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Long wait for snail mail
Woman receives lost mail, calls for accountability from crown corporation

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Friday, May 13, 2016

Better late than never. That seems to be the case for a Yellowknife woman who was hopping mad at Canada Post after it apparently misplaced a letter sent to her.

NNSL photo/graphic

Susan Hunt, left, smiles as she finally gets a lost letter from Canada Post employee Cindy Prawdzik at the Post Office on Tuesday. The letter was sent by Express Post from Toronto on April 23. Hunt said she understands that letters can be lost but what frustrated her was what she described as a lack of accountability from local Canada Post managers and supervisors. - John McFadden/NNSL photo

Susan Hunt contacted Yellowknifer last Thursday expressing her frustration over not receiving an express envelope that required her signature.

Try as she might, she said she could not seem to get a straight answer from local Canada Post officials about what had become of the letter.

Yellowknifer contacted Canada Post media relations on her behalf and on Tuesday received an e-mail stating that the missing letter had been found and that it was being delivered.

Hunt said her mother in Toronto had paid more than $20 to have the letter shipped express.

Even then, it still took five days to reach Yellowknife. Hunt did not want to disclose what was in the letter other than to say it was important to both her and her mother.

Hunt stated in a letter to Yellowknifer that she had arrived home on April 28 to find a notice on her door left by a Canada Post delivery driver.

The card stated that she could pick up the letter in question the next day at the main post office downtown, but according to Hunt when she went to the post office and presented the notice, there was no envelope waiting there for her.

In fact, according to Hunt the barcode on the notice was scanned but there was no record in Canada Post's system of it ever receiving the letter in the first place.

She said she was directed to the postal outlet at Shopper's Drug Mart where she was told that mail is occasionally sent in error. However, the letter was not there either, nor was there any record of the letter ever having been there.

Hunt went back to the main post office where she said she spoke to the manager who told her the driver was new. She said she listened as the manager called the driver and asked him to check his vehicle for the envelope.

"There is no accountability for this letter that the driver had in his possession. Why is there two remaining peel-off scanning labels on the delivery card the driver left on my door," Hunt wondered.

"What purpose do they serve?"

Hunt waited a day while postal employees presumably searched for the letter. She then called the sorting plant the following day and requested a search for her express envelope. She said the supervisor never returned her call and when she called the local Canada Post manager, Hunt said she was told he was out of town.

Hunt contacted Yellowknifer again last week to state that she was told by a supervisor at the post office downtown that she was not allowed to contact the sorting plant herself.

She was also told that there had been no communication between the sorting plant and the supervisor at the main post office. Again she said she tried to speak with the main post office manager only to be told he was unavailable.

Following the runaround, Hunt said she was left to believe no one even tried to look for the letter for at least eight days. She said it was only after Yellowknifer started asking questions that Canada Post began to take the situation seriously.

Yellowknifer called Canada Post last week looking for some answers on where the envelope actually was and whether the crown corporation would respond to some of Hunt's complaints of shoddy service.

"We take this matter seriously and we sincerely apologize to Ms. Hunt that her item was not delivered. We've initiated an investigation to learn what may have transpired," stated Canada Post spokesman Mouktar Abdillahi in an e-mail.

On Tuesday, Mouktar again contacted Yellowknifer by e-mail: "We were able to locate the item and it's currently being delivered."

Yellowknifer asked Canada Post if it could explain the circumstances that led to the letter being misplaced and where exactly it was found. Mouktar responded by e-mail that how the letter went missing is still being investigated.

Hunt, who finally received the letter at the post office on Tuesday afternoon said she was both relieved and happy to receive the letter. She added she has no problem with the front desk personnel at the post office. It is the local managers and supervisors who she thinks should be more accountable.

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