Recently I stumbled into an article in Forbes about “How The Post Office Sells Your Address Update To Anyone Who Pays……”. (link above)
I got a little upset needless to say even frustrated ….
The title made the US Postal Service look like that ruthless guy who for money will do anything, even sell your new address!
The whole article was over 1,000 word. I don’t have any intentions to bore you with so much.
I will try to be short, precise and to-the-point:
The service for forwarding your mail exists with only one purpose: your convenience - consumer or business, and regardless of the fact that any forwarded mail costs extra money to the USPS, they provide such service at no cost what so ever.
1. “You fill out the change of address form with USPS and ….” - reads the article with a tone that makes you feel like the naïve dummy tricked by the Post Office. Let’s be fair - you file for the change of address because it’s much easier to fill out one form than notifying every single person or company who sends mail to you, whether sought or not! Example: A few months ago an old client sent us a check to the wrong address since we moved a year ago to a new office. Instead of having the client go through the trouble of stopping the check and issuing a new one, I just waited a few more days and the check arrived at my new office safe and sound.
2. In the article you can read that the US Postal Service does not disclose your personal information except to “mailers if already in possession of your name and old mailing address”. I don’t see anything wrong with this. Unless I moved because I don’t want anybody to find me anymore OR I don’t want to communicate with people anymore OR entered the witness protection program, in all those cases I WILL NOT FILL OUT THE CHANGE OF ADDRESS FORM! Other than that why would I be against somebody that used to know my old address to have my new one?
3. I want to clear up a bit of the information about what exactly USPS Sells and Why. Regardless of the unreasonable claims made by the gentlemen author of the said article, USPS actually sells the right to use their database to correct and update addresses so later on the mailers can prepare their mail in accordance with postal rules in order to obtain the automation discount, whether for first-class or standard mail. And this is only because otherwise the US Postal Service will have to forward the mail because they made the commitment already mentioned in point 1. So instead of forwarding millions of pieces for free, the mailers will actually print your new address and avoid all the waste and extra cost for USPS.
4. To all the people that are associating this service only with so called “junk mail”, let’s clear up one more fact - all of the above is valid for ALL mail including the letter from your aunt in North Carolina which you forgot to send the “We have Moved” card, your bank or credit card companies, and so on.
In conclusion of all of the above I can add that such services save billions to the US Postal Service each year which, let’s not forget, is a federal agency and actually saves you, the taxpayer, money!
I would like to say a bit more about the so Hated Junk Mail but it will be in my next article “Is it really sooo bad to get unsolicited mail?”