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July 31, 2021

Gephardt: Can the US Postal Service refuse to deliver your mail?

SALT LAKE CITY – Imagine if, out of the blue, you stopped getting your mail and you couldn’t get an explanation why from the U.S. Postal Service.

When it happened to a Salt Lake City woman, she called the KSL Investigators to figure out why the post office refused to deliver.

“What I’ve done is fill out complaints on their website,” Ardis Parshall told KSL. As we talked to Parshall, a delivery driver pulled up to drop off some groceries.

“We have not received mail in our neighborhood now for six weeks,” said Parshall.

Instead, USPS is holding the mail for her and several of her neighbors at the post office where they can pick it up. However, Parshall doesn’t drive and walks with a cane so the milelong walk through the hilly terrain of Salt Lake City’s Avenues to her post office is tough.

Plus, she’s diabetic – putting her in the high-risk category for COVID-19. Her doctors don’t want her on a public bus. Some of the mail she’s no longer able to get includes diabetic supplies.

Parshall said she has gotten nowhere with her complaints.

“You get an automated response that it’s been received and the next thing that I hear is that my case has been resolved and here’s a consumer satisfaction survey,” she said.

The KSL Investigators watched the neighborhood as mail carriers worked their way up and down the streets around Parshall’s home — but never made their way onto her road. What is going on?

No one from USPS would talk about the situation on camera, but in a statement, a spokesman blamed a dog running loose on Parshall’s street.

“The safety of our carriers is paramount,” USPS officials wrote. They added “nearly 6,000 carriers have suffered dog attacks” so far this year.

“Never had trouble with a dog,” Parshall told KSL.

So, where does this all leave Parshall and her neighbors?

After our calls, a post office manager went out to personally deliver the mail to the residents of Parshall’s neighborhood and let them know they are “working” on a solution.

We also reached out to Salt Lake County Animal Services which confirmed there is an active issue with a dog in the neighborhood and specifically one dog owner who has refused to follow the rules for several years.

Matt Gephardt

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