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Kern River Valley residents frustrated after Amazon packages no longer being delivered to their doors

Residents in the Kern River Valley are having to drive to their local post office to pick up Amazon packages that used to be delivered to their doors
Posted at 5:05 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 21:16:24-04

KERN RIVER VALLEY, Calif. (KERO) — In the past year, Amazon entered into an agreement with the United States Postal Service that made it so USPS was the sole carrier for Amazon packages. However, residents now say that due to this change, Amazon packages are no longer getting delivered to their doors.

  • It was around October of last year that Wofford Heights resident Lori Wiseman said she stopped receiving Amazon packages at her house.
  • Amazon says that only a small percentage of residents are no longer getting packages delivered to their doors.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

“Right now, any packages that ship from Amazon are getting routed through the post office instead of UPS and if they’re bigger than your mailbox, they will not get delivered to your house,” said Lori Wiseman, a Wofford Heights resident.

Wiseman told me Amazon packages used to get delivered to her door, but that changed around October of last year. Now, packages that do not fit in her mailbox do not get delivered.

She has been trying to get answers about why this change occurred.

“I was told that up there, our drivers are contract drivers, they aren’t USPS employees, they drive their personal vehicles and they do not have the resources or the ability to deliver these packages.”

A spokesperson from Amazon confirmed they entered into an agreement with USPS in the past year to be the sole carrier for their items.

“The USPS is one of several carriers we work with to get customers’ orders to them as quickly as possible. And like all of our partnerships, our work with the USPS is collaborative—meaning they review and approve our forecasts prior to launching a site with Amazon. When the USPS agreed to handle our orders in the Kern River Valley Area, they didn't share that a small percentage of our customers would have to pick up their packages at the local post office. We apologize for the inconvenience these customers have experienced and are actively working with the USPS to address this issue,” said Sam Stephenson, Amazon Spokesperson, in a statement to 23ABC.

Wiseman said as a resident of the Kern River Valley there aren’t many shopping options.

“It’s just frustrating when you need things you can not purchase locally. Everyone goes, ‘Well then just shop local,’ and you go, ‘That’s not really always feasible.’”

I contacted the USPS about the issue, and a spokesperson gave me this statement.

“I can confirm that due to the rural nature of Kern County, most postal customers receive their mail through a Post Office Box and not to their physical address. Those few street addresses that are served by carriers receive all of their items in a rural mailbox or cluster box. All packages that fit into the box are delivered. With oversized packages, we leave a notice in the mailbox to retrieve it at the local Post Office.” said Meiko Patton, USPS spokesperson, in an email.

Due to her work, and the limited post office hours, Wiseman says it’s difficult to have to make that journey – especially because at the post office she needs to provide the pink slip that was delivered to her house saying they aren’t able to deliver her package.

“I have to wait until I get the slip delivered to say that I’m not getting my package today - to come down and pick up my package, which gives me a two hour window to even do that.”

She's not the only one in the Kern River Valley experiencing this issue.

“I’ve seen elderly people at the post office there to pick up their packages, and they have a 50 to 70 pound box,” Wiseman said, “A contract was entered here, that they had no way of facilitating,” Wiseman said.

Wiseman mentioned that she thinks her personal mail carrier from the United States Postal Service does a great job.


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