Mail delivery issues

in

To The Editor:
Does anybody out there remember when you could send a piece of mail with just a person’s name, city and state and the person would most likely get their mail? Not anymore.
This is a crazy high-tech world we live in and you’d think that sending/receiving mail would be uncomplicated and efficient.

I like using the Internet for researching products. You don’t have to travel from store to store for comparison shopping. Online retailers have preferred ways of shipping to you. Their options include USPS, FedEx, UPS. Now, here comes the rub. If you only have a physical address and not a PO Box, you are lucky. You will most likely always get your mail. If you happen to have a PO Box and a physical address, you are the unlucky one.

UPS and FedEx cannot deliver to a PO Box. Although UPS, in some locations, have their own post offices. Strange, but a UPS address is a street address with a box number. USPS will not deliver to a physical address if you don’t have a mailbox outside your house.

Herein comes the backwards technology. When doing on-line transactions, the databases of information are not shared by USPS, FedEx or UPS. They think they all have a better system. When I try to do an online purchase, in E-Bay for example, you can set up your own directory of where to have your purchase sent. That sounds pretty simple. NOT! If you click on the address where you want the purchase sent, the on-line vendor’s preferred shipper automatically scans this address for validity. If the shipper is UPS or FedEx they automatically scan the address lines. So, in anticipation of this, I tried to accommodate their systems and put both physical and PO Box in my address lines. Nope! So back to physical address only.

You will notice all those dots and dashes on your envelope or shipping label. That’s so bar code scanners (like in grocery stores) “automatically” route your mail. And when drivers are delivering your packages, they load the address through the bar code into their GPS devices and their route is all figured out for them.

Now on to the USPS system. Remember the motto, “through rain and snow” the mail will get through, but not necessarily delivered. If the USPS happens to receive mail that has only the physical address, you will most likely not have it put in your PO Box. Within 24 hours of receiving that mail the USPS will return it back to the sender. (USPS regulations)

Case in point. I was expecting some very important mail from my medical insurance; which required only my physical address. Guess what happened? Yep, they sent it via USPS, 24 hours later after receiving it, USPS sent it all back. There must be some way the post office can cross reference a name to a PO Box.

In trying to cover all bases, and upon suggestion of the USPS personnel, in my physical address, I tried adding my PO Box numbers as a suffix to my zip code. Many system scanners don’t accept that format in your physical address.

Anyway, a heartfelt “thank you” to the employees who really care to do their best to help me get my mail.

Thomas DeLong,
Margaretville