The weather can hamper mail service even though the U.S. Postal Service says that it delivers in any weather. Sometimes the weather can delay mail delivery for a day or it can cause mail to be delivered wet. Mail carriers have to use two hands to carry the mail, making it impossible to protect the mail from wet weather. In severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards, delivery may be held up until conditions improve. Sidewalks that are not shoveled during winter are hazardous to postal carriers and they do not have to deliver the mail.
Postal carriers regularly run into household pets that may make delivery almost impossible. A carrier is not required to deliver mail to homes that allow pets such as dogs to be loose or leashed near mailboxes. Postal carriers carry Mace with them when and have the right to use it on pets if they show signs of aggression.
Lost Mail and Mail Theft
Sometimes mail is lost or stolen. It may happen after you mail it, in transit to the post office or after it is delivered to your mailbox. There is a department at the postal service where lost mail is kept if it pertains to address problems and some attempts are made to determine who the mail belongs to before it is packed away in storage. However, mail theft can happen after the mail has been delivered to your postal box. If you believe you are a victim of mail theft, you can file a report with the postal service.
Many times mail will be undeliverable because addresses are not readable or the sender forgets or writes the wrong address. All efforts are made to see that the mail is delivered but sometimes, the mail must be sent to the lost mail department. Wrong city spellings, wrong ZIP codes and the wrong street name can delay mail for days or forever if no return address is on the envelope.
Incorrect postage is a problem. If people do put the incorrect postage on the envelope or package, the mail service will return the item to the sender if a return address is supplied.
Many times mail will have damage when it is delivered. Whether it is an envelope or a package, the mail service is a busy operation and sometimes items can be damaged by the weather or in transit. If the item has insurance placed on it, a claim can be filed at the postal department. However, if no insurance is applied on the item, claims can take longer to determine who was responsible.
Mail fraud is evident more so today than years ago. Some people use the mail to give free money for one reason or another, but these are usually scams that can cost the mail recipient hundreds of dollars. It is a felony to use the mail service to commit a crime of fraud and any instances should be reported to the postal service.