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Topic: non PBS post office question

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Subject: non PBS post office question
Date Posted: 1/13/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2006
Posts: 4,994
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I need a little help.  I recently moved.  My mom stayed where we were living.  The post office was having trouble with the forwarding order (it's been checked several times and it was done correctly, for me, as an individual).  The problem is, they were forwarding mom's mail to me (500 miles away) and delivering my mail to her.  I spoke to the postmaster in my hometown in person and she said she'd look into it (at week 2).  A couple of weeks later, I called the 1-800 number for the post office and complained that it was still a problem.  Nothing happening.  Then mom's mail started being delivered to me with my mailing address.  It seems that anything (hers or mine) that said "Address service correction" on the envelope was sent back to the company with my new address.  All of mom's bills, magazines, etc, have been changed to my address.  I called the 1-800 number again.  They passed the info on to the postmaster and she called me (a week and a half later).  She says that it's just not possible that they would be messing up the mail and she doesn't remember talking to me in person in Nov.  Just as a side note, it's a small town post office, not a big huge one.  I called the 1-800 number again this week (third time!) and this time I asked if there was a way to go higher up the ladder.  They told me that they would have Consumer Affairs call me Monday.  Today, I had a magazine with mom's name and my address in our outgoing mail.  I had scratched out my address and written in mom's.  Our mail carrier refused to take it and said that it was the company's mistake because they have the wrong address.  I think that since ALL of her mail has had the address changed to mine (and I didn't do it and mom didn't do it) that the Post Office should return it to her without additional postage.  There is no way that everyone that mom does business with could randomly decide all at once to change her address and randomly pick an address that happens to be mine.  It is all because any mail that has "Address service correction," regardless of who it belongs to, has been sent back for an address change.  Am I wrong to think that the  Post Office should be returning this at their expense?  And what else can I do at this point?  

Date Posted: 1/13/2008 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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My answer in CMT still stands:

You are right in wondering about the 'Address Service Requested' endorsement being part of the problem. The other part is that all this stuff is done by computer now. A majority of the forwarded mail is taken out of the mail stream before the local delivery carrier even sees it. And the USPS computer will notify the mailer of the 'new' address--even if it isn't accurate, as in your case--because your original delivery office has been taken out of the loop!

My advice regarding the misdelivery of your mother's mail to you with your new address on it would be to take it to your new delivery office and ask to speak to a delivery supervisor (or the postmaster if that's the person in charge), hand them all the mis-addressed mail and ask that they return it to the correct address. (And it is possible for them to do it by putting it in a 'penalty' envelope--don't fault your carrier for refusing to take it. Upper management has to take the heat for this goof-up.)

edited to indicate copied from CMT paragraph



Last Edited on: 1/13/08 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/13/2008 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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And the computer programming that some of your mail is being captured under is PARS--Postal Automated Redirection System (bold added by me!). This is the programming that takes your forwarded mail out of the mail stream before your local office even sees it.

You will need the help of both your new delivery office and your old delivery office to get this forwarding problem straightened out. And the major culprits are the endorsements on the mail pieces along with the automated system. If neither of the offices will help you, you should contact your US Senator's office. They have the ability to get USPS moving when it comes to getting a problem fixed.



Last Edited on: 1/13/08 12:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/13/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2006
Posts: 4,994
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Ah. . . thanks, the problem is that neither the new post office or the old one seem to care.  The attitude that I seem to be getting is "hey, it's your problem, not ours."  Yes, it is my problem (and my mother's), but we didn't cause it, unfortunately.  I had the postmaster tell me on the phone that she could have done something if only she knew about it sooner.   Nevermind that I spoke to her in the beginning of November and nothing was done then or a few weeks later when I called the 1-800 number about the mixup.  Could something have been done about it then?  I know it's too late for the post office to fix it, but at this point I just want someone to understand that there's a problem so it won't happen again.

Which Senator would I contact?  The one were I was living or the one where I live now?  Or both?  I'm taking this a little higher up right now (Consumer Affairs), so I'll see what happens there first. 

Thanks for your help (here and in CMT), I appreciate your taking the time to explain some of this to me, and helping me find solutions.

Date Posted: 1/13/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Rebecca, I'd go with the Senator in the state where you live. Sorry, but the cynic in me understands the power of the registered voter--and that's what politicians recognize!

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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You could also have your mom write a letter to her senator as well.   And CC both the senators and the local postoffices.  That way you have proof that you brought this matter to everyone's attention who should be in a position to help resolve the problem. 

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 159
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I had the same problem with my mail and my sister's. We lived together and had the same last name at the time, so the post office forwarded her mail to me when I moved and left mine with her. I did do an individual change of address with my name, which is nothing like hers other than the last name was the same. Then I started getting her mail with my address printed directly from the sender because the post office had notified them that she moved here. I called them, complained online, and even went in and talked with the postmaster. None of this helped. We finally just had to call all of these companies and get the addresses changed back.

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 11:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 884
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This is coming from the other side of "address correction requested"--the companies that receive the new address from the post office (I change the addresses all day long).  Have your mom contact all her creditors, magazines, ect.....  They will update the address back to the old address--and the customer service rep can put a message on the account to NOT UPDATE with a USPS request.  Believe me, I get a bunch, sometimes 3 or 4 a week for the same accounts, and we change teh address between 2 all week long.

There is no excuse for the post office to have not made any effort to fix this error, but contacting the companies any time something is maield to you will be the best way to get things straightened out.

Date Posted: 1/16/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2006
Posts: 4,994
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grrrr. . . still fighting with the post office.  I escalated this to Consumer Affairs last Friday.  I was supposed to get a call from them the next business day.  Today, three days later I had a message from the postmaster who ignored the problem in the first place referring to my call for Consumer Affairs.  I've given up on the PO fixing this, at this point, I just want to express my displeasure to them.  I called the 1-800 number and told them that this was supposed to be sent above the postmaster because she is the one who could have helped fix this in the first place and she did nothing.   After other conversations with her about this problem, she has done nothing.  I no longer care to complain to her, there is no point.  They told me (again) that this would go to Consumer Affairs and that I'd have a call tomorrow and it wouldn't be from the postmaster.  Not holding my breath.

I, and my mother, will be contacting some senators about this.

Thanks all for listening to me rant, and for your suggestions.