February 2009


Going Postal

As part of my preparation for moving, I headed down to the post office with two questions.

First, could I get my mail held while I was out of town; and Secondly, could I please fill out a change of address form?

The answers to these questions were: “No” and “That’s 15.20€ for six months, please”.

That’s right: two things that are free at the US Post Office are either impossible or not free.

Oh how I miss the US Postal Service.

12 comments to Going Postal

  • I was annoyed too when we moved within Germany and we found out it costs to get your mail forwarded. And then they did a bad job of it too! Despite their grimy, poorly organized offices, I really miss the USPS.

  • You were poorly advised. The Post does offer “Lagerservice”, although it does cost 8,20€. Their Umzug “service” is listed on http://bit.ly/post-de-umzug

  • Hmm, I thought that you could have your mail held for a fee. I seem to recall looking into that for our first big trip out of the country in December 2004 or so.

    Think something’s changed, or they just don’t offer that service anymore?

  • Hey, thanks Scott, for confirming my sanity!

  • Things like this remind me of how long I’ve been away from the States. My memory of the USP”S” was that it sucked rocks. When we came to Germany, I was happy that it had a functional, if expensive, postal service.

  • disenchanted

    Don’t praise the US too much. They are talking about cutting our service this summer to save money. That means, the post office would be closed on Tuesdays. Who knows if this is actually true?

  • We have a nice USPS person right now, but the previous one was pure evil. It is now going up to 44 cents (the 1 penny, 2 penny here increases is annoying – especially when you see the advertising campaigns around it that are partially funded by these increases).

  • J

    I’m glad that others advised you correctly about the post being held (it was free until 2003).

  • What galls me is how much they charge for a normal letter – 55 cents! Second-most expensive postage in the world after Japan. They made a big hoo-haa about how they reduced it from 56 cents a couple of years back – they were actually forced to do that – but did anyone notice that at the same time they raised the price of a letter outside Germany within Europe to 70 cents? Damn, Adam, ya got me started, because now I wanna launch into how they make you stand in line at the post office behind people who are there not to mail letters but to do their damn banking! grrr………

  • disenchanted

    I like my USPS gal also. She’s timely and carries around treats for the dogs. She even feeds the stray cat, Moocher. That said, the folks at the actual post office are annoying as hell. Grrr.

  • I’ve never been a big fan of the German post office–In general I find them to be incredibly expensive and figuring out how much something costs to mail is always more difficult that one can imagine.

    I gave up on mailing greeting cards because of the pricing…

    Thanks for the lagerservice tipp — I’ll remember to ask for it by that name in the future.

  • Michele in Erfurt

    Booking the Lagerservice online is the only way to go, this is what I always do when we go on vacation. https://www.efiliale.de/efiliale/nachsenden-lagern/uebersicht.jhtml?_requestid=21919 Works like a charm and I don’t have to wait in those damned lines. You can pay by credit card and possible via Bankeinzug as well, I don’t remember exactly. They deliver everything the day after the Auftrag expires, or at least they do in Erfurt. Like J, I remember the good old days when it was FREE, and all you had to do was fill out a card and give it to your letter carrier.