Friday, September 23, 2016

Hold Mail Service Of USPS

If you're going to be away from home for a while, the your local post office can hold your mail to avoid an overflowing mailbox. Fine.

In the old days (and you can still do this), you went to the office and filled out a form (PDF). Someone on the show who has done this said the Postal Service doesn't validate the identity of the person who requests mail to be held. It validates only the identity of the person who comes to pick up the mail.

Government techies copied this manual system to the Internet.

You can go to https://holdmail.usps.com (or click on Hold Mail at the Postal Service home page, as shown below) and put a hold on mail delivery. Notice that I didn't say put a hold on your mail delivery. You can put a hold on mail delivered to anyone. This is true with the traditional system, too, but the Internet makes it worse, adding more anonymity and making the process easier. Too easy.



The agency site claims that it needs a name, address, and phone number to stop mail delivery. When tested, however, this turns out not to be the case. Requests with wrong names and wrong phone numbers were accepted, according to a listener who wrote in to the show. All you really need to know is an address.

And with the address, you can stop all mail delivery, not just mail to one person. Quoting from the Frequently Asked Questions: "All mail, regardless of name, will be held for the address entered. Submitting an online Hold Mail request once is all that is required to hold mail delivery for everyone at the address."

Don't have a computer? Simply call 800-ASK-USPS


Details About Hold Mail Service Of USPS:

A mailbox filled to overflowing with catalogs, bills and letters is a telltale sign that you are out of town and no one's checking on your home for you while you're away. If you're leaving town and you won't have a house sitter bringing your mail in for you, you can have the U.S. Postal Service hold your mail while you are away, then you can get all of your missed mail at once when you come back to town. The Postal Service will hold your mail for any trips lasting between three and 30 days.
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Online
STEP 1
Visit the USPS.com website as early as 30 days before your trip, or as last-minute as 3 a.m. EST the morning before you leave, and click on the "Hold Mail" link under the "Manage Your Mail" menu heading.
STEP 2
Enter your address in the provided fields and click on the "Check Availability" button to see if online mail holding is available in your area.
STEP 3
Fill in the dates you would like your mail to be held and choose whether you want all of your held mail delivered to you when you return home or if you'd prefer to pick up your mail at your local post office when you return.
STEP 4
Hit the "Submit" button and write down the confirmation number you receive. Use this number if you need to make any changes to your mail hold, such as cutting it short or extending it.
In Person
STEP 1
Stop into your local post office branch during business hours and ask for a "Hold Mail" form.
STEP 2
Complete the form and either hand it to your letter carrier or mail it back to your local post office.
STEP 3
Call the Postal Service at 800-275-8777 and ask to schedule a vacation mail hold over the phone.

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