Mailbox mess

Seven On Your Side
April 5, 2010 2:53:27 PM PDT
It's a stand off in Staten Island between a family who's not getting their mail and the post office who says it refuses to walk up 12 steps to drop the mail in the box. It sounds crazy but it's true. Each day Rosi Garmendia checks her mailbox but nothing's inside. She says she hasn't received regular mail delivery for the past 8 weeks.

Ever since she and her family moved into their home last January the mailbox was located right outside the front door.

But now the post office says it's "improperly located" and wants them to move the box 12 steps down to the handrail at the bottom of the stairs next to the sidewalk. Rosi says she's afraid of identity thieves taking her mail.

"This is our first home, a private home. We should not have locks on our mail box," says Rosi.

The post office's reason? Since Rosi's house is a "new construction" they can ask for the mailbox move. There's just one problem.

"It is not a new house." Meet Carmine Masullo the home's prior owner. He says he only renovated, changing the home's siding and roof.

And that the mail used to be delivered through a slit in the front door-and he has a picture to prove it. It shows the mail slot in the front door at the top of the stairs.

After we told that to the post office they changed their story, saying they won't climb Rosi's stairs because none of her neighbors have the mailboxes in the same location. But look what we found? A row of houses, that starts with her next door neighbors house with the mailbox at the top of the stairs right outside the front door.

After 7 on your side got involved the U.S.P.S. agreed to meet with customer and consider putting the mailbox in a compromise location here: Up 7 steps off the street but not all the way to the top. But then the postal service cancelled the meeting saying to keep it would show the matters up for discussion. Which it is not.

Staten Island Councilwoman Debi Rose says her office will insist on an open dialogue. "If the mail carrier is willing to carry the mail throughout the neighborhood it doesn't make much sense to exclude this one house."

The councilwoman said she's certain concessions can be made on both sides, her office will arrange a meeting.

The third and latest reason from the postal service? "Cost cutting." In other words, the 12 steps up is considered 12 steps too many for that route and therefore "cost inefficient." If the USPS changes it's mind we'll keep you posted.


Story by: Nina Pineda

Produced by: Steve Livingstone