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Topic: Change of Address

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Subject: Change of Address
Date Posted: 6/4/2009 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,862
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I am moving.  I tried to change my address here and online at usps.com, but both places tell me that my new address is invalid.  USPS says that it is a business, so I have to turn the form in in person.  I did that last week.  I keep checking here and at usps.com, but it still isn't valid.  Even if my mail starts forwarding to the new address, is the online database ever going to be updated to say that the address is now valid? 

Also, I just read here that Media Mail doesn't have forwarding service.  What's going to the books that have been mailed recently if they don't get to me before the forwarding begins?  I put my account on hold so I won't get any more WL offers until this gets straightened out.

I really wish PBS didn't validate the address I entered against USPS.  I'm an adult - I know my address.  Trust me to put the right one in and let it be my fault if they don't come to me. 

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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About forwarding Medial Mail-the PO will forward to your new address.  But there may be some postage due.  If we get a parcel, any parcel, into our office that should be forwarded, we send it to the forwarding place and they take care of it.  Each individual office does not forward mail unless it is within its own office.  Mail is sent to a forwarding center for processing.  But, with an official change of address order, most mail is intercepted along the way and sent to the correct adfdress.  We only get mail that for some reason wasn't caught by the sorting machines.  I should clarify that only first class mail is intercepted automatically.  Standard bulk mail is not.  It arrives at the old PO, and is disposed of.  Isn't that kind of us to throw away your junk mail?

People who simply move without filling out the change of address card are annoying, because their mail keeps coming and we have to send it back as undeliverable.  Think of all the bills you could avoid getting if you don't fill out the order!

The date you put on the card (or online) when forwarding should begin is the exact date the forwarding will begin.  Anything that's already on the way may not be caught.  But if the destination PO has your order, the package will be sent back for further processing when it arrives there.  We always know when we should be expecting an order, so we often hold the mail until that date comes along, then send everything back to be reprocessed and sent on to the person.

Another annoyance is magazines.  People don't notify magazines and newspapers that they have moved.  Even if they do, the magazines themselves take months to change their info.

Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it.  The old PO will get the books and send them to Central Forwarding for reprocessing.  But it won't work until the date you put on the order.

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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About forwarding Medial Mail-the PO will forward to your new address.  But there may be some postage due.  If we get a parcel, any parcel, into our office that should be forwarded, we send it to the forwarding place and they take care of it.  Each individual office does not forward mail unless it is within its own office.  Mail is sent to a forwarding center for processing.  But, with an official change of address order, most mail is intercepted along the way and sent to the correct adfdress.  We only get mail that for some reason wasn't caught by the sorting machines.  I should clarify that only first class mail is intercepted automatically.  Standard bulk mail is not.  It arrives at the old PO, and is disposed of.  Isn't that kind of us to throw away your junk mail?

People who simply move without filling out the change of address card are annoying, because their mail keeps coming and we have to send it back as undeliverable.  Think of all the bills you could avoid getting if you don't fill out the order!

The date you put on the card (or online) when forwarding should begin is the exact date the forwarding will begin.  Anything that's already on the way may not be caught.  But if the destination PO has your order, the package will be sent back for further processing when it arrives there.  We always know when we should be expecting an order, so we often hold the mail until that date comes along, then send everything back to be reprocessed and sent on to the person.

Another annoyance is magazines.  People don't notify magazines and newspapers that they have moved.  Even if they do, the magazines themselves take months to change their info.

Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it.  The old PO will get the books and send them to Central Forwarding for reprocessing.  But it won't work until the date you put on the order.

I keep saying we send the mail BACK.  We don't do that, we send it ON to Central Forwarding.  It doesn't get sent back to the one who mailed it in the first place.

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,862
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Okay, thanks - I put 6/1 on the form, so I guess it should start soon.  My question that remains is will the address ever be considered valid by PBS so I can change my address here? 

Date Posted: 6/7/2009 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Do you have a tourguide Jenna?  If this issue doesn't clear soon, maybe TPTB can to a manual override for your account if you verify that the address is correct?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/7/2009 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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You need to call 1-800-ASK-USPS and talk to them about getting their database updated. This may happen automatically, or it may not.

The reason your address has to be valid in the USPS database is so that other members can use printable postage to send you books. It's nothing to do with whether you're an adult and know your own address or not.

Date Posted: 6/7/2009 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2007
Posts: 32
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TPTB do not manually override the address!  I had e-mailed them about the same thing and they temporarily deleted my account which deleted several of my books that I was waiting to be accepted.  It was put back as soon as I gave them an address that worked but it was still a huge pain.

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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Just another side-note about change-of-address orders: At least in our part of the country it takes about three days from the time the person mails the card in or brings it to the PO until the order actually takes effect.

And always make sure your OLD address on the card is absolutely correct.  If it gets put into the postal service computer wrong, it will never get forwarded by the system.  It will always go to your old PO and then have to be hand processed back.

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,862
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I contacted TPTB here and was told they could not change it because the address has to be verified by USPS for the people that use DC.  I thought that was strange since Amazon is shipping with DC to my new address, but whatever.  PBS suggest I find a friend or relative to ship books to.  I changed it to my parents' address, so it sucks for anyone shipping to me that isn't using DC since it will take an extra week or so for me to get to the town my parents live in to pick up books that are sent to me.

I have called USPS and was told they couldn't help me online or over the phone.  I turned in the card a little over a week ago, but it hasn't taken effect yet.  I just checked one the website and it isn't recognized as valid.  When I turned in the card, I took it to the counter so I could ask if the database would be updated and the guy gave me a noncommital "I think so maybe."  Comcast also doesn't believe my new address exists.  Maybe I'm moving into a black hole.



Last Edited on: 6/8/09 10:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: temporary forwarding
Date Posted: 6/15/2009 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2008
Posts: 6
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I am going to have my mail forwarded for July and August and will use  temporary forwarding. The forward will be within my postal zip. Will temporary forwarding still forward my media mail?

 

 

Connie C. (Cade) - ,
Date Posted: 6/15/2009 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2006
Posts: 24
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Media mail is forwarded irregardless of whether it is temporary or not.

 

Editted because I can't spell. :)



Last Edited on: 6/15/09 7:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/16/2009 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Bummer about all the address fuss Jenna :-(  Hope it clears up soon!

Date Posted: 6/16/2009 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,862
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After 5 trips to the PO (three to the wrong ones, two to the right one), I am told that it should be updated in the system by Friday.  I'm not really holding my breath, but I have a direct phone number to the person I need to talk to if it isn't.  We'll see.  It took a while to figure out which PO my mail is actually delivered from.  I went to the one closest to my old place and they sent me to a different one.  I went there and they said they don't deliver from that one and I should go to a different one.  She wasn't really sure where it was though, so I ended up driving around a pretty shady area of Atlanta until I stumbled on it.  That was fun. ; )

I got the change of address confirmation in the mail a week ago, but I'm still getting mail at the old address.  They scratched my name off the card in the back of the mailbox (it's an apartment), but they still deliver mail there.  I'm starting to get worried about this because as of Monday, I won't have keys to that mailbox anymore.  I put 6/1 as the start date on the form and got the confirmation on 6/9,  but the mail still comes here.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 3:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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A phone number is good Jenna.  And if the problem isn't corrected by Friday, start climbing the chain of command.  Don't speak to clerks, ask for supervisors.  If that doesn't immediately fix the problem, ask for the supervisor's supervisor, regional post master, or other higher ups until somebody can figure out how to get the job done :-)

Date Posted: 6/24/2009 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,862
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Well, as I pretty much expected, the address was not updated last Friday.  I called the number I was given and talked to Ms. Roberts.  She said it was in her local database, so she didn't know what the problem was and couldn't help me.  I called 1-800-ASK-USPS again.  She confirmed that the address is in the master database, so maybe it's a technical problem with the website.  I doubt this, but go along with it.  She gives me the technical assistance phone number.  I call and they say it's a database problem and can't help me.  Fantastic.  I call 1-800-ASK-USPS back and talk to the first person in this whole ordeal that might actually have a clue.  She says that the address must not be in the Address Management Services database, so I need to contact my local AMS.  She tells me how to look this up.  I call the number and it goes straight to voicemail, but "this person has not enrolled in voicemail." Click.  All of this has happened Friday morning, so I'm ridiculously annoyed at this point.  I decide to go back to the PO in person.  I explain everything that has gone on and the clerk says that they have an AMS person that works IN THE OFFICE, so she'll leave a note for him to update it.  I have no idea why the Ms. Roberts I talked to first thing couldn't leave a note for the guy in the first place, but whatever.  We're getting somewhere.  I keep checking the website every day and it still isn't updated, so I decided to try the AMS phone number again this morning.  Someone actually answered and said that my address was updated in the system on 6/22.  YAY!  Oh, but usps.com is actually run by an independent contractor that only updates THEIR database once in a blue moon, so it will probably be 2-3 more weeks before my address is valid on the website.

But the guy confirmed that someday my address will be valid and I will be able to use it here.  Until then, books continue to go to my parents and I'll get them when I can.  I put a note in my RC that if people aren't using PBS DC, they can PM me for my real address and get their credit faster.  All but one person has, plus a couple have used DC. My parents are going out of town tomorrow, so the two books that are one their way there now (one DC, one not) will just have to sit until they get back or I can make a trip out there.

This is nuts.  I started trying to get this changed the day I signed my new lease (5/29) and it may not be updated until mid-July.  The lesson here, kids, is don't move into a new apartment in an old apartment complex.  It maybe be a cool, affordable apartment in the exact area you were looking, but the USPS and Comcast will give you hell. :)

Date Posted: 7/3/2009 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,862
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So the saga continues.  My address still is not updated in the database, which is actually the least of my worries now.  A friend of mine moved in across the street and is letting me use her address for books.  Not perfect, but better than when they were going to my parents' a couple cities away.

But now I am not getting any forwarded mail.  Up until last week, I still had a key to my old place and my roommate was still living there, so I got the mail thinking it was just taking time to process my request.  But I turned in the form on June 1st and got the confirmation letter on June 5th.  Even if it took two weeks, it should have been working by the 19th, long before June 27th, when I checked the mail "one last time" to discover it was still full of mail being sent to me. 

Monday (June 29th), I call my distribution center.  I am given to my new mail carrier.  She informs me that I am getting mail.  I calmly explain that yes, I am getting mail that is addressed to the new address and I am changing the address on as many things as I can think of.  The problem lies in that the mail that is being sent to the old address is not being forwarded to me.  She says (and I quote) "Well, it's not being forwarded."  After a moment of silence while I expect her to fill in some kind of help or answer, I ask what I else I am supposed to do.  She tries to put me through to the old carrier, but he isn't at the center right then.  So she says she'll put a note in the box.  Okay.

So Monday afternoon, I go down to the old apartment to turn in my keys.  The mail carrier just happens to be there, so I stop and talk to him.  He says that he is just filling in, but he opens my box and puts a note in it that it is vacant so whoever is delivering mail won't put mail in it.  My name has been scratched off of this note since the first week of June, yet my mail is still put in the box, so I am doubtful, but I don't know what else to do.  I cross my fingers and check my new mailbox everyday in hopes of seeing a little yellow forwarding sticky on a piece of mail.  This does not come.

So last night I am checking my e-mail and I have an e-mail from my cousin.  She asked for my address back in May, but didn't get around to sending me the thank you note for her baby shower gift until last week.  She used the old address and it was returned to her as "Unable to Forward." 

This morning I go to the distribution center.  After standing around for 10 minutes waiting for supervisor to come talk to me, I explain the situation.  I am told that if I have the confirmation letter (which I do and had with me), it is in their system and should be forwarded.  That's a nice answer, and would be fabulous if it was true.  She doesn't know why the address isn't being forwarded, but she's put a "bigger note" in the box.  That's the ticket.

I'm totally running out of options and I don't know what else to do.  My next step is to write my congressman.  Perhaps he will have a little pull and can help me out.  I can't believe it is this hard to get mail forwarded.  No one I've talked to has had this much trouble or even heard of someone having this much trouble.