LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Residents have complained about the unreliable postal service in Moss Bluff and Lake Charles for months.
While most of the problems have been resolved, residents said they still don't know what happened and what's being done to fix the issues.
Every day, rain or shine, mail carrier Eric Rankins makes his way through front yards, up steps and even across traffic as part of the job. And every day the goal is simple - deliver the mail with quality service.
"Sometimes we make mistakes, but again, you know we just have to watch what we're doing to eliminate those mistakes," Rankins said.
The US Postal Service Corporate Communications Department in Dallas, Texas, finally responded to KPLC's request for answers by sending an email - dated December 9, 2015, from Communications Specialist McKinney Boyd. It started with an apology and promised change.
"Now for the last couple of weeks, things seemed to have settled down," Lake Charles resident Larry Deroussel said.
Deroussel said he's lost faith in the service - not only because of the problems, but because of the explanation he has yet to receive.
"No, nobody's explained what the problem was and what if anything's been done to resolve the issue," he added.
Less than a month later, we were on the phone again. The US Postal service provided more answers to KPLC in the form of an interview with local management.
"We recognize there were some issues, but we've done several things to improve service," Larry Darsam, post office operations manager, said.
Darsam is the first to admit something went wrong. He said staffing shortages led to the slump in service but said new positions have already been filled.
"Since then we've done some hiring, not only for the Moss Bluff area, but all of Lake Charles, to improve and ensure we have daily coverage," he added.
The timing of the service has also been addressed.
Darsam said carriers now report at 7 a.m. and are delivering mail by 8 to 8:30 a.m.
When it comes to the lack of answers for the public, however, he said there's no excuse.
"There were just some things we should have handled better," Darsam admitted. "The communication externally is something that really, we should have fixed a long time ago, and been transparent to the customers."
It'll be a while before Deroussel will trust the organization again.
"We just have to wait and see, you know, and confidence can only be achieved by results so we have to see what the results are and that takes place over time," Deroussel said.
"Words do not improve or make our customers feel better," Darsam added. "Our actions and our performance is what's going to drive their feelings about our organization,"
For now it's a lesson learned and hopefully a problem solved.
For a link to the full interview with Darsam, click HERE.