NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — COVID-19 is forcing delays for the U.S. Postal Service this holiday season and Nashville resident Ben Cunningham says it's costing him thousands.
Customers began calling Cunningham in the past couple of weeks asking why it took seven days to get a tracking number on their end. In 12 years, shipping almost 300 packages a day, Cunningham has never had this issue.
“When I get them here on time and they’re not processed that day, that’s a big let down for me,” Cunningham said.
As the owner of Sound Extreme, a car auto accessory shop based in Nashville, Cunningham ships everything from remote starts to Disney Infinity accessories. He noticed almost every package took seven days to get “processed” through the Postal Service system - which only meant he was always seven days behind. Each package would then take several more days to reach its destination.
As of Thursday, Cunningham says he has at least 1,000 unaccounted for packages. A total of $15,000 in products.
In response to the complaint, the Postal Service had this statement to offer:
"The 640,000 employees of the U.S Postal Service across the nation are proud to provide an essential service to our customers during the pandemic and to meet unprecedented challenges of this extraordinary year.
USPS has faced challenges recently due to COVID-19 at the same time mail volumes have dramatically increased. We have taken steps to address issues caused by the pandemic as we approach our busiest weeks, including hiring seasonal employees and allocating employees to facilities that need additional resources.
There has already been progress at the Nashville Processing and Distribution Center and we are confident that our processing and delivery will return to normal levels quickly.
As we do each year, the Postal Service reminds customers to send mail and packages early to avoid glitches. For additional holiday information and resources, including mailing deadlines and packaging tips, check out the USPS holiday newsroom.
We thank our customers for their continued support, and we are committed to making sure gifts and cards are delivered on time to celebrate the holidays."
For packages to make it in time for the holidays, the U.S. Postal Service recommends shipping by the following dates:
- Dec. 18: First-class mail
- Dec. 19: Priority mail
- Dec. 23: Priority mail express
Retailers like Amazon recommend making a purchase by December 11 at the latest. Amazon now features a note next to most items, explaining if they will make it in time for Christmas. In cities where they offer two-day or same-day shipping, Amazon says you can still order as late as December 23.
NewsChannel 5 pressed the U.S. Postal Service for answers on why some packages were taking longer to process and they directed us back to their earlier statement.
Cunningham hopes these issues are only temporary, but knows he's running out of time.
"The main concern is the customer and them getting their product on time especially this time of year with the holidays," Cunningham said.