#1
Old 07-29-2008, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: US of O
Posts: 13,171
Lost only mailbox key?

We live in one of those developments where all the houses have their mail delivered to a set of boxes down the street. Well of course we had one key, and no matter how often I told myslef to get it duplicated I never did. Of course, now it is lost? Do I contact the post office or just call alocksmith or what?
#2
Old 07-29-2008, 10:47 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bangkok/52/Male
Posts: 8,869
These are called cluster mailboxes or neighborhood delivery and collection box units (NDCBU).

If you are the property owner then the mailbox is probably owned by you and you will need to call a locksmith to have it drilled out and a new lock installed. However according to this FAQ there may be instances where the USPS owns and maintains cluster boxes:

Quote:
The purchase, installation, maintenance, and replacement of mail receptacles used by customers for mail delivery are not the responsibility of the USPS. However, the USPS may authorize neighborhood delivery and Collection Boxes and parcel lockers to be purchased, installed, maintained, or replaced by the USPS.
#3
Old 07-29-2008, 10:58 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus
We live in one of those developments where all the houses have their mail delivered to a set of boxes down the street. Well of course we had one key, and no matter how often I told myslef to get it duplicated I never did. Of course, now it is lost? Do I contact the post office or just call alocksmith or what?

You could probably call a locksmith, not sure if they would be able to help or not. You can also contact post office and they can probably answer your question better, tell you what can be done.
#4
Old 07-30-2008, 02:50 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Greenwich, London, UK
Posts: 1,072
Contact the post office first. They often will change out the lock and for a lot less than a locksmith will charge. We've had to do this because our tenant took off with the keys (and changed the lock on the doors, as well!!!) Locksmith drilled the doors, but the post office fixed the mailbox.
#5
Old 07-30-2008, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Arcade
Posts: 2,280
In my case, when I needed a key for a business mail box set I contacted the carrier and he gave me a key.
#6
Old 07-30-2008, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture
These are called cluster mailboxes or neighborhood delivery and collection box units (NDCBU).

If you are the property owner then the mailbox is probably owned by you and you will need to call a locksmith to have it drilled out and a new lock installed.
Any respectable locksmith, such as myself, will pick/impression it and create a key from the pins/wafes inside. The purpose of this is two fold: a) they're not destroying government property and b) in the even that the postmaster has a key, we're not locking him out by just drilling the lock and ruining any sort of clue as to what key worked there originally.

You can call a locksmith and they'll do it for you. However, make sure to tell them it's for a mailbox on the phone. A lot of us don't mess with mailboxes for liability purposes. Also, be prepared to show proof that it is in fact your mailbox.
#7
Old 07-30-2008, 07:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
I would call the post office first. they often are responsible for the lock. They also have the key that opens the back of the entire box, which allows for easy lock changing.
#8
Old 07-30-2008, 09:36 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 6,025
I just moved into a house that has a community mailbox. The landlord has somehow lost the key to the mailbox. The local post office wants $75 to replace the key. My landlord says he will find the key. Today was day 3 with no mail.
#9
Old 07-30-2008, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 7,430
Not precisely the same issue, but when our condo complex replaced the mailbox cluster last week, we had to go to the post office to pick up our new keys. So obviously the P.O. has a great deal of say about those keys.

Ed

Last edited by suranyi; 07-30-2008 at 11:20 PM.
#10
Old 07-31-2008, 04:14 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: central New Mexico
Posts: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus
We live in one of those developments where all the houses have their mail delivered to a set of boxes down the street. Well of course we had one key, and no matter how often I told myslef to get it duplicated I never did. Of course, now it is lost? Do I contact the post office or just call alocksmith or what?
We have the same kind of mail delivery. You need to call the post office because they are "Property of the US Post Office" When my son lost the only key we had left to our box, the Post office charged us $15.00 for a new lock and 2 keys.

Last edited by katpohl; 07-31-2008 at 04:16 AM. Reason: add info
#11
Old 07-31-2008, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: US of O
Posts: 13,171
Well I called the post office and they said they do it every Tuesday for $30, so I arranged to have that done. Of course, as soon as I got home that evening we found the key.
#12
Old 07-31-2008, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 44,836
Rental property manager here. We got three sets of keys from our local post office. We keep one on the hook and one goes to the tenant. If the tenant loses theirs, we have a locksmith who will duplicate our copy. We charge $50 for duplicate keys. If any tenant loses our key, it's $100.

The third set of keys stays locked up in my Boss's private bathroom.
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