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How to Stop Getting Other People’s Mail

how to stop getting other peoples mail

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Do you want to know how to stop getting other people’s mail? It’s a problem that’s more common than you think, and you can take advantage of the solutions in this article.

Mail volume is on the decline because of the digital age, but there are still over 120 billion pieces of mail sent per year in the US. Some of that mail may end up in your physical mailbox, which can waste your time. 

Do you want the best solution right away? That’s virtual mailbox services, and they can deal with other people’s mail on your behalf. 

Contact Your Local Post Office

The first step that you can take is to contact your local post office. This is one of the fastest ways to resolve the issue. That’s especially true if your local post office services a small area. 

You can also file a complaint form, which is the USPS Form 1500. This is a formal request to stop receiving mail that isn’t yours. Adding paperwork to the problem can take extra time, but it also increases the chances that the problem will be fixed. 

You can access the form online, or you can get it from your local post office. Originally the forms were created to help users report harassment. However, they also work for stopping mail that you don’t want. 

Refuse The Mail

You have a right to refuse the mail and leave it in your mailbox. The next time an employee from the post office comes by, they will see the mail and have to pick it up. However, for the letter to be picked back up, you’ll need to keep it sealed, and it must say “Refusal.” You can write this on the mail or leave a sticky note. 

This is not a great solution because you will have to keep refusing letters from the same sender. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to deal with. However, it might be a solution worth exploring if you have a limited amount of wrong mail. 

how to stop getting other peoples mail

Add a Note to Your Mailbox

Taking mail refusal one step further, you can write a note in your mailbox that warns the post office employee not to post mail that isn’t in your name. Also, you can avoid getting mail from the previous homeowners. You can write something along the lines of “John Smith no longer lives here!” This may cause the post office employee to block mail for that name for your address. 

However, this is an informal way of doing things since the employee will need to use their own judgment. Also, if the employee doesn’t see the message, then they will continue to post the mail. Therefore, it’s your job to ensure that it stands out. 

Forward the Mail

You can physically forward the mail to the correct address. For example, if mail for the previous owner arrives, then you can forward the mail by getting in touch with them and asking for their address. 

However, this doesn’t solve the problem and leaves you with extra work that might never stop. Also, this varies depending on the volume of physical mail that the previous owners services. 

What to Do With Mail That Isn’t Yours

Did you receive mail that isn’t yours? Then here are a few things that you should and shouldn’t do. Here are some of the top ones for your consideration:

  • Don’t open or throw it away: Did you know that legally you are not allowed to open or throw away mail that isn’t yours? It’s possible that you will be punished with a felony charge or misdemeanor. 
  • Label and put back in the mailbox: If you feel like the accidental mail delivery is a one-off, then simply label it and put it back in the mailbox. This will sort the problem out without giving you any legal headaches. 
  • Landlord: You can consider talking to your landlord. They can get in touch with the post office and make the right corrections on your behalf. This also saves you time since there’s no need to contact the post office. 

Use a Virtual Mailbox Service

Do you know that you can take advantage of a virtual mailbox service to avoid getting other people’s mail? This type of service receives your mail and scans it so you can view it online. Also, you can use Virtual mailbox services for many use cases, whether it’s to manage a business or viewing your mail while traveling. 

Such services can also deal with mail that isn’t meant for you. They can automatically take care of the issue so that you never receive another piece of mail that isn’t yours. Here are a few more advantages of virtual mailbox services:

  • Organization: The dashboard provided to view your mail is great for looking at a large volume of mail quickly. Also, a virtual mailbox service can organize your mail and help you find the right piece with filters. 
  • Security: The service can keep your physical mail secure. This means you don’t have to worry about mail theft becoming an issue. This is especially important for businesses that need to keep customers’ personal information safe. 
  • Time-saving: Viewing your mail online can save you a lot of time. That’s because opening physical mail takes longer, and you’ll have rubbish that needs to be thrown away. Furthermore, if you want to use a shredder to discard sensitive mail, then it’s going to take even longer. 

Note that you will need to fill out the USPS Form 1583 to give your virtual mailbox service access to receive your mail. 

Use Our Virtual Mailbox Service

Do you like the sound of the benefits detailed above? Then consider using the virtual mailbox services here at Business Anywhere. Our service has an excellent reputation, and the pricing is competitive.  

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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