Confusion emerges over rejected packages at Edwards, Avon Post Offices

According to postal service representation, the problem has been resolved for now

Confusion arose recently as packages addressed to post office street addresses were suddenly rejected from local post offices.
Eli Pace/Summit Daily archive

Addressing and receiving packages in Eagle County has always been a bit of a gamble. From determining which carrier will deliver the package to determining how to address it, residents often list this as one of their main challenges with the local post offices.

While these challenges vary, in the last week, there have been increased reports from residents that packages are being rejected from the post office locations in Avon and Edwards.

Beaver Creek resident Renee Lawrance first noticed last week that packages sent from Amazon and addressed to the Avon post office’s address were being marked as canceled or “’customer canceled, does not want this,’” she said.

Lawrance said that last Thursday, in a conference call with Amazon and a UPS supervisor, the UPS supervisor reported that the local distribution center had “over 500 packages” with the same issue.

In an email to the Vail Daily, resident Steve Michel said that he’s had “over 10 packages canceled over the past week.”

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In describing the problem, Michel said “packages are reaching the UPS Gypsum distribution center and the USPS is refusing them at that time, resulting in orders showing up as being canceled.”

A quick search of Eagle County Classifieds’ Facebook page shows that Michel and Lawrance are not alone. Multiple posters are reporting problems with post offices refusing packages.

One poster wrote that while picking up refused packages from the UPS distribution center in Gypsum, she was told: “they have pallets and pallets of refused packages from Edwards and Avon.”

Another poster wrote that “for the past 14 years I’ve been using the USPS address in Avon and adding my PO Box,” but that “now all my UPS orders have been returned to sender.”

Avon Town Council member Amy Phillips — who has been part of a regional effort to address post office challenges in Colorado’s mountain communities — has received multiple reports from her constituents regarding this problem. From what she’s gathered, the post office is “refusing all packages that are addressed to the street address.”

For the Avon post office, this refers to packages addressed to its street address 111 West Beaver Creek Blvd., with the PO Box number listed on the address’s second line. For the Edwards post office, it would be those addressed to its street address: 34353 Highway 6 Side C-101.

Phillips said that personally, she was told years ago by post office employees not to address packages this way. However, the recent shift to all packages addressed this way being rejected, she said seemed to have happened with no notification to PO Box holders.

“I know I never received notification in my PO Box having anything to do with it,” she said. “That would’ve been proactive, but nobody was notified.”

UPS Spokesperson Becky Biciolis confirmed that around a week and a half ago, the UPS Distribution Center began receiving rejected packages from these post office locations. She added that these were “mostly Amazon packages,” and ones addressed to the physical post office addresses.

Biciolis said UPS was unable to comment on the volume of packages.

“While UPS cannot deliver a package addressed to a P.O. Box when we do receive such a package, the package is held for five days at our UPS facility, and the shipper is notified that we were unable to complete the delivery,” Biciolis wrote in a statement. “Addressing the package to the U.S. Post Office does not appear to be a solution as they have the right to refuse any packages intended for an individual consignee with the address of the U.S. Post Office. If a package is refused, UPS returns the package to the shipper.”

Biciolis noted that UPS must deliver to any home address so that when shipping via UPS, residents should use their home address, or alternatively can have the package sent to a local UPS Store. Both Edwards and Avon have UPS Store locations within two minutes from the town’s post office locations, she said.

James Boxrud, the regional spokesperson for the United States Postal Service, said that recent confusion came from a new postal manager in the area, but has since been resolved.

“The packages in question are dropped off at the Post Office by FedEx and UPS and other delivery services for USPS to make the final delivery to their customers. Both Avon and Edwards are what we call ‘Premier Post Offices’ or ‘Move to Competitive Office’ where box rents are higher which compensate us to deliver packages with our street address along with customer’s PO Box from third party carriers,” Boxrud wrote in a statement.

The new postal manager came from a post office region where this was not the case and as such, when packages addressed to the post office were delivered by carriers, such as UPS, “these packages have no USPS scan on them and a new manager believed that we were not receiving revenue for these packages and decided to return,” Boxrud said.

However, in the statement, which was sent on Wednesday afternoon, Boxrud said he had “spoken with the manager of postal operations in that area and he has assured me that packages will not be returned in the interim.”

“We’re reviewing our processes and agreements to ensure continuous service and apologize to our customers for the confusion,” Boxrud said.

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