Mail issues plaguing Twin Cities metro delivers some holiday letdowns

Christmas looked different inside the Kittock household this year. Father Joe Kittock gifted his wife and daughter with empty boxes. Inside the boxes, a note said the gifts had yet to arrive.

"Where are the packages?" Kittock wondered. In late December, he says his Lakeville home went nine days without receiving any mail from the post office. 

Then he went to the post office himself, "He looks like he’d answered the question 1,000 times already," Kittock said of his interaction with a USPS employee. "And he said I hope it’s there tomorrow."

Joe was told the mail wasn’t being sorted or delivered because of a staffing shortage and several sick calls. 

But then he took matters into his own hands, volunteering to sort through mounds of mail himself. "He said I had tried that with a couple customers within the past week," Kittock told FOX 9. "And then his manager/supervisor said that wasn’t ok."

Going home empty-handed just days before Christmas, the family only received about half of their Christmas gifts in time.

A United State Postal Service vehicle outside the Lakeville Post Office. (FOX 9)

"The crazy thing is -- what kind of set me off  -- was he said there was 18,000 people that aren’t getting their mail," Kittock said.

On Wednesday, the post office declined an interview from FOX 9, but sent this statement:

The Postal Service is committed to providing the best possible service to our customers and we apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced. We appreciate the patience of our customers. We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and are proud of the efforts of postal employees as they define essential public service every day.

If there is a service issue for a specific address, please provide that information so we can investigate further.

When mail service issues occur, we take steps to quickly resolve customer concerns.  We gladly work to address any specific issue from the community when brought to our attention and we encourage customers to reach out to their local postal station. Customers can also go to our website and click on "Contact us" at the bottom of our homepage or utilize this direct web address. Every email will be carefully documented and appropriate action taken to strengthen service.

In addition, the official Twitter account of the United States Postal Service, managed by the Social Media staff at USPS HQ, can provide help. For customer service, please tweet @USPSHelp. The Postal Service will diligently continue to investigate customers' concerns and correct deficiencies to improve service to our communities.