Q. My daughter lives on Cumberland in Ann Arbor and they recently received a letter from the USPS stating that mail could have sorting errors and delays if they don’t use the appropriate name which, according to the USPS, is Cumberland Ave.

However, everyone on the street knows the street as Cumberland Drive as do all the major institutions that have Cumberland residents as customers. Some of those company systems cannot alter the street name … Thus, various items of mail get tossed out of the automatic sorters and must be handled manually, which cause all kinds of delay in mail delivery.

My question for your curious investigative journalists … When did this snafu first enter the equation?

A. The Observer contacted the USPS multiple times, but the responses were not helpful: “The Postal Service is committed to excellence in everything we do.”

An online search provides plenty of evidence that many Americans struggle with postal address issues. In 2014 the USPS Inspector General concluded: “The Postal Service’s efforts to reduce address database errors were ineffective.”

An online USPS search tool finds only one Cumberland in the Ann Arbor zip codes. Our questions about why appending “DR” instead of an “AVE” caused such confusion went unanswered.

Postal customers can request address corrections by writing to:



1401 W FORT ST RM 908

DETROIT MI 48233-9321

A property deed can be used as evidence for the correct address.

Residents caught in this struggle might also try contacting the office of representative Debbie Dingell, who has shown a lively interest in local postal service issues.

Got a question? Email question@aaobserver.com.