The BBB says you can do it yourself for free
Burnsville, Minnesota – August 21, 2013 – With the changing of the seasons, many people will be changing their addresses as they move into student housing or secure a new rental property before cold weather arrives. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is warning people to be careful when performing online searches to start the process of changing your address, as there are companies looking to charge you for something you can do for free.
“Changing your address is a very simple process, one the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offers for free when you do it in-person at a post office or mailing center,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Online entities who offer to perform this service for consumers – at a cost of up to $40 – neglect to mention this little fact.”
Recently, the BBB became aware of a website called MyPostalAddressChange.com, which references the USPS prominently on their home page. However, the company – which appears to operate out of Australia – acknowledges in the fine print they are “not affiliated with the Post Office or any other government agency.”
The BBB has received complaints against MyPostalAddressChange.com, which allege consumers were deceived into believing they were dealing with the U.S. Postal Service. One of the complainants noted that when they typed “U.S Postal Service change of address" into a Google query, this company was one of the top links that appeared.
“Usually the Internet is viewed as a savings tool,” added Badgerow. “In this case, it’s actually leading to cases where people are spending money unnecessarily.”
According to information on the United States Postal Service's website, these "change of address" websites charge customers to change an address and, in some cases, the change never gets made. The Postal Service has no affiliation with the businesses that operate these sites. The Postal Service official website is www.usps.com.
The Postal Service does charge $1 for identity verification for customers who change an address online using its Official Change of Address order at www.usps.com. Another option, which is free, allows customers to mail or submit in person a Change of Address order to any Post Office. The order can be printed after it is completed online or picked up at any Post Office.