SALT LAKE CITY — United States Postal Service employees are saying that USPS managers force employees to falsify delivery information on packages, in order to keep up with on-time delivery rates.
The employees said the delivery rates directly correlate to manager salaries.
Customers around the Salt Lake Valley have voiced concerns on social media that packages shown as 'delivered,' don't arrive for another one to three days on their doorstep.
West Valley City resident Candace Bennion said recently, the USPS showed it delivered three packages to her. While one package arrived, the other two were nowhere to be found.
"It says it's delivered," Bennion said. "I have that panic, of did it get stolen? Did it get delivered to the wrong person?"
A few days later, she said the two packages showed up.
Fox 13 spoke with Herriman residents on Tuesday, who reported the same issues.
Two Salt Lake District USPS employees, whose identities we are keeping anonymous to protect their jobs, said they often hear those frustrations from customers.
They said carriers usually don't know where the packages are, because the packages in question haven't been added to their delivery load-- even though they've been scanned as 'delivered.'
"It could be on some dock, not even being distributed for delivery that day," said the first employee, who we'll identify as "Jim."
Jim said as packages come into the facility, they're often scanned with the fake status right away before it ends up in a carrier's hands.
"When [the employees] come in the morning, they'll just line up the packages and start scanning them," he said.
He and the other employee, who we'll name "Jill," said if the package isn't scanned as 'delivered,' then the employees will scan it as not delivered-- but make up a reason as to why.
"They're being scanned as a, 'business being closed'-- if it's a residence-- or, 'receptacle blocked'-- when the receptacle in fact wasn't blocked-- things of that nature," Jill said.
After the false scan, they both said the package will sit at the Post Office until it can be delivered. That could be the next day or a few days later, they indicated.
They estimated about 10 to 20 percent of packages receive this fake scan-- amounting to thousands of packages a year.
The two said it's been like this for quite some time. Fox 13 did a trio of stories on the same issues and accusations exactly a year ago. In one of the stories, a different mail carrier from a different facility made similar statements as to what was happening behind-the-scenes.
Jim and Jill said not only is this a problem statewide, it's becoming standard practice across the nation.
Why is this alleged fake scanning happening?
It comes down to keeping up on delivery reports and manager salaries, they indicated.
"In order for [the manager] to meet their numbers and be compensated for their salary, they have to meet certain delivery expectations," Jim said. "And when they fail that, their compensation is obviously taken away from them."
They expressed that the managers' drive to stay on top of delivery rates, paired with current staffing and increased shipments during the holidays, exacerbate the problem.
"We are understaffed," Jim said. "We don't have the resources that we need. We don't have the vehicles, we don't have employees. It's purely 100% poor management."
Jim and Jill said they hope things change, and that mail carriers care about the communities they serve. They said it's frustrating for them, just as much as it is for their customers.
When asked about the delivery notification issues, the USPS replied:
"We aim to provide timely and accurate scanning and delivery to each and every customer. If a customer has a service or delivery concern, we ask them to contact their Post Office, 1-800-ASK-USPS, or visit usps.com/help.
Informed Delivery sends images of mail that will arrive soon, not always the same day."
Fox 13 asked about the claims made above by the USPS employees, and have not received a response to those questions yet.