Switch Your Mail Forwarding Service Without Losing Mail

If you currently use a mail forwarding service and are looking to switch to a new provider, you are probably wondering what you need to do and what to watch out for. This article discusses how you can work around some of the challenges you may come across, and how to make your transition smooth with minimum mail loss.

What’s So Hard About Changing Mail Forwarding Service?

Once you start using a mail forwarder for your mail, you no longer get certain benefits that USPS normally provides.

No USPS Automatic Mail Forwarding

Normally, when you move, you can simply have USPS forward your postal mail by submitting a Change of Address request. USPS takes care of sorting your mail and forwarding it to your new location.
When your mail is sent to a mail forwarder, USPS no longer allows you to submit a Change of Address request. This is because USPS is no longer the organization that sorts your mail; this job is now the responsibility of your mail forwarder.
In addition, your mailbox number is not an address that exists in the USPS database. Thus, USPS cannot forward mail from these nonphysical addresses.

No Free Mail Forwarding

While USPS will forward your mail to your new location for up to one year free of charge, mail forwarding services are not obligated to perform this service for free. This is reasonable, as mail forwarders incur shipping costs when forwarding mail on your behalf.

If you switch to a new mail forwarder, you will need to pay to have your mail forwarded from your old service to your new service. Depending on your mail volume, this may become expensive.

A Cost-Effective Way to Switch Your Mail Forwarding Service

Here is a list of simple and effective steps you can take to successfully transition your mail forwarding service with minimum mail delivery interruption:

  1. Maintain your previous service while transitioning:  This is perhaps the best course of action. By maintaining your current service, you can continue to receive any mail that is sent during the transition. The recommended time to keep the account is one to two months.
  2. Update your mailing address for your most important mail: Mail forwarding, whether provided by USPS or a mail forwarding service, is a temporary solution and exists to give you time to update your mailing address with your banks, friends, family, utilities, etc. Rather than delaying this task, update your mailing address as soon as you can. You must do it sooner or later, so save yourself some money and do it now.
  3. Make proper arrangements with your current forwarder: If you are still expecting to receive some mail at your current address, you can make special arrangements with your current provider on how to handle any future mail.

Switching mail forwarding services does not have to be a headache. By understanding what is involved and following some simple steps, you can move to a new provider easily and seamlessly.

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