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Topic: Problems Not Getting My Mail - Advice Needed - Update

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Subject: Problems Not Getting My Mail - Advice Needed - Update
Date Posted: 10/1/2009 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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We live in a rural subdivision. Several times a month I receive my neighbors mail and they receive mine - not all the mail for a day but a letter here and there. I am good about taking them their mail on the day I receive it. However, my one neighbor is not - she lets it sit for months and then will notice one of my kids in the yard and give it to them. Some of the mail we have not received: credit card bill, electric bill, DH's expense check, and more. Now, the credit card bill (it was mailed in April, she gave it to me in June) I was able to call the credit card company and let them know I did not receive the bill and they waived the charges. The electric bill was another matter - we got a shut off notice with the next month's bill and I called the electric company and they would not waive any charges and told me to complain to my post office. So I did. The postmaster was defensive and not helpful. After I complained, we seemed to receive a lot less mail. I don't know what to do. Complain again? Just yesterday my neighbor sent over my husband's expense check which showed a postmark of Sept 16 and a bill from our dentist which showed a postmark of August 22. Yesterday I received a statement from the dentist showing an amount due but no explanation. So, I was about to call them today and ask what the charges were for but now I know. My neighbor is great except at giving me my mail. I hate to get a PO box because we don't go by the post office very often and it would be inconvenient and I would still be concerned about not getting my mail. We have lived here for 8 years and have occasionally received our neighbor's mail in the past but it has escalated in the past year. This summer we even received someone's Social Security check and they lived many miles from us, but the same town. We have received mail from neighbors in the subdivision adjacent to ours. On average we receive mail that does not belong to us about once a week. Sometimes it is just a catalog or junk mail but sometimes it is obviously important. I have been trying to put it back in the mailbox so the carrier realizes his mistake but that does not seem to be helping. We have taken it back to the post office but they just say thanks. Although it would be inconvenient I believe I am going to take each piece back to the post office and let them know I received the wrong mail - they will get to know my face because they will be seeing a lot of me!

 Any advice would be appreciated.



Last Edited on: 10/8/09 10:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/1/2009 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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This is a problem with your local post office/mail delivery person. I would put the wrong mail back in the mailbox and put the flag up. If you can get all your neighbors to do likewise, the mail person will have to deliver it correctly. When I complianed to my local post office, the postmaster asked me to do just that and to call them each time. Supposedly, someone would come out and check to see that it was actually delivered to the wrong address. I never saw anyone coming out to check, but eventually the mail was being delivered correctly.

Hopefully, this works out for you. It is really a pain to not get your mail on time!

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Thanks for the response Christina. I will call the Postmaster again, the last time she acted like it was my fault I was not getting my mail.

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Bite the bullet and talk to local postmaster again, be prepared with specifics such as you mentioned above (senders & dates).   If people don't share, your po won't know they have a problem.  But regular delivery errors, especially of checks, credit cards, etc., can become a serious security situation.  If they won't work with you locally, you'll need to go over their head and complain.

We also had an awful carrier for about a year (and yes, I complained to regional), I'm sure the PO received many complaints b/c we started getting "how is your service" survey postcards from USPS.  Carrier finally moved on, new one is great.

Good luck!



Last Edited on: 10/1/09 4:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/1/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Sounds like incompetence or laziness by the carrier.

I would escalate with your local PO and keep going higher up until it is resolved.

The goodwill of neighbors is great -but USPS are geting paid to deliver the mail correctly.

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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In addition to nagging to PO until they get it straightened out, I would also keep a list of monthy bills and the dates you should get them, and then go asking for them if you do not receive them before their due dates.

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 699
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I am a postmaster in a small post office.  I can't speak for your postmaster, but I need to know if this is happening in my office.  I will take action.  One of the few times I have ever fired a person, was for misdeliveries.  Once in a while could just be an accident.  When the "accidents" become routine, it is unacceptable.

Date Posted: 10/1/2009 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Thanks for the additional input. I'm going to visit the post office tomorrow and speak with the postmaster. Perhaps a face to face conversation will get better results than the previous phone call.

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Update - I received another piece of mail for someone several streets away so I wrote a list of all the misdelivered mail (with dates) that I could remember for the past few months. Went to the PO to return the mail I received that was not mine - Postmaster had left for the day so I left the information (list) with the girl at the desk, along with my name, address, and phone number. No phone call. Today I noticed a piece of paper stuck to the back of my mail box that says, "Stop! Check address for mail". Of course, my box is the only one with the notice in it. I had my neighbor (the one who usually receives my mail) check hers and she doesn't have one.

Diane, is this a common way for the PO to address this issue?



Last Edited on: 10/8/09 10:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/9/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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Sheila, while it won't help get your mail delivered correctly, I suggest signing up for e-bills for your utilities and credit cards if possible.  Also, many companies have e-mail reminder features, so that you can get a reminder X days before your payment is due.  I set them up so that I get an email reminder 7 days before a payment is due.  This will at least help insofar as late payments are concerned.

Date Posted: 10/20/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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We do pay some of our bills online but some, like the dentist, do not offer that option.

Saturday, we received 5 pieces of our neighbor's mail. So, I went to the post office yesterday to let them know that even with the reminder in my mailbox we are still receiving mail belonging to others. I am not a complainer by nature but I don't know what else to do.

Date Posted: 10/21/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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I write "Delivered to WRONG ADDRESS on (todays' date)" in big red letters on each and every piece of mail that I get like this (that way, the person who was supposed to receive it knows why their mail was late, and they can complain, too). Then I either put it back in the outgoing mail (if it hasn't hapened in a while) or take it to the post office (if it has happened recently) to complain to them.

We have neighborhood mailboxes, so I can't just put it in the right box, I have no way of knowing which box is the correct one.

When we first moved to our new house, for the first 6 months or so, I would be missing one or 2 magazines each month  ... never the same magazines, and often, they would be magazines that had already had an issue delivered with the new address. I had to go complain several months in a row, but eventually the missing magazines stopped and I haven't had a problem (with regular mail) since then.

Try to get your neighbors to complain, too. Maybe ask them to write a letter that you could take with you, if they are not willing or able to go themselves.



Last Edited on: 10/21/09 1:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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You are not supposed to write anything directly on the mail itself, especially if it isn't yours! Rubber band (or paperclip)them together and leave a note on the top of the stack on a seperate piece of paper.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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You are not supposed to write anything directly on the mail itself, especially if it isn't yours!

I have always written directly on the mail as Sara mentioned, but now I am curious as to the USPS standard so I checked their website and found this:

Mail Delivery Problems/Questions

...........

·         Reporting/Returning misdelivered mail

 

Despite our best efforts, occasionally mail is mis-delivered, or is delivered to an old location for an individual. If you are receiving mail for the previous resident and do not know their address, simply return the mail piece back to the mailstream (by leaving in a Collection Box® or other mail receptacle) with the notation "Not at this address" marked on the envelope.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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Not at this address is acceptable.   I've seen some nasty comments written directly on the mail itself that is NOT acceptable. Seriously i've seen people write paragraphs of nasty comments across other people's mail. One customer wrote "get your head out of your @$$, this person doesn't live here and i do not want his F*ing  mail anymore!". Only i got the last laugh when i circled "Or Current Resident" that was clearly marked on the letter and left it in her mail box. I wrote "sorry, but if it says current resident, you are getting it". That was the last time she wrote anything nasty on the mail again.

Here it is frowned apon that anyone write anything on the mail itself unless you are a postal employee using the appropriate codes.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 699
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Be careful not to write "Not At This Address" if you receive mail that is addressed somewhere else besides your address.

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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I figure if they stop bringing me someone else's mail, I won't have the opportunity to write on it!

If the mail is to a previous resident of my address, I write "Please forward, no longer at this address" on it.

If the mail is for an unknown name at my address, then I write "Not at this Address" on it.

And, if they give me mail for someone else's address completely, I write "Delivered to Wrong Address" on it.

I guess if they want to press charges or something .... first they will have to figure out and ADMIT how I am getting ahold of the wrong mail in the first place.

I know some people who just toss wrong mail in the trash ... so I am trying to do my part in getting the right mail to the right people!



Last Edited on: 10/30/09 11:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/31/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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Sara, are you taking any of this unwanted or misdelivered mail into the post office with you and speaking to a supervisor or the Post Master?  If you haven't then i suggest taking that step. I'm only asking because sometimes the people at the Post Office that can help about this situation are not notified and have no idea that this is happening.

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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Well, the main problem is that the Post Office is about 15 miles away. So, do I normally take it in ... no, but I have taken it in if I am going in that direction in a reasonable amount of time.

Its actually been better recently, I had a larger issue with this about a year ago, where I was getting at least one piece of first class mail that wasn't mine every week, and sometimes more.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2009
Posts: 13
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That's unacceptable. At our store, we rent around 50 mailboxes and get, minimum, 100-200 pieces of mail a day. We have a brand new mailman (old one retired) and he's only beginning to get the hang of our rather complicated mail. And only receive maybe 5-10 pieces of misdilibered mail a day, some of which belongs to people who have never rented at our address, and some of which is for our neighbors in the plaza. Once we have him fully trained, I expect we will be back to an error rate of MAXIMUM 2%, and that's for a mail system that is much more complicated than yours.


Keep after your postmaster. If that doesn't work, and you live in a small town, call the post office in the large town of city nearest you; often a lot of the mail sorting gets done and leaves from there. They may be able to help sort things out.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2009
Posts: 13
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@Tanya T

Our postmaster advised us to print adhesive labels with "not at this address" and such and stick them to misdelivered mail. That was after we complained that, with a busy store, it's time comsuming to do that a bunch of times while sorting mail for boxes. We were told writing was also correct.