WESTWEGO, LA (WVUE) - A Jefferson Parish couple says they're missing out on a basic communications tool so many of us rely on nearly every day of the week, and they're not alone.
"Born and raised right here in this town, and I wouldn't wanna live anywhere else," said Tony Venezia. He and his wife, Tiffany, moved to a quiet Westwego neighborhood five months ago. They live at 129 11th Street, and they love their new home, but they say they're missing something many of us take for granted six days a week - their mail.
The Venezia's mail continues to be delivered a few miles away to another home that bears the same street address of 129 11th Street, but in Bridge City - not Westwego. They turned to the FOX 8 Defenders, and we learned both houses also share the same zip code of 70094.
"How can you have the same address twice in the same zip code?" Venezia asked.
Just as confusing, the lettering on the Bridge City post office branch in Bridge City spells out Westwego, Louisiana.
"Our mail keeps going over there. Their mail comes over here," Venezia said.
Tiffany Venezia worries their mail could get into the wrong hands. "But when I get mail from over there, she'll text message me and I'll go get it from her," she said.
Thankfully, the people who receive the Venezia's mail right now work with them. Still, it's a big inconvenience, and they're not alone.
The owner of Muller's Auto Supply and Hardware in Westwego told FOX 8 he's had a mail mix-up for 30 years or more. Plus, Mel Muller says packages through UPS and Fed Ex, meant for 4th street in Westwego, get delivered to 4th Street in Bridge City.
"Sometimes it actually slows us down from getting merchandise here to get to these customers," explained Muller.
Some GPS devices and online maps don't recognize the Westwego address either. Google maps, for example, only pulls up Bridge City. The United States Postal Service spokesperson for Louisiana, McKinney Boyd, tells FOX 8 there are several similar addresses in Bridge City, Westwego and in Avondale - all in the 70094 zip code.
"We plan to contact the Westwego city manager and ask for and request a meeting, a meeting where we can sit and speak with a city manager or the zoning administrator to possibly look at maybe changing or altering what we call the block range," said Boyd.
He said that means adding a letter or another number to an address to distinguish between the duplicates. The Postal Service says it hopes to have a meeting within the next 30 days.
In the meantime, the USPS suggests people use the "zip plus four." That's the four extra digits that sometimes follow your regular five-digit zip code, which really is what separates Bridge City from Westwego. When mail enters the New Orleans distribution center, Boyd said the computer sorter automatically distinguishes between the two.
If you have a consumer complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women at 1-877-670-6397 or go to fox8live.com.