I'm trying to remember how many times we've moved since we've been married. Last time I counted, it was eight times. Eight times that we've changed our address with the USPS since we've been married. If you count the times MacGyver and I have each moved after graduating from high school (including marriage), that number heads up into the 20s.
Twenty times (or more) that he and I have had to change our address with the USPS. More than twenty signatures on more than twenty different change of address forms, and never a problem.
We started packing out our old house on 1OCT. I wasn't sure when we'd actually wind up sleeping at the new house so I held off on submitting our change of address form until we were sure. It went in the mail on Thursday, 4OCT and was set to go into effect on Tuesday, 9OCT. Yet we stopped receiving mail on 1OCT. At first, I didn't really think about it until I received a notification that a check that had been mailed to me (yay for consignment sales!) had been returned as 'undeliverable'. And then we found out that MacGyver's absentee ballot had been returned as 'undeliverable' - all before the change of address was even put in the mail.
Originally, I had gone online to do our change of address that way but decided against that as they wanted my credit card for verification of identification and they wanted to charge me $1 for the processing. I balked at that idea - I don't trust the USPS to maintain security of my credit card number AND I see no point in paying $1 when I can walk the change of address form down to my mail box or drop it off at the local post office for FREE.
When I realized that there was an issue with our mail (we're now down 3 checks, 2 absentee ballots, three items I ordered online that have been returned as 'undeliverable' and a bunch of other things I do not know about), I went online and filed a request for an investigation. The woman that called me back was kind but basically told me I have to go into the local post office and talk to the postmaster to sort it out. Gee, thanks. Apparently, there's no way to check this situation out electronically. Guess I should have spent the $1 to do it online.
Then, today, in our mailbox at our NEW location, I get a notice from the USPS that our change of address request has been denied because "it did not bear a legible signature". I'm sorry...a 'legible signature'? Isn't that an oxymoron? Like 'jumbo shrimp' or 'military intelligence'? Who has a 'legible signature'? Isn't that why most places ask that you PRINT your name in addition to signing? And, if they can't accept our change of address request, WHY are we getting this notice in our NEW mailbox? It's not like either of our signatures have changed over the past 20 years. They both pretty much look the same as they did when we were signing our marriage license. These signatures were good enough to be accepted on no fewer than eight change of address requests over the past fifteen years but now they are unacceptable?
I have a feeling this is a tactic being employed by the USPS to force customers to fork over the $1 for the "privilege" of changing an address online. What if we don't have a credit card? Then what?
Needless to say, MacGyver will be in the post office tomorrow, raising a stink. I want to know where my ballot is. I want my checks. And I want to know WHO authorized the cessation of my mail service before I even submitted my change of address request...with the illegible signature.
And the USPS is raising postage rates...lovely.