Anyone have any mailbox horror stories?

Update: I sent cards from Italy to USA, Canada, Russia and China and guess which card was the first to arrive today? China! So it seems to be likely that they get sent via Asia…

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I take a different view. I’ve used and received postcards with Universal Mail stamps for quite a number of years. Yes, they may take a bit longer to be dispatched to their destination but they do arrive in good time. I recommend them as a reasonable (and usually cheaper) alternative to Royal Mail.

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So today I was left scratching my head when I checked the mail. An envelope I mailed to the UK about 5 days ago from Canada was now back in my mailbox. This has never happened before where I get the mail that I sent out. This was for a swap and the address to the sender was correct. The stamp was not cancelled but on the bottom of the envelope were a bunch of faint red vertical lines to suggest that the mail was processed.

I’m curious, has anyone gotten back mail that they sent out? Did the envelope just miss me and wanted to come home? Any thoughts on what might have happened?

I have had mail returned to me quite a few times. If address and postage are correct, I just cross over my own address and drop it into the mailbox again. Once I took one of such letters to the postoffice and asked if I had done something wrong, but they couldn’t explain it. I have heard that sometimes machines read the wrong address (sender’s instead of receiver’s).

A couple of times it has happened that I have received my letters back with a note that recipient does not live there, even if it is the same address where I have sent dozens of letters and where my penpal still lives. One of my penpals told me that once her letter to me was returned with the similar note.

Anyway, such mistakes are better than letters lost completely, which unfortunately sometimes happen too.

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Thanks so much! This is good to know. I was worried it would happen again so I resent in a different envelope. I will definitely try the cross out option.

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You probably did the right thing as the code was already printed on the envelope. The sorting machines would have directed it back to you again. Once I got an envelope from the States that had been on the road for months. It had 4 layers of the orange bar code labels on top of each other, so obviously it had traveled quite a bit before finally reaching me.

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That worker is partially incorrect. The Postcard stamp, when used by itself, is for the domestic postcard rate. However, it is worth 53 cents now at face value, and can be used in combination with any other stamps to reach the $1.55 international postcard rate.

Those are similar to others produced by Universal Mail in UK/Ireland, the delivery service for postcards sent using those is questionable at best. I purchased similar stamps in Spain, luckily the cards I sent using those stamps did arrive but I had no idea they weren’t official stamps before.

I think that depending on which postal worker you get you might get a different answer. Checked again recently with a clerk at the main office near my place and they said that it’s similar to the regular forever stamps. Whatever the cost for domestic postcards is (currently $0.53), that will translate x3 if you use three.

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I also buy stamps from my post office online shop. The envelopes always say do not fold and my postman always folds them to get them to fit into my tiny apartment mailbox. Drives me up the wall!

Residential mailbox horror stories are one of the reasons I recently got a Post Office box. [The woman who lived here before me would ask the neighbors to walk over and check her mail because she was so scared of insects.]

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That is correct. Any postal worker who disagrees should read in the Domestic Mail Manual in the section outlining postage permitted for use. Every post office is required to have a copy of this on hand, so you can prove them wrong if they say otherwise.

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Nowadays, India post is getting notorious for its rough handle of mails and worst opening and taping of mails, will share my stories soon:(

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i moved the last week of October 2023. I went to my mailbox yesterday (March 14, 2024) and found about 15 letters that were forwarded from my old address. Most of the letters were dated December 2023. The worst part is many of them were from the US government requesting information from me. I’ve been on the phone all morning trying to put out fires by correcting/answering these.

Can someone explain to me why it took over 4 months for the USPS to forward this stuff? I swear the USPS keeps raising its prices as it lowers its quality of service .

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I received an awesome postcard recently but there was a number written on the front of the postcard. Does anyone know why the post office would write a number on the front of a card? I always thought the front of a postcard was supposed to be left untouched.

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Most probably, postal worker sort cards according to beat or area and they are given specific beat numbers, here in india, my beat is 23,so if a new guy is sorting cards at PO, he’ll segregate with numbers and then give them to respective Postal worker who delivers them

Or it can be a random number came out from thier conversation they wanted to write and didn’t have any paper so wrote on it, i have seen mathematical calculation done on my incoming cards lol

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thanks @Hemang - you’ve seen mathematical calculation done on your incoming cards? I’d be horrified. :scream:

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Yeah, something they do write :writing_hand: on mails if they don’t have any paper for writing, and sometimes those calculations happen on mail

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That is horrifying to hear!

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I have another horror story. I live in an apartment high-rise that has central mailboxes. On Monday I received a package and it was put into one of the larger boxes made of this purpose. I can’t get my package/mail out because the door is stuck. I have left messages for the postal worker in my mailbox but have not gotten a response. I am especially upset because I’m sure my 5 sheets of international post stamps are in there. Tomorrow I’m going to the actual post office and see if they can help.

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