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Post Info TOPIC: Switching Mail Forwarding Companies in SD?


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Switching Mail Forwarding Companies in SD?


Just wondering if anyone has made the switch from Americas Mailbox to Escapees in SD?  Both are in Pennington County so licensing / insurance costs should be the same.

Because we run a small business we have to have the Platinum plan from Americas Mailbox which is their most expensive plan, and they charge convenience fees when adding postage online, they also charge for any package or oversized envelope they receive.

Talking to the Escapees service today, since our received items for the business is less than 15 items / mo, they indicated we could select any of their plans, plus they don't charge credit card fees.  I think we'd save over $150/yr, plus they seem like nicer people to deal with.

Escapees has also been offering mail scanning for a long time and I've never heard any complaints or issues, Americas Mailbox is piloting scanning services, I'm part of the pilot and let's just say thus far I'm under whelmed.  Their scanner seems to go down frequently, I'll receive forwarded items before they ever show in the scanned inbox and they don't seem to do a good job of recycling the items I don't want to have forwarded, instead they end up in the next mail shipment for which I have to pay postage so I am not saving any $$'s by telling them to recycle.  Granted, it's a pilot, but if I were paying for this service I would discontinue it and it's been going on for a few months now without much improvement.

I've found the Americas Mailbox people to not be very friendly and they seem to "nickel and dime" us a lot.  Charging credit card convenience fees really irks me as I can guarantee than if we tried to do that with our business our customers would laugh at us.

The only hesitation I have is knowing that I would need to go through all the address changing activities, again and while it's not near as onerous as the first time due to our much more digital lifestyle, it's still time consuming.

Anyone made the change and have anything good or bad to report?

Thanks



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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

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A couple of years ago we changed from our SD mail forwarding service to our new house address in CO. Not exactly what you are asking about but essentially the same issue. We continued to pay for the SD service for another year to make sure we had everything switched over and it is a good thing we did - we had a few pieces during that year.
Also the old service is required by law to hold your mail for six months after you terminate the service and even after the year we had a couple of pieces in the next six months.

Below is what the service sent us.

"We wanted to reach out to our clients who have cancelled with us this year that we are holding mail for. According to postal regulations, after a client cancels we are required to hold their mail for a period of up to six months. In that period we are only required to send it one time per USPS regulations. We wanted to let you know that currently we are holding mail for you and the next time you request your mail it will be for that one last time. We appreciate your business and wish you well in the future."

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Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (wife), Katie, Kelli (cats) Full timed for eleven years in a 2004 Sightseer 35N. Snowbirds for one winter and now settled down in CO.



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We've had America's Mailbox for nearly two years.

In that time, I've been growing increasingly irritated with the ridiculous fees ('over-sized' package, credit card add postage fee, "we didn't receive the email" to pull your mail, so now we have to charge a dollar to walk 30 feet from the front desk to go get it fee, etc.). We too own a company - based out of SD - and ONLY because we never need a package delivered were we able to remain at the Gold Level. I'm not adverse to a company turning a profit, but come on: Our "over-sized" package was a damn DVD! However, while irritating, we have never once had a mishap with mail delivery, title transfers, licensing or registration. That Peace of Mind is (of course) worth something.

We recently decided (now that we have fully understand the rules to their game) to give it one more year - and eliminating any possibility of an opportunity for add on fees (packages forever more sent to campground or USPS General delivery, already "re-upped" in person and added a year of postage via cash transaction in person, phone call to confirm email for mail in person pick up received, etc. etc. etc.). In that year, we plan to document all address changes we would need to make should we decide to make a change down the road to Escapees (or any other company).

Keep in mind, if you switch over to Escapees, you'll have added an additional leg to your mail's journey. All mail received in South Dakota then makes a trip to Texas - similar to how their Florida set up works.



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Todd and Heather,

Your last comment raised a concern, can you elaborate on why mail received in SD goes to TX? If that's true, not sure that will work for us, we move frequently at times so have our mail sent prority. Not sure an extra step in the process is a good thing.

We have started using our online bill pay to add postage, thus eliminating credit card convenience fees, so that helps. I'm just tired of the "attitude" we get from Americas Mailbox.
Thanks

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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Escapees has only recently (within the year) added the South Dakota and Florida choices. 

In South Dakota (and in Florida) your 'official' (governmental) stuff goes through the SD (FL) Address, but all other mail is sent to your 'Livingston' Address in Texas. While the SD mail should be limited (License, Registration, Voter ID, Insurance, etc), it then needs to be forwarded down to Texas.

Some confusion exists as to whether or not a forwarding fee is attached.

http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=120807&page=2

 



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Thanks Todd and Heather.

I called Escapees to confirm, with Escapees we would have 2 addresses, 1 TX for "most of our mail", 1 in SD for the "official" mail.

I do NOT want 2 addresses, do not want any question regarding legal domicile, etc. I understand SD is accepting this for now, but seems a little questionable to me to do it this way. Since we run a small business we would most likely use the TX address for most of our business mail, but then our Federal Tax return would have the SD address? Not sure I want to open that can of worms.

For the $100/yr in savings, it's just not worth the effort to change my current Americas Mailbox address to 2 different addresses, etc. and then have a concern that this could be questioned in the future, etc.

Our decision, based on our circumstances, I know others will come to a different conclusion that is right for them.


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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



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All my mail comes from Livingston. My domicile is Huntsville TX. We own property there. Even when we would stay there our address will still be Livingston and forwarded to Huntsville. Has not been a problems.

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Ruth, i'm with you on Americas Mailbox. I found them to not be competent, friendly or helpful.

We never received the notice that they were required to hold our mail for 6 months after we canceled. I had to repay $250.00 start up fee to get titles they were holding.

Wish you all had a better alternative.

Sherry


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We have used My Home Address in Emery, SD since 2010. More than happy with them. Always dependable, always friendly. Prompt service. Rely on them for absentee ballots, jury duty responses, truck and RV registrations, etc. Cost is reasonable.


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While we haven't started using them yet, our RV inspector highly recommended "Your Best Address" out of Sioux Falls. --> www.yourbestaddress.com. However, it is not in Pennington County so it may not be a good fit for you.



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Anthony Paul Mannion


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A little off topic, but I noticed mention of jury duty notices. Are you able to get out of appearing for jury duty or must you go back to that date to serve?

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DebH


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We have had very good luck with Escapees in TX, very pleasant to deal with. As far as the postage deposit goes, Mailers do not mark up postage, therefore the credit card fee would come out of their pocket which is not fair to them. Escapees must have an average credit card cost and just include that in their annual fee. I have seen the sorting facility in Livingston, they have their own zip code they're so big. They also have the letter sorting machines like the PO.

Red

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Deb Herring wrote:

A little off topic, but I noticed mention of jury duty notices. Are you able to get out of appearing for jury duty or must you go back to that date to serve?


 TX (Livingston) excuses you and and SD takes you off the rolls - at least Sioux Falls, Minnehaha county does, I believe the others do also. Don't know about FL - maybe someone else does.

 



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Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (wife), Katie, Kelli (cats) Full timed for eleven years in a 2004 Sightseer 35N. Snowbirds for one winter and now settled down in CO.



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Americas Mailbox has gotten to be more of a pain as time goes on…we tried their scanning service beta test and dumped it after 2 weeks…just doesn't work. However…they haven't gotten to be enough of a pain for us to go through the hassle of moving to someplace else in SD…I took a look at it and then cost savings to go elsewhere was pretty minimal so we just are dealing with it.

Eventually we'll get some sort of home base down here in FL…and at that point we'll probably switch over to St. Brendan's Isle as our service…they aren't as cheap as Escapees is but with the disadvantage of 2 addresses for the latter along with mail getting sent from FL to TX then forwarded on to us…then add in the envelope scanning/do it all via a web site and the better services make them a better choice unless budget is the primary concern.

We're not looking forward to changing…what a royal pain in the tuckus that will be.

 



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We started with Americas Mailbox in August and haven't had any trouble at all with them. When we stayed in Rapid City to get our driver's licenses and registrations, they were very nice and helpful. They even caught it when I thought something was junk mail, asked them to shred it, and it was a check! Sorry you haven't experienced good service but that's not how everyone feels.

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We used Escapees mail service out of Texas for four years and were pleased with them with one exception , when they sent our mail to someone else. They did correct the problem and we did get our mail a week later. We have been using Americas Mailbox for 5 years (gold service) and have been very pleased with it. We use this as our permanent address. We saved more in SD than if we had Tx as a permanent address and without the hassle of vehicle inspection and special drivers license. We have not had experience with scanning service from either mail service. We are still Escapees members for other reasons.

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Following up…we're leaving Americas Mailbox but it's not really anything to do with them. Last winter we looked into the license renewal requirements (ours expire in 12/16 and 5/17) and according to what we found out then as long as you had the gold star on it (we do) to make it federally compliant you could renew once via the web with no issue.

Last week we found out you have to have spent 1 night in the state in the previous year to renew license. It's not clear whether this is a new requirement…or a reevaluation of the old rules…or simply just a better explanation on the web site.

So our options were to drive to SD or switch over to FL. It's almost 4,500 miles round trip there and by the time we do 4 days each way, fuel, meals and hotel it's a bunch o' bucks. So we're switching to FL residency…already got a new mail service selected and address established with St. Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs FL…we'll do registrations next and then licenses and domicile paperwork. Strangely enough…in FL if you're a full timer the address they put on your license is the tag number on your license and not your mailing address at the service…so you have to do the vehicles first.

SD will give Connie a 1 year temp license with just a phone call request so we'll do that just in case we don't have the tags and everything else done by her early December expiration.

Costwise…SBI will cost us about the same as AMB does annually…but we'll actually have a lot fewer actual instances of paper being forwarded to us. SBI scans the envelopes as they come in and will open/scan any we ask. Since we were scanning and trashing any mail received from AMB anyway…that will get the contents to us faster in most cases and the cost for the scanning is about the same as the weekly forwarding postage is with AMB.



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Neil and Connie, I think you'll be very happy with St Brendan's Isle. We used them before we sold our house and became SD residents and we were very impressed with their service and system.

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We've had several friends recommend them…which was why we chose them. Strange that ya'll shifted to SD rather than staying FL residents when you went on the road…if FL had allowed your mailing service. to be your domicile address back in 2012 we would have started with FL instead.

 



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We were actually Iowa residents before we went on the road.  The first year (before we sold our house) we used St Brendan's Isle when we were traveling.  The Post office would forward our mail to SBI and then we would have SBI scan anything important to us.  After we sold the house we decided on SD residence but have sometimes wondered if it might have  made more sense to use FL  for domicile instead.  Bill grew up in FL and still has family there so I imagine we'll spend at least part of most winters here.



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Judy LeMosy

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