More ideas on postal mysteries


To The Editor:
Thanks and kudos to Thomas DeLong for bringing this subject up. I have a few more thoughts.
As to using the +4 portion of the zip code for the PO Box number, as DeLong stated, doesn’t always work but it’s a good start.  In the recent past, I put that +4 number on my purchase information and the vendor put it on my purchase order...but, two different vendors used some sort of shipping label system that converted my +4 to a totally unrelated +4 number when it printed on the shipping label, and it was not recognized by the postal workers.  In discussion with our post office folks, we concluded that the shipping label system used by these vendors, and probably many other vendors, converted my physical street address to a +4 number that would be on our mail if it was going be delivered to our house on Walnut Street.  This solved the mystery of the unknown +4 number, but it didn’t solve the problem of always having the proper P.O. Box No. on the mail when it needs to be.
We now have a new solution we are trying which may not be infallible, but looks promising. Put  “John Doe bx 000 (your box number)” in the “your name” field of the shipping address on your order.  I know of one person who has used this approach in the past and it seems to work.  Make sure you do this only on the shipping address and not the billing address as that may cause problems with your credit card company.

There is one other strange issue.  Some things that you may order come from vendors that use UPS or FEDEX exclusively.  Many of these vendors will not accept any form of PO Box number.  Then, guess what?  The FEDEX truck or the UPS truck shows up at our local post office with the goods and leaves them there for delivery through the post office.  Which deliveries?  Why?  It is a strange, undefined partnership that the USPS has with the package delivery companies where they bring some of our stuff to the post office instead of delivering it to our doorsteps.  All the while, UPS and FEDEX are still delivering other stuff to our houses.  I talked to a couple of the postal workers about this and they didn’t know which shipments took this route.

And, why do most rebate coupons exclude the use of PO Box numbers?  How else are we to get our rebates?

Tom Jeffers,