Monday, February 7, 2011
Changing your place of living can sometimes be compared to “burning the bridge behind”: some things will be gone from your life forever. You are unlikely to see again you neighbors, or your postman with whom you’ve frequently had a pleasant chat about weather; your kids will miss their classmates from the previous school – and even though they will keep in touch for some time, they will move on to new friendships rather quickly, making old friends history.
But don’t rush to abandon your old postal address: even if you notified your friends, employer, credit card companies and utility services where you now reside, there might still be some important mail cramming in your old box or getting thrown away by the new resident. A good example is if you were actively participating in various sweepstakes and contests. Sometimes it takes months for a winner to be selected but that could very well be you, so make sure you will receive notifications or prizes (if there are any) even after you move.
The first thing you should do is submit a change of address form to your local post office. Temporary mail forwarding will ensure that you get your mail that was sent to the old address forwarded to the new location for up to a year. Unfortunately some sweepstakes sponsors use express delivery services like UPS and FedEx to send your prize: the problem is these companies don’t have a mail forwarding option. Rather than giving up on your hopes of winning, you can take a few steps to increase your chances of receiving prizes you possibly won:
- Edit your profile if you participated in online sweepstakes and such an option is available
- Check your sweepstakes email address frequently: most people create a separate email account specifically for contests and other promotions that they want to participate in but then forget to check this secondary email
- Contact the sweepstakes sponsor and notify them of the address change; if that won’t work – follow up with them immediately after the winner announcement date and inquire if your name was selected by any chance
- Try to get on friendly terms with the new owners of your previous house/apartment: send them a welcoming note, maybe even a small inexpensive gift and ask them to notify you if there is any important mail/package in your name.
Participating in sweepstakes and contests is hard work and you shouldn’t let it go into waste just because you moved. A few simple steps will help the prizes find their rightful owner.