The United States Postal Service has a great change-of-address service … in theory that is. When you move they’ll forward your mail for a full year, for FREE! I couldn’t believe this when I heard it, because in Holland you pay €2.25 per week (after the first month) to have your mail forwarded, and that’s just inside Holland; if you move outside Europe it’ll set you back €9.25 per week. That’s quite expensive if you consider that USPS will forward regular mail and packages for a year, and newspapers and magazines for 2 months, totally free. When Amy moved to Holland her mail all got forwarded across the pond, it was great. Well, this time it is not exactly working out for us.
Since we moved at the beginning of February we have only received two pieces of mail correctly forwarded to our new address (forwarded mail has a yellow sticker), while dozens of other pieces of mail, addressed to our old address, continued to be delivered there. We’ve gotten into the habit of just driving to our old address to pick up our old mail.
I’ve called our Post Office about this problem three times in the last month and every time they verified that our data is correctly in the computer and they’ll assure that it will get fixed. But it is not getting fixed.
Last week a letter delivered at the old address had these two yellow stickers, stating “Return to sender” and “No forwarding order on file”:
That is worrying! Mail is also taking very long to arrive at the old address. We have some magazine subscriptions and before they were using our new address a few times we got two-week-old magazines delivered at the old address! Somehow mail that needs to be forwarded just sits somewhere for a few weeks and then still gets delivered to the old address. How do they manage that? Other mail is also taking very long, and there is even some mail that we’ve been expecting that never arrived, including important tax papers!
Last night I received an email from a company in Texas that tried to send me free coupons for participating in a contest and it was returned to them with an “Unable to forward” sticker. OMG, that is bad! How much other mail has been returned to sender?
We’ve now decided to cancel this backwards forwarding service and just continue to pick up old mail at our old address. Then at least nothing will get lost. I called USPS this morning but of course this couldn’t be canceled over the phone, so I’ve sent them a letter to cancel it. We’re very disappointed.
We have no more luck in Holland. We paid to have our Dutch mail forwarded for 6 months and mail continued to pile up at our old home. I don’t know what’s worse: paying for a forwarding service that doesn’t forward, or a free forwarding service that returns mail to sender. 🙁