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Topic: Can one refuse First Class mail?

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L. G. (L)
Subject: Can one refuse First Class mail?
Date Posted: 11/4/2007 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Can one refuse First class mail?  What about other forms of mail (certified, etc,)?   How do you refuse a shipment that's mailed using something other than Media Mail?  I tried looking at usps.com to no avail...thanks!

Date Posted: 11/4/2007 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2007
Posts: 6,604
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I've refused first class mail by writing in large letters, "RETURN TO SENDER. NOT ACCEPTED." across the envelope.  I'm not sure if that's the proper way to do it, but since I'm never home when my mail is delivered, I can only do it after the fact.  Of course, now that I'm in and out of the post office all the time (thanks to joining PBS) I might just bring it to the window and tell them I'm refusing it.

Last Edited on: 11/4/07 12:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/4/2007 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Yes, L, you can refuse mail, as long as it isn't opened. Just mark 'refused' on it and put it back out for your carrier. A certified letter is usually attempted by the carrier and you can tell him/her then that you're refusing it. If you've been left a delivery notice, you can mark refused on that and leave it out for your carrier. Packages would be the same way--unopened and marked refused. Just be sure that delivery was made by USPS and not UPS. We can't take anything that hasn't been handled through the Postal Service.

There is an exception--standard mail (junk mail). If you want to refuse this class of mail, you'll have to put a first class stamp on it and then mark it refused.

Here's a link to the relevant section of the Domestic Mail Manual http://pe.usps.gov/search/jsp/search/vv_docread.jsp?k2dockey=http%3A%2F%2Fpe.usps.com%2Ftext%2Fdmm300%2F507.htm%40PE_DMM300_HTML_5&serverSpec=

Last Edited on: 11/4/07 1:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 11/4/2007 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Thanks Connie! You rock!!

Date Posted: 11/5/2007 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Throughout my life I have refused various pieces of mail, in envelopes of all sizes and boxes too, for a number of reasons (we still get mail for the folks that lived in this house 12 years ago!).  I have simply written refused in black ink, capital letters, between the sending and receiving addresses, and set it back out.  Never a problem. 

Date Posted: 11/5/2007 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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and here I thought I was the only one that got mail for prior residences from 20 years ago!  and of course there is always the mail for someone that has never lived here.  very frustrating!

Date Posted: 11/7/2007 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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Im constantly receiving mail for a company that has never lived or had an office here. I usually write on the envelope "unknown, return to sender". We even received official mail for taxes etc. Quite annoying.
Date Posted: 11/8/2007 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 10
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At my last address, when I moved in I would get 10-20 pieces of mail each day for previous tenants; there must have been over a dozen different names on the envelopes.  For a while I even got a box of contact lenses each month!  I printed out a bunch of labels that said "return to sender, addressee unknown" and started dumping the pile back in the mail box on my way to work.  It took 6 months, but we did eventually stop getting all that mail.