed for business customers.
mister altadena January 23, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Websters cannot handle the increase in volume. They only have space to conduct one transaction at a time. Do you really think Websters wants lines out the door all day long? Argue that it brings people in to the store but the purpose of the contract station (and it's one counter) isn't to handle the retail postal needs of 40,000+ people.
Robby January 23, 2012 at 06:22 PM
My mail service was so poor that I opened a PO box in La Canada a couple of years ago.
Nadine Isenberg January 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Living in Altadena for 13 years we have had the best service from the Local Post Office employees. We don't always have the same person, but we always have good service.
P Goeders January 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Wondering if our route inherited your old grump. We used to have a nice lady. Ever since the reorganizing of the routes, however, we've got the same carrier that Lori mentions and YUCK! Mistakes/misdirected/ill placed mail/late mail/damaged mail, or even NO mail. And a pissy attitude to boot.
Paw People January 24, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I have never had problems with the mail delivery...always on time at 3pm...until they changed the routing a few months ago...Some times it comes around 2pm, some times at 6pm...A bit annoying. At the post office they never seem very organized as they should send an extra person or two out to serve the public when the lines gets long...they never do...and the only person there always gets the slowest customer, and halts the line even longer.

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