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Topic: Interpretation Needed

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Subject: Interpretation Needed
Date Posted: 1/12/2010 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2005
Posts: 504
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A couple of Christmas cards I mailed were sent back to me this year and I noticed that the return msg was not the same for both of them.  Can someone from the USPS explain what the various messages mean? I am particularly interested in this one:

"Not deliverable as addressed.  Unable to forward."

I appreciate your help.


P.S. I understand what "Returned for insufficient postage" means!

Date Posted: 1/12/2010 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 175
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"Not deliverable as addressed.  Unable to forward." means the person has moved from that address and either left no forwarding address, or it's been over 6 months since they moved, and therefore the forwarding has expired.


That's the most likely explanation.  There is a slim chance, however, that there's something else going on.  I sent a birthday card recent that got returned "Not deliverable as addressed.  Unable to forward." even though the address was correct.  I'm still not sure exactly why that happened, although it's possible that it has something to do with the fact that the cousin who I was mailing the card to has a different last name than her mother.

Date Posted: 1/12/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 6,060
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The "not deliverable as addressed" may also mean something as simple as forgetting to put (or having the wrong) apartment /lot number if it's an apartment building or trailer court, this happens to me all the time at work.  Or if you have the wrong street number - I've transposed house numbers before and it will come back "undeliverable".

Date Posted: 1/12/2010 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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Chris is correct although I've also seen mail come back when it shouldn't have.  Make sure everything on the address is correct, perhaps talk to the addressee, and if it is then try again.  If it's returned a second time then the addressee needs to talk to their delivery PO to find out why their mail is being returned.

For Christopher, right state, wrong team.  Go Cardinals..... ;)

Date Posted: 1/12/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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I had 2 PBS books (in 1 package) be returned to the sender, even though my addy was correct. Turns out our regular mailman was on leave, the package got mis-sorted, and the fill-in mailman didn't recognize the address. Instead of sending it back to be re-sorted, he sent it back not deliverable as addressed.

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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Is it possible that their address was changed? That's what I've seen when addresses were adjusted for fire-numbers or street name changes/adjustments and the time allowed to use the old one has passed.

Date Posted: 1/14/2010 8:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2005
Posts: 504
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The referenced msg was on a card sent to a post office box.  It's the same address I've used for the past several years for this family.  Seems likely they gave up the PO box and didn't mention it to everyone.