Just How "Certified" Is Certified Mail?
It Was Just Another Day and Then.......
It is interesting how any facet of everyday life can spin you off on some strange tangent. This particular tangent of mine started with the hobby purchase of an old, tired, classic Honda motorcycle. The title was long gone, but the seller's story checked out.
The last registered owner was quickly found and willing to help. The NC Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) was showing two (2) liens from 26 years ago that needed to be addressed by sending lien cancellation requests to the lien holders.
A little investigation showed that both companies holding the liens were long since out of business. It was a simple matter. I was told to follow the steps mandated by the NCDMV by mailing the requests to the companies at the last address listed by CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED.
Since these companies were no longer at this listed address, the unopened envelopes would be returned to me. These unopened envelopes would then become an integral part of the process to replace the title.
This Is Where The Wheels Came Off The Wagon
To help make a long story short, one of my two "Certified" envelopes was signed for almost immediately. I waited for several weeks, anticipating some contact from the request letter in the envelope, which contained my name, street address, email address and a toll-free number, to no avail. At this point, I located the contact info and called the company which was presently located at the address to which my letter was mailed.
The person who had signed for my CERTIFIED MAIL answered the phone. He was very apologetic and "didn't know why he had signed for the letter." You see, my letter was addressed to ABC Auto Sales and the present company was Y & Z Auto Mart (distinctively different names).
And Then The Wheels Came Off Again!
After getting this hitch straightened out, I was able to get the title application sent to the NCDMV. Part of their assurance process involves sending their own lien cancellation request letters. Actually 2 letters are sent, 30 days apart, by CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED. The first letter was sent and returned, without a hitch.
The second letter was then signed for by "guess who." The original offender had signed for another of these letters, despite the fact that he had absolutely no connection to the addressee. Oh, and he still didn't know why he had signed for it. I can't believe this is happening! Just how "Certified" is Certified Mail?
This Was The Beginning Of My Quest
I fired off complaints first by phone to the Postmaster of the offending Post Office and later by email to the USPS Consumer Affairs office. Both of these entities indicated to me that no USPS protocol was breeched during these transactions. Both indicated that their job was done when the piece of mail was delivered to the street address on the letter and that the name of the addressee is "inconsequential" and "irrelevant."
This Is My Position
This was not bulk, third class or even first class mail. It is CERTIFIED MAIL/RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, the stamp for which costs $6.22. If anyone gets to deem the name of the addressee "inconsequential" or "irrelevant", it should be me and I could use "Current Resident" instead of a name. Otherwise, the USPS should deliver the mail to the person I designated or "RETURN TO SENDER."
Those of you who use CERTIFIED MAIL regularly might be aware that there is a "Restricted Delivery" option for CERTIFIED MAIL that guarantees delivery to a specific person. Remember, this was not available to me as I was working with NCDMV rules by sending something to an entity with no individual's name associated.
Besides, I do not want to get caught up in the Restricted Delivery "red herring." I stand by my opinion that the first obligation of the post office is to deliver these "higher priority" pieces of mail to the person or entity to whom/which they are addressed. PERIOD! This all leads me to ponder, Just how "Certified" is Certified Mail?
Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi, You Are My Only Hope
I have one final appeal sent to the Inspector General's office in "the other Washington." We'll see?
OK, why not take a few minutes and look at our daily updated list of our beautiful waterfront homes in Washington, NC (I had to work that link into the post or my boss would fuss).
Just how "Certified" is Certified Mail?