The residents served by a popular Montreal mailman are furious that he’s been fired for signing for their packages -- with their permission.

Sylvain Carbonneau has been working in the city’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood for five years, and knows many of the residents he serves. When his boss at Canada Post found out that he had signed for a customer’s parcels, he was fired for breaching protocol.

“I left a parcel for my customer on her porch,” he explained to CTV News on Thursday. “I have a letter from her that she agreed that I do that because I know her and she doesn't have time to go to the sub-office to pick it up.”

After doing what he believed was going the extra mile to provide good customer service, he calls his dismissal “humiliating,” adding, “They're acting like it was a crime or something.”

In fact, Canada Post says do they consider it a very serious offence, for security reasons.

"Canada Post does not make such decisions lightly,” spokesperson Anick Losier told CTV News. “They are a last recourse only and a result of serious actions. Mr. Carbonneau has an appeal process he can turn to and we fully intend to continue the dialogue via those processes."

Carbonneau's customers are shocked and upset.

“I don't know why they did that,” said one resident who called his service “very good.”

Another described hearing about the neighbourhood’s great mailman shortly after moving to the area.

“They told me he was very friendly,” said Jo Morrissey. “He saw me as a new face, he welcomed me to the neighbourhood and he was very pleasant. A very nice man.”

They've started sending letters to Canada Post expressing frustration that they've lost their beloved mailman. But despite their efforts and rave reviews, another mailman is now on the route while Carbonneau goes through arbitration to try to get his job back.

He says he takes comfort in knowing his customers are behind him, and knowing they see him as part of their community.

“I asked for news about their lives, their jobs, their kids,” he said. “I’ve seen their kids grow up.”

With a report by Maya Johnson