No *wonder* people go postal at the post office!!!

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And you can quote me: "I, like 100s of 1000s of people, have been known to use the services of a Personal Mail Box (PMB) provider, such as MailBoxes Etc.. Recently, the service I used lost their lease, and closed their doors. They very generously lined up another service to take on all of their old customers, at much the same price, and provided us all with the USPS mail forwarding forms. But guess what - the USPS won't forward mail that is addressed to a private mailbox service. At all."

Posted in Rants, December 9th, 2003


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I, like 100s of 1000s of people, have been known to use the services of a Personal Mail Box (PMB) provider, such as MailBoxes Etc..

Recently, the service I used lost their lease, and closed their doors. They very generously lined up another service to take on all of their old customers, at much the same price, and provided us all with the USPS mail forwarding forms.

I dutifully filled out and filed the forms. Days passed, and then nearly 2 weeks, and still my mail was not being forwarded, and was in fact still being sent to the *old* address.

So I called up our USPS station, spoke with the supervisor, who said that he had my forwarding forms in hand, and it would start “right away”.

Another week passed – now the old address no longer exists, and, mysteriously, no forwarded mail is showing up at my new address.

So I call back, get the supervisor, and this time I am told… ready for this? “We don’t forward mail from personal mail box services.”.

Excuse me?? Say..what???

That’s right. “We don’t forward mail from personal mail box services. It’s against our policies.”

After coming down from the ceiling (going to have to spackle and paint those nail gouges now), I called the national USPS customer service line, and complained, whined, bleated, and b*tched, all quite loudly. After being put on hold several times while the admittedly sympathetic CS rep checked things out, she came back to tell me, very apologetically “We don’t forward mail from personal mail box services. It’s against our policies.”

Did *you* know that if you use a PMB, and you then change addresses, the post office *will not forward your mail*?????

Now you do.

I see a serious legal issue here, because PMB providers are competition for the USPS in terms of renting mail boxes.

In the meantime, I, and all of those others in my same situation, are essentially threaded. All of my mail to the old
address is simply being returned to sender!!

HOW can it be that this is not common knowledge?

I have also called our local MailBoxes Etc. (now “The UPS
store”), and they not only confirmed this, but also acknowledged that they don’t tell customers about it if they don’t ask!!!
But they do have a service where they will forward your mail for you – of course, for a fee.

Quite a sweet little deal going on both sides: MailBoxes Etc. – you can check out any time you like but you can never really leave. And the USPS: use our competitor, and we simply won’t deliver your mail at all for you.

“We’re the postal service – we do it to you.”

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  1. I’m having a similar problem. The military moved us to Germany and there we used the CMR system of the USPS. The USPS in our hometowns forwarded our mail to us without issue.
    3 years later, we moved back to the USA. Now the USPS refuses to forward our mail back to the US. It took them a month to return my change of address form with a note stating they won’t forward my mail.
    I called for an explanation and was rudely told that I should’ve changed my address ahead of my move. Here is the thing, we didn’t have an address when we moved. We found a home after we moved, like many coming from overseas or waiting on military issued housing. The USPS rep tells me that I should have had my mail changed to a friend/family’s address. Really? So we can pay USPS to ship a big box of my mail?
    I contacted the CMR overseas. They told me to just write their address on the outside of a change of address form. I did that last month and yesterday the TX postmaster sent that back. They never sent it to the CMR it was addressed to. I don’t see how that’s legal. Thankfully, I mailed out a separate letter to the CMR, explaining what is going on. With any luck, that reached it’s destination.
    Now, I’ll avoid using the USPS whenever possible. All of my bills are online e-statements. I’ll ship packages via UPS or Fed-ex when available.

    Comment by Laura — March 9, 2013 @ 10:38 am

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