We've had an intermittent, ongoing problem with mail we send disappearing into thin air. Out of something like 10 letters sent, perhaps 3 have gone missing - even A post, and recently a registered letter. Not a good hit rate, and enough to make me rather grumpy at Swiss Post in general - particularly when the mail is to do with moving into or out of apartments.
We finally pieced together the pattern. I'd bought a couple of packets of envelopes - one normal DL sized, one C5 size (A4 folded in half). Crucially, the DL ones have transparent address windows. Of course when sending hand written/addressed letters, the window is pointless - so I'd carefully fold the letter to show blank paper through the window, and hand write the address the envelope beside the window.
Clearly, this turned the letter into a Non Conforming Item, which seems to get filtered into the great mail room in the sky (or down a bunker somewhere). My other half sent one recently, and got a comment from the person at the post office - 'but this is not right, the address must show through the window'. This triggered the realisation that sometimes I'd used the larger, windowless, C5 envelopes, and these had always gone through ok.
As we never send pre-addressed letters, the windowed DL envelopes have gone in the bin! Very frustrating, but now we know - and hopefully this will be useful to someone in future.
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Re: Swiss post disappearing mail tip
Pretty simple. They use a computer sorting system. Window envelopes go through a different sorting machine to non-window envelopes, and hand-written ones are the worst (especially if your handwriting is old fashioned cursive etc).
Did you put the return address on the back ? Eventually....3, 6, 12 months later...you may well get your post back again...
Yes, I guess I could have asked questions - but my Deutsche is is unfortunately still very limited. And I (naively) assumed the sorting machines would be smart enough to detect an address, no matter how formed. My handwriting isn't that bad - and addresses are always done in block caps, no cursive writing on the outside.
You can't align the address on the hand written letters with the window,why?
Mostly sheer laziness
Plus, I write letters so infrequently that I just do them from scratch rather than using a template. It would take me longer to find the template/figure out how to use it than just to write the address on the envelope.
Of course, missing mail costs a lot more time than I'd spend figuring out the template...hmmm....
(Obligatory Switzerland bashing: I've done the same thing in Australia and the UK with complete success! )
Couple of tips here:
1. Write the address on the back of the blank paper that appears at the window, so easy to do, just fold your letter, whatever and work out which bit will be showing through the window.
2. Put a sticker on the window with the address on it.
I've done both the above many times and never had a hitch.
The only problem I've encountered with Swiss Post was when they lost a package of mine which unfortunately was something I'd sold to another EF member. I eventually got my money back from Swiss Post after they verified the exchange took place (bank statement) and had traced the package to the last sorting centre before it disappeared. I paid no insurance for this and was really impressed that my money was returned. I'm ashamed to admit that I speak very little German and live in a 'hick' village, yet still could work all this out with very little effort. All I did was retain the payment slip from when I mailed the package.
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Why use those envelopes with windows in the first place? Why don't you just use normal plain envelopes and write on those. I guess the window ones are really meant for mass mailings and banks and such who use a template.
If you never use windowed envelopes why did you buy them in the first place?
Perhaps because, like me, the eyes and/or brain weren't in gear but the hands were.
Quick look; take; pay; pack into bag; go home; see mistake; kick myself.
That's why my shins usually have a sort of blue tinge.
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