I write because The Daily News is a well-informed institution. Consequently, for the most part, the larger population is informed. So, is it true that the USVI’s mail is routed to Memphis, Tenn., then to Puerto Rico, then to a V.I. post office branch? If this cumbersome journey is true, then it seems as though the elected powers that be were asleep at the desk.
We used to be second-rate citizens of the United States, now we have apparently moved down the disenfranchised ladder of third-rate citizens where our mail interests are minimized.
For several decades the mail issue of the USVI has been difficult to solve. For example, the late V.I. Delegate to Congress Ron de Lugo and four other delegates tried. To date, there is no foreseeable traction.
Here’s a classic example: I mailed payment to one of my creditors Sept. 18, 2021. They informed me that it was received Oct. 8, 2021. I was further informed that said mail was sorted in Memphis. Furthermore, I have talked with a number of individuals who are experiencing similar problems with their bills reaching their creditors later from V.I. post offices, and thus are being slapped with interest or late fees.
It is now appearing that WAPA has joined this opportunity to reap as much “extra” cash from its customers. For instance, I mailed a check to WAPA, which was due Nov. 9, on Oct. 25. WAPA sent a disconnection notice requiring payment in 10 days. WAPA indicated that it had not received our check. I wrote a friendly response, but wrote another check not taking any risk with the mail delivery process because electricity is an essential commodity. We paid at WAPA’s satellite office.
Still there’s another emotional economic response to this burdensome problem of V.I. mail journey for V.I. consumers: late fees and penalties affect one’s credit score if one’s debt payments are not paid on time, which reflect on the consumer’s credibility. So, what should we do? Revolt or accept third-rate U.S. citizenship, which essentially is what we’re relegated to by waiting 20 to 30 days for our mail to reach its intended recipient.
— Al Donastorg, St. Thomas, is a retired police captain and paralegal.