General Question

AshlynM's avatar

If a business has a P.O. Box, but you use their street address instead...will the mail still get to them?

Asked by AshlynM (9887points) April 13th, 2010

Question above.

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23 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Usually. It depends on whether or not they are in the USPS database. You can find this out by going to usps.gov and testing the address.

thriftymaid's avatar

Usually. Oh, I see @dpworkin has already answered with exactly the same thing I was going to say.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

You gotta be kidding me. DP every address is in the USPS directory. Yes. A street address on an envelope will get to the that address providing it is legit.

edit: even RR get delivered. Ernest T. Bass got mail.

Ludy's avatar

some companies use a po box because is easier to handle if they get a lot of mail, but you can still get your mail delivered to the other adress

dpworkin's avatar

@TheLoneMonk You are incorrect. As one example, my personal street address is not in the USPS database, which has caused some difficulties over the years. You should be sure you know what you are talking about, lest you give out bad information, which you just did.

Ludy's avatar

yes, you’re the one who said about passing gas as a sign of not being pregnant

jaytkay's avatar

Test if the USPS recognizes the address here:
http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp

I plugged in a non-existent address and it says, ”The address you provided is not recognized by the US Postal Service as an address we serve. Mail sent to this address may be returned.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Yes, but you may get a response back asking to use the PO box. A lot of bigger companies direct mail to different boxes by department, since a letter may not always get to the intended person in a timely manner. After it sits on someone’s desk for a while, it may just get tossed.

dpworkin's avatar

Mail that addressed to me at the street address which is not in the database usually gets to my PO Box, but quite often carriers like Fedex initially refuse to deliver packages to me because submitting my street address to the database results in the error shown above in @jaytkay‘s post.

jazmina88's avatar

UPS can not deliever to PO BOXES. It has to go to a street adress/

AstroChuck's avatar

Not necessarily. If they have a change of address going to the PO Box then they’ll get their first class and periodical class mail forwarded. But the COA expires after a year (and just six months for periodicals). After that if the business address’s zip code is worked out of the same office where they hold their PO Box the carrier (who has the route with the business address) may bring that mail over to the box section for the clerk to put in their PO box. But standard procedure for mail that has an expired forwarding order is to endorse it as UTF (unable to forward) and send it back to thre sender.

anartist's avatar

If a local post office does not deliver to any addresses in a neighborhood as policy but rather requires patrons pick up mail at postal mailboxes, that address will not appear in a USPS mail database but that address is a must-have for UPS and FedEx —this can cause problems when different shipping options are available.

Ludy's avatar

fedex and ups do deliver to po boxes as long as you write the adress where the po box is located, I know cause that’s what i do everyday

AstroChuck's avatar

@Ludy- Not true. FedEx and UPS can and do deliver to businesses that rent out boxes but those are not PO boxes. Only the USPS delivers to those.

Ludy's avatar

then what are they?

jaytkay's avatar

then what are they?

UPS Stores & the like maybe? I’ve rented boxes from them, so I could get UPS & Fed Ex packages when I wasn’t home.

I worked many years in mail/internet retail, and we definitively had to use the US Postal Service to reach an actual PO box.

Ludy's avatar

yeah but ihave shipped stuff to PO BOXES actually, what does PO means?

jaytkay's avatar

PO = Post Office (an actual United States Post Office)

USPS PO Box address
John Doe
PO Box 123

UPS Store or equivalent
John Doe
456 Main Street Box 123

Ludy's avatar

so , AstroChuck is wrong? and I’m not crazy, cause I’ve done it (shipping to P.O. boxes) by fedex as long as the adress is included.

jaytkay's avatar

No, AstroChuck is correct.

UPS and FedEx will not take a package to a US Post Office, where the official Post Office (PO) Boxes are,

They will deliver to a “box” at a private company, like a United Parcel Service store.

Ludy's avatar

so, when i have shipped to po boxes using fedex as the carrier, they didn’t deliver it?

jaytkay's avatar

@Ludy I think those were not US Postal Service Boxes, they were private boxes. But maybe I’m wrong. Couldn’t tell you without specifics.

AstroChuck's avatar

@jaytkay- No, you are not wrong. Post Office boxes are exclusively delivered to by the USPS. And in case some of you aren’t familiar what my occupation is, I’ve been a city letter carrier in the city of Sacamento for the past 25 years.

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