UPDATE: Pony Express mail store closing
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Update: A sign on the door of the Pony Express mail store on Santa Barbara Blvd. says the store is closing, this after more than a week of customer complaints about not getting mail put into their PO boxes.
Theresa Gleeson says she went to get her Saturday mail but it was not in her box. She plans to take the issue up with the United States Postal Service Monday to see what can be done.
-- Earlier story:
Customers of the Pony Express shipping and mailbox store on Santa Barbara in Cape Coral are turning to Fox 4, saying their mail has been "held hostage" for more than a week, including medicine and paychecks.
Late Friday afternoon after we stepped in, the mail was put into customer's post office boxes for what they say is the first time since Christmas.
"This is what I do everyday for the past 2 weeks," Pony Express customer Theresa Gleeson said. "I unlock the door, I come in here, and my mailbox is right here. Hoping to get mail everyday, and nothing."
Gleeson and several others say they've been trying to get new mail delivered into their PO boxes since Christmas. They are able to access the room with the boxes but they say no new mail has been put into them.
A sign on the door says the place is closed for the holidays, and claims to be having trouble getting mail delivered. The sign goes on to say the issue would be resolved by Thursday. But a postman wrote on the sign that he tried to deliver mail three times Tuesday. Another person writing, they need their medicine.
"When I came here yesterday, the man that's normally behind the counter was hiding in his car," Gleeson said. "I said, 'excuse me - help us - we need our mail.' He said, 'I no longer even have a job. The place is closed."
While we were at the store, several other people showed up, trying to get their mail, deliver packages or even get money refunded from the owner.
So we tried reaching out to the store several times, calling the emergency number on the door, and both numbers on the marquee sign out front. We also called the numbers for the store itself and the sister store off Pine Island Road. A woman answered at one of the numbers. She would not say her position, only saying she would pass along our message.
When we didn't hear back, we went to the Pine Island Rd. store and asked a clerk to speak with the owners. We were told she didn't know where they were and could offer no better, direct phone number.
We also reached out to the United States Post Office to see if they could advise customers of this store on what they could do. A spokesperson looked into the matter and responded that a worker was able to deliver mail Friday.
Gleeson contacted us again soon after, saying her mail from the last two weeks was in her PO box late in the afternoon.
The owner of the store called and left a message saying the mailboxes were accessible 24-hours a day and that he was on vacation. He also said he was considering closing one or both of the stores.
Colleen Hogan, reporter