Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center Complaint - The Owner Of This Facility Refuses To Issue A Refund For 8 Months Of Mailbox Rental Fees Which Were Paid In Advance!

Review by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-05-26
PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK -- Details of Complaint:

On November 4, 2008, I renewed my annual mailbox rental at Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center, which is a private mailbox rental facility in Plattsburgh, New York. My credit card was charged $165.00 for a 12 month mailbox rental for the period beginning on January 1, 2009 and ending on December 31, 2009. Because I prepaid the entire year in advance, I was given one month free, which was credited to my account as a $1.25 per month discount off of the regular monthly rental rate of $15.00 per month.

On April 28, 2009, I notified the owner of Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center in writing that due to the fact that I would be moving out of state, I would like to close my mailbox. I requested the closure of my mailbox effective May 1st and asked for a refund of the remaining 8 months of prepaid mailbox rental fees. Adjusting for the removal of the annual mailbox rental credit, I figured out that I should be charged $60.00 for 4 months of mailbox rental fees, and I should be issued a credit in the amount of $105.00 for the remaining 8 months of mailbox rental fees. I should also be issued an additional credit of approximately $20.00 for the mail forwarding fees which are currently held against my account.

On May 7th, I received my regularly scheduled forwarded mail from Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center, but there was no refund check, or even an acknowledgment of my request to close my mailbox. On May 18th, I sent a handwritten letter to the owner, requesting, for a second time, that she issue me a refund for the 8 months remaining on my mailbox rental. I asked her to either issue a credit in the refund amount to my credit card account or send me an email stating why she feels that she doesn't have to issue me a refund. On May 22nd, I sent a third request for a refund, this time by email.

I received an email reply from the owner on May 23rd, stating that she would not be issuing me a refund because she claims that under the mailbox rental agreement, Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center does not issue refunds on the prepayment of annual mailbox rental fees. I never signed a contract with Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center. The mailbox rental agreement which I signed more than six years ago was with Mail Boxes Etc., which was the predecessor of the current company. Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center has no affiliation with either Mail Boxes Etc. or UPS. If the owner wanted to continue the terms of the old contract, she should have asked me to sign a new contract with the new company.

If the owner continues to refuse to refund my unused mailbox rental fees and mail forwarding deposit, I will exhaust every legal avenue trying to recover my money.

Desired Outcome:

I would like Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center to issue me a refund in the amount of approximately $125.00 for the mailbox rental and mail forwarding fees which I have previously paid to them but will not be using.

I have already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, but I have heard that the BBB is notorious for siding with the merchant. I intend on filing additional complaints with all of the appropriate state, local, and federal consumer protection agencies.
Comments:26 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-12-27
Posted by Toni I. on 2009-05-26:
It sounds to me that the only reason that the owner of this mailbox rental facility (also known as a "mail drop") doesn't want to give you a refund of your pre-paid mailbox rental fees is because her business is probably in financial trouble.

Since this business is close to the Canadian border, it's "bread and butter" is accepting mail and packages for Canadians who, because of the weak U.S. Dollar, purchase items from American mail order companies and have them shipped to mail drops on the American side of the border. They can then pick-up their shipments from the mail drop and drive them into Canada without declaring them, avoiding the hefty duties and tariffs charged by the Canadian Government. Since the Canadian economy is now also having problems, the Canadian Dollar is no longer at parity with the U.S. Dollar. This makes American products more expensive for Canadians, and thus mail order purchases by Canadians sent to border town mail drops are way down.

This doesn't excuse the owner of this mail drop from issuing you your refund, it just illustrates the fact that she may be experiecing financial problems, and you, as a former customer who is moving out of state, is not a priority to her. This doesn't excuse her behavior, and I believe that she should refund the money that you paid in advance for your mailbox rental.

Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-26:
"This simply isn't true, as the mailbox rental agreement which I signed with Mail Boxes Etc. (The predecessor company) over six years ago does not mention anything about non-refundable mailbox rental fees."

this is not the same company. thre new place has a different set of rules.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-05-26:
Hey madconsumer,

The new place may have a different set of rules, but I never agreed to them. The agreement which I signed with Mail Boxes Etc. over six years ago does not mention anything about mailbox rental fees paid in advance being non-refundable.

It's clear that the owner of Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center is an unethical business person. She doesn't want to refund the mailbox rental fees which I paid in advance because she wants to rent my old mailbox to someone new and collect double fees on one mailbox.

Why can't I get a refund of services for which I have already paid for but won't be using?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-26:
If you continued to do business with them after the change of ownership, you agreed to the new terms.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-05-27:
Hey madconsumer and Robf,

Since you two seem to know it all, what would you do if you were in my situation? Would you just let the owner of this mailbox rental facility get away with keeping money that you already paid for services which you won't be receiving, or would you at least make an attempt to recover your money?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-05-27:
I know it's the principle of the thing, but from the amount of time you have spent dealing with this, it seems as if you've lost more money than it is worth.
Just gotta pick your battles.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-05-27:
jktshff1: I guess that you're right...

I can only hope that in the near future, the bad economy, along with the lies and the unethical business practices of the owner, will cause Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center to go out of business!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-05-27:
Heywood, stick around. This is a great site.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-27:
"On November 4, 2008, I renewed my annual mailbox rental ..."

you had a choice to NOT renew the rental, but YOU did. i did not force you to sign the aggreement or pay for it.

"I can only hope that in the near future, the bad economy, along with the lies and the unethical business practices of the owner, will cause Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center to go out of business!"

okay, i wish you loose you job as well. wishing someone to loosse their job is pretty low.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-05-27:
A believe Haywood has a legit complaint. If you take over contracts and revolving customers from another business, you are assuming their agreements. If any changes are desired, he had a right to have a new agreement presented to him.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-05-27:
slim, you are right, but unless you got more money than time, the only thing to do is "advertise" the fact that they are ripping people off.
Posted by Pepper on 2009-05-27:
slim... actually that's a good point.

one of my co-workers had that with her cell phone. the company had a calling plan of unlimited calling for $50 a month. when another company bought them out, all the contracts got switched to the new company... and the new company had to honor them all. ... So my co-worker ended up with her exact same contract just with a bigger network.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-05-27:
madconsumer: The word is "lose", not "loose" or "loosse"!

For your information, I never signed a contract with Plattsburgh Mail and Ship when I renewed my mailbox rental on 11/04/08. The only contract that I ever signed with this mailbox rental facility was with Mail Boxes Etc. when I originally opened my mailbox in January 2003. The owner ceased to be a Mail Boxes Etc. franchisee on 03/27/08, so my previous agreement was no longer valid after that date. The owner had every opportunity to request that I sign a contract with the new company when I renewed my mailbox rental last November, but failed to do so. Why was the burden on me to request a new contract?

Contrary to what you say, I am not wishing that anyone lose their job, I am just hoping that a dishonest business, which has ripped me off, goes out of business. Didn't you ever hope that a business which has ripped you off went out of business?

...and as for you, I would never wish that you lose your job, as I never met you and I have no idea who you are. Besides, your poor spelling skills demonstrate to me that you are ill-educated and you are probably making minimum wage at a fast food restaurant. People like you need to keep your low-paying jobs, lest you go on welfare or start collecting SSI and become a burden to the taxpayers!
Posted by Toni I. on 2009-05-27:
Heywood, pay no attention to madconsumer. He is a notorious troublemaking instigator on My3cents who gets a kick out of insulting others and causing problems.

I think that you have a valid complaint, and as a six year customer of that maildrop, the owner should have done the right thing and issued you a refund. Whether or not that maildrop goes out of business is beyond your control. The weak economy and the negative reputation that this business invariably will earn will dictate it's fate!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-16:
I think the point you are missing is that you DID agree to the regulations of this new company when you paid them 12 months in advance for your service. Also, you got a month free on top of that.

Regardless of who you signed the original contract with, if Mailboxes is NOT the company who owns the business now, and Mailboxes is NOT who you paid, then you DID agree and you are out of luck.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-06-17:
FYI: "LadyScot" is actually the owner of Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center.

[snip - no personal information please]

Tell me, Miss Know-It-All... How did I get a month free if I paid for 12 months but I only got 4 months of service?

Posted by Pepper on 2009-06-17:
I thought it was because you tried closing it after 4 months?

any luck on getting the other packages tracked or are they write-offs?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-17:
KIA=know it all...hehehe...do I get Professor Snape as well?

You got a promos package with a month free...said so yourself up there. YOU chose to cancel...NOT the company. I used to see this type of thing when I worked in jewelry with the buy one get one promos...people try to cancel the order or return the 'paid' piece and keep the 'free' one...it is only free IF you KEEP the PAID piece. Otherwise, you pay for it.

Now, since you slung out the first piece of sarcasm, let me put this where even you can understand it. You got a month free...the free month was probably the FIRST month, which you have already USED...therefore, you can not cancel your contract now and receive a refund.

Regardless who you started with, the owner of the business now is who the contract is with. When you continued to renew your contract, it was transferred to the new business. Once you paid, you agreed. Simple as that. Read your agreement. When you purchase or renew a mailbox you get one.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-06-17:
Hey "LadyScot": After I post this comment I will block you because you are nothing but a crooked, lying, weasel. What gets me is that you actually think that you know what you are talking about! Have you ever heard of the old adage "The customer is always right"? OBVIOUSLY NOT. You'd rather rip off your customers than be fair with them!

I can only hope and pray that the word will get out that Plattsburgh Mail and Shipping Center is a dishonest business and your customer base will shrivel up and disappear!
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-06-17:
best answers ladyscot!!!

""The customer is always right"?"

have you ever heard the customer is not always right? in todays economy, to many people try ripping off stores. toys r us, target are two very good examples of stores upping the return policy. best buy also comes to mind. reason? people try sticking it to them while returning old used items.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-17:
Heywood, I do not own the Shipping Center, but I wish I did. I would have canceled your membership immediately. I know about business mergers & contracts because I dealt with them for years in business. I am sorry you don't like the answer I gave you, but that doesn't change the fact that it is true.

Take some responsibility for yourself.

Oh, and the customer is NOT always right and I will not pretend that they are. I believe in running a business, not a daycare. How is it ripping off a customer for a business to follow a contract you want to break? Sue them please, so that a judge can tell you for a fee what I told you for free.

Oh, and block me..Please. :) I love being blocked because I speak truth. So refreshing to be persecuted for a valid reason these days.
Posted by CaptainSpaulding on 2009-06-18:
I have blocked "madconsumer" and "LadyScot", as I no longer wish to be irritated by these two pests!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-18:
LMAO...If you agree with Hey you are a buddy. If you disagree and tell the truth (that HEY is responsible for the contract she agreed to) you are a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest. I'm a pest.I'm a pest.I'm a pest.
Posted by LikesToShop on 2009-12-27:
Can't agree more with the author of this. Plattsburgh Mail is a dispicable and dishonestly run/owned company. They are a bunch of rude people who really have never heard that you catch more bees with honey than you do vinegar and, believe me, this is one acidic place! It is no wonder UPS canceled their association with them and they had to go on their own. Hopefully they will go under or someone reputable and honest will take over and people can have faith in a facility and the service that they pay a fair bit for.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-27:
I really wonder about the mentality of people who always wish a company would go under. Do you not realize that the employees are going to be without a job if that happens? Then the same people come here to complain that THEY got laid off due to downsizing....wonder how many people wished for them to lose their jobs?
Posted by Pepper on 2009-12-27:
is captain heywood?

though, i am wondering... what the contract was for the place
cos i know some places have contracts that don't allow for refunds

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