This has nothing to do with real estate and originally it was going to be a small part of another blog post I’m working on but as I dug into the subject I decided this deserves top billing.
Ever since I moved back to Chicago 12 years ago (time flies) I have lamented the deplorable mail service in this city. Originally I lived in Lake View (60657, infamous for lousy postal service) and I noticed that every afternoon the neighbors would meet in the street to exchange all the mis-delivered mail (OK, I’m exaggerating a bit). We requested our mail held while we were on vacation 3 times over the course of 3 years and it was NEVER held (no exaggeration). We even met with the head of our post office to fix the problem but to no avail. Once we came back from vacation in the middle of the winter and found 2 weeks worth of mail strewn all over the porch and on the side of the house under the snow (again, no exaggeration). Even now that I live in University Village I occasionally receive mail postmarked a month earlier (no exaggeration here either). And when you go to the post office and stand in line in front of unmanned service windows you can hear the cackle from the party going on in the back room. Not to mention that every so often a Chicago mail carrier dies and they discover his/her basement filled with undelivered mail.
Ever since my Lake View mail experince I have joked with people that we have 3rd world mail service in Chicago. And guess what? It’s true and I have the data to support the claim (I’m a data kinda guy). IBM tracks the post office’s service performance every quarter. If you look at last quarter’s first class mail 3 – 5 day delivery performance you will see that Chicago is dead last with 84.5% on time vs. a national average of 89.2%. Actually, the Carribean is worse. I rest my case.
The sad thing is that similar problems with Chicago’s mail service were highlighted 4 years ago and the Postmaster General came out here to address them. In fact, the overnight delivery performance has improved since then but the 3 – 5 day performance still sucks. I wish I could figure out how much of our mail falls under this latter standard but I do have real business to tend to (no pun intended).
Speaking of real estate…maybe this does have some small impact on property values. After all, it’s one more annoyance that makes people leave the city. However, you can do something about it. You don’t have to take this. The post office makes it incredibly hard for you to figure out how to complain so I’m going to make it easy for you. Just click here and select Problem the next time your mail is screwed up. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day emailing the post office to complain about Chicago mail delivery. And friends they may think it’s a movement.
P.S. I have no complaints with my mail carrier, Carol. She is awesome and I love her. We have a special relationship. Uhhhh…that didn’t come out quite right but you get the idea.