Getting an Amazon package after it's due may come with a silver lining.
CBS46 is uncovering how post offices in every corner of metro Atlanta are running behind schedule on deliveries, and if you're expecting to get something important in the mail, it's frustrating.
But, what if your late mail could help you get something for free?
If you order a package through Amazon Prime and it doesn't come by 8 p.m. on the day it's due, a former mail carrier tells us customers get secret perks.
"Amazon is supposed to give you a month of free prime," says the former carrier.
The woman who left her job at the post office earlier this year asked us not to reveal her identity, because postal workers sign forms promising never to talk to the media.
She told CBS46 her former supervisors at the post office gave her specific instructions to misrepresent delivery times because, she says, they know what's at stake if Amazon packages are late.
"At 7:15, whatever you have not delivered, pull your truck over to the side of the road and scan every single one of your amazon packages. We cannot have late packages because that will jeopardize our contract with Amazon," said the former mail carrier.
CBS46 drove around and found a current mail carrier working in a different county who attested to the claims. She also asked to be kept anonymous.
"Basically, we have to falsify the timing, and a lot of carriers don't want to do that, but we're mandated to with a direct order," she said.
While these carriers admit the official records at the post office are being tampered with, their advice to customers is this:
If you know for a fact that your package came late, make a complaint and stand your ground. Most of the handheld scanners that carriers use have GPS records that can be looked up if it comes down to it.
The USPS did not respond to the claims made by the anonymous carriers when CBS46 contacted them Wednesday.
As for the free month of Amazon Prime, it turns out the company gives no official guarantee of free stuff if your package comes late. However, after checking consumer web sites and speaking with insiders at Amazon, we've discovered that most customers who call to complain about late mail tend to get something to make them feel better about it.
Whether that ends up being a free month of Amazon Prime, a gift card or some kind of discount, it varies from case to case.
Hopefully the large scale late mail delivery around Atlanta doesn't force the company to change its unspoken giveaway policy.
Officials at the post office headquarters in Washington, D.C. want people to call this number: 800-ASK-USPS , to report late deliveries in their neighborhood.
They say it will help them keep track of and document what's going on in Atlanta.
Make sure you have some time set aside for the call, because when we tried the number, it took 52 minutes of waiting on hold to reach someone. Say the option "carrier" in the voice prompts to be connected to the department for late mail complaints.
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