CLAIMS AND INQUIRIES
In addition to regular postal duties, a military
postal clerk will be confronted frequently with postal
concerns, and problems of the public. A concern or
problem may take the form of a claim, an inquiry, or a
complaint. This chapter provides helpful information
concerning these concerns and problems, including
postal instructions governing the procedures to follow
in handling claims, inquiries, and complaints and
preparation of the applicable forms.
The USPS understands it is difficult to compensate
a patron for the loss of sentimental or irreplaceable
items, and is always trying to improve the way mail is
handled so incidents do not occur again. Each
customer of the post office is encouraged to report
instances of loss, rifling, and other mistreatment of
mail, even when there may be no provision for
payment of indemnity.
INQUIRIES OR COMPLAINTS
inquiries and complaints and the forms
required to respond to each.
An INQUIRY is a request for information.
Inquiries are received almost daily regarding mail
service to Navy personnel. Inquiries may be received
over the phone, in person, or in writing; and they may
concern any phase of postal operations. Most inquiries
are usually simple questions concerning the speed of
mail, the proper method of preparing mail matter, or
some other phase of postal operations.
A COMPLAINT is an expression of dissatis- faction,
discontent, disappointment, or resentment concerning
any postal product, service, or postal personnel.
Mail complaints are attributable, in many
instances, to a lack of information or incomplete or
incorrect information. The number of mail complaints
could be greatly reduced if commanding officers,
within security limitations, kept service members and
their families informed on probable mail interruptions
or delays. This may be done through plan of the day
notices, the issuance of family-grams, and holding
predeployment briefings for family members.
Family-grams and briefings should explain the reasons
for probable mail delays such as ship transit periods
between ports, remote operational areas, shifting
operational commitments, and adverse weather. A better
understanding of what to expect on a deployment can
greatly reduce the anxieties of family members and can
help reduce the number of complaints from family
members and friends.
The continued use of family-grams during deploy-
ments and advising the crew of prevailing conditions that
may affect mail service will help dispel rumors that cause
misunderstandings that lead to complaints.
Information should be provided to naval personnel
and their correspondents before and during
deployment. Keeping everyone informed enhances the
morale of the crew and their correspondents, and saves
the Navy money by avoiding unnecessary
administrative work in preparing replies to complaints.
When inquiries of a congressional level or other
high-level interest are referred by MPSA to
commanding officers for investigation, the command
should provide the following information as a
minimum in its response:
· Summary of an interview with the person or
persons involved, outlining any difficulty
experienced in receiving or sending mail.
· Any special circumstances that may have
affected mail service.
· Evidence of other individuals experiencing
· If the individual presently receives mail from
correspondents and specifically from the person
registering the complaint.
· When complaints involve a specific item of mail,
an indication if that item was eventually
· Correct mailing address of the person involved.
· Average transit time for all classes of mail to and
from the address of mailing.