The United States Postal Service sucks and there is no way anyone can convince me otherwise. Growing up in México we all knew not to trust the postal service for anything important. Well, USPS should not be trusted for anything important as well.

A few years ago, the postal service lost not one, but three official government documents in the span of three weeks. One document was my Green Card renewal identification card. The other two documents were U.S. passports for the other two members of my family. We did everything right. The postal service did not.

Keep in mind that the three documents are identity documents that criminals pay high dollars for. When we notified the postal service that the documents did not arrive as promised, we were told nothing could be done about it. The sending agencies, U.S. government entities, basically washed their hands of the problem. Both said that the documents showed on their system as being delivered.

Never mind that we never got them.

The postal service, all the way up the chain of command would only say that the postal delivery person scanned the two documents “as delivered”. I should note that our postal delivery is via those neighborhood boxes where a key is needed to access the delivered mail.

I should also note that the Green Card and two passports were supposedly delivered on two separate days but within three weeks of each other. The passports came from one governmental agency and the other document from another.

U.S. Immigration has no simple way to deal with the problem other than to say their system says the identification card was delivered and as far as they are concerned, if I didn’t get it, I need to start the process from scratch again, including paying over $500 in fees. Now, if I had held the identification card in my hands for a few seconds, I could just order a replacement for less than $100. But since I never received it, there is no process to get a replacement.

Keep in mind that U.S. Immigration showed the document was delivered to me.

But, thinking that this is a serious matter because of identity theft and the implications of U.S. documents being misused, I thought that the Postal Inspector would surely get involved and figure out what happened.

The only thing I ever got was we asked the carrier and they said they delivered the documents.

Mind you, I complained up the chain of command from the local manager all the way up to Washington.

Nothing. The postal service does not care that U.S. identity government documents were lost.

Fast forward to this month.

A year or so, I was forced to open a PO Box at one of the local USPS branches because mail was routinely lost for my business.

This month, 43, yes 43 checks from different clients did not get delivered to my box. Each of these clients are from different parts of the country and all pay their monthly bills routinely.

Some readers may ask why it is that these clients do not pay with a credit card online. You may be surprised to learn that many large companies still issue paper checks to pay vendors for many reasons. One of the largest reasons is that accounting systems are designed for paper checks. The accounting department gets the invoice, it is entered into the accounting system and processed according to the company’s protocols.

When it comes time to pay the bill, the clerks “click” the pay button and a check is printed. Why can’t they pay by credit card you may be asking? Fraud and controls are the answers. Giving vendors access to credit cards eliminates one of the checks-and-balances required to keep fraud in check.

Paying by credit card at the time of payment, eliminates the simple process of clicking the “pay” button once to pay that month’s vendors. Instead, a credit card payment would require the company’s clerks to go to each vendor’s online payment portal and manually make the payment, taking a streamlined process and making into a time-consuming event prone to mistakes and other issues.

Until payments to vendors can be made with one click, paper checks will continue to flow to the vendors.

When the checks that arrive routinely did not appear, I went to the post office and asked what the problem was.

The response?

A shrug, with “oh, that happens often,” as mail containers are routinely misdirected to the wrong post offices. “Ok, so what now, I asked.”

“Ask them to send you new checks,” was the incredulous reply.

I asked what about knowing that containers get misdirected why not track them down. The answer was that they won’t know what was misdirected until someone stumbles upon a full container and wonders why it hasn’t been distributed to the post office boxes.

The guy I talked to told me that they find them all the time but just send them over to the right place, adding that it could be weeks, months or longer before they realize there was a mistake.

The U.S. Postal Service sucks!

Oh, but want me to see junk mail, not a problem, the postal service is very adept at the delivering junk mail.

What’s worse is that the postal service is lamenting private delivery services like FedEx and UPS and they want people to use them for Amazon instead.

No thank you, the postal service sucks and no one will convince me otherwise.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

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