CHICAGO (CBS) — A North Side small business owner says postal problems are costing her bigtime.
She is the second local online retailer to reach out to us in recent weeks, fuming about delays. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas pressed the Post Office for answers.READ MORE: 4 Dead, 4 Injured After Shooting At Gathering In Englewood
Landon Wehbe sells jewelry – earrings and necklaces – on her online store, Landon Lacey Jewelry.
But lately, the Lincoln Park mom of two said she has been more of a customer service rep.
“A lot of my day is spent messaging people trying to figure out where their packages are,” Wehbe said.
She shared screenshots over the past month of messages from customers on Etsy. One of them read: “I think I want a refund of my item. It has not arrived and quite frankly I’m frustrated by now.”
USPS says first-class mail should arrive within a few days. But Wehbe said her shipments often take weeks.
“I think I’ve probably been out around $700 since the beginning of the year – just in having to refund people, overnight packages, reship packages,” she said. “I’m out materials. It does impact me financially.”
She reached out to us after seeing our story on Jenni Bidner, a McHenry County woman who sells antique newspaper illustrations on eBay.READ MORE: Suburban Mom's Facebook Was Hacked, And She Was Locked Out, Years Of Memories Disappearing
“My buyers who look at the tracking information don’t think I even brought it in,” Bidner said last month. “It’s like: ‘Did you even scan this? Are you scamming me?’”
Bidner and Wehbe both said employees at their post offices blamed the problems on a processing facility in Elk Grove Village.
Last month, postal expert Kevin Kosar explained to us why Chicago may be harder hit by mail delays than other areas.
“There’s a lot of mail sorting plants in that area,” Kosar said. “So if anything goes wrong at any of those plants, it’s going to have ripple effects; first immediately in Chicago, and then the surrounding area.”
“Please figure out a better system of organization, bring in a consulting group,” added Wehbe. “This is impacting moms and small businesses.”
And it is impacting the customers of those businesses too, she noted.
“I’ve definitely been yelled at quite a bit lately,” Wehbe said.MORE NEWS: Massive Chemical Plant Fire In Rockton, Illinois, Could Burn For Days
A postal spokesperson told McNicholas that they’re using available resources at the Elk Grove Village facility to match challenges created by the pandemic. They will also reach out directly to Wehbe to see if they can help.