I went to the Post Office looking for a change of address packet, only to find the colorful flier to the left. I was surprised the Post Office was so advanced and accepting change of address requests online. I moved just a year ago, and could only fill out a paper form and mail it in. Little did I know, the online form would cost me money.
You go through several screens of the online address change request before you realize there is a fee. It’s only $1, but it’s the principle of it. The Post Office says the fee is charged to your credit or debit card to verify you’re who you say you are, and prevent fraud. It matches the address you currently live in or the new one with the address on file with your credit card.
Why can’t the Post Office just put a $1 hold on your account to verify it’s legitimate? Hotels and gas stations do this to make sure you have enough money in your account. Maybe this wouldn’t make the banks too happy since there ultimately wouldn’t be a charge on your account, but there has to be a better way. Even better disclosure would work for me. The card you pick up at the post office says nothing about a $1 fee.
They say it’s to verify your request against the address on file with your credit or debit card. However, why can’t they just put a $1 hold on your account to verify it’s legit and then refund it?
You can also change your address on the phone, but it won’t save you the $1. The only way to avoid the $1 fee is to mail in a form that you print off online. It’s called Form PS 3575. Your local Post Office may have it, too, but good luck having someone find it for you. You can also ask your mailman to deliver the form to your address. Then you can deliver the form to the Post Office or mail it.
If fraud is a concern at USPS, why don’t they ask for your identification when y you try to change your address with the paper form? Why is it only online? If fraud is really the main concern, maybe everyone needs to be subjected to scrutiny not just the users who submit the form online. Maybe then I’d feel that my $1 really serves a purpose and isn’t just way for USPS to make money off me and other movers.