Tester Shares Montanans Frustrations With Postmaster General

ABC/FOX Montana

by Ashley Sanchez

MISSOULA – Senator Jon Tester says Montanans are frustrated with inadequate mail service. Now he’s telling their stories to the head of the U.S. Postal Services. Tester sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe Friday, after numerous Montanans told him delayed mail is affecting their businesses.

With customers throughout the lower 48 states, and Canada, the United States Postal Service is a key tool in keeping the Stevensville business, Sapphire Transportation up and running.

“There’s just certain things we have to do that will require services of the postal services, and we can’t depend on it anymore,” said Sapphire Transportation Vice President, Mark Stout.

Sapphire Transportation is a freight broker, basically the middle-man between distributors and the trucking companies. They have to send payments to their vendors within 30 days of doing business with them but lately that hasn’t happened.

“It’s taking anywhere from two to five days to get a post mark on it and depending on where it’s going it takes anywhere from six to eight weeks to get where its going,” said Sapphire Transportation owner, Diane Metully.

The Stevensville business is just one of many that has taken its concerns with the postal service to Senator Jon Tester.

“What we’ve seen particularly in Montana, is the standard of postal delivery deteriorate,” Tester said.

On Friday, Tester mailed Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe a letter outlining his concerns.

“I don’t care if you’re a senior citizen, or a business person, if your in agriculture or in medicine, the postal services delivers goods you need, and that needs to be done in a timely manner,” Tester said.

Tester said USPS has not been properly serving Montanans since it changed its shipping standards, stopped using air carriers to haul mail, and shut down processing centers around the nation, including several here in Montana. Tester said he will work with Congress to pass a bill allowing congress to have more oversight over the postmaster general.

The management at Sapphire Transportation just hopes the problems get fixed before the company goes bankrupt.

“We’ve lost a lot of credibility from the mail service. People don’t believe me I say I’ve mailed them a check,” said Metully.

Tester’s letter comes after he voted against a postal service bill that he said would hurt mail delivery in Montana. For more details, take a look at Tester’s letter to the Postmaster General.