Realtor post card in my mailbox w/o postage

cas66ragtopNovember 12, 2012

I found a postcard in my mailbox, that did not have a U.S. Postage stamp affixed to it. It arrived today, 11/12/12, which is Veteran's Day, and there was no US Mail service today. I contacted my next door neighbor and he told me he also recieved the same card. I'm sure he strategically picked Veteran's Day to do this to minimize the chances a postal carrier would see this. This is a card from a realtor who is claiming they have an approved buyer for my house (even though it is not for sale).

I think this is a very sleazy way to conduct business. Tampering with my mailbox is not appreciated, and defrauding the USPS from postage due is pretty shameful. My subdivision contains 70 houses, I am sure he hit every one of our houses, and I can guess he also canvassed other subdivisions. I would not be surprised if he did this to at least 300-500 houses.

I totally realize their are bigger things to worry about in life than this - but who else finds this very sleazy? Who thinks I should contact the USPS and rat him out?

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This isn't only sleazy, it is illegal. Mail boxes are property of the Federal Government (even though you bought it), and using it by anyone other than the federal government, is, in fact, a federal offense. But, most people think they are just being neighborly. And, also in fact, the AG doesn't have time to prosecute minor things...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:15PM
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Me personally, I'd have better things to do with my life than worry about a realtor but you have to do whatever makes you feel better. Tampering with your mailbox, defrauding the goverment, sleazy, etc.... really? Honestly to me sounds like you all are way over the top, lighten up :) Maybe its just me and I'm to laid back but I would attribute their card to another piece of junk mail I receive everyday and it would get trashed as well. I think we can agree the agent hasn't gone about it the best way to drum up business and me personally I would not use them. Unless this was just something that happened over and over and over again I wouldn't pay this any attention. There are to many other things going on in life I could give my attention to!

Just my .02 cents!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Well I guess the reason I am a little more sensitive to this is because my dad was a Post Master. So I know how illegal this really is. I also know the USPS hasn't exactly been doing so well lately, and with guys like this, cheating them out of postage, that doesn't score points with me either. Had the guy just paid postage, I would have been fine with it. Even if he had taped the card to the outside of the box (which is still actually illegal) it would have been better. To me, this just shows disrespect not only for the law, but for me too. I realize the guy is just trying to find customers by being a little more "creative", but I think he crossed the line here. I mean, EVERYBODY knows not to mess with people's mailboxes, right? It's not just me because I was raised in a USPS household?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:40AM
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"Hey you kids! Git offa ma lawn!"

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:11AM
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You could send him an email in "reply" to his advertisement and simply include the law on this. Maybe he doesn't know. (Scare some sense into him, if he has any).

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:23AM
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I'm with kirkhalll on this - use it as a teaching moment to open the realtor's eyes (kindly not snarky), to the legal issues and *perhaps* the moral issues of making it tougher for the USPS to survive. Not that it makes it right, but perhaps this realtor is struggling to feed his/her family with the business downturn and just can't afford the postage to drum up some business. I say cut him some slack.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I would report it to the Postmaster, and let him decide how to best handle it. I for one would be very alarmed if I ever saw anyone putting something in my mailbox other than my mail carrier. I'm in a rural area, and have found exploded firecrackers in my mailbox. Others have found a lot worse, I'm sure.

Chances are the Postmaster would just make the realtor aware of the laws and give him a warning.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:18AM
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I'm with azmom. I don't see how this "cheated" the postal service out of postage. The postal service didn't deliver the postcard.
It must be an american thing about it being illegal to put things in mailboxes. I'm in Canada and it happens all the time and I've never thought twice about it. In fact, I'd rather they stuck it in the mailbox than just dumping it on my doorstep or tucking it into my screen door. It's tidier and easier to collect and dispose of.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:42AM
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I sort-of "get" why this bothers you. We all have our hot button issues...and this one just happens to touch on yours. :)

FWIW, I have a similar problem. Every single blessed January, some stupid telephone book gets thrown on the ground underneath all the mailboxes in my neighborhood. (It isn't the "official" telephone book, it's some sort of marketing ploy called "Yellow Book", or something like that.)

Anyway, the first year they put them all in the mailboxes - and someone complained about that.

So now they don't put them in the mailboxes. Now they just throw them on the ground underneath the mailboxes. In New York. In January. Brilliant!

So most people don't even pick them up. They get wet, they lay there on the ground for weeks, the snow plow smashes them around....and every single year it annoys the heck out of me. :) Those stupid books look like crap for the better part of a month or two beside the road. I pick up the ones that I can and recycle them...but still, I just can't believe this stupid company thinks THIS is a good marketing strategy.

Maybe we can form a support group or something? :) Ha-ha.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:55AM
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I bet you never removed any of those tags from under the couch cushions, have you?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Cas66, I would probably email the agent to let him know that what he has done is illegal. Give him the benefit of the doubt, but educate him.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:56AM
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I've always thought that law was kind-of stupid and pointless, as it's intended to preserve the USPS monopoly on delivering stuff ("you can't use 'our' mailbox that the resident bought, you have to walk it up to the door or attach a separate box next to it so that you're inconvenienced"). I suppose the rationale was so that if anyone stole mail it would be a federal crime, but I fail to see any material harm to putting something in a mailbox that wasn't delivered by the USPS. Friends have left stuff in my mailbox when I wasn't home, because that's the most convenient place to do so. Who is hurt by this?

My issue with the realtor would be more along the lines of sleeziness due to pretending to have a buyer that he doesn't.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:18PM
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In rural areas like where I am the private leaving of stuff (a book being lent, a tupperware of homemade cookies, the kids' mittens and hat left behind on the school bus, etc.) in mail boxes among friends and neighbors is generally tolerated (though of course, still technically illegal). But Lordy, DO NOT use the mail box for unstamped political flyers or advertisements. That gets everyone's knickers in a twist!

We don't get our mail delivered out at the farm, but we put up a box at the end of our (private) farm road just so the everyday "stuff" can get left - or so we can leave something out for pick up by somebody else. It's very convenient.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Again, I know I am a lot more sensitive to the USPS thing than most. But here's some additional thoughts......

Realtors don't particularly care for FSBO's, right? Why? Because that is someone who is taking food off of their plate. Well why then would they think it is ok to skimp on postage and deliver it themselves? They are taking food off of the mailman's plate.

If this guy dropped off 300 cards, he just saved himself (and cheated the USPS out of) $117.00, plus he didn't have to use up ink or labels by addressing them. 500 cards would be $195.00. Not a big deal, you say? OK, if there is nothing wrong with this, then how about multiplying that by 30 realtors per town and 25,000 towns in the USA. If they all do a minumum of 300 postcards at 39 cents each, that's $87,750,000.00 worth of lost revenue the USPS should have been entitled to. 500 cards = $146,250,000.00.

Now do you see why it's such a big deal? The USPS has enough problems competing with UPS, FedEx and email - and then you add all the people who think it's ok to deliver their own mail - well it's no wonder a lot of post offices are cutting back their hours or laying people off. And then people want to complain when the postage goes up 2 cents. So from a financial standpoint, yes, this IS a big deal.

From a legal standpoint it is also a big deal. If you're willing to tamper with a mailbox and cheat the USPS out of some money, then what are you willing to do to me? I get it that some of you guys are really casual about it, and that some of your neighbors leave you notes. But I don't now this guy. I don't know how trustworthy he is.

And yes, it is still extremely sleazy to be telling people you have a buyer for their house when it's a total scam. When I first saw the card, for a brief moment I actually felt a little excited. Somebody wants my house bad enough to make me move? Really? I finally hit the lottery? Wrong - just another scam. Oh well, back to reality.

I know a few of you guys think he just made an honest mistake and that he is totally unaware of the legal issues. I think if you're in business where you need to make mass deliveries to people's mailboxes - it is your duty to KNOW what you can and can't do. What is that saying - something about ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law?

I'll cut him a little slack and will not rat him out to the USPS, but I will contact his broker. He had his broker's name listed on the card - this reflects just as poorly on him, even though he may not have been aware his agent was doing this.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:05PM
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He delivered them himself, he is not cheating the post office, his only mistake was using the mailbox.
Avoiding mail or delivery service is not cheating anyone out of those fees, it is perfectly legal to hand deliver items.
His only mistake was putting it in the mailbox.

Good tell his broker.
much ado about nothing...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Cas66... the problem with the profit margin of the USPS is not because of some people dropping a few post cards in your mailbox. Unrealistic pension plans that start at day one and the fact that people use email and pay bills online is the USPS trouble.
But yes, you are right, he should know better and you have every right to contact his BIC.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:34PM
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I would rather someone put a card in my mailbox then hang a flyer on my door knob....


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:20PM
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"I would rather someone put a card in my mailbox then hang a flyer on my door knob...."

Or call me or fax me, or email me....

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:02PM
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FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc - while some of these companies DO have their own drop boxes, they do not have boxes at every residence, and they are not well-known for delivering post cards. We barely have the technology to leave this planet, definitely do not have the ability to leave the solar system, and you are already jumping ahead to the universe? It's good to think big, and not limit yourself.

If he delivered by driving (which I am sure he did), this means he burned more gas and polluted the environment more than what was necessary, because the mailman was going to visit my house the next day anyway. All Mr. Realtor had to do was make one trip to the post office and drop off the box of cards, and let Mr. Mailman do his job. If he was driving by himself, this means he was driving on the wrong side of the street. This is a real safety hazard, not to mention yet another law being broken. If he had a passenger, they could have handled the boxes, but this still means he was impeding traffic. He was so busy paying attention to all the nice houses and salivating over all the sales he may be in for, he probably wasn't paying attention to the road, and he was probabaly also yacking on his cell phone, so it was just by the grace of God that he didn't run over any pets, children or senior citizens. Well, maybe he DID run over a few. Heck if you're going to be brave enough to tamper with people's mailboxes, you may as well continue your crime spree and just put the bodies in the trunk. No biggie.

Was he walking to deliver 300 cards? Oh come on, you already know the answer to that. OK, let's say he was walking. Well, why would the shoe and sock companies be the only ones who benefitted? Are you suggesting this freak was walking around full commando with his doodads flopping around? I certainly hope he was wearing more than just shoes and socks. Were the socks knee high tube socks, or where they the little sissy shortie socks? It could make a difference in the visual department. Maybe some of the lonely housewives around here would have been excited to see him, maybe even a few of the househusbands for all I know, but let's admit it - a naked guy galorping along with nothing but shoes and socks can be quite disgusting looking. And then where would he have stored all those cards? He had no pockets!

I found a lot of humor in your very last statement. I can picture it now. They haul you off to USPS court. I can imagine a scene similar to Neuman and Jerry with the damaged VCR and the hot lights. The judge says, "You are hereby charged with tampering with a mailbox. What do you have to say in your defense?" You say, "I think it's stupid." Judge says, "Oh, I never heard that excuse before. You put up a very good defense, I shall drop all charges!"

So did you enjoy all that nonsense? Was I blowing the whole mailbox thing out of proportion? Well of course I was. I'm supposedly a freaking adult, and yet I am angered that someone did this. Then I am even more angered by those who don't understand me, and decide it's ok to insult me because it. So I strike back, and continue the insanity. While I will readily admit I was silly to let it go this far (look how much time and energy I wasted), I also know you were equally as silly with your response.

I post here for the same reasons a lot of people do. I get bored with my life, I have too much free time, I want to share my opinions with internet people because the real world people don't seem to care, I get stressed out, and sometimes the way I cope with all this is by messing with a total stranger on the internet. So are you mad at me? Probably. Are you going to report me as a trouble maker and hope GW cans my account? Possibly. Will you ever forgive me, or are we now mortal enemies, destined to fight to the horrific blood-curdling death? Well I guess that's up to you. I can forgive and forget, but it seems like most people can't. I'm actually a nice guy, but most people misunderstand me. I have a strange sense of humor and I'm not afraid to express my opinions, and most people don't know how to deal with me. You either get me or you don't. Most people don't.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:06AM
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If a Realtor is too cheap to pay the $.32 for a post card would you trust them enough to pay 6% to sell your home? This was not a very smart way to try and drum up business and the Realtor should know that this is against the law. If the person is actually a "Realtor" and not a real estate agent (there is a difference)there is a Realtor Code Of Ethics that the Realtor must follow and this agents actions seem questionable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Code Of Ethics

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:46AM
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I forgive you, I said a prayer for you, I even told Garden Web to ignore my request to ban you. I even mailed you a script of prozac via USPS. Let's see, Charlotte to Martinsburg... you should have it in about two weeks!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Saying that the realtor cheated the postal service out of postage for delivering his own postcards is like saying that you are cheating restaurants out of their rightfully deserved income because you cooked and eat your own meals.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:31AM
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I think op is a bit too strident about the situation but what the realtor did is against the law. There are many "stupid" laws but stupidity doesn't give people the right to disrgard the law.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Thanks NC, but 2 weeks aint gonna cut it, I need it now.

You didn't have to waste your time banning me from GW, because God might have other plans. I had a wrestling match with a tractor trailer on the highway this morning. Got lucky, I wasn't at fault, and I walked away, but now I have other crap to deal with. So I've got illegal mailbox tamperers, rude internet bloggers, non-existent roofers, and now a mangled car to deal with - and the boss isn't too happy with me being late for work or knowing I need time off to get collision estimates. Want to trade lives with me? Yeah, I know some of you are overjoyed at my misfortune. Glad I could brighten your day, that's what I'm here for.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:34AM
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cas66ragtop last major installment of insanity (1:06) was a response to a poster who set me off. Now their post is gone. Just wanted to point that out in case other people come here and wondered what I'm talking about. I didn't report the other post, didn't figure it was worth reporting. They may as well delete the whole thread. None of this really matters anyway.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:09AM
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"It must be an american thing about it being illegal to put things in mailboxes. "

It definitely is illegal.

The box on the house (or on the post by the road) is for the sole use of USPS, and even must meet their specifications or they can refuse to deliver mail to it.

You are free to NOT have a box, and NOT get mail delivery.

Even the large 'common boxes' used in some new developments require a USPS approved design.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:15AM
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I missed that post Cas66.
I am glad to hear you walked away from the crash. I-81 can be very dangerous. I would miss your unique sense of humor on here. I am still trying to get the image of the naked realtor in sissy socks and a handful of post cards out of my mind!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Bunkie you ARE having a bad day, aren't you? Didn't see the disappearing post, but it doesn't matter. We all have our moments and our own little hot button issues based on our personal history and it's impossible for us to know all those details about each other. This IS a safe place to vent - mostly. Take a deep breath. I would hate to lose you here, whether to exile (self imposed or otherwise) or to a tractor trailer - yikes! I appreciate your candor in your responses and most of the time have my big girl panties on and can hear the well-intentioned information regardless of delivery style.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:34PM
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Oh for goodness sake, I thought your post and subsequent rants were a bit silly, but not trouble-making or ban-worthy at all. Not sure where you connected those dots (perhaps the now deleted post?). Silly's not illegal or offensive. Unlike DIY postcard delivery....

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:57PM
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cas66ragtop - Glad to hear you are okay. Remember cars can always be replaced.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Hey thanks guys for the very nice comments. I know I can get a bit goofy at times and go off the deep end on some very trivial subjects. I had always assumed maybe I had more enemies here than friends. Well that may still be the case, but it's still nice to know you guys are here. I would miss alot of your personalities too. You guys are good people.

My crash was a big wake-up call. God was definitely watching out for me. Any number of things could have happened just a little bit differently and netted much more disastrous results. I walked away w/o a scratch and so did the trucker. My car is a bit mangled, but is repairable, and yes, it is JUST a car - easily replaced. I had been taking a lot of things for granted and had fallen into an "I don't care" attitude - and this event just snapped me out of it. I have a firmer grasp of what is REALLY important again. Life can drastically change or can even be snuffed out in the blink of an eye. Maybe this lesson wasn't just intended for me either. Maybe somebody out there reading this also needs to wake up.

Take care guys. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:46PM
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Tried to test out the edit feature by deleting my post in total and got this:

Message Rejected

You must provide a name, email address, subject and a message.

Please make corrections below:

So how all the old posts got bumped up with no new posts remains a mystery.

This post was edited by dlm2000 on Thu, Dec 20, 12 at 22:17

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 10:13PM
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So how all the old posts got bumped up with no new posts remains a mystery.

It's not a mystery. The person who started this thread posted a strange message on this and many other threads begging Gardenweb to delete all his posts, thus bringing them to the top. GardenWeb chose not to delete his threads in their entirety, just the strange message at the end.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Thanks graywings - I did see that on another thread and now understand the hierarchy of posts a bit better. Nothing's ever easy, is it?? ;-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:07AM
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"Well why then would they think it is ok to skimp on postage and deliver it themselves? They are taking food off of the mailman's plate."

This really is meant with no offense meant but wowza... I'm sorta blown away that anyone thinks this way. Since when does the USPS have a guaranteed right to deliver all postal items? How in the world did this guy take food off the mailman's plate? Is he a sleazeball? Yes. Did he break the law? Yes. Is it a completely stupid and irrelevant law meant to keep the pension train going? Yes. The mailman did NOT provide a service so he is out nothing. This is one reason why monopolies are completely evil because eventually there is a thought that they are somehow owed the business and God forbid someone tries to break up that monopoly. I would love to see mail service privatized.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 10:42PM
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