Drop PO Box rule says Warwick

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Greg Hilliard is frustrated Canada Post is returning his mail because it doesn’t have a post office box number on it. And he’s not alone.

The mechanic recently moved his business from Petrolia to Watford where he began to run into trouble getting his shipments through Canada Post.

Hilliard says if he doesn’t reference a PO Box in a shipping address, the vendors can’t deliver the part. Some online vendors don’t have a spot to put the Box number. That can lead to weeks of delays.

And Hilliard says when a letter is returned to the sender because the post office box is missing, the vendor will freeze the account. “They don’t want to send $1,000 of parts to a place that is undeliverable.”

Hilja Deuzeman also brought the concern to Warwick Council in September. Her accountant called asking about an insurance cheque she was supposed to receive. It had been returned because the post office box was not on the envelope. It took six months to fix the mistake. “What if our accountant had not brought this to our attention? We would not have received this money.”
The municipality wrote to Canada Post and met with local managers about the issues, concerned that Deuzeman had been told by Canada Post employees the municipality approved the move.

“Warwick Township council or its staff representatives, have never approved the requirement for PO Boxes to be required for mail service in Watford; for Canada Post to advise our community of this false information is unacceptable,” council wrote.

“As one of only two communities where PO Box number are required for mail delivery in Ontario, it is not a common practice. Warwick Township residents have a right to access their mail and packages through the national postal delivery service without regular issues. The requirement for Watford to include PO Boxes on all mail in order to be delivered must stop.”

But Canada Post’s Chief Operating Officer Manon Fortin in a Dec. 1 letter said she was “disappointed to learn that some residents expressed their community was being unfairly targeted by this change.

“I can assure you there are thousands of customers in hundreds of communities across Canada that use a PO Box as their prime mode of delivery and share their PO Box address accordingly.”

Amanda Gubbels, the chief administrative officer of Warwick, says the township is now trying to get meetings with Canada Post for councillors attending the Rural Ontario Municipal Conference in January.

Gubbels hopes to “discuss the concerns of the community and a potential solution to address them.”

She added the township is forwarding all complaints it receives to Canada Post until the situation is resolved.