Sorry, let me apologize in advance. I'm slightly, well, not actually, I'm really ticked off at the "service" I've received from the U. S. Postal Service. Actually, it is a total lack of service that I paid good money for, over and above my tax dollars.
A couple of weeks before we closed on the house, I got my mail forwarding service in South Dakota set up, got my address and my "Box" number. Then I went to my local post office to get my change of address form sent in.
After standing in a crowded line handled by one and only one counter person, it was finally my turn. The postal clerk barely spoke English.
"I need to submit a change of address form, please" I said. The clerk didn't understand me. I repeated myself a couple of times until she understood. She handed me a printed card that said the office no longer accepted change of address requests, it had to be done on line at the listed Internet web address.
I went home, logged in and ended up paying $36 to a contracting company for the USPS to get my mail forwarded to our new address. Where does paying money to a contractor to get your forwarding address taken care of make the USPS remain solvent?
Fast forward to Saturday, our first forwarding of our mail came from our SD mailing company to my son's house. Opening the box, I found all the mail that was forwarded had a mistake in the address, the USPS contractor failed to put my box number on the forwarding labels. Fortunately, the mailing company looked us up by name and hand wrote the box number on each of the several dozen pieces of mail. Something I was glad to see, but felt bad that they had to do that extra step.
All the mail where I had sent in the new address myself (magazines, bank statements, credit card) were correct. One interesting piece of mail was from the Postal Service itself.
I opened the USPS envelope and it was a notice concerning my forwarding address. It listed my old address and my new address, but they didn't have the box number listed. The notice also said if my forwarding address was incorrect to immediately call the 800 number they supplied.
I waited to Monday morning to call, knowing there would be no one there over the weekend.
Of course, my phone call would be answered by the next available customer service representative. After almost 30 minutes of having that sentence imprinted forever in my brain by hearing it every 30 seconds, a real live person, masquerading as a customer service representative, answered.
I explained the notice I had received and I told her the forwarding address was incorrect. The rep said the only way I could fix it was to go to my local post office and submit another forwarding address request. I told her there was no way I could do that because: 1.) I was 3000 miles away from that post office and 2.) they did not accept forwarding address applications, they required it to be done on line. I asked if she could make the correction as it said in the USPS notice.
She said no, she was not allowed to make address changes, and advised me that I should call my post office back in Virginia. I said no thanks, and told her that she was absolutely no help whatsoever. Some customer service.
So, lets see, the USPS no longer accepts change of address forms, you have to do it online and pay a contractor. Then when they get the change of address information from the contractor, they pay someone to generate a letter, which must cost something telling you to check you new forwarding address and if it is incorrect to call a customer service 800 number, which must cost something to speak with a customer service rep to get the error corrected and said customer service rep is not allowed to make a correction.
Is it any wonder the Postal Service is losing money every year? They are paying people who can't help you, generating form letters costing money that are meaningless and contracting out services to companies as a cost saving measure who can't get things right and charge you for that service.
Sort of makes you yearn for the good old days of the Pony Express.
I certainly will go out of my way in the future to not use them every chance I get. I'll do more and more of my business on line.
Fortunately, the forwarded mail will become less and less as I make my new address known to the companies and people I need to continue to correspond with. I feel bad that my South Dakota mailing company has to pick up the slack from the USPS, but they know what good customer service is.
Okay, rant over. There were no four letter words used in the "resolution" of this problem. ;c)
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