If you own and manage commercial mailboxes, you may be wondering just how involved the USPS (Post Office) will need to be when it comes to mailbox issues, repairs, and new installations. This may be especially true if you’ve just purchased a property that already has commercial mailboxes.
Thankfully, there are clear rules and recommendations about when you should involve your local post office in your mailbox concerns, and when you should handle issues yourself. These scenarios will help guide you through what to do, if you have mailboxes for USPS delivery. These scenarios do not apply to mailboxes for private delivery.
Scenario #1: Your mailboxes are damaged.
Contact the USPS? Sometimes.
If your mailboxes are damaged, as the property owner or manager, you’ll be responsible for fixing whatever’s wrong. The problem can range from small, broken parts to complete destruction of your mailbox, depending on the type that you have.
You’ll need to repair and replace your mailbox, and usually, this can be done without contacting the post office. But if you have questions about the correct installation for the type of mailbox you have, you can reach out to your local post office with questions. These questions can range from ADA requirements to the installation location for your mailboxes (see below.)
When should you contact the USPS about damages? If you have centralized mailboxes, collection boxes, or other receptacles with a master lock, you may need to have your local post office repair that specific part if it’s broken. The USPS also controls and installs parcel locker locks, so if these parts are damaged, the USPS is responsible for that specific repair.
Scenario #2: Mail was stolen from your mailboxes or property.
Contact the USPS? Yes.
If you find that mail, USPS packages, or anything else has been stolen from your property or your mailboxes, especially if your mailboxes are damaged, you should contact the USPS to report the mail theft. The Post Office takes mail theft very seriously, and they even have a website for reporting stolen mail. It will also help to call the local authorities.
Other things that you can do to prevent mail theft is to invest in more secure mailboxes. Curbside mailboxes usually don’t lock, and investing in larger, sturdier locking mailboxes may help to prevent mail theft. If you have a lot of tenants and need better security, consider upgrading to horizontal, centralized mailboxes. The STD-4C mailboxes are designed to prevent theft, damage, and tampering, and are designed to install into a single location or mount side by side. However, installing new mailboxes will bring you to the next scenario in which post office involvement is necessary.
Scenario #3: Mailbox installation or replacement.
Contact the USPS? Highly Recommended.
Perhaps you’re renovating your property and you plan to install or upgrade your commercial mailboxes. If you’re upgrading to a different type, you’ll most likely need to install them in a different location than where the old mailboxes were. Usually, centralized mailboxes are installed in front-facing and central parts of a multi-family or commercial property.
You may be wondering where to install your mailboxes, and whether delivery to them will be approved by the Post Office. Before choosing your new mailboxes, contact your local Post Office and show them your building/renovation plans. Getting approval before building begins will help you to avoid expensive problems and replacements in the future!
Scenario #4: You have questions about location, mailbox type, security, or anything else that can affect mail delivery.
Contact the USPS? Also Recommended.
The USPS requires that mailboxes be easy to access, in good condition, and have no obstructions to ensure they can deliver the mail to them. If you have doubts about the condition of your mailboxes, the ease of delivering to them, or anything else that could affect service, contact your local post office and implement any recommendations they may have.
It’s always good practice to ensure that areas around mailboxes are well-lit, free of ice, and free of obstructions. If you contacted the post office when installing your mailboxes, they should already be in a spot that is easy for them to access (as well as customers.)
Another reason to contact the USPS is to ask about expanding the current mailbox setup (say, if you want to add more customer compartments or parcel lockers.) The USPS can check your installation as well as install the master locks for the new compartments and parcel lockers, if they will be delivering to them.
Need New Mailboxes or Parts? National Mailboxes is happy to provide commercial mailboxes of all types for your property’s needs, as well as replacement parts should you need to make any repairs. If you need any assistance, be sure to contact us today.