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What viable options exist for mail handling?

Mail handling today is big business.

For year now, UPS stores have ridden a fantastic wave of success — but some UPS store franchisees are charging over $400.00 per year with no real ceiling in sight — and consumers have no recourse whatsoever if they are the victim of one of these unforeseen rate increases.

If you should become the victim of what you consider to be unreasonable rate increases and want to change your UPS address to another one, you will quickly learn that because the United States Postal Service that provides mail forwarding services [and also require you to register, with a special form, your UPS address, you cannot process or convince USPS to process a ‘Change of Address’ form.

You’re on your own and must notify whomever it may concern of your new address.

One consumer complained recently that when she went to a local UPS store to ship two items, one with the Amazon label already on it.
The Amazon kiosk she hoped to utilize was out of order. Worse, she needed a better box to ship one of her items.

She was flabbergasted to discover that for the box in question, the UPS store wanted over $90.00. She was able to purchase a box from a neighboring store for less than $5.00.

It gets worse.

Two items worthy of note: It’s highly likely that this item had to have been removed from the inventory by someone that worked for UPS. It was in a box that showed the item inside to be a sewing machine and it happened at Christmas.

The item she shipped that already had the Amazon label somehow disappeared in transit — but USP store personnel advised [insisted] they had no way to track the package because the kiosk that would’ve proven the item shipped from their store was out of service on that particular day. No one warned her that this could happen, nor suggested that she might choose a different day to mail the package back to Amazon.

These are not consumer friendly policies — but they’re so common today as to be considered ‘run-of-the-mill’ and prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these companies cannot truly be relied upon to comply with commonly accepted practices when it comes to customer relations.

The lesson learned from this incident is that one must REFUSE to leave any item at UPS or any other site without proper documentation from store personnel PROVING the item was TURNED OVER FOR MAILING from a specific location on a specific date and time.

No one is answerable and this opens the door for theft of whatever item might be intended for transit. While there are multiple sites advertising assistance in handling such claims, at the ‘end of the day’ you will find yourself at the mercy of UPS — and there will be no sympathy from a team that handles loss complaints all day every day.

UPS is widely known for refusing to honor insurance claims [there are many stories up online regarding this particular issue] so even if you’ve purchased insurance via UPS, it’s highly doubtful you will be able to recover your loss.

Instead, research every possible avenue if a package has been lost and try to document the last place the item was tracked.

One individual was the victim of both a lost package intended for him and a misdirected package delivered to him that he had not ordered.

When he called the intended recipient to notify them that he had received their item by mistake, they reported to him that they had been receiving packages intended for his address!

He was able to retrieve an item valued at over $15,000.00 — one he had insured — only to discover UPS could not discern the location of the item and would not pay for the loss. [The address UPS tracking showed as a delivery address for the package did not, in fact, exist.

Consumers need to know their important mail will be able to be forwarded in the event of an unexpected move or an issue with delivery.

It’s important to know that if you ‘lose’ your box at one of these sites, you CANNOT put through a simple ‘Change of Address’ form at your local USPS — your municipal Post Office.

The Post Office sees UPS stores [and other facilities like it] as competition. Change of Address forms are for patrons of USPS only — and any effort to utilize them to facilitate the proper forwarding of your mail will absolutely be thwarted.

To most consumers, this is an area where they’re blindsided by an issue they didn’t even know existed — primarily because they had to provide a USPS form 1583 in order to establish any mail receiving site anywhere in the US.

If, in fact, consumers must utilize USPS forms and abide by USPS rules wherever they establish mail service, why should they not be able to utilize USPS Change of Address forms when changing addresses? But current regulations, it’s impossible to do so — and this is an issue of which consumers need to be aware so they do not establish mail service with a company that may or may not play by the conventional rules so many of us take for granted.

Correcting addresses is a process that can take weeks if not longer to properly facilitate and establishing a mailing address should be undertaken with precautions to ensure proper handling. Without such safeguards, hard copies of documents that must be mailed can be in great jeopardy.

We do have affordable alternatives for most cities and towns that we cannot post within this article because they vary from place to place and state to state. Our lists can be obtained by calling our toll free number for details.

Others complain that they’re disappointed with the lack of consistency in service, availability (some have ridiculous hours of operation) or even the lack of professionalism at the stores offering mail services.

Will you get your bill on time? How much will you be charged if you don’t respond as quickly as necessary to prevent additional charges?

Can there be additional charges for other services rendered? Might they object to the number of packages you receive or the size of the packages or even the frequency with which you pick them up?

Do they have a standard ‘TOS’ [Terms of Service] or do they just proceed as they prefer, with no rules, regulations or warnings provided? This is one area where the traditional ‘Mom & Pop’ stores have been known to leave the consumer in rather dire straits.

These issues, unfortunately, have become commonplace with consumers left with very few options depending on the city and the availability of alternative facilities there.

Can your agreement with them be circumvented or ignored, resulting in the loss of your box altogether? Believe it or not, this is an all-too-common scenario that has caused many consumers an unbelievable amount of work as well as stress.

With more Americans living on the road than ever, competent mail handling is key to being able to trust the receipt of mail and packages for later retrieval — with a modicum of hassle.

Using the alternatives we suggest, you will be able to rest assured you’ll be able to obtain your mail, consistently and reliably — without breaking the bank.