Several non-USPS websites offer Hold Mail and Change of Address (COA) services. But only the Postal Service does it for free when customers mail in their requests — or for $1 (for credit card verification) if they request either service online.
The difference is in the numbers — websites not affiliated with USPS charge as much as $16.99 for the same services.
Postal Inspectors report that customers are finding the non-USPS sites by using a search engine to look up the needed service. Other than “overcharging” customers, the operators of the sites are not committing a crime — unless they fail to provide promised services or use the customer’s personal information for fraudulent purposes.
Customers requesting refunds from these websites should be directed to the company that received the original request.
Postal Service employees may want to remind customers that USPS has some of the lowest postage prices in the world. Dollar for dollar, they get value for their mail, which is protected by U.S. Postal Inspectors.
USPS offers three ways for customers to submit hold mail and COA orders:
-- Use the Mover’s Guide, online or available at all Post Offices.
-- Call 800-ASK-USPS to hold mail or change an address using the Postal Service’s Call Center.
-- Visit usps.com to request hold mail and COA orders services online.