General Question

themspinner's avatar

My mail carrier refuses to walk to my door to deliver mail through the door slot, saying it is too far, about 25 ft from the street. Can he refuse to deliver my mail?

Asked by themspinner (21points) January 14th, 2014

The postmaster says the carrier is disabled and can not walk that far. It seems that maybe he should not have a walking route if that is true. My mail is returned to sender

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19 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

Were I you, I would ask this question, here.

Presumably the house was built with a mail slot that has stood it in good stead for many years. I’m all for equality, but if you cannot do a job, it’s stupid and unequal to put you on it.

How long have you lived there, and what part of the country are you in?

Adagio's avatar

Would it be impossible to put a mailbox near the road, you could ask how far he/she is prepared to walk and build a mailbox there, mailboxes/letterboxes are standard here in NZ.

LornaLove's avatar

I would think that houses that are set back far from a road would have a post box? I do sympathize with post delivery people as they have large areas to cover in a certain amount of time. Some I believe have bikes? Having said that, it does seem strange to employ a person who’s walking ability is limited.

Nimis's avatar

25 feet isn’t far to walk—for either party. But considering he has to walk all day long, give the guy a break. Put in a mailbox. Walk the 25 feet.

Are you having any issues with stolen mail or something?

johnpowell's avatar

I feel like there is some important part of the equation that we aren’t being told. I would love to see a picture of the 25 feet to make sure you don’t on a super-steep incline.

themspinner's avatar

There is a slight incline in the walkway The condo is handicap accessible so it is not steep. I am a renter, guess I have to have the landlord install a mailbox. From what I have been reading it appears the carriers can refuse to deliver mail for a variety of reasons.
Thanks for the input.

Seek's avatar

I’m pretty sure “I don’t feel like walking” is not on the list.

johnpowell's avatar


AstroChuck's avatar

I’ve been a letter carrier for nearly 30 years. I’ve never heard something so ridiculous as this. Unless it is unsafe to walk to your mail slot I can’t imagine a postmaster allowing this. If the letter carrier is disabled then that letter carrier should be on limited duty and not walking a route. If you have established house delivery at your home and no obstacles or dogs preventing delivery then there is no reason you shouldn’t be receiving your mail in your mail slot. I suggest you write to The Consumer Advocate, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, D.C. 20260–6320. Phone: 1–202-268–2284. You can also contact your local congressperson and have this investigated.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is your mail carrier named Newman by any chance?

CWOTUS's avatar

PS to @AstroChuck‘s response: You should probably include an email address if you need to obtain a response and maintain a correspondence with the Consumer Advocate. Just sayin’.

johnpowell's avatar

I just want to add that I love the USPS. Seriously. 50 cents and I can send a letter to a farmer in Wyoming. That is so fucking cool.

Silence04's avatar

Yep, sounds like typical USPS. Where I live, mail only gets delivered when they feel like it and boxes don’t get delivered at all.

Seek's avatar

^ My postman recently got replaced because he didn’t deliver mail on trash days. Didn’t want to drive around the cans, and all the gods forbid he stand up.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The key to this issue lies in whether or not the mail slot in question is in a “new” location. If you have arbitrarily relocated your mail box for your convenience from its established location on your letter carrier’s route, you can anticipate resistance from your mail man. This is particularly true if stairs are involved. The fact that his resistance is backed up by management does not bode well for you. Both your mail man and the postal service which owns him have a strong bias against measures on the part of postal patrons which add incremental delivery time to your postman’s route. Consider what the extra minute or two a day means in a lifetime of mail delivery. Then consider the implications if “everyone” is allowed to get away with it.

jca's avatar

Maybe since it’s on a steep incline, the carrier doesn’t have to walk more than a certain number of feet, per regulations? Something to google now!

ibstubro's avatar

Well, I just want to support @johnpowell in saying that the USPS is awesome, and the mail carriers have a crappy, thankless job. The mail gets there, big whup. The mail doesn’t get there, the-sky-is-falling.

People think mail carriers are walkin in tall cotton when the weather’s nice (“I wish I could get paid to walk around in all this sunshine!”), forget the carriers when they have to step out in frigid air.

That said, @AstroChuck: I suggest you write to The Consumer Advocate, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, D.C. 20260–6320. Phone: 1–202–268–2284. You can also contact your local congressperson and have this investigated.

jca's avatar

This is what I found from the US PS site when I googled it. It does not say specifically, but apparently, rural areas have different guidelines than city areas. That said, nothing is specific regarding the max distance from the street. The OP did not say if they live in a rural area, but apparently the rule is the box has to be near the street for the mail carrier not to have to leave the truck. Where I live (a rural area) all the mail boxes are in a central location and that’s about ¼ mile away.

Seek's avatar

If the mailman has a walking route, there’s no truck to leave.

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