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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Things Your Mail Carrier Won’t Tell You

Reader's Digest posted "13 Things Your Mail Carrier Won’t Tell You" and "11 More Things Your Mail Carrier Won’t Tell You".


To their lists I would add the following:

1. The entire approach to the mailbox should be clear of snow. If you've just carved out a notch, we still have to get out of the truck to reach the box. Parked cars, landscapers, movers, and garbage cans, especially on cul-de-sacs, also really slow us down.

2. The condition of your mailbox is important. It should have a decent handle, and should open and close quickly and reliably. It should be level so the mail doesn't slide out, and it should be the right height, 41-45" from ground to the bottom of the box. The house number should be on the box as well as the house, in big type. Reflective is nice, so you can see it at night as you approach. Also, a bigger box can save us a trip to the door for a larger parcel. Cluster box units should be in good repair and have working parcel locker keys.

3. If you live or work in a multi-unit building, the apartment or suite number is part of your address. Sorting is more difficult without it. If the carrier does not know or can't remember who you are, they can send the mail back endorsed as Insufficient Address.

4. If you have a bad bar code, the carrier has to key in the number by hand. Bad bar codes can be caused by smudging, covering, not enough or too much ink in the toner cartridge, affixing the bar code around the corner of a package, or even curving it around a tube!

5. If your mailbox is full, we can bring it back to the post office, hold it for 10 days, and then send it back as Unclaimed. The more mail there is in the box, the more it slows us down.

6. Notifying all senders of your new address saves a lot of time and paper. The automated system does not catch all the forwarding, so the carrier forwards first class mail, and discards bulk rate mail. And please, if you move, don't send letters using your old return address. Especially after 18 months, when they must go to the dead letter department!

7. Held mail must have an end date, from 3 to 30 days. Any longer than that is a temporary forward. And please use a hold form. Don't just leave a note in the mailbox!


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