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Old 07-25-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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Mail forwarding services

I know there's a thread around here somewhere on the subject, but I can't find it. General delivery seems to be a hit-or-miss proposition, especially with the smaller p.o.'s, so what about Fedex or UPS stores, if there's one in the area? Might be a bit more expensive but more reliable, possibly?
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:08 AM   #2
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We started off with getting a box at UPS and having them forward mail. They were very professional and accommodating, and you can call to have mail sent wherever you like. Our problem was that we like to roam and travel without reservations and firm plans. In order to have mail forwarded, you have to know where you are going to be. This required making reservations at places you had never been, and which more than once turned out to be places you would not choose to stay a few days. Cannot have mail forwarded to the state and national parks. We also found that 2-3 days Priority Mail does not apply in rural locations, when it can be 7-9 days and you are hanging around or coming back to get your mail. We dropped it after less than a year. And so, if you are going to be staying in one place, you can have all your mail forwarded there by the Post Office, simply by filling out a card. If you know where you are going to be staying, UPS will send your mail off to that address, but have it sent a week or so before you are going to arrive. We now have first class mail forwarded to a son who lives nearby, he looks at it and holds it for us until our return. Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

Upon further digging, I exchanged emails with UPS and Fedex customer service, and they do not provide anything like general delivery services unless you happen to have rented a box from one of their sites, which would only work in case you were staying in one location for a while. Which you could do at a P.O. as well.

So I guess my question now is, how reliable IS USPO General Delivery when you're travelling in less populated areas?
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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Well, our forwarding mail to the son does pretty well. It takes about a week for them to start receiving mail once we leave. It is sorted by machine, so once in a while something that should be forwarded is held instead. They hold things like 3rd class /catalogues, etc., until we get home and then the mailman just brings it to us. We know our mail carriers, though, don't know if you have a similar situation. We would not want to be gone for long periods without getting mail or having someone we trust look at it and open anything that seemed important. The forwarding to various places just wasn't working for us. Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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we have had good luck with general delivery. We have a friend pick up our mail and throw it in a priority mail envelope. We would then call and tell him where to send it too. No problem with most rural post offices, in fact we prefer them. There are exceptions, like Chicken Alaska where the mail only comes in by plane a couple times a week. I f you do want to move on you can leave forwarding instructions at the receiving post office.. Our Chicken mail went on to Moose Pass that way.

In recent years we have paid most bills online and the recurring ones that we can't pay online we pay in advance. Very few utilities will turn down extra money.

Our friend opens the few items that may be important and if they are he scans them and sends them as an E mail attachment. We probably have not had any actual mail forwarded in several years.

We are not full timers but are gone several months at a time

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Old 07-27-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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I have had a private mail box for 25 years .Privately owned mailing business have been thru three owners . In all those years have had a few snafus.Like the time our mail would got St. Girard before it came to us in Mexico.Same zip code.This is the address I use for everything I can call them at anytime and have them forward my mail by any means I choose ups ,fedex, or mail .I can also set up a recurring forward at set dates to set addresses I live them forwarding money if I go over they send me a bill.Stuff happens so always be prepared for the unexpected .Mail can sometimes take up to seven days no matter how shipped.experiance hoping for mail in 2 to 3 days had forwarded to small town middle of texas ,x-mas time mountains,COLD,Staying in parking lot.Seven days later it finaly shows up but that is only acouple of times in 25 years. So am happy with it.Am a fulltimer
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
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Since 1999 we have had a home in northern California where we base ourselves in the summer and a condo in southern California where we base ourselves in the winter. We spend loads of time on the road in our Airstream. We set up as many of the regular monthly bills as we could with automatic payment. Phones, electric, water, condo fee, and anything else we could. Have never had a problem with that. When we are north, any mail sent south gets forwarded, and the reverse. We have a friend at either end who picks up our mail who we contact by phone every once in a while to see of there are any important items that need to be forwarded to us when we are on the road. Unopened mail can be forwarded at no cost.

Automatic payments are great. Even if there is a problem with your phone or other utility bill, you must first pay it before they will make any adjustment anyway, so that's the way we prefer to go.

We pay our credit cards on line, as well as anything else that we can, including auto registration. On line we can see our credit card statements, find when they cut, and pay them the next day to avoid interest charges. The printed statements get mailed, and will catch up with us sooner or later. We have always managed to get the things we really need. The rest is trash anyway, so who cares.

Nearly all of our person to person contact is done by phone or e-mail.

We may see the day when the USPS goes the way of the Pony Express.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies.

I may have been a little imprecise in my post. I'm OK with getting my mail collected and forwarded. It's where to send it while traveling as a full-timer that has me concerned.

Bills I already do with Quicken, which of course makes Internet connectivity a necessity.

Other mail would be the issue. From the responses here, it doesn't seem to be a huge problem, but not all Post Offices handle General Delivery the same, is that right?
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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We use Good Sam Mail Forwarding and it works well, we just call them and havethem send our mail General delivery to the Post Office near where we are staying..
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:31 PM   #10
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Gen Delivery is the most used. We have used a small general store in nebraska for a ups delivery once There are options depending on where you are.It does depend on po rules for gen.del. pick up times ,hold tmes.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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I suggest you folks to check out Earth Class Mail (www.earthclassmail.com). They will scan and archive your mail for you to view online as pdf files, and they will also forward when you instruct them to. Much of my mail is junk, anyway. So it's nice to be able to specify each piece which one to be recycled, shredded, opened to scan, or forwarded. I think they now also have cheque depositing service.

They can also have your mail pieces packaged and forwarded via Fedex overnight, if you choose to.

Their service helps me greatly for my full-timing.
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