SOUTHEASTERN NC (WECT) – For now, the United States Postal Service is no longer making changes to retail hours at post offices in the eastern part of NC, according to a news release from USPS officials.
The news comes after it was recently announced that several area post offices would close early on Wednesdays and completely on Saturdays, starting May 18, in an effort to save money.
The move was scheduled to affect several post offices in North Carolina, including Atlantic Beach, Castle Hayne, Chadbourn, Clarkton, Erwin, Holly Ridge, Kenansville, Lumber Bridge, Parkton, Seven Springs, Beulaville, Bridgeton, Lake Waccamaw, Winnabow and Dudley.
The following is a statement from the USPS:
"The Postal Service is holding off on making changes to retail hours in several Post Offices in Eastern North Carolina.
On Thursday, USPS officials in 11 locations posted signage indicating the offices would have adjusted hours for Wednesdays and would be closed on Saturdays. The Postal Service said the changes were a result of data reviewed in an effort to realign retail hours with actual customer use.
By Thursday evening, the postal district had received dozens of phone calls about the planned changes. Mid-Carolinas District Manager Angela Curtis said she looked further into the matter and realized there were some other actions that could be considered.
"It's important that we make thoughtful decisions after a thorough review of data. We are facing severe financial challenges, but we can't forsake service to our customers," said Curtis. "I've asked my operations manager for that area to look at the data again and see if we can make some internal adjustments for now."
The original announcements came as the Postal Service awaits legislative action to address its grim financial status. Still, Curtis says, changes must be balanced. "Action is needed; that's for certain. But we have to be careful when we do it. Service to our customers must be at the forefront of all decisions."
Curtis reiterated that no changes will be made in the short term. "Later in the year, we'll reassess each office and see how the revenue is trending. We'll make the necessary decisions and take actions based on applicable postal procedures." She also offered an apology to customers for any confusion caused by the postings. "We remain committed to our customers, and we'll be sure to communicate any subsequent decisions well in advance of planned implementation dates."
Customers can verify retail hours for any postal location by visiting www.usps.com or calling 1-800-ASK-USPS.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations."
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