I have received no mail this week. The lock to my community mailbox is frozen. Canada Post said the problem would be fixed within three days and they would email me when the work is done. I’m still waiting.

I’m not the only one with the problem. One of my neighbours attached a note to the mailbox asking the letter carrier to deliver the mail to her house, which is about 10 metres from the box. Given the level of customer service from Canada’s postal system I am sure that didn’t happen.

I was reading a letter to the editor in The Ottawa Citizen yesterday. I don’t always read the letters, but this one caught my eye because it was about community mailboxes with frozen locks. When I came to the name I realized it was someone who lives near me. They had given up trying to contact Canada Post by phone (last time I tried I was disconnected after 45 minutes on hold) and sent an email. They have to wait until Monday for service – if they are lucky.


My mailbox in warmer weather.

In theory Canada Post could just reinstate home delivery, but I know that isn’t going to happen. We were moved to community mailboxes after the government had announced a moratorium on ending home delivery. Turns out that moratorium doesn’t apply to places where the changeover had already been announced. Technically that is the entire country, but Canada Post is under no obligation to be consistent. I still have the mailbox attached to my house, the one that never freezes. At least I can still get home delivery of my newspaper.

This is the same corporation who returned some important documents to me two weeks ago with “No Such Address” on the envelope. When contacted and told it was the right address their response was there was a problem with vandalism at a community mailbox so the letter was returned. My wife checked: the company in question does not have a community mailbox. Therefore Canada Post lied. Somehow I wasn’t in the least surprised.

They did say to send those documents by courier, that Canada Post would issue a cheque to cover the cost. That cheque, of course, is in the mail. But I can’t receive mail anymore. Maybe in Spring when the weather warms up and the lock on the community mailbox thaws. Or maybe they will actually send someone before then to fix the mailbox.

This is Canada. We have cold winters. Canada Post first introduced community mailboxes in 1991. You would think after 25 years they would either have locks that didn’t freeze or would regularly check to make sure the locks weren’t indeed frozen shut. Does whomever delivers the mail to the community mailbox think the people in all 32 households are away this week and no-one is picking up their mail?

It is Canada Post though, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. One thing they don’t deliver is common sense. I don’t know if they still deliver the mail – I can’t get into my mailbox.



  1. […] first, but given my experience with them that may be too much to hope for. After all, it was in January that I complained that the lock had frozen on my mailbox and I couldn’t receive my mail. I […]

  2. […] followed procedure and reported the frozen mailbox online. I received an automated response (no surprise) telling me when to expect a repair. Canada Post […]

  3. […] Canada Post below, they will let me know when they have fixed my mailbox. They expect to have the problem fixed by January 15 and will contact me as soon as they resolve the […]

  4. […] latest bout with Canada Post has been detailed here already, but I didn’t mention the earlier problem with my just-installed community mailbox. […]

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