Community mail boxes not secure

In late 1994, while living in North Saanich, we were offered the “security and convenience” of a community mail box. At that time, we opted for continued delivery to our own mailbox.

On Dec. 28 of that year, Canada Post informed us that home delivery was no longer an option and we were required to collect our mail from a community box. This has been our fate (both in North Saanich and for the past nine years at Qualicum Bay) since Jan. 1995. The result is that we are well versed in the lack of security and inconvenience afforded us by the use of community mail boxes.

The box that is presently assigned to us is located some distance from our home in a secluded, unlit area. The boxes themselves are made of light-weight aluminum and the locks seem quite flimsy. Our bank of boxes has been broken into three times to our knowledge; although we were extremely fortunate that our personal box was never breached.

Lest you think that Canada Post assumes any responsibility for such break-ins, think again. Once the mail is in your compartment, it is your property and any theft, identity fraud, or other consequence is your responsibility. Canada Post might send you written confirmation that a breach has occurred and suggest that you notify anyone who might have sent you items which contain sensitive personal information, but other than that letter, they are done.

Canada Post is clearly in trouble — and is not doing anything positive to win back customers. Aside from the exorbitant postage rate increases, they are bullying their customers by forcing them to accept community mail boxes. Our considered advice is to protest in every way possible. There is nothing either secure or convenient about a community mailbox.

Doug and Maureen Fowles

Qualicum Bay

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