One of the current advantages we enjoy is a monopoly on the mailbox. No other courier may use the mailbox for delivery, nor can any other matter without proper postage be put in mailboxes.
Yet, every day, carriers encounter pizza coupons, garage sales, community picnic announcements, newspapers, thank-you notes and many other items deposited in mailboxes.
It's actually federal law that allows us this monopoly. The U.S. Code 1725 sets the fine as $300 for each offense. And the DMM 508 tells us as a minimum, we should collect the postage that the item would have been charged.
What's the most interesting thing you've seen in a mailbox? And what do you do with items without postage you find in boxes? Comment here.
It's been over 10 years since I've found anything unsolicited in my mailbox that did not have postage paid. Sometimes, I ask a friend who is running by my place to leave me something in my mailbox because I'm going to be out and the mailbox is more secure than being in plain view.
How about the most interesting and disgusting I have actually found a snake in a mailbox. He could go postage free for all I was concerned and I have seen people use mail boxes for trash cans finding open beer cans and empty bags from various resturants in them. And I would just love to catch the guys that use my mailbox has a ball using a baseball bat to ruin it.
A customer put his beer in the mail box. While he was mowing his large lawn, he would stop an take a drink and then go back to mowing.
We have found everything from trash to tarantulas. When we find flyers without an address we call the number and tell them customers have been complaining about them and are scared they stole some of their mail.
We found over 200 leaflets placed in the boxes last summer, adverstising his roofing repair services. My carriers were able to retrive about 85% of them. I sent a postage due notice to his home post office asking for nearly $95.00 in postage. If paid, I would have the carriers deliver them again. The roofer called to complain and I informed him of the rules. That flyer never made the boxes again.
That seems to be one of the old outdated laws that no one pays attention to any more...everyone uses the boxes where I work, even Fed Ex and UPS!
found a melted ice cream cone, along with various candy wrappers
I am always finding items in my mailbox without postage. I always take them to my local post office, but I don't know if the offending parties are ever contacted or not. I've found fliers to cut my grass, fliers for housecleaning services and fliers for a new beauty shop opening. I've found literature from candidates for local political office, and I did contact them only to be told, "Everyone does it. No one enforces that rule." I've even seen private cars (not rural carriers - I live in the city) delivering telephone books to mailboxes. There needs to be more information put out that this is actually a violation of federal law. Unless this is publicized more, it's going to continue because no one is suffering any consequences because of it.
The problem with friends or family leaving things in the mailbox is that the carrier may come by in the meantime and collect whatever is in there and then you are calling the Post Office trying to retrieve this item.
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