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Postal Complaints Rolling In

By Paul Logan
Journal Staff Writer
    New Mexico's Postal Service is getting an earful this week from telephone hot line callers complaining about after-dark mail delivery and mail delays, a post office spokeswoman said Thursday.
    Albuquerque's customer service phones were averaging about 100 calls a day between Monday and Wednesday, said Margaret Romero, an Albuquerque postal manager.
    Santa Fe's postal service was getting 70 to 80 calls a day, and Las Cruces about 36 calls.
    Romero said the long wait for a response on the hot lines was due, in part, to people using the numbers to get general information. Questions about post office hours, for example, kept callers with complaints from reaching the customer service personnel.
    "We're encouraging customers to use 1 800 ASK-USPS so that we can leave the hot line open for customers who want to share with us their concerns," Romero said.
    The hot lines were working better on Thursday. The Journal called each number around 4 p.m. and reached postal staffers after just a few rings.
    Romero said hot line staffers are taking notes on customer complaints. Managers will use them to improve mail delivery, she said.
    Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., met with Romero and other postal executives Thursday. He said he has received 120 written complaints about mail problems.
    "I feel they're aggressively trying to solve past problems," he said after the meeting.
    The Postal Service plans to add four more retail stations in Rio Rancho, he said.
    Romero told the Journal a review of staffing levels will be completed by the close of business today to determine if additional personnel are needed.