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Old 06-29-2017, 03:52 PM
 
1 posts, read 330 times
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When you apply for redirect at the postal service, what is it that they actually do that makes them be able to have all mail with your name on it redirected? Any letter from any person anywhere can be sent to you, so in a sea of millions of letters, how do they catch all mail items with your name on it and redirect it?

Do they have a full scale tracking system that finds and controls all mail with your name and address and automatically sends for redirect?

And do they really redirect all your mail or do they sometimes miss some?

I just want to know because I am in a situation where I can't afford to have any mail mistakely sent to the previous address instead of the redirected one.

Last edited by motorela; 06-29-2017 at 04:27 PM..
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
571 posts, read 843,283 times
Reputation: 399
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorela View Post
When you apply for redirect at the postal service, what is it that they actually do that makes them be able to have all mail with your name on it redirected? Any letter from any person anywhere can be sent to you, so in a sea of millions of letters, how do they catch all mail items with your name on it and redirect it?

Do they have a full scale tracking system that finds and controls all mail with your name and address and automatically sends for redirect?

And do they really redirect all your mail or do they sometimes miss some?

I just want to know because I am in a situation where I can't afford to have any mail mistakely sent to the previous address instead of the redirected one.
I've always wondered that myself.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,964 posts, read 3,275,875 times
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I don't know, but their system seems to be pretty effective. I have moved between several states over the past 15 years, and the USPS forwarding always seems to work. To my knowledge, we have never missed anything important, though there might occasionally be a time lag.

And I wouldn't be surprised if they sell the new address information to third parties. As an example, my husband's alma mater (who he has never donated any money to or anything else that would have provided an address), always seem to have our current address, and not on the yellow forwarding label, either, but always as a new label.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:21 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,327 posts, read 11,047,644 times
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Not only are they able to track all your mail but for me they even e-mail me pictures of what kind of mail is expected each day.
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Elysium
6,581 posts, read 3,636,839 times
Reputation: 4568
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorela View Post
When you apply for redirect at the postal service, what is it that they actually do that makes them be able to have all mail with your name on it redirected? Any letter from any person anywhere can be sent to you, so in a sea of millions of letters, how do they catch all mail items with your name on it and redirect it?

Do they have a full scale tracking system that finds and controls all mail with your name and address and automatically sends for redirect?

And do they really redirect all your mail or do they sometimes miss some?

I just want to know because I am in a situation where I can't afford to have any mail mistakely sent to the previous address instead of the redirected one.
Once you go online or fill out the paper change of address form the names and address are entered into a database. If you have different names, such as changing after marriage or a business name you should also fill out a form for those names. About 20 years ago that army of postal workers which first processed the letter and routed it to the next clerk started to disappear being replaced by automation. So today the letter runs by the computer which reads addresses from the bottom to the top sees the address ask if there is a forwarded order, if yes checks the name and if it matches sprays on the barcode and the street address for the letter carrier and it is routed to the forwarded address.

Some classes of mail are still hand processed because they jam up the machines or do not fit. In that case you are at the mercy of the memory of the carrier at your old address that you have an active mail forwarding order to intercept the piece of mail and send it to his central forwarding unit (CFS) which ask the database and a sticker for the new address is created.

Now if your regular carrier is not there, your name or address had a slight error that the computer didn't recognize but an actual human does or if the regular has not memorized that you have an active forward then there are cards at his work station to check off against. Only to save time to process more mail this is rarely done. as a probationary carrier I was actually yelled at by my supervisor for trying to do that instead of prepare an extra set of catalogs for delivery on that day. And mail which goes through the automated system does not even go to your work station so you have no card to check against.

So in that case the mail probably gets delivered to your old address and we depend upon the honesty of the new resident to return it to us. That is one reason why we are not supposed to deliver to what looks like a vacant address, even though many carriers do rather than try to explain why they brought something back. With more people not checking mail daily sometimes a piece can sit for weeks until it is returned and the carrier can check to see if there is a forwarding order.

In some cases the commercial sender does not want their mail forwarded and the computer catches those pieces and the service sells that company your new address. Recently the service has changed the way they forward parcels, instead of sending them to the central forwarding because there are so many now supervisors. clerks, and light/limited duty carriers in their downtime use the station's computers to check the CFS database and print a forwarding sticker locally to be sent back to their local plant for processing.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Elysium
6,581 posts, read 3,636,839 times
Reputation: 4568
I guess I should add that when the forwarding order expires (a year or sooner for a temporary order), for a few months 1st and class mail it is returned to sender with the new address and then all the mail continues to go to the old address and you are depending upon the local carrier's memory again.

If you are in hiding you probably should pay the USPS for premium forwarding for a time period. That way you are not in the CFS database and changes of address are not sold nor does your new address go back to the sender for those weeks after the forwarding ends.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:54 AM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,230,180 times
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https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm
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