USPS delivers to 160 million addresses, and processes upwards of 430 million pieces of mail every single day. Most of the time things run smoothly, but with that much action going on, some issues are bound to arise.
Whether it’s missing mail, a vandalized mailbox or false changes of address, USPS has systems in place to handle a number of common complaints. If there’s something wrong with your mail service, then read our article to learn how to address it!
How to File a Complaint to USPS In 2023
USPS handles complaints ranging from customer requests to mail fraud. Minor complaints can be addressed to a mail carrier, at your local post office, online or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS in 2023. More serious complaints should be directed to the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
If you’ve got a USPS-related complaint and aren’t sure who to contact, keep reading this article to learn more!
What Are Common Complaints About USPS?
USPS handles all kinds of complaints, ranging from minor annoyances to mail fraud. Let’s take a closer look at what types of complaints USPS deals with:
- Delivery issues – This could include things like packages being delivered to an inconvenient area, or not receiving mail on a daily basis
- Customer service – Complaints related to the behavior of mail carriers or postal clerks
- Theft, fraud or waste by the USPS or a USPS Employee – For example, stolen packages, employee misconduct or mail destruction.
- Mail fraud or theft by a person or company – Using postal services to commit fraud, such as sending fake promotional checks, misrepresenting a charity, or sending merchandise and demanding payment.
- Policy changes – Postage rate increases, extended delivery times, or changes to mail services.
How Do I File a Complaint with USPS?
If you’ve got a complaint that you need to address with USPS, the first thing you should do is figure out who to address your concerns with.
This will save you the frustration of running around, and help you get your complaint addressed as quickly as possible.
In this section, we’ll help you decide where to address your complaint, depending on what it is.
1. Talk to Your Carrier
If you have a complaint that’s more of a request (for example, asking that your mail be left in a different location at your home or business), then talking to your carrier is a good place to start.
Carriers tend to have consistent routes and schedules, so they should be able to remember your preferences fairly quickly.
To make this kind of request, flag down your mail carrier the next time you see them.
As long as your request doesn’t violate postal code or interfere with the carrier’s duties, they should be able to accommodate your request.
2. Email USPS
If you’re experiencing a delivery issue, or have a customer service concern, then contacting USPS by email is an effective strategy.
This includes filing insurance claims, as well as requests for shipping reimbursement.
You can start your email complaint by visiting the USPS website.
After narrowing down your selection, you’ll be asked several questions related to your complaint.
For example, if you had a negative interaction with a postal clerk, you may be asked to provide the clerk’s name, the date of the incident, and a description of your interaction.
3. Call USPS
If you prefer to address your complaint over the phone, call USPS customer service at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
Postal service employees are available to take your call Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time, and on Saturdays from 8 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time.
4. Get in Touch with Your Local Post Office
Calling your local post office or making a trip there is a great way to speak with a supervisor. This individual will either be able to help you directly, or they can point you in the right direction.
At smaller post offices, you may be able to speak with the postmaster directly. If it’s a larger post office, then the supervisor will relay your complaint to the postmaster.
Whether you call or visit in person, explain your complaint clearly and succinctly. Ask the supervisor to help you find a solution.
If the issue continues, feel free to reach out again and let the supervisor know.
5. Email, Call, or Write to the U.S. Postal Service’s Headquarters Consumer Advocate Office
If you have a bigger issue, or haven’t been able to resolve your complaint at the local level, you might want to escalate your complaint to the U.S. Postal Service’s Headquarters Consumer Advocate office.
This office represents consumer interests to the top management level at the postal service.
- By email: XSDHM0@usps.gov
- By phone: 1-202-268-2284
- By mail:
United States Postal Service
Office of the Consumer Advocate
475 L’ Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20260-0004
For more serious concerns, such as potential theft or fraud, the USPS Office of the Inspector General takes the lead. The inspection service can also be contacted online.
6. File a Complaint with the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
You should contact the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) if you have complaints about theft, fraud, Or waste by USPS as an organization or by a USPS employee.
You can file a complaint with this office online or by calling 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644).
For more information about which types of complaints this office handles, check out the OIG website.
7. Contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
This service is the federal law enforcement agency that’s in charge of protecting the integrity of the mail system.
As such, part of this office’s mandate is investigating crimes related to mail fraud or theft by people or companies outside of USPS.
To file a mail fraud complaint, click here.
To file a mail theft complaint, click here. Under Inquiry Type, select “Problem.”
Under Customer Service, select “Support” and “Mail Theft,” where you can explain why your complaint is related to mail theft.
8. Contact the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)
If you have a complaint about a major USPS policy change, such as postage rates, contact the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) by using the online contact form.
Does the Post Office Take Complaints Seriously?
While individual experiences will likely differ, anecdotal evidence does seem to suggest that USPS does a good job of addressing consumer complaints in a timely manner.
For example, one former USPS employee explained that part of her job involved responding to email complaints about her branch.
She would call people directly and try to resolve the issue over the phone.
Another example involved a USPS customer who filed a claim with USPS for a heavily damaged package.
After submitting some pictures and filing a claim online, he received a check a few weeks later.
Note that not everyone will have such a positive experience, but if you’re able to explain your complaint to the right person, there’s a good chance that they’ll help you resolve the issue.
To know more, you can also read our posts on the biggest USPS competitors, what is USPS informed delivery, and USPS orientation.
USPS is no stranger to receiving complaints. As a result, it has put a number of resources in place to help customers air their grievances and find solutions to their problems.
So, whether you file a complaint online, talk to your local postmaster, or escalate your complaint all the way to the federal level, USPS is willing and able to help.