Most people don’t realize the United States Postal Services has its own task force that investigates crimes, complaints and allegations. They take the job very seriously and commit to swift action. Managing complaints is a large component of the postmaster general's job.
What Qualifies as a Complaint?
Issues with your day-to-day mail delivery (what time it arrives, arriving late, etc.) should be handled by speaking to your local post office. The U.S. postmaster general’s official government site has a list of what counts as having enough merit to file an official complaint. They are:
- Injury compensation fraud.
- Embezzlements and financial crimes.
- Contract fraud.
- Computer crimes.
- Employee misconduct.
- Internal affairs and executive investigations.
- Whistle-blower reprisal.
- Theft of items from the mail by postal employees or contractors.
- Destruction of mail by postal employees or contractors.
Navigate to USPSOIG.gov to file a complaint online. You will be given the option to keep the complaint confidential or to be interviewed. There are a few questions to fill out where you describe the issue, for example, “Who committed the alleged wrongdoing? What are the facts? What caused the problem? What are the results of the problem? Please be as specific as possible. Where did the misconduct/wrongdoing occur? How was the misconduct/wrongdoing committed? Do you have first-hand knowledge of the misconduct/wrongdoing? Where can we obtain additional information concerning the misconduct/wrongdoing? Who else might be aware of the misconduct/wrongdoing?” You will also be asked to fill out your gender and zip code but no further identifying information unless you wish.
File on the Phone
The phone number for the United States Postmaster General Headquarters is 1-800-275-8777. 800 numbers do not count against most mobile phone data plans but verify to be sure. You will be prompted to choose the type of complaint you wish to register. Most of this can be done by pressing the coordinating numbers, for example, “press 2 for an employee misconduct complaint.” Again there is the option to remain anonymous via this method.
File through Traditional Mail
While not mandatory, it is always a good idea to send important documents like this via certified mail. Your local post office can guide you through that for a nominal fee. Address the letter to “Dear Postmaster General” and include a summary of your complaint using the questions on the online complaint form listed above as a guideline. Address to:
Postmaster General, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW Washington, DC 20260-0010
When in doubt, report it. It is up to the U.S. Postmaster General to decide if something warrants an investigation. It’s up to all of us who use the mail system to let them know what they may never see or hear.
Nicky is a business writer with nearly two decades of hands-on and publishing experience. She's been published in several business publications, including The Employment Times and Business Idea Factory. She also studied business in college.