Mystery Solved: The One Where The USPS Returned Mail To Sender Six Years Later

August 5, 2021

We now know what likely happened with a letter that was returned to a local utility this week nearly six years after it was mailed.

Central Water Works mailed the pictured water bill to a local address on September 16, 2015. Monday, almost six years later, the bill arrived back at the water company on Byrneville Road with a yellow U.S. Postal Service “Return to Sender” sticker dated July 31, 2021.

After posted the story, we heard from two other companies that also received multiple pieces of years-old mail returned from the same address on Monday.

It appears the mail was properly delivered back in 2015 and the next year or so to the address in Century. It sat in a mailbox perhaps at an abandoned address and was just recently placed back into the mail system.

“In the case of the mailpieces returned to sender recently, it appears the items in question were delivered; however, the recipients may have moved and did not retrieve the letters,” Carol Hunt, U.S. Postal Service strategic communications specialist in Dallas told “Such occurrences are rare and we regret the items were not properly returned sooner. Local management is aware and is ensuring all mail is handled correctly.”

“The Postal Service handles over 154 billion pieces of mail each year.  We strive to provide exceptional service to our customers and any report of mail delivery issues is of great concern to us,” Hunt added.


17 Responses to “Mystery Solved: The One Where The USPS Returned Mail To Sender Six Years Later”

  1. gdubz on August 9th, 2021 12:07 pm

    Here in Beulah we experience the worst USPS service I’ve ever had. If it can go wrong it will. Need to get rid of these independent contractors!

  2. Jr on August 8th, 2021 6:16 am

    I can’t say anything bad about my Post Office carrier(s) here on the end of Muscogee Road. In the 3 years I’ve been at this house I’ve never experienced a problem. I’ve had medical issues this past year and several times the carrier has brought my mail up to the house for me. I know they are just as short staffed as everyone else around the country and always the target of “mail gone wrong”…instead of complaining about it, go ahead and apply for a carrier job and make a difference instead of a complaining comment. I’m sure they would rather have help than these comments. Thank you to all of the USPS mail carriers.

  3. Wendy on August 8th, 2021 3:30 am

    Our local carrier puts everyone’s mail in the wrong boxes! I’m forever delivering to my neighbors and even people a street or two over from us. Unfortunately, they are not so good as to bring ours to us most of the time. Packages from ANY delivery service (USPS, UPS, FED-EX, AMAZON, etc.) are just set at the far end of the porch & up high enough for everyone to see them as they pass by. We’ve had several items disappear! The PO doesn’t even look into things beyond what the carriers have entered into the handheld scanners they carry when delivering. If they put items in as delivered, that’s it! When items are too large for our regular boxes, we have larger ones they can put them in & leave a key in our regular box. That’s GREAT! Except when they put the key in the wrong box & that person doesn’t send it back or bring it to the right addressee. The USPS needs a makover in many areas. Training is a huge one!!

  4. Xavier on August 7th, 2021 9:51 pm

    We all know what happened, the PO let the letter sit in a undelivered box for 7 years. Now they blame everyone else. Really you think the PO does a great job wait til next year you can walk your letter to the person you want it to go to. Local delivery is 4-5 days what a joke.

  5. brion march on August 7th, 2021 8:13 pm

    crystal mcDonald: BRILLIANT!

  6. Shakin’ my head on August 6th, 2021 4:04 pm

    Gone are the days of mail being delivered do the door/driveways in subdivisions. Rapidly being replaces by mail centers. Just wish our carrier would close our box after putting the mail in.

  7. Boo on August 6th, 2021 6:02 am

    If you don’t want your packages over the fence just buy a bigger box it is that easy.

  8. Ed on August 5th, 2021 4:03 pm

    the po delivers billions of mail pieces in over Seven years, unless a customer requests a change of address it’s up to business to refresh their mailing lists

  9. Howdoyaknowthat on August 5th, 2021 10:23 am

    @Rod Pumas,
    Post Office is not privitized.
    That’s what the last guy in office was trying to do by hiring DeJerk.

  10. Rod Pumas on August 5th, 2021 9:46 am

    It was a big mistake privatizing the U.S. Postal Service!

  11. Resident on August 5th, 2021 9:15 am

    I like what you did with the headline. We can be “Friends” NorthEscambia!

  12. Old Puppy on August 5th, 2021 8:45 am


  13. SueB on August 5th, 2021 8:32 am

    KUDDOS to Northescambia. You should help the Sheriff Dept in criminal & cold case investigations.

  14. Crystal McDonald on August 5th, 2021 8:02 am

    Must’ve been an air and water tight mailbox. Can we find out what kind??

  15. A Alex on August 5th, 2021 7:52 am

    When I evict a tenant, i remove the mail box at the street. This forces post office to hold the mail. Also tenant t o change address if they want mail. Right now the house has been vacant without a mail box for two months. Wonder what the post office does with mail when the house is destroyed?

  16. rw on August 5th, 2021 6:17 am

    3 times my rural carrier has been wrong with overcharges on mailing packages from my home // cantonment P O should be looked at by POSTAL INSPECTION

  17. SW on August 5th, 2021 3:29 am

    Maybe with this concern for exceptional service, my carrier will stop tossing my packages over the fence when they don’t fit in the box.

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