The USPS OIG has released a “white paper” report concerning extremely long wait times for customers calling the 1-800-ASK-USPS call center. News reports and personal experiences detail wait times of as much as one to three hours. In 2017, 19 million callers attempted to speak to a customer service agent. Of those, only 11.5 million successfully reached one, waiting on average more than 13 minutes, reports the USPS OIG. An OIG calculation estimates that an additional 600 customer care agents are needed to handle the call volume which would bring staffing to 1,900 agents. Interestingly, the report also discusses the “interesting phenomenon” of an unnamed business that uses 14% of the capacity and this business has a direct line that bypasses the regular customer queue. The USPS OIG notes that package volume growth is a major reason for the rise in customer calls.

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