We usually hear gripes about the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office on East 14th Street. That branch, as you likely know, is closing in the coming weeks. ( The USPS will lease the former Duane Reade on East 14th Street near First Avenue for retail services, such as stamp sales and P.O. boxes.)
Meanwhile, the Cooper Station branch on Fourth Avenue at East 11th Street was the PO Oasis, a magical place where you didn't have to wait in line for 90 minutes … and where you could find employees who smiled — and not just when they were going on break while you were standing in line.
Now, ahead of the Peter Stuyvesant closure, an EVG reader wonders if that branch's "inept and lazy management" has been transferred to Cooper Station.
The reader explains.
This post office used to be quite good (considering), but since November the lines have gotten longer and longer and slower, the self-service machines mostly don't work, the place looks dirtier and more run-down than it used to (although all the lights are left on on both floors 24 hours a day when it is closed).
The latest trick (which is what I heard was standard operating procedure for Peter Stuyvesant) is failing to deliver packages and lying about it. I ordered from Amazon and the USPS claims they tried to deliver at 6:04 p.m. on Sunday — never mind they don't work on Sundays and the lobby of my building is open and attended 24/7. They didn't leave a slip so now I can't go to pick up the package. I rescheduled the delivery online for yesterday and nothing happened either. [Updated: The USPS is delivering for Amazon on Sundays now.]
It's a shame because the Cooper Square location used to be the place people went to avoid the East 14th Street debacle — not any more.
PO paradise lost? Anyone else notice a change (for the worse) in service at Cooper Station?
Previously on EV Grieve:
Peter Stuyvesant Post Office now also open to ruin your Sundays this month
Today in rants: the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office
Meanwhile, at everyone's favorite local post office branch...
Has anyone taken advantage of this 'great news' at the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office?
if you do not get a packing slip from USPS
then you can still pick up the package if bring the tracking number and ID to post office
if it was fedex sent with USPS doing the last mile delivery then the tracking number is the fedex number with "92" added to the front of the number
I've noticed the same thing about the lines. I recently went in to buy a money order and the line was easily 40 people deep. Walked out.
also the usps started delivering for amazon on Sundays a few months ago.
Since November, every single package that was supposed to be delivered to my home never made it. Tracking would indicate a delivery attempt and "notice left", but no notice has ever been left. One time, such tracking was updated a mere 2 minutes after it arrived at the station! Then, picking up a package is always a pain; long lines, for sure! However, without a notice slip, the postal workers give all kinds of sass. Several times they had no clue where the package was, and after waiting 20-30 minutes in line then another 10-15 while they looked, I would be asked to come back later. What a joke this station is.
I have lived next to that po for 35 years.....you people must be delusional..it has always been a shithouse.doesn't it make sense the lines are longer with the closing of 14th st?
I was told to contact the DISTRICT management for complaints -
What cathy Guy said.
Also, the USPS does deliver on Sunday now. I've seen them on my block.
The 4th Ave. station has generally always had long lines, just not as long as the place on 14th St.
Private enterprise could put the USPS out of biz in 1o minutes.
On another issue, does anyone know who owns 302 Mott St., the place where PSH bought his drugs?
Didn't they start to consolidate the Cooper Square & 14th St stations about a year ago? I know 14th took over deliveries. They now have trucks all over 13th and can't fit them into the garage.
My theory on the no-delivery (at least dealing with Peter Stuyvesant) is that it happens any time something has any kind of insurance or requires a signature. I always get the tracking notification that delivery was attempted and notice was left; but I have always been home an the exact time and several times for the whole day on which they "attempted delivery." Then I go with the slip of paper with my address and the tracking # to the post office, and it always takes them forever to find my package, for which the inevitably blame me.
Really really annoying.
My PO for the past 26 yrs. Has had various states of cleanliness, in past two or three years better. But in past few months, much worse.
Lines? Insane. I walked out on Tuesday. Went back during the storm yesterday (much better). Nearly impossible to find Priority Mail items; it should not be necessary to stand on one line in order to get them. Refilling the two empty kiosks would do it.
In the plus column, it has some of the best photography around!
I like Anonymous 9:02 AM's theory -- I work at home and the exact same thing happens to me regularly.
And I too think the Cooper Sq PO has always been horrid! Damnably it is officially my post office (and I go there to pick up my you-totally-lied-about-trying-to-deliver-this packages at the Window of Doom, where the main older guy who staffs that window has ACTUALLY YELLED AT ME, *YELLED,* LIKE HEY YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN PERSON, LIKE AN ALL-CAPS TYPING OLD PERSON, when i did not have the package slip THAT I DID NOT RECEIVE).
When I have to mail something USPS or buy Harry Potter Stamps (so cute) I go to the office on 3rd and C. Usually only two windows, but it usually moves faster than the Cooper Square lines. For me it does not have the soul-sucking quality of Cooper.
I think those who say the cooper square station has always been awful have not been routine users of the station on 14th between 1st and A. If you've ever tried to pick up a package at that location, you will know what a deep circle of hell it is. By comparison, the Cooper at square station has always had shorter lines and MUCH friendlier service, right down to the cheery woman who has always been the "line attendant," extremely helpful in guiding you to fill out all correct forms, etc., while you wait in line to mail your package.
That said, I agree that something has ominously shifted at cooper square in the last month or two. The lines every day are like they usually are only at Christmas, and there are far fewer open windows dealing with them. Also, I haven't seen the nice line lady at all. It's alarming and I can only surmise it's got something to do with the upcoming closing of the Stuyvesant office. Seems like the Stuyvesant workers are indoctrinating the cooper workers into their methods. It reminds me of an old SNL sketch from decades ago in which MTA subway announcers were teaching new hires how to make their train announcements in an incomprehensible mumble, thus making riders crazed with annoyance.
It's really mind-boggling that our elected officials have either not tried to, or not been able to, get better service at our local POs. Re the commenter saying s/he was yelled at -- this kind of scene was absolutely the norm at Peter Stuyvesant. Yelling AND not getting your package, double whammy. The package problem created a business for Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, where residents can pay for "Oval Concierge" to accept their packages. It's 100% worth it.
Please - the PO on 3rd and C is a joke. While there are rarely any lines, it's not open on Saturday OR Sunday and operating hours are 9:30AM-5PM on weekdays. So much for providing a service to the working people of the neighborhood.
Everything at Cooper Station and Tompkins Square and Madison Square Post Offices will get worse once Stuyvesant Post Office closes for good and they have to absorb the extra workload. The USPS just didn't want to bother serving this community any more so they're downsizing to a dinky stamp and PO box piece of crap across from the fire station on 14th St.
I bought some "forever" stamps yesterday. & I almost always have shit shipped to my work whoever is doing the carrying- just saying
Regardless of the question of the USPS downsizing across the country, why is it that we in NYC have had to put up with such abysmal service for so long? I've been to post offices in other cities, even recently, that are nowhere near as bad as any I've been to here. I used to live in DC and it was not nearly as bad. So it's not just a question of cheery small-town post offices vs. the ones in urban areas. I guess it's just another indignity that we have to put up with to live in NYC.
The Post Office keeps removing conveniences like the coin operated stamp machines, while the self-service package machines only accept credit cards and are either out of order or else the line is stalled behind someone who isn't familiar with the dozens of different screens and buttons you are forced to click through just to mail a single package, the mailing supply bins are always empty, the lines at the main windows are a mile long while the package room people act like they are doing you a favor by finding your lost mail, and everyone's unhappy with the service? What're you, ungrateful or something? You all must have forgotten what it used to be like at the old DMV, which was like a cross between Rikers Island, jury duty and Survivor, where you had to be both good and lucky to get a drivers license or plates while maintaining your sanity. Ah, the good old days....they never really existed at all, now did they?
EV Grieve, I almost wrote to you about this! I am glad someone else did. I live much closer to the Stuyvesant branch, but I always walk over to the Cooper Square post office because it is more organized and much more pleasant. Well, it used to be. Something has clearly changed. The last few times I have been there in recent months there have been insanely long lines and less clerks at the windows. Also, the clerks, who used to be nice and fun to exchange a few pleasantries with, have become sullen. One of the ladies who has been there for years yelled at a guy who asked a question about package drop-off. She laid into him because she had heard him ask someone else the same question and didn't understand why he was asking her. I think he was just confused and wasn't trying to be a jerk. But she went off on him in front of everyone. It was awful, and it reminded me of all of the awfulness that I have witnessed at the Stuyvesant branch. Does anyone know any of the employees? I would love to find of what happened to cause such a drastic change in service and attitude.
Yes to the never received the pink slip box pick up. Yes to the never received packages and mail thrown on our hallway floor. When I gently asked our postman if he had a slip for me he stated screaming in our hallway that he couldn't take it anymore and was transferring...to Alabama. I haven't considered Stuyvesant a real P.O. for years. I used to live in a post-communist country and the lines were longer but better managed. I was praying that Cooper would be some kind of (any) to 14th Street.
I stopped in last week to mail a box. It was late afternoon, the line just about spanned the whole place and there were TWO windows open. The clerks appeared to be working at a leisurely pace and not at all concerned by the growing backup in the queue.
While there is clearly a productivity issue on the USPS I have to say on that visit I also noticed how brain-dead some customers are. I can only assume that a lot of people approach the service window unprepared (no forms filled out) and undecided, and then spend a good amount of their time at the service window filling out forms, and deciding what mail services they want.
After twenty minutes I said fuck it and went to buy a priority stamp from the self-serve machine. Once there though i got stuck behind a couple of people, who both took a really long time using the machine. For some weird reason both people had a really hard time pulling the trigger. They kept pushing the back button and switching options, and repeated this a ridiculous number of times. Both of them. One of them, eventually his indecision got the better of him and he just stood there staring at the screen until finally I asked him if he was going to be much longer, which snapped him out of the stupor. So long story short, yes it is evident that there are some management, staffing, productivity and customer service issues here, and they seem to be severely compounded by the ineptitude of your average postal customer. Buyer beware.
For the last 20 years, ALL national postal delivery systems have been under attack throughout the world. Privatization is the name of the game. The MO is starve them to death, while de-regulating and killing off union power. And UPS, Federal, et al spend many, many, MANY MILLIONS of dollars on legislative lobbying groups annually for favorable regulations (or NO regulations if possible).
Just last month, our Conservabuck government here in Canada has said they are CANCELLING ALL home postal delivery over the next year.....NOT for businesses, mind you.....just HOME delivery.
Oh, Stuyvesant PO... Both my husband and I still haven't received our tax documents, which we know for a fact were mailed over a week ago by our employers, all the way out in... Midtown.
So people are annoyed that they have to wait on line for packages from Amazon but are willing to wait on line for hours for cronuts, brunch, cupcakes, Shake Shack, Apple iZombie products, sample sales, biscuits [cough]...
On the topic of the new Stuyvesant post office on 14th: A worker the other day said they were aiming for opening the new office the middle of next week.
DrPop - You're only telling half the story. While home delivery *may* stop, you'll still get your mail delivered to one of the central locations located around your neighborhood.
GETTING MAIL ON EAST 7TH STREET IS A JOKE ~ ITS A LONG ROUTE FOR THE DELIVERY PERSON BUT TO GET YOUR MAIL AT 4 IN THE AFTERNOON IS DISGRACEFUL. THEY ARE ON THE ODD SIDE NUMBERS OF THE STREET AT 12:30 AND THE ONLY PLACE THAT GETS MAIL ON MY SIDE OF THE STREET IS THE UKRAINIAN CHURCH. WHY NOT DO THE OTHER FEW BUILDINGS ON THE EVEN SIDE OF THE STREET SO WE DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT TILL THE END OF THE RUN. COMMON SENSE IS NT USED MUCH BY USPS THAT IS FOR SURE .
302 Mott is managed by Misrahi
The Peter Stuyvesant PO lost my Christmas present this year. It was sent 2 day priority, scanned in and LOST. Everyone was unhelpful. I never received ONE notice...they never found it and never bothered to follow up. After 10 phone calls and 3 visits waiting on 1 hour lines...to get dismissed...I gave up and told my parents to file an insurance claim. They suck.
DOB shows this for 302 Mott Owner Info:
88 RIVINGTON STREET NEW YORK NY 10002
I'm the person who raised the initial question with EVG and I'm glad to see that I hadn't imagined this while sad at the decline.
People mentioned the nice lady who watched the line and helped with forms - she is long gone and there is no help to be found anywhere - even when old people have to sit on the floor (as I saw at christmas) or when the automated machines take your money and don't dispense postage (as happened to me last week).
I used to be a big supporter of the PO - I was actually a temporary mail man back in College - but it's hard to have any sympathy with these folks. I don't blame the front line people, I blame management - which is why I believe that the Stuyvesant managers are now here and infecting the place.
I understand the republicans and UPS / Fedex lobbyists are trying to destroy the PO and sell it off and I hate that. But the USPS in its current state, judging on my experience at this and other post offices in NYC, just needs to be put out of its misery. I can't mail gifts to my family in the UK any more because even after standing in line for an hour it will cost me more to mail than the gift cost (because they eliminated regular overseas airmail last year, now everything over 4 lbs has to go express).
It's just sad - a functioning post office is a sign of a functioning society and right now we are failing that test. We are officially third world.
The next time I go in I am going to try to get the scoop from one of the employees. Sometimes they stand around out by the loading dock on 11th Street. They definitely cut staff, and the people who are left are clearly miserable.
Bummer, this PO has always been a shining star. They should fire anyone that worked on 14th, worst employee's, EVER.
Would someone please send this entire comment stream to ALL of our elected representatives? And the head of the USPS? Please!!!
I just returned from there to use the Self Service machine to print a label for my package. It was a delight. Except I didn't see the helpful line lady. :(
I go to the Cooper Station Post Office at least four times a week. Over the past decade I have waited in many different lines there. I can count on one hand the number of times when the wait was more than twenty minutes, even when it was a long, long line. At the moment the hard working people there are besieged by work and staff has been cut terribly - in particular the staff that would sort through packages. Imagine their work load in December! They are still digging themselves out of that hole, I think. They were not able to hire extra help to replace employees that transferred or retired. We don't usually think about how using the automated postal centers allows a "justified" reduction in human help, and then, when we miss that help, we tend to blame the overworked people who remain.
In defense of Stuy PO... Yeah, the place was awful awful, really awful. BUT I have a good story, too.
A few months ago, a caring worker tracked down my passport for me, a day before its scheduled delivery, because I needed it urgently. And she gave me a call to let me know she's holding on to it and to just come straight to her window! Some of the workers, despite the horrible management and work environment, do care. I wish the good woman job security for life, hopefully in a less miserable place.
I got an inside scoop on the Cooper Station situation from an employee. I live close to the 14th St. post office but like many others on this thread, I also prefer to patronize Cooper Station. As I was finally being served after waiting 30 minutes in line, I asked the employee what was up with the recent drop in service. The employee told me that two workers have been absent for a while with illnesses and that management refuses to provide temporary replacements for them. Also, the nice woman who used to help people in line retired. Hopefully things will improve as one of the absent employees (they were in a car accident) is returning soon. As for the 14th St. station, I hope that all of those employees are fired once it closes. :)
Cooper Square has been stealing my mail and claiming it was delivered for two years now. Small packages mostly, some of them quite valuable, and also greeting cards (obviously thinking they contained birthday cash, which some did). And I have never ever been in there when the line was not at least a dozen people or more, so no change there really.
I used to go to the Cooper Station Post Office from Brooklyn, it was so good. Now I live in the neighborhood and I have noticed it has gotten much worse over the past few months. People seem less friendly, more inept, and less enthused to do their job. Also, things have been getting lost...
I found your article when I tried to verify the brand new, shorter hours at Cooper Station, my PO. (The USPS station locator link was not working, and Google showed an intriguing link to your page.) I didn't know that the horrible Stuyvestant station had closed. No wonder things have gone south at Cooper in recent months! I can attest to all of the complaints registered here in readers' comments. Also, they post notices about additional free services for box holders and, despite repeated requests, never actually implement them. I closed my PO box at Stuyvesant because I didn't want to kill or be killed, and I enjoyed a good number of years with Cooper's service and the friendliness of the staff. But I'm thoroughly disgusted with the service there now. I feel sorry for the staff; they now seem stressed out, and I don't really blame them. But this has got to be corrected.
in my building we get mail about 2-3 days a week. many letter and packages get returned to sender saying "undeliverable". I also don't receive about half my magazines; the others vanish and I believe the mailman is tossing them out. they also never leave package slips until the final notice, and claim that they did. they are totally unreliable in my opinion.
Wow. Hostile. Yes, it's been bad forever, and of course it's busier now with the other closing, But do you need to be shitty too?
The longest I have ever waited in a PO line was last year, a couple of days before Christmas. Almost 20 minutes! Of course, there was hot cider and cookies, Christmas muzak, and everyone you've ever known shouting Hello and Merry Christmas to me. When I got to the window, the older gentleman who always waits on me asked about my wife and family before taking care of my business. Fairly typical, albeit a considerably longer wait, for PO service in our small town in western Arkansas. I am so sorry for you good folks stuck in New York.
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