Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: Itza on July 10, 2012, 02:39:46 PM

Title: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 10, 2012, 02:39:46 PM
... they still send post for you to your parentsí house!

B/G I havenít lived with my parents in 21 years and, despite giving my address to all of my relatives, it seems some of them have decided itís more convenient to give Christmas cards to my parents to pass on to me, either directly or posting it through their letter box.

Iíve been living in the same town as my parents and these relatives for 17 years and just half a mile from my parents for 14 years. I suppose these relatives do this to save themselves either time, effort, money or all three, under the assumption my parents and I will see each other over Christmas. End B/G
 
Now, here comes the problem. We are moving out of the area and I will, of course, let everyone know our change of address but I suspect that these relatives will continue to give my parents cards for me. Additionally, recently in the UK, the price of postage increased so I see more relatives doing the same as the others! I donít want my parents to incur the financial burden of posting these cards onto me since I doubt weíll be seeing each other every Christmas.

I've suggested to my mother that if anyone tries to give her a card for me directly, that she is to refuse to take it saying that we're not seeing each other this year. I said to her that it doesn't matter if it's true or not, to say it anyway lest agreeing once sets up a precedent in the relativeís mind.

As for the ones that are posted through the letterbox, Iíve asked her to open them for me and to let me know who theyíre from so I can contact the senders directly and give them my new address (again) but as for the wording, Iím not sure what to say exactly.

Does anyone have any better suggestions of how to deal with this situation when it happens? How would you address this with people? Would you let them know they're imposing a financial burden on your parents?

Many thanks!
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Kaypeep on July 10, 2012, 02:43:35 PM
I would make a point to contact the repeat offenders and pointedly ask them to please stop sending your mail via your parents.  I'd remind them that the cost of postage has gone up and it's not fair for your parents to have to pay to re-send things, and it's not fair that they've wasted their own time and efforts having to remember to bring you mis-directed mail.  In other words, I'd let them people know they are adding to your parent's burden and it's really unfair. 
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: VorFemme on July 10, 2012, 07:03:48 PM
Military spouse - we moved often.  I started a habit of sending my Christmas cards out EARLY the years we moved, so I could include the new address on the envelope, inside the card, and in the holiday news letter (so three times - envelope, card, and enclosure). 

There were at least a couple of times when other family members also sent their cards early and our change of address crossed in the mail with their card (birth announcement once, a move on someone else's part, and an announcement of some other kind - possibly a change in who was hosting the family get together at Christmas that year - I forget).
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Harriet Jones on July 10, 2012, 07:25:15 PM
I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Bluenomi on July 10, 2012, 07:51:04 PM
I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?

That's what I'd be tempted to do. The only problem is the OP's parents might cop some flack from relatives for not passing them on.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on July 10, 2012, 08:12:46 PM
I get this from my relatives because I've never married.  Therefore, I still belong to my father despite the fact that I've maintained my own household for 23 years a 2 hour drive away.  I just don't get invited to things and I get yelled at because I didn't show up to something I didn't know about.  They have the right address, they refuse to use it, I give up.

Saves me money!  My dad just does the Return to Sender thing in the rare event I get a separate invitation.  Most of the time I'm tacked onto my parents' invitation as an afterthought.  I got hollered at for not going to my great niece's wedding.  I haven't seen her since she was 7 weeks old, she wouldn't know me if I stepped on her!  I don't even know what she looks like.  I don't think she missed me, do you?   :P

Kaypeep has a great idea if they're sane, that coud work.  Failed miserably for me. 
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 11, 2012, 01:48:24 AM
I would make a point to contact the repeat offenders and pointedly ask them to please stop sending your mail via your parents.  I'd remind them that the cost of postage has gone up and it's not fair for your parents to have to pay to re-send things, and it's not fair that they've wasted their own time and efforts having to remember to bring you mis-directed mail.  In other words, I'd let them people know they are adding to your parent's burden and it's really unfair.

Yes, Iíd like to let them know how their actions would affect my parents. I wasnít sure if it was rude to do that.

Military spouse - we moved often.  I started a habit of sending my Christmas cards out EARLY the years we moved, so I could include the new address on the envelope, inside the card, and in the holiday news letter (so three times - envelope, card, and enclosure).

That is on my Action Plan. What I also plan to do pre-move is contact people I have Ďinstantí access to, to let them know of our move and our address be it in person, via text message, via email or via Facebook. So, at least those in that wave of notifications will know prior to Christmas. Some of the culprits are actually in that wave.

I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?

Not in this case, Iím afraid. Whatís happening is that some people are visiting my parents and giving them two cards: one for my parents and one for me and asking my parents to pass mine on to me. Iíve asked my mother to refuse these cards saying theyíre not seeing me this year. The other people are personally delivering the cards with just names on envelopes (no postal address) and plopping them through my parentsí letter box, therefore no face-to-face interaction so my parents cannot refuse to pass them on and also no return address so no change to do the RTS/NATA.

I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?
That's what I'd be tempted to do. The only problem is the OP's parents might cop some flack from relatives for not passing them on.

Yeah, thatís why Iíve given my mother permission to open the cards that have been plopped through their letterbox so she can tell me who theyíre from and I can re-contact them to remind them again of my new address.

I think I remember reading something about your case Lorelei Evil. Itís horrible that you get yelled at for not turning up to things they canít be bothered sending you invitations to directly. Itís shocking that it still happens after 23 years. At what point, do you think, we can put it down to their laziness?
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Stormtreader on July 11, 2012, 05:36:42 AM
Get some perforated sheets of address sticky labels printed up and give them to your parents.

Then when people try to hand them your card, have them hand over one of the sticky labels and say "oh, some people didnt get the change of address for Itza, if you use this label and pop it into the post then itll find its way to the right house".
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: sammycat on July 11, 2012, 08:24:33 AM
Get some perforated sheets of address sticky labels printed up and give them to your parents.

Then when people try to hand them your card, have them hand over one of the sticky labels and say "oh, some people didnt get the change of address for Itza, if you use this label and pop it into the post then itll find its way to the right house".

Excellent idea!
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: artk2002 on July 11, 2012, 06:47:31 PM
I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?

That's what I'd be tempted to do. The only problem is the OP's parents might cop some flack from relatives for not passing them on.

Then they give the flak right back: "It would have gotten to her if you had addressed it to her, at her address as she has asked."
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: JonGirl on July 12, 2012, 05:38:32 AM



I still get this sometimes too. How annoying.
I say to my parents, "If nobody can be bothered sending to my proper address, I can't be bothered attending"
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: secretrebel on July 12, 2012, 07:42:41 AM
I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?

Another option is for your parents to write your new address on the envelope (or keep some sticky labels handy). The UK post office will redeliver without additional charge on that basis.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: ggreg7 on July 12, 2012, 03:14:31 PM
My mom has been in the hospital and then moved to a rehab facility (broken hip).  My sister and I have been handling mom's mail and things while she's been away.  We were going through the mail the other day and I couldn't believe how many things still arrive at my mom's house addressed to the two of us...I haven't lived there for 16 years and my sister moved out around ten years ago.  We are lucky that 99% of it is junk and can be discarded but still it was just insane.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: CaffeineKatie on July 18, 2012, 07:37:02 AM
I like all of the suggestions, but what about having your parents say (esp. to repeat offenders) "We will be glad to give this to her WHEN WE SEE HER, probably in "date-six-months-from-now"...you don't mind if she gets it that late, do you???"  That puts it back on them.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 20, 2012, 11:32:19 AM
Get some perforated sheets of address sticky labels printed up and give them to your parents.

Then when people try to hand them your card, have them hand over one of the sticky labels and say "oh, some people didnt get the change of address for Itza, if you use this label and pop it into the post then itll find its way to the right house".

Thatís a really good idea. I was just going to give my parents some of the ĎWe Have Movedí sheets I made on the computer to hand to them relatives but thatíd still mean the person stood there would have an envelope to address so, next week, when the adhesive labels I have become reunited with the printer my husband has, Iíll print some off and send them to my parents as well as the sheets Iíve already given them. That way, they can give the relative the label for the envelope and the sheet for their address book.

Also, Iíve stressed to my parents that when the relative tries to hand the card over, they must not take it off them because the relative might then assume at that point that my parents will take responsibility for paying postage. I know that seems like an interesting assumption but I think in some cases, people donít realise what theyíre really asking until the Ďhot potatoí (the hot potato being responsibility for something) is given back to them.

I like all of the suggestions, but what about having your parents say (esp. to repeat offenders) "We will be glad to give this to her WHEN WE SEE HER, probably in "date-six-months-from-now"...you don't mind if she gets it that late, do you???"  That puts it back on them.

Kind of like:-

Relative: Hereís your card... and, would mind giving this to Itza, please?
Parents: Oh, Iím sorry, weíre not seeing Itza this Christmas but weíre planning on seeing her next year sometime, maybe around June. Iíd be more than happy to give her then if you like?
Relative: Huh? What? No, itís a Christmas card.

It would be interesting if theyíd then dare to ask my parents to post it for them with their own card, thereby increasing my parentsí postage costs.

I don't know if this would work in the UK, but can you ask your mother to write "Return to Sender/ Not at this address" and send it back without having to pay return postage?
Another option is for your parents to write your new address on the envelope (or keep some sticky labels handy). The UK post office will redeliver without additional charge on that basis.

Iím afraid none of these suggestions would work in this case. A couple of relatives are giving my parents the cards in person and therefore can be told but some other relatives donít deliver the cards using the postal system but instead plop the cards through my parentsí letterbox themselves. So, not only do they not have a return address on the card (we donít know who theyíre from till theyíre opened), they donít have postage either. So we canít use the postal system to return it to them or forward it to me without my parents incurring postage which they really shouldnít be paying for anyway.

With this in mind, itís finding a polite way to say:-

1) Hey! I donít live there anymore; I already gave you my new address, here it is again,

and

2) Stop expecting my parents to pay your postage; theyíre retired and canít afford it!
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Minmom3 on July 20, 2012, 08:28:18 PM
2) Stop expecting my parents to pay your postage; theyíre retired and canít afford it!

Clipped for brevity's sake!

OP, could you give your parents a book or two of stamps in addition to the address stickers?  So, yes, your parents would have to do a little finger work, but you'd have given them the supplies with which to do that work, and it wouldn't cost them any money???  Retraining extended family can be awfully difficult, and giving supplies to your parents just sounds a lot easier than anything else.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 21, 2012, 03:48:27 AM
2) Stop expecting my parents to pay your postage; theyíre retired and canít afford it!

Clipped for brevity's sake!

OP, could you give your parents a book or two of stamps in addition to the address stickers?  So, yes, your parents would have to do a little finger work, but you'd have given them the supplies with which to do that work, and it wouldn't cost them any money???  Retraining extended family can be awfully difficult, and giving supplies to your parents just sounds a lot easier than anything else.

So, I pay these relatives' postage instead?  :o

I don't think my parents should pay these relatives' postage and I don't think I should either.

Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: CuriousParty on July 21, 2012, 07:40:17 AM
2) Stop expecting my parents to pay your postage; theyíre retired and canít afford it!

Clipped for brevity's sake!

OP, could you give your parents a book or two of stamps in addition to the address stickers?  So, yes, your parents would have to do a little finger work, but you'd have given them the supplies with which to do that work, and it wouldn't cost them any money???  Retraining extended family can be awfully difficult, and giving supplies to your parents just sounds a lot easier than anything else.

So, I pay these relatives' postage instead?  :o

I don't think my parents should pay these relatives' postage and I don't think I should either.
I agree, Itza - at this point it seems like plain laziness on the part of some people, at least. how much of a pain would it be for your parents to "pop" the letterbkx cards right back in the offenders' own boxes, perhaps with a note and copy of the sheet/label "so sorry you didn't get Itza's updated address, we won't be seeing her until much later in the year! Here's a label for this card and a reminder for your book!"
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 21, 2012, 10:18:11 AM
2) Stop expecting my parents to pay your postage; theyíre retired and canít afford it!

Clipped for brevity's sake!

OP, could you give your parents a book or two of stamps in addition to the address stickers?  So, yes, your parents would have to do a little finger work, but you'd have given them the supplies with which to do that work, and it wouldn't cost them any money???  Retraining extended family can be awfully difficult, and giving supplies to your parents just sounds a lot easier than anything else.
I agree, Itza - at this point it seems like plain laziness on the part of some people, at least. how much of a pain would it be for your parents to "pop" the letterbkx cards right back in the offenders' own boxes, perhaps with a note and copy of the sheet/label "so sorry you didn't get Itza's updated address, we won't be seeing her until much later in the year! Here's a label for this card and a reminder for your book!"

So, I pay these relatives' postage instead?  :o

I don't think my parents should pay these relatives' postage and I don't think I should either.

I'll ask my Dad as he likes to go out on his bicycle every day so he may be willing to do that.

It'd only work if two cards from the same person arrive through my parents' letter box: one for my parents and one for me so when they open theirs, they'll be able to tell from the same handwriting who it's from.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Dindrane on July 21, 2012, 10:34:05 AM
You know, I'm not sure if you'd want to try this this year (it would depend upon how fed up you are, I'd imagine).  But it would be entirely reasonable for your parents to just not open or pass on mail addressed to you if they don't know who it's from.

That would only work as retraining if the relatives who won't send things directly to you ask after the Christmas card at one point, so that you can say, "What Christmas card?  I haven't gotten one from you."

With the stamps someone else suggested, I don't think the suggestion was leaving stamps to mail the cards to you, but rather leaving stamps to mail the cards back to the relative in question.  It's an expensive thing to do for sure, but I think it will be important to return mis-addressed mail to people to drive the point home that they can't use your parents as messengers.  If your parents are able to drop letters off to these relatives, though, that's a cheaper way of accomplishing the same thing. :)

I think part of your problem is that a precedent has already been established in which your parents deliver other people's mail to you.  Since you've been nearby and they probably saw you often, it probably seemed like less work to just pass things on to you, rather than anyone trying to change the relatives' behavior.  So you're not starting from a neutral place in your effort to get people to mail things directly to you -- you've already got a precedent you don't like established, and you have to work to get rid of it before you'll see any changes.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: TootsNYC on July 21, 2012, 11:03:53 AM
My MIL solved this problem by telling people, "You need to send the mail directly to Joe, or call him yourself to tell him about the holiday dinner. He's a grownup now, he doesn't live here. It's not fair to ask me to remember to pass on your letters or your messages. You have his address and his phone; he and his wife gave it to you at the wedding."

You also can call every relative who does this and say, "I'm going to ask you to remember to send my mail directly to me. It's not fair to ask my parents to have to forward letters or messages to me. It's not fair to ask them to spend on the postage, or to spend the brain power to remember to tell me. If it's too much money or trouble to send my Christmas card directly to me, then maybe you shouldn't send them at all."

In the U.S., a person can simply write on the front of the envelope, "Return to sender, not at this address" and the post office will send it back. Of course, you run the risk that the post office will decide that the PARENTS don't live there anymore. (We can also write in the new address and stick it back in the box to be forwarded, on the same postage, by the post office.)

For any instance in which someone just writes your name inside the card, or includes the card in one envelope, tell your parents to just throw it away.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: blarg314 on July 21, 2012, 08:47:11 PM

A simple approach is for your parents to keep the mail as it comes in, and give it to you whenever you visit. If they get something handed to them in person, they can say "Thanks, we'll give it to her the next time we see her."

If the mail were important, they'd be willing to mail it to you, rather than to a third party. If you miss things like shower invitations, they'll learn, and if they don't change their habits, your parents aren't put to the expense of forwarding stuff.

If your parents object to doing messenger duty, then it's their place to stand up to their relatives.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: CuriousParty on July 21, 2012, 10:05:55 PM

I'll ask my Dad as he likes to go out on his bicycle every day so he may be willing to do that.

It'd only work if two cards from the same person arrive through my parents' letter box: one for my parents and one for me so when they open theirs, they'll be able to tell from the same handwriting who it's from.
Clipped for brevity.

In some cases they would, but since it's not going thru the mail they could just return the opened envelope with the note. If the card-senders complain about having to find/use another envelope - well, I guess that's more incentive to mail it correctly in the first place, hmmmm?
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Giggity on July 22, 2012, 07:23:21 PM
Why don't your parents just say "No, we're not in charge of that, you need to send it to her address, which is blah blah blah"?
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 23, 2012, 01:44:33 AM
Why don't your parents just say "No, we're not in charge of that, you need to send it to her address, which is blah blah blah"?

They can only do that with the face to face relatives, not the swoop and drops.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: JadeAngel on July 23, 2012, 02:47:49 AM
You know, I'm not sure if you'd want to try this this year (it would depend upon how fed up you are, I'd imagine).  But it would be entirely reasonable for your parents to just not open or pass on mail addressed to you if they don't know who it's from.

I don't think it would be at all unreasonable. In fact if people passed on unstamped mail to my parents I would just tell them to assume they they were meant to give it to me next time I saw them. So just put it in a box and next time I come down for Christmas, which may not be for another year, i'll sit down and sort through it then.

Then if people say didn't you get my... you reply 'No, I never saw it, perhaps it was lost in the mail?' and they reply 'Oh no we gave it to your parents to pass on to you' you can cheerfully reply that the costs of passing on all that mail was getting a little too high so you told Mum and Dad to just hang onto it until they saw you next so that's why you never got it'

I agree with posters who said that the precedent has been set and is hard to break, but it has to start sometime and the big move might be the right time to begin retraining that if it's important that you get it they need to stop using the Mum&Dad postal company...

One disclaimer though; I would tell my parents that if there was anything that looked important - official mail or an invitation to a family party or wedding, that they should pass it on to you (and maybe leave them with a secret book of stamps especially for that purpose and no other so that nosy relatives don't start going 'Oh use one of the OP's stamps, she won't mind!') just so you don't miss anything important.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: fluffy on July 26, 2012, 03:37:51 PM
Do you send out your own Christmas Cards? If so, I'd make it a point to send them out on the early side, with the return address written in nice, big letters.

I had a problem with people assuming that I'd changed my last name when I got married. So, when I sent out our Christmas Cards that year, I made sure that my last name was on the card and the envelope. :p We got a ton of cards that year, and they all had my real name on them. :D

Your relatives probably think that they're doing something nice by giving you a card and not thinking about the burden that they're putting on your parents.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on July 28, 2012, 04:00:16 AM
Yes, I send out my own cards and also send them out early.

I have adhesive labels (for when I lived at my old address) that I would place on the back of the envelope. I'll get some more for my new address.

I also enclose a letter with my address. People have had absolutely no excuse not to use my address and will have no excuse to use my new one. They have been given my old one all the time and I'll give them my new one all the time, too.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: TootsNYC on July 30, 2012, 10:14:40 PM
Yes, I send out my own cards and also send them out early.

I have adhesive labels (for when I lived at my old address) that I would place on the back of the envelope. I'll get some more for my new address.

I also enclose a letter with my address. People have had absolutely no excuse not to use my address and will have no excuse to use my new one. They have been given my old one all the time and I'll give them my new one all the time, too.

Get new labels. Put them on the INSIDE of the card, near the signature. Write just above the label: "new address--please use for all correspondence"

You can also send out postcards now announcing your new address, and including a similar line: "please send all mail to me directly at:"

I think you might not have as much trouble as you think, because people will know that your mom and dad can't just hand it to you tomorrow.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: Itza on August 06, 2012, 11:14:32 AM
Yes, I send out my own cards and also send them out early.

I have adhesive labels (for when I lived at my old address) that I would place on the back of the envelope. I'll get some more for my new address.

I also enclose a letter with my address. People have had absolutely no excuse not to use my address and will have no excuse to use my new one. They have been given my old one all the time and I'll give them my new one all the time, too.

Get new labels. Put them on the INSIDE of the card, near the signature. Write just above the label: "new address--please use for all correspondence"

I shall make sure to do that to hopefully drive the point home.

You can also send out postcards now announcing your new address, and including a similar line: "please send all mail to me directly at:"

I think you might not have as much trouble as you think, because people will know that your mom and dad can't just hand it to you tomorrow.

Already did the bolded, unfortunately sent them off before your subsequent suggestion.

Fingers crossed the recent hike in postage won't make people think my parents passing things onto me is the easy option.
Title: Re: When they know your address but...
Post by: miranova on August 15, 2012, 05:08:34 AM
Honestly I would not spend any time, effort, or money trying to retrain people who stop by and physically put cards for you in your parents' mailbox.  They know you don't live there, they have been given your address, they are deliberately choosing not to use it.  I think I'd start telling my parents that they can throw things like that away.  Or, if they wish, let it sit in a drawer unopened and getting dusty until you see them 6 months later.  I mean really, do you absolutely need these Christmas cards?  Just ignore them.  Then if someone asks you can honestly say you didn't get a Christmas card, because you didn't. 

There is no way I'd be going out of my way to send them more and more and more reminders of where I live.  They already know that you don't live with your parents, and they don't care and can't be bothered to put something in the actual mail.  Just ignore their correspondence.