Alex Degman (@AlexDegmanKMOX)By Alex Degman

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) — Some postal service customers in St. Charles might have gotten a surprise this month when they lost access to their P.O. boxes without warning.

Mike Cooke with USPS’s corporate communications’ team says the post office forgot to issue renewal notices in August — it’s usually up to everyone to ensure that gets done, but Cooke says in St. Charles it typically fell to one person — who retired.

“I spoke with the postmaster, I mean, this is clearly something that we made a mistake on,” Cooke told KMOX. “They won’t be charged, they’ll just have to come in and pay their regular fee for renewing their box.”

Cooke says most people renew their P.O. boxes automatically every six months to a year. For those who don’t allow automatic renewal, renewal notices are placed in the boxes with an end-of-month deadline to pay up — mail will stop coming if they don’t. Cooke says a piece of cardboard will block the back of the box for 10-12 days to give people a chance to renew.

He guesses the people affected by the mistake don’t renew automatically and don’t check their mail frequently.

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