A Drive to Replace the Boerum Hill Post Office

Misdelivered mail? Undelivered packages? Terrible long lines? Tell us about your experiences and help us replace Times Plaza with a real post office! So goes the language on the Boerum Hill Association‘s website about the Times Plaza Post Office on 3rd and Atlantic. The group is conducting a survey about the post office (which also serves parts of the North Slope) because, as the Brooklyn Eagle reported, they feel The facility was outgrown decades ago, but because USPS only rents the space, they cannot make the changes necessary to run it efficiently. Continued neighborhood growth, plus Atlantic Yards, will only make the situation worse. Gowanus Lounge has posted complaints about the post office on several occasions, and we’ve witnessed the crapola service at the facility firsthand more than once (including a memorable occasion last year when the surly staff made someone cry). Residents of the 11217 Zip code can vent here.
Replace Times Plaza — With a ‘Real’ Post Office [Brooklyn Eagle] GMAP
BHA Wants Times Plaza Post Office Replaced [GL]

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  • replace the whole staff with Koreans. Then it’ll run like clockwork.

  • One of the most baffling peculiarities of NYC life – why do all the post offices suck? Go to any suburb or any other city and you have large renovated or recently built buildings. Lines that are a fraction of what we have here, and the layout makes sense. On top of that, all the postal carriers have trucks! So where does all the money go? The per capita expenditures of the USPS on NYC has to be significantly less or its going in someone’s pocket.

  • that place sucks but what do you expect–bureaucracy at its best

  • I experienced a lost bill at least once a month. I finally got tired of phone calls to the P.O and the company’s responsible for sending me the statements. I now pay all my bills on line and have email alerts when my bills are due. The shortest time I have ever waited on line at the P.O. was a half hour. Usual wait time is 45 minutes. They should privitize the Postal Service.
    Off topic, for those that clamor for universal health care by the US Government, the US Postal Service should be a good barometer for how that will work.

  • been there once.

    it sucked

  • Can’t agree more that this whole facility should be abandoned. I’d even go to Ratner’s Atlantic Center space for an improved Post Office. PLUS, can they ever learn to separate the lines for money orders from the lines for stamps?

  • The crap service you describe isn’t restricted to just the Boerum Hill PO. A new post office building won’t help what is an ingrained problem in that workforce. Long live the self-service machines!

  • According to About.com

    No, it’s a business!
    the Postal Service takes on some several very non-governmental attributes via the powers granted to it under Title 39, Section 401, which include:

    * power to sue (and be sued) under its own name
    * power to adopt, amend and repeal its own regulations
    * power to “enter into and perform contracts, execute instruments, and determine the character of, and necessity for, its expenditures”
    * power to buy, sell and lease private property
    * power to build, operate, lease and maintain buildings and facilities

    All of which are typical functions and powers of a private business. However, unlike other private businesses, the Postal Service is exempt from paying federal taxes. USPS can borrow money at discounted rates, and can condemn and acquire private property under governmental rights of eminent domain.

  • USPS was reformed to make it more like ‘private’ business years ago – which is example of how privatizing sucks. They have to be self-supporting but still required to provide services even the ones that loose money — while all the for-profits take the profitable business parts away. Now if FEdEx, UPS, etc had to provide all the non-profit making services – you’d see their service deteriorate.

  • I’ve found the people working there to be pretty reasonable, helpful, and hard working. While I’m sure they deserve some of the stereotypes, I think it is a supply and demand problem. That being said, a bigger, less dumpy space would be a big improvement.

    And I agree, going there anywhere near the first of the month–with the influx of money orders–only adds to the otherwise long wait.

  • I agree with 10:25. A new P.O. won’t bring better service. Look at the renovated G.P.O. on Cadman. A joke.

  • I have yet to encounter a well-run post office in the NYC area. Most of the employees are fat, lazy, and rude. Typical “I get paid either way” attitude of union members. Whenever I need to mail a package, I use UPS or FedEx. I order stamps via mail and pay bills online. The less that I have to deal with these idiots, the easier my life is.

  • I must say it has gotten better, if you can imagine. The lines use to be longer and the customer service use to be worse. I get faster service and people are much more helpful. The manager appears on the floor when it gets too busy to help out. I think there should be someone on the floor at all times and continue to improve as they have been doing. That is my experience.

  • the Asian lady behind the glass was the rude one so replacing them with a specific race may not necessarily change anything.

  • every thread today as written by gabby.

    is brownstoner back to work on wall street?

  • Atrocious. I was there last week. Stamp machine out of order as usual. Place is filthy and decrepit. Only ONE person working the counter when I was there, with a line to the door. (The other woman took a “break” apparently–i was told she was ‘still working’ but she never reappeared.) Post office employees seem to move in slow motion. Window where you’re supposed to be able to retrieve packages was also closed. Same with passport window.

  • hahaha that asian lady is the worst

  • Pratt Station post office on Myrtle and Grand is garbage too. USPS is a joke in NYC.

  • Koreans aren’t a race, they are a culture. And different cultures value different things. If you want efficiency in customer service, go to a korean deli.

  • the boerum hill p.o. is faaaaaaar better than the clinton hill post office on fulton which has to be one of the more soul skewering letter mailing experiences out there.
    by contrast, the p.o. in soho, and the one in the west village on 10th st. (think it’s 10th st.) is super fast, efficient, people mind their manners, etc. wonder why in those neighborhoods the service is better?

  • We just moved to NYC and this has been the only negative experience we’ve had. We had one package that was (according the the terrible tracking tool on the USPS website) in Brooklyn for days before they tried to deliver it… and then the website told us that it had been attempted to be delivered although I work from home all day and no one ever rang the bell or left a notice.

    After similar experiences with a couple of packages, I no longer trust them to deliver packages.

  • The mail delivery service in NYC in general is terrible. This is the post office responsible for getting mail to me. So far my gripes:

    — I would say I am lucky to get 2/3 of my magazine subscriptions.

    — If I sign for a package and leve the slip in my mailbox saying to leave the package inside I usually never recieve the package.

    — Sometimes I will not recieve a package which should have arrived in a few days and recieve no notice about it. I call the post office two weeks later and find out it is sitting in a back room there.

    Terrible, terrible service.

  • I work at Rock center and I use the post office there. It is so organized that who ever is managing that one should teach the others how to run. Oh yeah….there is not a Korean in site and everyone is efficient and friendly.

  • 11:12 is right. The Manhattan PO’s are vastly better than Brooklyn PO’s. It’s night and day. In Soho, the PO is clean, staffed with decent people, there are brand new automated machines, every type available. Soho has a large box with large slot for packages, so you can do the shipping label and mail packages yourself; you don’t have to stand in line. Contrast that with the Brooklyn PO’s where the lines are absurdly long, at least 25 people deep at every time of day. In Brooklyn PO’s, according to signs posted, for “security” reasons you can’t insert in their mail slot that is thicker than a few inches or weighs more than 13 ounces.

    To the US Post Office, Manhattan and Brooklyn are two completely different cities. The US Post Office has been ignoring and writing off Brooklyn, not updated or improved anything, and is blatantly more suspicous and paranoid about the residents of Brooklyn.

    Some would call it racism. But when the US Government does it, it’s “security”. I don’t know why various neighborhood groups are not all over this and totally calling out the US Post Office for their completely biased and uneven service they provide across NYC.

  • That PO is horrible. Thank god I moved outta that neighborhood to PS. The 9th street station sucks too, but at least their self serve machine works. It’s somethin’!

  • At the Wall Street post office in Manhattan, I was in and out in five minutes, and the staff was courteous. Of course, Yet post offices and subways in the outer boroughs are neglected, mismanaged and under-staffed. WTF.

  • Keep in mind that most of the infrastructure in place in Brooklyn today, including mail service, is the same as when a typical brownstone sold for between $90,00 and $180,000.
    Folks spending the super big bucks in Brooklyn today should understand that their millions will still only get them slum-era services.

  • New, affluent Brooklyn residents should be pressing the politicians and governemt agencies for better services. Unfortunately most are too busy working their asses off in Manhattan in order to keep up with their jumbo mortgage payments.

  • Gotta say this is the worst NYC PO I’ve ever been to — filthy, disorganized, and soul-killing. Every time I’m forced to go there, I compare it to Knickerbocker Station, on the Lower East Side, which handles its multi-ethnic, multi-lingual customers so much kinder and faster. Sheesh.

    However: Has anyone ever been to a PO counter where the microphone-speaker system actually worked? I’m always straining to hear the person on the other side, and when I point to the mic, they just shrug and mouth the words, “It doesn’t work.”

  • We own a Brooklyn brownstone and are glad of it, but I agree with 12:51. Services are not on par with what the real estate now costs in Brooklyn. Even Park Slope doesn’t have everything you’d expect in a place priced at $800 to $1000 per square foot.

  • Has anyone ever been to a PO counter where the microphone-speaker system actually worked?

    Yes, at the Adelphi St., Clinton Hill, everyone heard when the attendant called for the manager at a customer’s request, and said “some ass wipe wants to speak with you.” LOL.

  • We, here in Bed Stuy/Crown Heights, who use the Brevoort PO(11216) at Atlantic Ave, between Nostrand and Bedford, have been complaining for literally, a generation. It was dreadful in 1983 when I moved to the area, and it’s only marginally better now. The use of computers has made it move a bit faster, especially in terms of doing money orders and weighing packages. They still frequently send back packages to sender that I have received no notice of. The workers, I have to say, are much nicer than the ones they used to have.

    When it was a 90% minority use PO, we used to stand in line and grumble that it was because we were in the ‘hood, and nobody cared. Now that the area is upscaling, and the lines are a rainbow of ethnicities, we are still standing in line grumbling that we are still perceived as the ‘hood, and nobody cares. “They wouldn’t do this in white neighborhoods!” People would loudly exclaim. Well, now we know that bad service knows no color.

    What all these post offices need is firm and accountable management, backed up by their management and the unions, to allow them to motivate and lead staff to better efficiency. The problem is that like all entrenched beaurocacy, they can’t conceive of doing anything different or innovative, and downright bad workers can’t be fired.

  • I received a notice that I had a package at the Boerum Hill Post Office. I went there, put a couple quarters in the meter, and after almost an hour’s wait – running in and out to feed the meter more quarters – the agents at the windows wouldn’t serve anyone else after the person in front of me. There were six people, including myself, waiting there for the longest time and – when I tried asking one agent why were being denied service, she accused us of having “snuck in” after they announced the post office “was now closed”. I asked the agent when did they anounce it and she said she didn’t know, but yet she knew that they did. I was stunned. the agent would not give me her name – she downright refused. Three of us who remained waited until we could speak to the manager of the post office. This man came to the window after another 20 minutes, I guess hoping we would just leave – and he stated that when they close – they’re closed and we’ll all have to come back tomorrow. I asked for the post master general’s information and who I would contact to submit a complaint. He gave me a phone number and an address to mail a written complaint to. I did send a letter and called and spoke with someone. People, you need to take the time to write or call whoever is in charge if we expect anything to change. Accountability matters. Ultimately I left there so furious, I vowed to never go there again at all cost. Oh, and I got a parking ticket too. Whoever runs Craig’s List, please post the Postmaster Generals information on your website and make a change in this town!

  • i’ve developed a new strategy with the BH post office after several experiences similar to that of 1:30pm’s. i called the main usps number, told them a long story involving lying mail carriers (there is some totally shady business going on where they never bother to bring the package to your door, just mark it as “attempted delivery” and expect you to go get it), rude employees (including one that responded to a question with shutting the shades on his window), a seriously long line, and a lost box of xmas presents–the woman connected me to the better business bureau that oversees that office. i talked to them, they called the post office, and within an hour they had magically found my lost package and delivered it to my house.

  • if you get a receipt from the post office, often at the bottom it has a “tell us how we’re doing” bit where there is a gallup poll. I always fill mine out when I get home. It’s a small thrill to just vent about how disgusting and filthy that place is. Even the ceiling is dirty. Do they even employ a cleaner?

  • 43rd street, the Bryant Park station, is pretty damn good. But nothing beats the friendly folks at my local PO back in Tinytown, USA!

  • I used to work near the PO in Chelsea on 18th between 7th and 8th Ave. Great old building with marble counters, and when I went there, well into the 90’s, no plexiglass between you and the teller. God, that was civilized!

  • I live in 11217 and we get completely random mailed delivered. our mailman will just put any old mail in our slot, from streets miles away. does that happen to anyone else? I usually just put it back in a blue mailbox and hope that it finds its owner.

  • it comes down to management not being able to fire bad workers.

  • 1:13, “services are not on par with what the real estate costs in Brooklyn”? So the more expensive the neighborhood, the better the postal services should be? How elitist! They should all suck (or not) equally.

  • Come on…The Adelphi one in Clinton Hill on Fulton IS THE WORST!!!
    Hands down.

  • It is elitist, 4:36 but that’s exactly how the USPS thinks! They put the best PO’s in the wealthiest Manhattan neighborhoods and wealthy suburban neighborhoods.

  • The mail room in my office is great. Why don’t you come on over and use them?! IF you don’t like them, we can fire them.

  • There are people at the post office who will follow up with complaints. Try Archie Warner, Manager, Customer Service Operations.