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jdarwin

USPS General Delivery

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Hello all. We’ve been FT since January and using Escapees’s mail service to forward to general delivery at the USPS office in the cities where we have lived. We’ve been in Eagle Nest NM for the past 4 months with no mail problems. We’re getting ready to move to Hobbs NM. I called the post office there and was told I had to complete a general delivery form AND it is only good for 30 days. I would then to purchase a PO Box. This is the first I’ve heard about this. We’ve had our mail sent to general delivery in 3 other cities without problems. Have others experienced this? Or is this a new Louis DeJoy thing?

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This has happened to me once or twice but I can't remember where. I believe the postmaster has the discretion and I guess a few excersize it.

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You should not have to fill out an application to get General Delivery Mail, but we have been to places where that is the standard.  When mail is received at a post office, and addressed to General Delivery, it should have a date placed on it, and held for 30 days regardless of whether the recipient has filled out an application, but some Postmasters just make up rules as they go along.

Edited by pjstough

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Be sure to check the services available for the local post office on the usps.com website.  Not all branches offer general delivery service.  Once you select a post office near where you will be, you can call to see if they have any "special" requirements.  If they do, there is often another post office branch not much further away that can accommodate you.  We've been doing general delivery for the past 5 years all over the country.  Sometimes it's just easier to drive to the next small town 5 or 10 miles down the road to avoid hassles.

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Did you tell them you were just passing through or that you'll be there longer-term?  We never had to fill out a form.  Go to the USPS web  site and look up the post office you're inquiring about and read about General Delivery.  You could also pick a different P.O. enroute.   

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I once used general delivery for almost a year in one place but that was 1974, might be different now.  Post office In Black River falls Wi told me 30 days max  for G D. Since I planned to stay the summer I got a box, When I left early I got a partial refund  and key deposit back.

Now Im traveling again currently in Ennis Montana area. TOld post office I'd be here two weeks and expect general D mail no problem here for 2 weeks

George the Greek 

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We had the postmaster in Medina, TX (an area that we visit twice year for various times) require us to fill out a General Delivery form, and question us rather aggressively regarding how long we would be in the area, why we didn't get a PO Box, etc. She was replaced a few years ago and we've never had the issue since. 

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jdarwin, in 17 years we have never had that happen. But have some friends that have run into that situation. Don't let guy hold you hostage. Check out some POs that are close and physically call that PO to verify info.

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"Could I please have the spelling of your name  and the Postmaster's name for my letter to my two senators and my Congressional Representative?"    

I never ask, I go to the USPS website, take the city I want to use and type in General Delivery for the street address, and ask for the zip code.  You can then look of the location for that post office zip code.  There is usually only ONE post office in each major city that accepts General Delivery, usually downtown.   Since our mail always comes Priority Mail with tracking, I have the tracking showing that was delivered to the post office.   

Had an interesting one last summer, the package was to be delivered to Centralia Post Office, but it ended up at the Chehalis Office (5 miles down the road) and was scheduled to be sent back to the Centralia office the next day.   They called the Chehalis office, told them to pull the package and that I was on the way.   It was sitting right there on the counter behind the window when I got there.   Both offices were extremely nice and offered apologies and I know it was mixed up coming out of the Seattle sorting area the night before.   Mistakes can happen, but being a mini-dictator like some local postmasters that isn't to be tolerated!

Started full timing in 2006.

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3 hours ago, pjstough said:

but some Postmasters just make up rules as they go along.

Is your Congressperson the only place one can complain about this? 

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At one post office we were old we'd have to get a box if we were going to be there more than 30 days. We weren't staying that long so it was not a problem for us. But, we did check out neighboring towns just in case.

Linda Sand

After checking my facts I confirmed that was Summerdale, Alabama, which is the closest post office to Escapee's Rainbow Plantation.  But that about ten years ago so things may be different there now.

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The post office address is 

2200 N ALTO DR

HOBBS, NM 88240-9998

I don’t know who I spoke with.  
 

John Darwin 

Edited by jdarwin
Added

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Is your Congressperson the only place one can complain about this? 

Your member of the House of Representatives, and your two Senators.  By the way , it is these people who keep the USPS from closing small offices. When the USPS wants to close small offices, customers complain to their Congresspeople and the Congresspeople not wanting to maybe lose votes, then get the Congress to keep these offices open, but without money to make it worthwhile.

 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Is your Congressperson the only place one can complain about this? 

Through the years, I have found that asking your Congressional & Senatorial representatives for help navigating an agency that is acting out often gets the best result.  Congressional staff love to do "constituent service", helps with re-election, etc.   And the staffs really love helping people try and get a bureaucracy give the service that is needed.   When my mom had trouble with the Ogden Center handling income tax returns, she turned to Sen. Magnuson (D-Washington) and every year after that she got a letter, with a carbon copy to the IRS Director, from his office asking if her return was handled properly.  This went on until he left office.     

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1 hour ago, sandsys said:

At one post office we were old we'd have to get a box if we were going to be there more than 30 days. We weren't staying that long so it was not a problem for us. But, we did check out neighboring towns just in case.

Linda Sand

After checking my facts I confirmed that was Summerdale, Alabama, which is the closest post office to Escapee's Rainbow Plantation.  But that about ten years ago so things may be different there now.

We didn't get a lecture like that at Summerdale, but did get a similar one at the Benson post office.  VERY angry about all these RVers coming through, which I thought was funny because that town really needs tourist money.   But I assume most of the snowbirds who spend any time do get a PO Box.   On the flip side, when we were in Benson Dave needed some blood work done, and we went to the hospital - they were happy for our business and told us how they looked forward to winter visitors.   

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5 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

We didn't get a lecture like that at Summerdale, but did get a similar one at the Benson post office.  VERY angry about all these RVers coming through, which I thought was funny because that town really needs tourist money.   But I assume most of the snowbirds who spend any time do get a PO Box.   On the flip side, when we were in Benson Dave needed some blood work done, and we went to the hospital - they were happy for our business and told us how they looked forward to winter visitors.   

That guy had multiple problems professionally and privately.  He was replaced after many complaints.

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14 hours ago, jdarwin said:

I called the post office there and was told I had to complete a general delivery form AND it is only good for 30 days. I would then to purchase a PO Box. 

We've only been asked to fill out a form for general delivery once -- years ago at a post office in Montana.  However, we've run into several post offices that will accept general delivery mail for only 30 days and then require you to get a post office box...Quartzsite being one of them.  

Several years ago, we had mail sent to Quartzsite.  When I picked it up, I got a lecture about how we'd only be able to get general delivery mail for 30 days and then would have to get a post office box.  I pointed out to the guy that they didn't have enough post office boxes for all the winter visitors that spend the winter there.  It fell on deaf ears.  Fortunately, for us, we were moving on and not getting anymore mail there.  But we've found over the years that the people at the Quartzsite post office are very unfriendly.

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Some times it's not just the postmaster. In my early full timing years I visited the same local area every winter. One of the parks I used set up mail boxes for all of the spots and required any mail sent to residents (many of them full time or long time) be sent to their address. Like a dummy I thought I would be coming back each year for a few so I gave the information required and utilized it as my address while there. Unfortunately I didn't think about telling the post-person I was leaving and when I returned the next fall I was refused  mail delivery. My prior box was overstuffed with "Junk Mail" and almost exploded when I opened it. I imagine it did the same when the back was opened for filling the other boxes too. I tried to apologize without success. Many calls to the local post office and the district post master were not productive at all. I finally wised up and stopped trying to talk to anyone and decided it wasn't worth it. I have run into locations on occasion that will not accept mail or packages but the majority are happy to accept the occasional one, which is what I try my best to do. 

Those who have the Amazon addiction have ruined it for many. I could go on and on about it but won't today. 

 

Rod 

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The park we use to stay at in Mesa had mailboxes at the curb at each site, and as people moved out, the park staff came through and robed the mailboxes closed.  When you moved in the following year, the mailbox was opened up as part of the setup process.    At a current location we put in a temporary change of address to our Escapees address for the summer.  When we return in the fall, there is a green card in each of the mail boxes (centralized in a covered area) and you fill it out to let them know you are back and drop it in the outgoing mail slot.   The park REMINDS people over and over to send in their temporary change of address during the spring as everyone is moving out.   Of course this year we didn't do that since we never left.  

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I called the Matagorda post office to see if they do general delivery and the answer is sorta. All the other places I've done general delivery just had you address the mail to my name, C/O General Delivery, but the post master (well, mistress) wanted me to mail her a letter with my ID before she can accept a general delivery letter. I had the mail sent to  Bay City, although it was  a bit further away from the Matagorda campground.

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2 hours ago, vermilye said:

I called the Matagorda post office to see if they do general delivery and the answer is sorta. All the other places I've done general delivery just had you address the mail to my name, C/O General Delivery, but the post master (well, mistress) wanted me to mail her a letter with my ID before she can accept a general delivery letter. I had the mail sent to  Bay City, although it was  a bit further away from the Matagorda campground.

That is some BS!  I can see requiring an ID to pick up General Delivery mail, but never would I ever mail an ID to a post office in advance.

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2 hours ago, pjstough said:

That is some BS!  I can see requiring an ID to pick up General Delivery mail, but never would I ever mail an ID to a post office in advance.

X2. I was always glad they asked for my ID before giving me mail but I would never send it in advance. Too risky in case of identity theft.

My best experience was in Parker, Arizona, where, if the lines at the windows got long, they would open a new window only for people pickup packages. It was nice not having to stand behind people buying stamps or sending certified mail. That's service!

Linda

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7 minutes ago, sandsys said:

X2. I was always glad they asked for my ID before giving me mail but I would never send it in advance. Too risky in case of identity theft.

My best experience was in Parker, Arizona, where, if the lines at the windows got long, they would open a new window only for people pickup packages. It was nice not having to stand behind people buying stamps or sending certified mail. That's service!

Linda

Might be nice if the Post Office in Quartzsite learned from them!

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