NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For many residents in one Queens community it hasn’t been a matter of when the mail will arrive, it’s been a question of if their packages will ever be delivered.
The mail emergency in the Rockaways has been going on for nearly a year.
Now, one man whose life literally depends on receiving medication through the mail is getting action after CBS2 demanded answers from the U.S. Postal Service.
Joe Coughlan says he can’t believe what a difference a few minutes made after he shared his story on CBS2.
“Packages that have literally been missing for months are suddenly showing up here,” Coughlan told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez Monday.
Last week CBS2 reported that the 34-year-old Rockaway Beach resident – who suffers from Crohn’s disease and end-stage renal failure – was not getting his medication.
His prescription card, mailed out at the beginning of November, never arrived. CBS2 immediately called the state health department to get him help.
“Within an hour I got a call from Albany saying that they were going to expedite me a new medical card. They extended my temporary card for another month,” Coughlan explained.
The ailing Queens resident is among countless residents living in the Rockaways who have been complaining about poor late mail service for months.
CBS2 has reported about the U.S. Postal Service’s failures since January and the agency been very slow to respond.
Coughlan said his post office ignored his calls for help until he told CBS2 about his critical condition in early December.
“The same night about 10 p.m. the manager from the post office called me… (the one) that hung up on me a week earlier, acting like a completely different person, apologizing profusely, saying that on behalf of the entire postal service that they’re working their hardest and that it’ll never happen again,” Coughlan recalled.
The 34-year-old added that the next morning a postal police officer showed up with eight packages, some dating back to October.
Many of the packages were duplicate orders, placed because the originals were lost in the mail. The postal police officer’s story to Coughlan was even more shocking.
“They said those were just laying around the post office that day. So they didn’t even look that hard. So what does that tell you if it was that easy?”
Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office contacted Coughlan Friday after CBS2 reported on problems for those who depend on reliable mail delivery.
Schumer’s office spoke to Coughlan by phone Monday; saying they’re beginning a full inquiry into the USPS issues affecting all of the Rockaways.
“Until you did something nothing was being done,” the Queens resident told Hazel Sanchez.
Couglan says he still has more mail and packages (like many of his neighbors) lost in the USPS system and he’s hoping his ordeal will finally get the postal service to do their job.
USPS claims the mail delivery issues are due to an increase in mail volume in the Rockaways.