USPS explains after card arrives six weeks late

Six weeks after it was mailed, a Christmas card arrives torn and tattered.
Six weeks after it was mailed, a Christmas card arrives torn and tattered.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Postage rates jumped again Sunday, adding another penny to the price of a First Class stamp.

"The post office is in a financial crisis and that's one way for us to increase our revenue," said USPS spokesperson David Walton.

With the price going up, is the postal service keeping up? Several people have shared their experiences about the postal service, and we found a surprising length of time for a card to get from Louisville to Indianapolis.

"We deliver to 151 million addresses throughout the country every day," Walton said.

That means getting millions of pieces of mail from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

"Our mail processing equipment processes about 36,000 pieces of mail per hour," Walton said.

The odds were apparently against one card in particular sent from Louisville to Indianapolis in mid-December. While it may be a two hour drive, it took much longer to arrive.

Six weeks later, it finally made it, but where did it go? A tropical vacation out west perhaps? Or maybe a trip to the frozen tundra of Alaska? One things for sure - it didn't stop off for any medical treatment, as the card arrived bruised and battered, torn to pieces.

On Facebook, many people also shared their battles. Hollie writes that she's received mail that's been, "open like it was torn into by a pack of wild dogs looking for raw meat".

Chad Gilezan shares his surprise when he finally got the card in mail nearly a month after Christmas.

"It had been slashed several times. Upon opening it was in three pieces. I was glad I got the Christmas card but it was a little late and a little destroyed," he said.

WAVE 3 took the matter to the top.

Walton explains that while the envelope contained just a card, there are bizarre things people stuff in a small envelope.

"They try to send make up samples, batteries, and a lot of companies will send ball point pens with advertisements and you can't send things like that through the machines. It will get jammed up," Walton said.

So despite no explanation when the card arrived in Indianapolis, it appears it must have been caught in the cross hairs of one of those jams which explains why it arrived so tattered and so late after Christmas.

"When it does get jammed up, it causes a backlog out there and each one of those pieces that was ripped apart has to be put back together individually. It takes awhile to make sure we get all the pieces and the address correct and get all the contents in it," Walton said.

As for Chad Gilezan, he says the card made him jolly, albeit a little late.

"A little snow on the ground in Indianapolis so I guess it puts me back in the holiday spirit again," he said.

USPS officials say that if you're mailing something time-sensitive like a check, you can use services like Delivery Confirmation or Certified Mail.

If you have a problem sending or receiving mail, you can call 1 (800) ASK-USPS or visit this section of the USPS website.

As for the price increase, Walton says previously-purchased Forever stamps will not need any additional postage in light of the new 46 cent price.

"Back in 2007 we introduced the forever stamp. It's been really popular and it beats having to go to the post office when stamp prices do increase. They are good forever, so if you bought stamps, say, a couple of weeks ago, even though the prices went up on Sunday, they would still be good," Walton said.

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