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Hi all and a Happy New Year. We are getting ready to leave the Chicago area soon and head down to Florida for about six weeks. Can anyone give me any input on using a Co. called 'Dakotapost' for mail forwarding. Any comments or other recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks

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DakotaPost has taken over the FMCA mail forwarding function. They are a full service mail forwarding service offering services beyond mail handling to include vehicle registration and resident services for South Dakota. You can contact them and get their rates for short term mail handling. You could have your US mail forwarded to them but any magazines and other special mail would have to have the address changed for each magazine to their address as the post office won't forward those items.

There is another company in South Dakota that we used for many years, MyHome Address, located in Emery, SD. It offers the same services as Dakota Post. Check their rates as well. It is a smaller company and may offer more personalized service.

This is how it works with the mail forwarding services. The mailing service is set up to accumulate mail for a period of time and then forward it to you as a single package or envelope. We usually had our mail delivered once a week but you could change that depending on your needs. A priority mail envelope holds a good deal of mail and will reach you within two or three days of the time it is mailed from the mail forwarding facility. You will have to plan on this when selecting an address to have the mail forwarded to. If you are changing locations we always tried to have mail delivered near the new location when we arrived. That way we could pick it up on the way to the campground (yes in a 40' motor home - but we didn't drive into the PO parking lot) or if it hadn't arrived yet we could go back a check on it in a day or two. If you have mail sent to an area where you are and it is to arrive just before you leave, you will have a problem if it is late in arriving at the post office. Your choices will be to delay your departure or simply wait for the mail to be returned to the mail handling service and then forwarded again (at your expense).

If you are going to be staying at a single location in Florida, the USPS service may work for you but if you are moving from one location to another during the six weeks the services listed above can forward to different addresses with an e-mail or phone call to give them the new address. Many campgrounds will not accept mail for residents. When full time we always had our mail sent General Delivery to the nearest small post office. You can check the USPS web site for nearby post offices, get their zip codes and confirm the services they offer include General Delivery mail. We liked the small post offices because they generally know when they have general delivery mail and can locate it quickly. They are also easier to get to and from than larger city post offices.

Enjoy your winter respite from Chicago!

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If it has to do with bills, I would pay a couple of months ahead and for Mortgage, RV payment and any other "big" bills, call them and find

out how to do bank transfer over Internet. Same with credit cards. 6 weeks is not long!

Carl

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We took the Butlers advice and are using My Home Address. We are very pleased. Personalized service. They registered our MH in SD and all went smoothly. We call every few weeks and get mail. They do great and it seems to be very reasonable in cost. Thanks Tom and Louise. David

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If it has to do with bills, I would pay a couple of months ahead and for Mortgage, RV payment and any other "big" bills, call them and find

out how to do bank transfer over Internet. Same with credit cards. 6 weeks is not long!

Carl

For all bills I pay them on line. I can even pay my yard guy on line. Now days there isn't a need to pay ahead or use the mail like we use to. I have the post office hold all the rest of my mail (mostly junk) and a couple of magazine subscriptions till I get back.

Bill

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When we moved to the country we got a large PO box, even though we have a mail box. We get very little mail there. Whe we are going to be gone for an extended period of time we just put hold till return on our mail. On line and auto pay works for us.

Herman

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We took the Butlers advice and are using My Home Address. We are very pleased. Personalized service. They registered our MH in SD and all went smoothly. We call every few weeks and get mail. They do great and it seems to be very reasonable in cost. Thanks Tom and Louise. David

Thanks. Glad to hear that it is working for you David. It has been almost four years since we gave up our South Dakota address. My Home Address was always dependable but over time things change. Your note lets me know that their excellent service continues. It is true that almost everything can and is being done on-line these days but there are always a few things that have to go in the mail.

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Dakota post NO. I used them with the virtual mail service this year. It does not work well and is expensive. When I would view mail and have a piece scanned cost either $1 or 2$ plus $0.50/page. Then if chose to shred the piece I had to wait until I saw shred completed until I deleted from my mail box or it would be mailed to me on my next mail request. I called on 2 different occasions to speak with owner/ management was told he is not in office.  I also noted many of the forwarded usps stickers were over the return address So i could not tell who the mail/letter was from, Not Dakotas fault but they could have removed the usps forwarding label before the scanned it into my virtual mail box. Also seemed the mail took forever to be scanned into my virtual mail box. Yes could have been a delay getting mail from the post office to Dakota post but? When I did request mail to be sent was done in a timely fashion but is was sent 2nd day usps at additional cost to me. I finally did get an email from Bill L asking my concerns which I had to express in an email. Not person to person! 

I will not be using Dakota post in the future.

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I've used DakotaPost for several years now and have had no issues with their service or fee structure.  Any delays that I've encountered has been the forwarding process of the USPS and not due to any fault of Dakota Post.  Their virtual mailbox had some growing pains when first available, but, after a couple of months I've grown to really like that feature.  Tagging the mail is easy, determining what the mail is, is rather straightforward as long as USPS doesn't put the forwarding address over the envelope's return address (Dakota Post doesn't have any control over placement, it is applied by the USPS).  I've had nothing but pleasurable experiences when dealing with the staff.  I needed a portion of a rather large document one time (time sensitive) and when they got my scan request, they called and asked if I really wanted to spend that much money ...  I explained to them that I really only needed one page, but, I really needed it and couldn't wait the couple of days for it to be forwarded.  I was pleasantly surprised when he asked which page I needed...he got that one page out, scanned it and I had it within a couple of hours.  What's not to like?  Whenever I request my mail, it is sent quickly and I opt for the faster delivery option, Priority Mail is quicker than regular post and since I only request my mail once or twice a month, the cost isn't prohibitive.  I like the service, their reliability and their staff has been wonderful.  Are they the cheapest?  No. Are they worth what they charge?  Most assuredly. 

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