Review: Mail Forwarding
What: Mail Forwarding Service
Where to Buy: Depending on domicile. We’re reviewing St. Brendan’s Isle and Escapees
Once you decide on a domicile and you’re full-timing, unless you have a family member willing to be the point of contact for your mail and have them send it (which may not exactly foster good will between yourself and the family member), you should look into mail forwarding services. We used two services over the year. The difference between them are night-and-day.
Overview: This service has both Texas and Florida. The pricing structure is varied, depending on the level of service you want. The basic service ($195) includes the annual fee, postage deposit, enrollment fee and a cancellation fee (which seems a bit presumptuous).
If you opt to not have class or special sorting, you will not get the (brand new) scanning service. You will not be notified if/when new mail comes in so you need to be on top of things or schedule a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly send if you want to see your mail.
Our Experience: You could not pay us to use this service again. It was beyond horrible for us. They sent our mail to the wrong customer (ok, mistakes happen). What’s worse is they didn’t let us know about the fact that they lost it and did very little to get our mail back. We asked for our mail to be sent to us with 2-Day delivery and received their verification it would be sent. After 5 days, we had not received the mail so we reached out. No response back. Finally we called again after 7 days, only to find out that they sent the mail to the wrong person and had no idea where the mail was. They thought the mail was sent to a particular customer, but did not reach out to the customer to see if that was the case nor did they send that customer a label to send the mail back. They neglected to tell us anything, and only told us because we continued to prompt them for information.
After a lot of words from us, we also insisted we be provided with a daily update. No update was provided. Finally we received a call that they received our mail back and there seemed to be a question how the mail should be sent. Considering we waited a week plus due to their mistake, you’d think good customer service would tell them that they should send the mail Next Day Air at their expense. That was asking too much. We asked for tracking information and none was sent. The unapologetic and lackadaisical way they handled their mistake was appalling. It felt like we were dealing with volunteers who would rather be doing anything than doing the job of mail forwarding. It was unprofessional at best.
Would Recommend: No. Wait, on second thought, NO.
UPDATE: After writing this review, a VP from Escapees reached out to Kim, claiming that the mail was delayed because some of the mail was addressed to Chris and the service was only for Kim. Actually, none of the mail was addressed to Chris and 100% was addressed to Kim so we asked them to check their sources. However, we did point out that if that was the case, then this should have been conveyed in the first place. The explanation made no sense because return to sender for Chris wouldn’t have lost Kim’s mail as well, but maybe there’s some fancy USPS action going on there. Maybe Mastercard is offering us a free pony if we sign up now through junk mail. We reiterated that the issue was the customer service and lack of transparency. In addition, they indicated they did comp the shipping of the lost mail to us. As we don’t get an accounting of this, we will accept their statement and stand corrected on that point. This incident occurred approximately four months ago and this is the first time anyone reached out to us to explore the miscommunication. We are certainly willing to work with them, but the information we’re being given is inconsistent with their own information they provided to us months earlier. If they had said a few months ago “Yo, Bozos! You did this wrong!” we would have worked with them and this post would have read “This is how newbies can screw things up”. They said nothing to the kind at the time. For the record, Chris doesn’t use the address, nor does he give it out, and he’d actually be hard-pressed to provide it to anyone without calling Kim first to ask for the address (to which she’d say “Why are you giving out that address?”). We appreciate their reaching out and hopefully things have improved since this incident. We still do have the service and the one other time we had mail sent to us it arrived without issue.
St. Brendan’s Isle
Overview: This service allows for marine travelers as well as RVers to receive their mail. The “Travelers Special” is a monthly fee of $11.99 per month which includes all mail forwarding. There is also a scan option of $7.99 per month.
Our Experience: We opted for both the Travelers Special and the Scanning Service options. This service has been invaluable to us. We were notified via email when new mail came in. The postage fees to get the mail to us was extremely reasonable. The scanning service was very valuable as we were able to view bills and not have to waste postage fees on mail we didn’t really need to see in person.
We have also had large packages delivered here without issue. The price of $240 per year may seem steep, but considering the terrible experience we had with Escapees, we knew the reliability and consistency of this mail forwarding service was worth every penny. In addition, mail scanning with Escapees would bump up the base price so the price is practically even. St. Brendan’s Isle. Everything has been handled professionally and we found the service is perfect for our needs. We never really had to “think” about our mail. All the hard work is done by them.
Would Recommend: Yes
The Bottom Line
If choosing between the two mail forwarders, without hesitation we would recommend St. Brendan’s Isle. We are giving Escapees a chance as they did reach out to try to remedy the issue and will update as things progress.