Author Topic: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it  (Read 5446 times)

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wolfie

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 05:36:02 PM »
The post office cares not one whit about me receiving this company's mail, they just want me to mark it undeliverable and toss it back into the outgoing mail. I'd love to just chuck it all in the trash, but that opens a big ole can of worms to do with federal law, so I'm not going to actually go that route. As far as checking with a lawyer, I AM a lawyer, and I'm pretty sure legally there's nothing I can do to make them fix this.  >:(

Really?  I know you can't open someone else's mail, but I never heard you couldn't throw it out.  After all its your address, and the addressee is unknown (to you, officially).  It is trash.

No - throwing it out is also considered tampering with the mail. I once opened a christmas card without realizing it wasn't actually addressed to me and once I realized it there was no way to put it back together nicely.  I asked the PO what to do with it and they told me I had to send it back - that throwing it out was a federal offense and I shouldn't have opened it in the first place.


This is my understanding as well. It should be noted, I am a family law attorney, so it isn't like the US Code is really my area of expertise. I found a section though that says that, "Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both." (18 USC 1701, for anyone who cares) I'd rather not taking my chances that throwing the mail away is going to be considered "obstructing" or "retarding" the passage of it.

I don't want this to get into a legal discussion and have the thread closed. Suffice it to say, I personally am not willing to throw away the company's (non-bulk) mail, so I need to find another solution.

I do like the suggestion to get a rubber stamp (or I was thinking I could just print labels). At least that would reduce the time I spend on this nonsense.

I also wouldn't black out the bar code thingy on the bottom. When I got mail for the previous owner I just wrote "does not live here" on it and sent it back - no problems for me. Not sure if it caused problems for the PO but if it did then it was an incentive to make sure they didn't get to me in the future.

MOM21SON

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 05:36:49 PM »
Interesting.  I would have tossed it after the first month,  but now that I know it is federal offense, my mail lady will not like me anymore.

I will just give it back.  right?  Oh, I find a red sharpie is far more effective.

Why do you black out the barcode?

norrina

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 05:40:22 PM »
I also wouldn't black out the bar code thingy on the bottom. When I got mail for the previous owner I just wrote "does not live here" on it and sent it back - no problems for me. Not sure if it caused problems for the PO but if it did then it was an incentive to make sure they didn't get to me in the future.

Trimmed the quote tree, because it got pretty long.

Blacking out the bar code has been recommended to me (actually, flat out ordered, at least once) by mail carriers in the past. As I understand it, the PO delivers at least in part based on the barcode, and if I don't black it out the mail will just end up right back at my address.

To respond to mrkitty's suggestion, I opened the po box before I had a dedicated office space, so the po box is the only address that a lot of my earlier contacts have for me, and is the address on about 300 business cards that I'd rather distribute than replace. So as annoying as the situation is, I'm not willing to change my address over it.



katycoo

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 05:43:21 PM »
Invest in a stamp that says "Not at this address".  It will make life much quicker.

MOM21SON

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 05:46:18 PM »
I am normally not a fan of "ask for a supervisor"  but maybe you should.  A PO box in my area is at the actual post office or a designated USPS store.  There may be something that is not being relayed properly. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2013, 05:49:45 PM »
Invest in a stamp that says "Not at this address".  It will make life much quicker.

I think getting a stamp made up is a good idea!  If you don't think you'll get any action from your letter, this might be a good compromise.  I'd make it up with your 'Return to Sender; addressee unknown', though, since once it's a stamp, it doesn't really matter how long your statement is.
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thedudeabides

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2013, 05:50:14 PM »
You can send a letter, but you can't force the previous user to comply, unfortunately. And since it sounds like he's in apinch himself, he's unlikely to care. I'd get a "Return to sender" stamp and carry on. I think it will be the most effective course of action.

TootsNYC

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2013, 05:59:37 PM »
Invest in a stamp that says "Not at this address".  It will make life much quicker.

My thought as well.

And if you don't bother with the bar code, and the post office sends it back to you even after you've stamped it, just toss it back at them. It will be less effort than blacking out all the bar codes, and you won't have to stamp it again!

And I would also ask for a supervisor at the postal-box place.


(also--this guy that isn't paying for it anymore? HE is not *using* it anymore either, so your title is not actually accurate)

gollymolly2

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 06:07:10 PM »
I think a letter is unlikely to be effective but it couldn't hurt to try. But I would simplify the letter - it reads a bit awkward/stilted, and I think people are more likely to respond favorably to friendly/casual requests. Just tell him you've been receiving a large number of bills addressed to him and ask him to change his address. It could be helpful to include the mail-forwarding form (or any other appropriate post office forms). Of course you shouldn't have to do that, but it may make life easier for you.

rose red

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2013, 06:07:38 PM »
I was going to suggest a stamp too.  I'd be nervous throwing out anything that's not obviously junk mail.

sevenday

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2013, 06:11:08 PM »
In this vein, you can make a cheap stamp out of foam. I've used craft foam, like the stuff you get at the dollar store or Walmart.  A more substantial option would be just to use a rubber eraser.  You know, the pink ones and such.    If you've already spoken to your post office folks and they refuse to withhold the company's mail, I would go ahead and send a registered letter to the company's address asking them to update their information to no longer include the post office box number that they are no longer paying for.  In the interim and going forward you can use the cheap stamp to label everything, bundle it together, and then once in a while drop off a wad at the post office.  You don't really have any other option that I know of. 

Luci

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2013, 07:02:43 PM »
You are done being helpful. If it isn't important enough for the USPS anymore, it isn't important for you. Just toss it, or shove to the postal worker and say 'thanks for disposing of this'.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 11:17:51 PM by Luci45 »

JeanFromBNA

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2013, 07:32:50 PM »
I think that the letter would be a waste of time, because under the circumstances, the owner of the company would prefer not to be found, so he's unlikely to help you out.

Having said that, you'd be surprised at how many vendors and clients fail to update a change of address.  We had a copier repairman show up at our old address across town, two and a half years after we'd moved.

Three years later, I still get mail directed to the businesses that used to have our current address.  Every week.  Mostly ads.

norrina

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2013, 08:31:45 PM »
After reading the replies, I think I am going to forego sending the letter. As others have pointed out, it is unlikely to be effective, and if I'm honest with myself I think I just wanted to make my displeasure known, which is probably not strictly "polite".

I did some google research, and I think I'm going to try asking the post office to file a "Form 3575z". http://about.usps.com/publications/pub8a/8atext_004.html It looks like it's one of those solutions that isn't necessarily volunteered, but I'm hoping requesting it specifically will get better results. (Though I'm not holding my breath. The previous residents at our apartment did a household change of address when they moved, and it just happens that we share a last name, which resulted in OUR mail being forwarded to THEM for months. The post office was adamant that the only solution was for the previous tenants to amend their change of address order, even though in the meantime our mail was disappearing into a black hole. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't be so concerned about getting in trouble for throwing away mail after all...)

If all else fails, I have some file labels that I can run through the printer with some red ink, or it looks like a stamp wouldn't be very expensive.



mrkitty

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Re: If you aren't paying for it, please stop using it
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2013, 09:28:48 PM »
Ok. So I consulted my DH after he came home tonight. His father worked as a regional postal manager for about 50 years, and DH's brother is a letter carrier to this day. DH says you might consider contacting the postmaster for your city (not to be confused with the station manager for your local post office, or God forbid, one of the window clerks (who cannot help you with this) and explaining the problem you're having. What they need to do is put in a mail forwarding/change of address for the guy since he didn't do it. YOU cannot do it yourself; it has to be done at the Postmaster level because the guy didn't request it himself. The fact that you have a forwarding (or rather, more accurately, his home address) or just any other address for them will help with this.

If this still doesn't work, then you might consider escalating the issue to the regional post office - usually the largest city in your area. They REALLY should be able to help you. But note, it's best to start with your local Postmaster, and if they don't fix it, then escalate. Meanwhile, bundle the mail together with a large rubberband and write or stamp or put a sticker on just the top one saying "Return to Sender/Addressee Unknown/Not at this Address" and deliver at your local window letting them know to stop putting this in your mailbox.

IF that still doesn't work, then there is one last thing to do, and it will be a pain in the tuckus for you as much as for them: take each piece of mail and go to the window clerk and tell them to stop putting mail in your box that belongs to someone else. Every. Single. Time. After about three or four times, they will get tired of this and fix it for you. It's the old "squeaky wheel gets the oil" kind of thing.

Oh, also, it's perfectly fine to throw out junk mail. Bills and private looking correspondence, not so much. But there is nothing that says that a recipient must receive junk mail.  ;) But either way, the above suggestions will likely solve your problem without you having to resort to anything you don't feel comfortable with.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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