If you have ever tried to return the mail to the sender, i.e., Return to Sender USPS, and it didn’t work in your favor, then you are at the right place. Sometimes you might want to return the mail to the sender whereas sometimes the mail automatically returns to the sender if the destination address is not located by the mail carriers. Either way, you may want to know how the mails get returned to their origin so that if in case, you receive a mail from someone else, you know exactly what to do and how to return mail to sender.
Return to Sender Usps: How to Return a Package to Sender
Having to return mails from the postal service is a big hassle as most of the time, USPS does not adhere to the return request unless you show up at the post office to notify them about the wrong delivery. It can be really annoying when you constantly keep receiving mails at your address that is not destined for you. If these mails were destined for the previous tenants, then you can say for sure that they did not file for a change of address, which is why the mails are still being delivered at this address. Before we figure out how to solve this issue, let’s look at the reasons for filing a Return to Sender USPS request.
Click here to know how to send certified mail on USPS.
Reasons to Return to Sender Usps
Now, why would you want to return the mails to the sender? Here are some of the possible reasons to file a Return to Sender USPS request:
- If the previous tenants did not change their address after shifting houses, then their mails will keep piling up at your doorstep, considering that you are currently living at their location.
- You can return the mail to the sender if the package delivered to you was from someone else and the mail delivery was accidental
- You can also return the mails if you do not want to receive mail from a particular sender
In some cases, USPS themselves return the package to the sender. The package is returned by the USPS services due to the following reasons:
- If there is insufficient postage on the package
- If the destination address is not accurate or the address is missing, i.e., when the letter carrier cannot locate the destination address, the package is sent to the sender after it is held at the post office for a few days.
How to Return to Sender Usps
If you want to return the mail delivered at your location and you want it to be returned to the sender, then you can do it in the following ways:
Return to Sender USPS: If the Mail Was Directed at the Previous Residents
If the mailpiece sent at your location was directed at the previous residents who have now changed houses, then you can have the mailpiece returned in this way:
Not This Address:
When you receive a package that is not directed to you but the previous residents, then you simply need to write down “Not This Address” on the package. While doing so, you also need to check the barcodes on the package. Make sure that the barcodes are defaced. If you fail to do this, then the mailpiece will be delivered to your location again. Do not cross out any addresses on the package. With this information, the postal service will understand that the previous tenants do not live at that location.
If you keep receiving mails directed to the previous tenants, then you can notify the mail carriers about the problem. You might also need to drop by at the local post office to let them know that you have been receiving packages that are directed to the previous residents.
Hand Over the Mail to the Letter Carriers
You can hand over the mail to them right away by mentioning it on the package(write down Not This Address) and of course, cross out the barcodes. Make sure to explain the situation to them properly and request for a return to sender usps service.
If you were not at home when the delivery was made, then you can keep the package ready to be returned to the sender and keep it safe in your mailbox. The mail carrier will pick up your mailbox during regular rounds.
Learn about USPS postage to Canada from here.
Deposit the Package in the Mail Collection Box
If you hand over the mail to the mail carrier and you don’t have a mailbox to place the mail as well, then you can deposit the package in the mail collection box. Make sure to write Not This Address on the package and strike the barcode without damaging the addresses. When the mil carriers pick up the package, they will have it returned to the sender or they might deliver it to the right address.
You can find the location of the USPS collection boxes by searching them on the USPS locator website.
Return to Sender USPS: If the Package Was Delivered at the Wrong Address Accidentally
If you receive a package with a different address mentioned on it, then it means that the mail carrier has delivered it to your location accidentally. Don’t fret over this mistake and discard this package because if you discard somebody else’s mail, you are committing a felony. You’ll have to pay a heavy penalty for committing such a felony if USPS finds out about it. Here’s what you can do to Return to Sender USPS if the mail was delivered to the wrong location:
Keep It in the Mailbox
When you receive mail that was accidentally delivered to you, then you can place it inside your mailbox which will be picked up by the mail carriers the next time they come for collecting the mail. If you receive a Priority Mail Express package that was wrongly delivered to your location, then you can give a call to 1-800-275-8777. The USPS officials on the other line will inform you about what you can do as the next step.
Hand It Over to the Mail Carrier
If you want to personally hand over the mail to the mail carrier, then you can do so when they visit your place the next time for picking up packages. Explain the situation and the rest will be handled by them. If you do not want to wait for the letter carrier to arrive till the next day, then you can turn it in at the local post office.
Do Not Mark Anything on the Package
Unlike the previous method, you do not have to make any markings on the package in this process. Any possible markings resist the package from reaching the right destination.
Return to Sender USPS: Return Mail That You No Longer Want
If you receive a mail that was addressed to you but you no longer want it, then you can schedule a Return to Sender USPS request in the following way:
If you no longer want a package, then you have the package returned to the sender by writing “Refused” on the package and giving it to the mail carrier. Remember, the packages which are torn cannot be returned to the sender. Even if you somehow manage to repack the mail after opening it, you cannot have it returned to the sender. So, make sure to decide beforehand if you want to keep the package or want it to be returned.
An accountable mail is a mail that needs the signature of the recipient. If you do not want the mail, then you refuse it by checking the box for “Refused” on the notice that you receive with the mail. Accountable mail is available for the following categories of mailing services:
- Certified Mail
- Registered Mail
- Priority Mail Express
- Collect on Delivery
- Mailpieces with insurance more than $200
Remember that if you have received the accountable mail and you have signed it, then you can’t have it returned. Still, you wish to return the mail to the sender, then you have to pack the mail in new packaging and pay for the postage. This is the only way through which you can send the mail to the sender.
Repack Opened Items
As mentioned earlier, if you have opened the package, then you have to mail it to the sender with fresh packaging and of course, new postage. If the mail that you are returning is damaged or is simply unwanted, then the seller will give a prepaid label for shipping and they might also pay for the postage on your behalf.
What Happens to Return to Sender Mail?
When a package is returned to the sender due to any one of those reasons mentioned above, the mails are simply returned and USPS return to sender tracking is not included. The amount of time required to send the package to the sender depends on various factors. In most cases, the amount of time required while returning the package is generally the same as the amount of time required to ship the package to the destination. If you are returning an opened mail through another mailing service, then the mailing service will follow its standard time.
Just in case, the return mail is taking more time than usual(more than 1 or 2 weeks), then you can file a missing mail request.
When you receive packages that are not destined for you, then having them returned to the sender is considered best practice. Now, there are many ways to return the packages to the sender as you simply do not want to keep somebody else’s packages at your place and pile them up. Having a word with the local post office is better as you do not have to keep waiting for the mailman to drop by at your palace and pick up the package.
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Just remember that returning a package to the sender is free unless it is opened. Else, you have to return it like a regular mail.
Hope this article, i.e., Return to Sender USPS gave you all the information that you wanted on how to return the mails.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
Some of the reasons why you might want to file a Return to Sender USPS request are: mails were delivered to you accidentally, you do not want the mails from the sender anymore or the mails were directed to the previous tenants.
There is no fee involved in returning the mails to the sender unless the packages are opened.
The amount of time taken to return the mails depend on the type of mailing class you chose to have the mails returned.