Careless mail delivery prompts investigation
Identity theft has been a huge problem throughout British Columbia. Thieves have corrupted thousands of identities by accessing information from stolen mail.
So when a Langley businessman found a bundle of undelivered mail left on a sidewalk, he wanted some action, and he turned to CTV for help.
"I found it right beside the mail boxes," says Dr. Todd Sorbo.
A photo taken by Sorbo shows the bundle of mail left on the sidewalk. It's mail that belongs to the residents and businesses in a Langley industrial complex, including Sorbo's office.
"We receive a lot of important insurance information, a lot of confidential patient information, there is no other way to get the mail, other than to change our address and use a private box service," says Sorbo.
CTV took the mail he found to some of the businesses, delivering abandoned medical records and payments to one medical clinic in the complex.
"People's medical records are coming here, payment of invoices -- we can't have it out there for anybody to rifle through," says Dr. Shannon Dutchyn.
Not everyone was home to receive their mail, so CTV took it down to Canada Post's main sorting centre in Vancouver.
But Canada Post spokesperson Lillian Au was not available for comment.
Langley resident Brian Jones says he's not surprised about the situation.
"You have to be proactive about paying your bills because you don't know if they are coming or not," says Jones.
The mail box in question is serviced by a private delivery service contracted by Canada Post.
Merchants say they've been complaining to Canada Post about the service for years -- with little consequence.
"(They've said) nothing we can do we will look into it," says Dr. Shannon Dutchyn.
"If they are going to contract the mail to independent contractors, at least there should be quality control mechanisms to deal with inconsistencies," says Dr Sorbo.
Canada Post did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, but released a statement saying they will conduct a "thorough investigation" and follow up with the affected customers.
In the statement, the company says the situation appears to be a case of human error by a delivery person, explaining that a different carrier was filling in for the person who regularly covers the route.
Through their initial investigation, Canada Post says it found that the mail appears to have been prepared for delivery to a shared building, but did not make it.
In Langley, those who count on the mail say security of the mail seems to be undervalued by our national carrier.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington