USPS delivering government checks to wrong addresses

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PHOENIX -- The United States Postal Service has been in the news a lot lately. It started this earlier this year when postage stamps increased to 45 cents.

Then, there have been several reports regarding the agency's financial status and that it may stop Saturday delivery in order to save money or even close post offices in rural areas.

But some wonder if you're getting what you pay for as it is now.

For example, Tina Meador works as a receptionist.

"I check the incoming mail and process invoices that we receive," she said.

But recently, while sorting through the mail, Meador started to notice a pattern. The company she works for was receiving federal government checks that were meant for people who lived in other places in Phoenix.

"Within the last two weeks, I noticed I was getting a couple of Social Security checks delivered with a couple of residents' names on it," Meador said.

She would forward the unopened checks and hope they got delivered properly, but more would follow until one day a total of seven different checks obviously from the federal government were mistakenly delivered to her in one day. It seemed odd.

"There are a couple of them that are close (to our address) but some of them are completely different zip codes," she said.

One of those checks was meant for a business several miles away. Meador forwarded the check with the USPS but we made a copy of the unopened envelope with the check inside. We then hand delivered it to where it was supposed to go.

We gave it to Mary Marshall, who determined it was an IRS refund check for a relatively small payroll adjustment.

But it still raised eyebrows.

"I would question why if it's clearly meant for our address, why is it going to someone else's mailbox," Marshall said. "That question is for the Postal Service."

She's right, so we took the delivery problem to the USPS. We wanted to know why so many government checks were continually being delivered to wrong addresses.

After looking into the matter, a post office spokesperson wrote me an email saying, "Sometimes, mistakes occur" and that this was a rare occurrence.

Not everyone agrees and that means some folks will have to wait just a little bit longer because their checks were routed to the wrong address.

Meador said she feels sorry for people waiting on money when they already should have received it.

"Especially if it's checks, you know, people depend on that stuff," she said.

I really thought the post office would have taken this more seriously and would have come up with a better reason other than to say mistakes happen.

We're talking about checks that are being carelessly delivered, so think about that if you're waiting on your Social Security check and it hasn't arrived yet.