Note: the information in this article is good for any time of the year, not just winter. If your mailbox has been damaged, keep reading!
Along with winter weather comes an increased potential for mailbox damage by snowplows, refuse trucks and other drivers. If your mailbox is damaged this winter, here's what you need to know.
Do damaged mailboxes need to be fixed?
Yes. If your mailbox is damaged, it must be repaired or possibly replaced, depending on the extent of the damage. The repair cost will depend on the extent of work the mailbox needs. You may fix your own mailbox, but it must be identical to the other units on your street.
Who pays for repairs if my mailbox is damaged?
The short answer is the cost falls on the person who requests the repairs. If you call and request repairs, we will fix the unit and send an invoice to you. If your mailbox is damaged by a third party, the party who damaged the unit must contact the office in order for us to bill them.
Specific organizations, listed below, have provided guidance on what to do if your mailbox is damaged by them.
City Snowplow (or other city vehicle) Damage
If your mailbox is damaged by the snowplow or other city vehicle, report it to the Streets and Utilities Department at the City of Dublin at 614-410-4750. (Note: trash and recycling trucks are not city vehicles; they are owned by Rumpke and are discussed below.) Give them your name and Muirfield address and let them know your mailbox was damaged by a snowplow or other city-owned vehicle. Be sure to emphasize that you live in Muirfield Village.
After you report the incident, the city will contact the Association office, our staff will replace the unit, and the city will be invoiced. The city is very responsive and usually contacts the office quickly. They may place a temporary mailbox at your residence until staff can replace your unit.
The city has stated that the homeowner must contact the city personally to request repairs. The Association office cannot request repairs on behalf of an owner.
Please report the incident to the city as soon as possible rather than waiting months when it could be argued that the damage was caused by something else.
Trash or Recycling Truck Damage
The city contracts with Rumpke for trash and recycling services in Dublin. If a Rumpke vehicle damages your mailbox, please contact Streets and Utilities at 614-410-4750 and ask for John Babyak. Mr. Babyak will contact Rumpke to negotiate for repairs on behalf of the resident. He stated it is much more effective for a resident to contact him than to try to work with Rumpke directly.
Please report the incident as soon as possible since Rumpke’s investigation may take some time. Mr. Babyak will contact the resident or office regarding repairs after working with a Rumpke representative.
U.S. Mail Truck
In the event a mail truck causes damage, call the Dublin post office at 614-889-0763. Please try to provide as much information as possible to the post office, such as the date the damage likely occurred. If the post office agrees to take responsibility, they will need to contact the office and supply their billing information and the address of the damaged mailbox.
Other Third Parties (other drivers, delivery trucks, commercial vehicles, etc.)
If a third party admits to damaging your mailbox and agrees to pay for repairs, ask them to call the office at 614-889-0922 and give the following information to staff:
Their company name, if applicable
Their complete billing address
Purchase order number, if applicable
Address of the damaged mailbox
Staff will repair or replace the mailbox and send an invoice to them.
If a regular driver plans to go through their insurance, the insurance company will need to contact the office and provide:
Their insurance company’s name and billing address, including any “attention to” information
A claim number
Staff will repair or replace the mailbox and send an invoice to the insurance company.
Some insurance companies may request photos of the damaged unit. Please be advised that our staff does not take photos of damaged mailboxes and does not save the damaged unit. Staff tends to replace units fairly quickly, so it is wise to get photos shortly after the event.
At your discretion, you may choose to pay for the repairs yourself and then settle up with the third party. This is your decision; however, please be advised that unless the third party contacts the Association office directly and agrees to be billed, the homeowner will be responsible for all repair costs.
If a mailbox is damaged by an unknown driver, unfortunately the cost of repairs falls on the homeowner. We recommend that the homeowner requests repairs even if they do not know how the unit was damaged. If a third party comes forward and contacts the office, we can invoice them instead of the owner. It’s been our experience that drivers may take a few days after the event to contact the homeowner to take responsibility.
Mailbox Repair Turnaround Time
Our staff builds all mailbox units in house and makes every effort to keep an adequate inventory of complete units on hand. Our goal is to repair or replace units as soon as possible. In most cases, this is a very short time frame and is almost always within a few business days. During particularly bad weather that results in a lot of mailboxes being damaged at the same time, replacement may be delayed.
Only my mailbox flag was damaged. Can you replace that?
Unfortunately, we no longer have replacement flags. If you need a new mailbox flag, you may purchase any standard, red mailbox flag similar to one pictured below. Decorative and specialty flags are not permitted. The Association can replace the entire mailbox for $40, which comes with a new flag, but purchasing your own flag will be much more cost effective.
If a third party has damaged the unit, residents should not contact the office. Rather, they should contact the party who damaged the unit and ask them to call the office at 614-889-0922. As stated above, they will need to supply the address of the damaged mailbox, their billing information and any other pertinent information.
When is payment due?
Payment is due after repairs are complete. An invoice will be sent and will be due within 30 days. The Association accepts checks or cash for payment. The maximum cost for a homeowner would be $170 for an entirely new unit. Depending on the nature of the damage, the cost could be less.
If you have questions about mailbox replacements or anything else, please call 614-889-0922 or contact the office.
Final Request: Update Your Contact Information for the Annual Assessment Mailing
The office will be mailing annual assessment invoices near the beginning of February and we want to be certain we have the correct information on file for your household.
If your email address has changed in the last year or you have a new mailing address, please give the Association office your updated information no later than January 27.
Residents are responsible to keep the Association office updated with their current contact information. Please feel free to contact the office if you have any concerns about what information we have on file for your residence.
Last Pick Up of Christmas Trees
The final collection of real Christmas trees will take place next Monday, January 29. Please remove all decorations and place Christmas trees at the curb, free of any wrapping or bags, by 7 a.m. on Monday. Trees should be cut to lengths of no more than 4 feet.