‘Defective’ letter slot has residents driving 13 km for mail

Complaint over a blocked mail slot led to complete halt in delivery for one rural Langley neighbourhood

All north Otter resident Wayne Carpenter wanted to do was mail a letter at his new community mailbox.

Now, not only can he not mail a letter, he isn’t getting any incoming mail at the box either and the reason, he said, is ‘ridiculous.’

Canada Post has listed his community mailbox as defective, forcing Carpenter and his neighbours to travel more than 13 km to the Langley City post office to pick up their mail.

“I went to mail a letter Dec. 29,” said Carpenter. “But the slot to put mail in had a metal plate there. I called Canada Post to let them know about it and the next thing I see is a letter on our mailboxes explaining that mail would have to be picked up at the post office.” The box is at 246A Street and 50 Ave.

When he drove to the post office to get his mail he found out that a resident had reported the mail slot unusable so Canada Post deemed the whole box ‘defective.’

“I said to the staff there, ‘that was me who called, but I didn’t think it would mean the whole mailbox was unusable,’” he said. “I was shocked that they would cut off mail to us and make us drive. This is so silly.”

He said residents in his area can mail letters at the Otter Co-op a few blocks away.

In the letter to residents, Canada Post indicated a new community box will be installed soon. Most of Carpenter’s neighbours work so they can’t drive to the post office during its hours of operation Monday to Friday.

“I offered to cut off the plate for them but they didn’t like that idea,” he said.

“Just before Christmas, we replaced the existing community mailboxes with our newest model. Unfortunately, there was an issue with one unit,” said Phil Legault, Canada Post media relations manager.

“To ensure security of the mail, we sealed the unit and moved to mail pick up at the depot on Production Way while it is being replaced as quickly as possible.”

Should anyone have any concerns about picking up their mail in the meantime, he asks them to contact customer service (1-866-607-6301) to make alternate arrangements.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate our customers’ patience at this time,” he said.