In the old days, people who lived in houses had mailboxes that were either curbside, attached near the front door or literally slots on the front door that mail could slide through. Mailcarriers, or mailmen as they were called before political correctness, would hike on foot for miles everyday, just to make absolutely sure every piece of mail was delivered as soon as possible.
Times have changed in favor of cheap efficiency and mass delivery for new-age postal workers. Enter your new community mailbox. It's a solution that saves the post office money, while being an inconvenience for you. The advantage of grouping mailboxes is clear; mail delivery people don't need to walk around neighborhoods for miles or burn gas on long daily routes. The post office hopes it keeps saving them money and keeps the cost of stamps low.
From my experience, it is always one of these three reasons:
It's time for a new lock right now, but what are your rights and options when it comes to your mailbox? Who can service it? Could you get in trouble for changing the locks on your own Federal mailbox? Please read on...
This type of mailbox is serviced by the government, and legally belongs to you as long as you live at that address. Your local post office can change the lock for you if you request service from them. Depending on your local postal branch, and how busy they are, wait times can vary. A typical wait time is 1-2 weeks, but if it's the holiday season, you shouldn't expect it to be changed any time soon.
These are still mailboxes under federal law, and cannot be tampered with unless you approve. Most apartments can replace your locks within a week at cost. Home owner associations are known to be much slower and may charge a higher fee.Many home owners associations will tell you a locksmith needs to do the work, and refer you to one.
The postal service won't service a group of mailboxes belonging to an Home Owners Association. It's because they were bought by an outside source, so the USPS doesn't want to be responsible for their maintenance.
Just show us an official form of identification, as well as a copy of mail to that address with your name on it, and we will service your mailbox. We need to make sure without a doubt you're the real owner before we start changing the locks out.
Service usually takes under 20 minutes to complete. Customers are always advised to test their new locks while we're standing there to ensure quality and satisfaction with the service.
Below is a comparison of the different people who can service your locks. As you can see, in most cases we are the fastest service to deal with, but not the cheapest. You are paying to get your mail now, instead of waiting for the USPS, HOA, or apartment management company to do the work.
$25-$40 depending on branch
Home Owners Assoc.
1-3 weeks if they offer it
$100 Flat Fee for new lock install and mobile service to you.