USPS Online Mail Hold Process

I’ve always had this funny feeling that whenever I put a hold on my mail with the USPS it never actually happens. My Mom used to do this the old-fashioned way, waiting in line at the Post Office and filling out one of those forms saying that she would pick it up in a week or whatever, yet whenever she would return from vacation her mailbox was usually full. She finally resorted to the even more old-fashioned way — her neighbor retrieves it.

But I, however, utilized the more high-tech way. Doing it online. It’s simple, quick and can be done from the comfort of home. Oh, and it doesn’t work. Apparently, at all.

I’ve had my suspicions in the past, but I had always had the mail resume the day we would return. So a full mailbox would always greet us. But then one day we returned in the early afternoon, before the mail usually arrives, and our box was filled. That seemed a little odd but, perhaps, it was the one day the carrier actually arrived before 1 p.m. I could, I guess, give them the benefit of the doubt. But no longer.

On this past trip I placed the online hold for delivery on Tuesday, July 21, knowing we would be returning Monday evening. I would finally see if the USPS was doing their job. However, a heat wave in California combined with crappy gold panning sent us home Sunday. As we were arriving in Reno, I remembered the mail hold and wondered if it would be worth the hassle to go into the branch Monday and see if I could pick up my mail instead of waiting for Tuesday. I needn’t have wasted the thought.

Jammed into our mailbox were three magazines, a couple bills, a AAA renewal, attorney letters, IRA statements and the usual run of Smart & Final ads and other junk mail. In other words, it was packed with a week’s worth of mail.

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