The Israel Postal Authority is in the midst of implementing a fiscal rehabilitation program which results in the closure of many branches, including in Yerushalayim. While the service boasts improved service and increased efficiency, a growing number of capital residents’ are complaining of not receiving mail.
There are a growing number of complaints of mail not reaching its destination, packages that are never delivered and mail being dumped in piles on streets. Persons wishing to mail a letter are finding it increasingly difficult as a growing number of mailboxes have ‘inactive’ stickers on them, making near to impossible to find a mailbox in some areas other than visiting a post office.
Residents of this neighborhood complain the local post office has shut down and there is not a mailbox in the entire community. During the past summer the post office in the Malcha Mall shut its doors and as a result, mailboxes in the area have been sealed to render them inactive. The residents add mail delivery is extremely poor in the neighborhood as well. They call on city officials’ to act to restore this basic service.
Some neighborhoods in the capital are seeking nonconventional methods to solve the problem. One such neighborhood is Katamon, where mail is received in the “Erez’s Place” grocery store. The owner has been hired part-time as an area postal clerk. Prior to the post office some residents received their mail in a gas station. This bizarre situation exists elsewhere in Israel too.
In addition to reduced postal services, now down to once weekly, the postal service has decided to eliminate delivery entirely to certain areas of the community. For these residents, mail is piled collectively in random spots for them to sort and take.
A local community official, Orli Korish, explains in recent weeks, more residents have been complaining that their mailboxes are simply stuffed with mail, most intended for others. It appears the mailman expects residents to deliver the mail.
Korish explains the mail service is making believe it is delivering mail to all residents when in fact, mail is being stuffed into boxes of residents at random to deal with.
Heads of neighborhoods ‘minhelet’ local governments from Ganim, Kiryat Yovel and Bayit Vegan have sent a letter to the director-general of the nation’s postal authority, demanding that the return of the red mailboxes that once lined the streets of neighborhoods. They call the present situation “A gezeira the tzibur cannot endure”.
A number of branches in this area of the capital have been closed down. As a result, tens of thousands of area residents find themselves without postal service unless they travel a number of kilometers.
Har Choma numbers approximately 30,000 residents. There is not a single postal authority branch serving them today. Efforts are underway to open a small station in that neighborhood.
The problems cited in the article are far worse in eastern areas of the capital.
Officials in the Ministry of Communications, which is responsible for the Israel Postal Authority promise complaints regarding mail service in Jerusalem are being examined, adding if it becomes apparent that the company is not meeting its obligation, the ministry will not hesitate to levy significant fines.
Israel Postal Authority
Officials in the Israel Postal Authority apologize to the public for the poor service explaining the company is completing its fiscal rehab program and promising the deficiencies seen over recent months will soon disappear, referring to them as “birth pains of the new improved service”. They insist the new service will be operational in a number of days which includes an ability to set an appointment in a postal branch via the internet to avoid waiting in line. This will apply to 150 postal authority branches, of which there are 20 in the capital. The postal branches will also be operating until 20:00 to make it easier for people to come after work hours.
In addition a deal has been closed with Shufersal supermarkets in which one will be able to claim packages in a supermarket. This pilot program is going to operate in a supermarket in Har Choma to determine if it will be implemented elsewhere.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)