At one time or the other, most people have sought to return mail which they received to sender. The reasons for the decision to return mail vary. While some decide to return mail to sender for personal and unique reasons, others reasons are quite common.
Why and How to Return Mail to Sender
Right Address But Wrong Recipient
One reason is when the recipient recently moved to a new location, but the mail is still addressed to the old residence. In this situation, it is clearly seen that the address written on the envelope is inerrant, but to a wrong recipient.
It happens like this because the old occupant didn’t follow through on the change of address order, and nobody loves receiving mails they have no interest in.
It is now a priority for the new occupant to put an end to it. Here is how you return this mail to sender:
Step 1: Write on the envelope “Not at this address.”
Don’t make the mistake of writing “Return to sender.” Do the same thing if the mail is a parcel, and ensure to deface any barcodes on the parcel or envelope to avoid getting the mail again. Do not cross the address part, it will help the mail carrier understand that the recipient no longer live in that given address.
Step 2: Return mail to the carrier.
After writing “Not at this address,” hand over the mail to the mail carrier and explain to the carrier that the recipient no longer resides there.
Step 3: Use mail collection box
Not everyone has a mail carrier, and it is not possible for everybody to have mailbox at their residence. If this is the case, the best thing to do is to use the mail collection box. Do this after taking the first step, which is using the right wordings on the package, then deliver to the closest mail collection box. An employee from the post office will come get it.
Delivery to a Wrong Address
This rarely happens. When it does, it is mostly common human error. It happens when the mail carrier mistakenly places the mail piece in a wrong mail box. It is very easy to return such mails or packages, the following steps will help:
Step 1: Don’t write or tamper with the package
Writing on a wrongly delivered package only leads to more confusion for the mail carrier and it can prevent the mail carrier from getting to the right address. The best thing to do when a package is wrongly delivered to you is to not tamper with, leave it as it is.
Step 2: Place the mail back in the mail box
The next thing to do is to place the mail or package back in the mail box. Remember to raise the red flag as this sends a signal to the carrier that there is an outgoing mail waiting to be picked up.
Step 3: Give the mail to the delivery person
In case you think it is not safe to leave the package in the mail box, you can also hand it over to the delivery person. This demands that you will stay at home till the delivery person comes to your neighbourhood, and you hand it over. However, you must explain that the mail was delivered to the wrong address. You can also take the envelope, parcels, or packages to the nearest post office.
This is also known as mail you do not wish to receive. It has nothing to do with wrong address or wrong recipient, but the intended recipient does not wish to receive the mail, hence wants to return mail to the sender. Here’s how you return such mail to sender:
Step 1: Write “Refused” on the envelope or package
Since the recipient does not wish to receive the mail, the next thing to do is write “Refused” on the envelope immediately it is received. Before giving it back to the mail carrier, note that the envelope or package must remain intact. You can’t tamper with it since you do not want it. Breaking the seal of the mail piece or package would mean that you have taken responsibility for it, which makes it non-returnable.
Step 2: Tick the “Refused” box for accountable mail
Accountable mail are mail pieces that require your signature before receiving them. Though it is an important mail, you can still refuse it depending on the content. If you decide to refuse it, tick the “Refused” box on the document that will be given to you by the delivery person. Note that you can’t refuse a mail you’ve already signed for, except you are ready to place it in a new envelope and pay for the postage.
Step 3: Repackage the mail if you have opened it
Sometimes, the receiver is too inquisitive, and opens the mail once their hands touch it. It is an understandable human trait. Well, you can still return an open mail but not in its existing form. It would require that the mail is put it in a new envelope or package, which also means that you will treat as new by paying for the new package.
What Is the Cost of Returning Mail to Sender?
Returning a postal mail is free, except the item has been opened. In such case you will need to give the item a new fresh packaging, and pay for the postage.
The price is dependent on the type, size and weight of the item you want to return.