John Hancocks

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.

Until now.

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.


- hfs


Lisa said...

same story and i have moved 10 times.http://www.samplelettertemplates.com/request-letters/sample-change-of-address-request-letter.html/

Crista said...

I use my debit card and pay the $1 and call it a day. I've done it that way for a number of years, including the four houses in 5 years we've lived in at this duty station. Never had one problem. Sometimes the convenience fee, as they like to call it, is totally worth it.

However, given that the issue started before you even deposited the card in the mail, they wouldn't know what hit them once I got through with them...especially in an election year. Good grief.

Homefront Six said...

I won't use my debit card on line. Ever. I've had two friends lose every penny in their checking and savings accounts because their card info was compromised via something they did online. And yes, I know that banks will usually put the money back but it's a hassle I'm not willing to deal with.

If the USPS wants us to do COA strictly online, then they need to be up front and make that change completely. Don't 'suggest' that we use the online service and tout that it's "only" a $1 service fee. Be up front - this is the change and this is the fee you're going to pay. Much easier to stomach that way than this passive aggressive BS.

And I want to know WHO stopped our mail on 1OCT. Was it the mail person who saw us loading the trailer? Our rental agency? Some snafu at the PO? What? give me an answer.

Tracy S said...

I have found that the USPS has NO customer service whatsoever!
I work on our church office and we do a few bulk mailings every year. EVERY SINGLE TIME we do one we need to double check if any rules have changed and what time we can bring it into the post office. Seriously, our post office only takes bulk mail for like 3 hours/day. And the rules? they change continually. They complain they are loosing money hand over fist, but they make it almost impossible to use them! ugh.

DL Sly said...

Well, maybe if you had signed your name instead of 'John Hancock'......


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...