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Are Change of Address Services Worth It?

Posted By Jim On 08/06/2013 @ 7:09 am In Personal Finance | 4 Comments

When we moved a couple weeks ago, the first thing I did was fire up the USPS official change of address form [3] and update our address. It cost us $1 but resulted in a handful of coupons (Lowes, Pottery Barn, Overstock) and our address changed. Back in the day, you could go to the post office and fill out a form for free but it seems like that option is gone now. The last time I went to the post office, the forms were replaced with flyers explaining the online form.

When I was searching for the form, I saw a lot of ads touting “address change services.” These service promised to change your address with the USPS as well as notify other organizations to your change of address. They lumped in junk mail removal services and several other “services” designed to save you time but separate you from your money. I began getting curious about their business model and wondering if the services were worth it.

What They Offer

The basic service offering was as follows:

  • USPS Address Change
  • Notify up to X organizations
  • Free resources like e-books, etc.
  • Junk mail removal, do not call

All this for a one-time fee, somewhere in the $40-50 range.

Is The Service Worth It?

Eh… no. In terms of time, it takes you just as long to fill out their form as it does the USPS form. The only potential savings could come in notifying the “other organizations” about your address change but how many of those are there? When we moved, most address changes were in these categories:

  • Financial institutions
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Bills

Of those three, I wanted to handle financial institutions and bills myself. There’s no way a bank will accept the request of a third party service (and they shouldn’t!). There’s also no way I was going to let a bill’s address be changed by a third party. So that left magazine subscriptions… of which we have two. Neither of which took more than an online form to change.

What about junk mail removal? That stuff is both free. Go to OptOutPrescreen.com [4] to stop junk mail and go to the National Do Not Call Registry [5] to stop the phone calls. Both are free.

Save yourself the $40-50 and skip the address change companies, they’re just not worth the money.

(Credit: r.nial.bradshaw [6])


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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/change-address-services-worth.html

[3] USPS official change of address form: https://moversguide.usps.com/icoa/home/icoa-main-flow.do?execution=e2s1&_flowId=icoa-main-flow&

[4] OptOutPrescreen.com: http://optoutprescreen.com/

[5] National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/

[6] r.nial.bradshaw: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33227787@N05/9321813548/

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