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View Full Version : How to recieve a package without revealing my location?


codeloss
10-06-2003, 03:11 AM
Without getting too much into details, I do multimedia freelance type stuff. I've got a client who is not the most "professional" of people I've dealt with. But the pay is good and the work is easy. If I am to work on a current project for him, he would have to mail me a tape, but I'd prefer not to give out my address (a colleague who worked with him in the past had a bad experience).
So, is there a way around this? I believe both UPS and FedEx offer the option of picking up the package from their distribution place, and I am pretty close to both of them. But can you actually have them mailed there?
The only other option I have thought of would be to get a P.O. Box and have it shipped via USPS. But P.O. Boxes cost money.

Anyone have any better ideas?

Rabid_Squirrel
10-06-2003, 03:13 AM
Ahhaha. How legal is it?

Otherwise get a trusted friend to act as a go-between and/or get the PO Box for you.

Tomcat
10-06-2003, 03:55 AM
Mail Boxes, Inc., a PO box (I got one in Denver for $19/year) or ask your post office about 'poste restante' services.

-Tcat

Zenster
10-06-2003, 04:03 AM
General delivery in your name at any American post office.

zoltar7
10-06-2003, 04:18 AM
FedEx offers Hold at FedEx Location (http://fedex.com/us/services/express/addservopt/hold.html?link=4) service.

You could also have the package sent General Delivery (http://usps.com/receive/choicesfordelivery/receivemailinotherplaces.htm) to a nearby post office and go pick it up there.

But even if you are able to get the tape without revealing your physical address, how will the client send you other business mail, particularly payments?

handy
10-06-2003, 10:23 AM
Maybe you could try something like this:
Your name
c/o General Delivery
North Attleboro MA, 02760

Early Out
10-06-2003, 10:49 AM
handy takes over 6 hours simply to repeat what Zenster suggested. Very helpful.

Random
10-06-2003, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Early Out
handy takes over 6 hours simply to repeat what Zenster suggested. Very helpful.

But it added to his post count, and that's all that matters to him.


At least this one is (AFAIK) accurate, which is better than usual.

Bill H.
10-06-2003, 11:59 AM
Meanwhile, Early Out, Random, and Bill H. make posts with absolutely no useful content at all, placed for the sole purpose of damaging others.

Duke
10-06-2003, 12:18 PM
If you live near the Canada-U.S. border, there are a number of agencies that will take in a package for a fairly reasonable fee. They're generally designed for Canadian businesses who want to take in mail and packages without having to charge their customers international postal rates, but they will do work for individuals as well. The one I'm familiar with is a firm called "U.S. Address," on Witmer Road, Town of Niagara, NY.

'Course, if you don't live near the Canadian (or Mexican, I suppose) border, this bit of information is as useless as some of the rest of this thread, too!

Random
10-06-2003, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by Bill H.
Meanwhile, Early Out, Random, and Bill H. make posts with absolutely no useful content at all, placed for the sole purpose of damaging others.


Wrong. As has been said innumerable times before, facile answers from people who don't know what they are talking about can be harmful. Warning those readers who may be new, and therefore unfamiliar with a particular poster who places no value on accuracy, is a useful purpose. (Especially where dozens of requests to the post-count padder to refrain seem to have no effect.) Pit threads do no good, as he doesn't read them, and GQ readers (especially newbies) can't be expected to keep up with every pit thread.

And how do our responses damage handy? He knows that much/most of what he writes is nonsense. His errors have been pointed out to him hundreds of times. He clearly doesn't care, as he never apologizes, and doesn't change his behavior.

See, for example, Bricker's plea in a recent thread:

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=214535&highlight=handy

Bill H.
10-06-2003, 07:30 PM
Meanwhile, Bill H. -- who clearly has far too much spare time on his hands -- measures the postings and discovers that of 21 inches of responses, Random has taken up 8 inches or approximately 40%, adding zero value (or even reference) to the subject at hand. And why? To whine about a poster he apparently doesn't like, when ironically said poster gave a correct, useful and polite answer to the original question.

Look: I have no patience for people who spew with no knowledge, and I won't name names, but there are plenty out there. But far worse are the the little control nazis, who point out grammar flaws or spelling flaws or other absolutely irrelevant characteristics. But all this pales in comparison to the control-nazis who don't even have an issue to control, but feel they need to hog the bandwidth to dump their personal little diatribes. "Hey! this guy did something rotten yesterday! Don't listen to his good advice today! oh and Look at me!"

Random
10-06-2003, 11:08 PM
Yeah, look at me. 800 posts in 4 years, although I read this board nearly every day. You're right. I sure waste bandwidth.

And you know what? If you discount 30-40 posts from this past Spring setting up a Doper event, I bet in 75% of them, I gave professional, accurate information on issues that I actually know something about. At least 15 of those posts were to correct handy's latest spewings. Sometimes that involved actual research to confirm what I planned to say.

Too bad that's a concept foreign to handy and his fans. Fortunately, most people who post to GQ are different. (And hundreds here contribute far more than I do.) But I think a lot of us would be happier if less of our time was spent cleaning up messes.

And yes, he appears to have been right this time, which I suppose is worth something, even though another poster had already said exactly the same thing. If you read my first response, you will note that I gave him credit for the (apparently) correct answer. (Stopped clock truism, I suspect.) Unfortunately, correct answers from him are so rare, it was worthy of comment.

Huerta88
10-06-2003, 11:44 PM
I would join those suggesting the "hold at FedEx terminal" option.

A private mail box service would work too, and they are not horribly expensive -- it can also be a good way to have a more "professional" sounding address (they're often on major streets and at least till recently you could add somthing impressive sounding like "Suite 140" as the box number).

However . . . I recently had occasion to rent one, and was assured that you now must use "mail box number 140" or "PMB 140" (and nothing else). Also, they are now quite demanding (at least mine was) about securing extensive documentation (your driver's license, etc.) and knowing what names you'll receive mail under (mine said you could only use your own name or a pre-designated d/b/a). They attributed this to govt-instituted security rules (I suppose the 9/11 jackasses and similar types were users of PMBs), though I'm not sure I accept to PMB co. as an authority on what the law actually requires (or that such regulation would in fact appreciably diminish terror -- all else being equal, the shady types engaging in these antics are more likely to have convincing fake ID than is Joe Freelancer). I'd imagine some of these changes are not welcome for PMB users who -- for whatever dubioius, but not terroristic, reason, were drawn to the service precisely because of the layer of anonymity it provides).

In a similar vein -- I wonder whether various P.O.s have stopped allowing, or have restricted, poste restante or general delivery service. I've never known anyone to use these services (except maybe while backpacking around Europe) -- do they work reliably? If so, wouldn't the P.O. also have a disincentive to offer a free service that provides many of the same benefits as their for-fee P.O.B.s?

Early Out
10-07-2003, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by Huerta88
In a similar vein -- I wonder whether various P.O.s have stopped allowing, or have restricted, poste restante or general delivery service. I've never known anyone to use these services (except maybe while backpacking around Europe) -- do they work reliably? If so, wouldn't the P.O. also have a disincentive to offer a free service that provides many of the same benefits as their for-fee P.O.B.s? It does seem like a losing proposition for them, but according to this item on their website (http://usps.com/receive/choicesfordelivery/receivemailinotherplaces.htm), the USPS still offers general delivery service.

handy
10-07-2003, 10:30 AM
"handy takes over 6 hours simply to repeat what Zenster suggested."

Wow, what a zinger. It only took me 2 minutes. Look, if you didn't notice the OP wants an anon package. But if you looked really carefully at what I typed, don't you wonder how I knew the most possible city & zip code of the company? I could have given the most probable street address too & a map right to the door. Whats the point of using c/o GD to get a box when the address for the company is right on the net? Duh.

There is alot more to what I type, you just have to look more carefully, think of it as a brain teaser, Early Out.

bibliophage
10-07-2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Random
Pit threads do no good, as he doesn't read themThose wishing to take issue with another poster's pattern of posts in general will do so only in the BBQ Pit forum or via private e-mail. That the poster in question does not read the BBQ Pit is immaterial. GQ is still not the place for it.

As for protecting newbies from wrong answers, well, taking issue with the factual content of a GQ post in the same GQ thread is of course acceptable, even encouraged. If there is reason to believe a post is factually incorrect, then a pattern of factually incorrect posts on the same subject may reasonably be brought into play in that same GQ thread. Since there is no issue with the factual content of the post in this thread, there is no call to bring up such a pattern here.

The remainder of this thread will be devoted to answering the factual question asked by codeloss.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

Sofa King
10-07-2003, 12:47 PM
You could do the Hannibal Lecter thing and hire a remailing service (http://whatsinteresting.com/remail_why.htm). It's definitely not a better idea, though, because I understand they can be somewhat costly.

Random
10-09-2003, 01:14 AM
Here's an interesting discussion of the intersection of privacy rights and security concerns relating to anonymous mailing addresses.

http://cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp48.pdf

Although the OP's concerns are probably best served by one of the Fed-Ex or UPS services already described, if one has extreme security concerns for a legitimate purpose, and cost is not a major issue, I suggest working through an attorney, as lawyers can (and must) legally refuse to disclose client secrets.

In response to Bibliophage: I apologize, and will comply with the rule that you set forth. In other words, in GQ, I will only discuss handy inaccuracies in the threads in which they occur. In saying that, I want to make it clear that I am not undertaking to address all of his errors here. As much as I value accuracy in the SDMB, I unfortunately don't have that much time.

justwannano
10-09-2003, 01:29 AM
Have you thought of having it delivered to your lawyers office?
Perhaps that would convey the message"Hey pal don't mess with me".

the O-man
10-09-2003, 09:27 AM
I just wanted to clarify that if you have a package sent to FedEx, hold for pick up, it must be sent via FedEx. Sounds logical, but there are people who will try to send packages or letters to FedEx by US mail, Airborne, UPS, etc. They will just be refused by the terminal if it's not addressed to an employee. If you want to use the service, you have to pay for it. Also, FedEx has no way of proving that you received the package if it does not have a FedEx tracking number on it. There are legal issues that could ensue from this.
General delivery through the Post Office is probably the way to go if he is mailing you something and you don't have a PMB.

constantine
10-09-2003, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by codeloss
The only other option I have thought of would be to get a P.O. Box and have it shipped via USPS. But P.O. Boxes cost money.

Anyone have any better ideas?

Well...

I know you asked specifically about getting a package delivered (and I promise I'll get to that) but I can't resist offering unasked for advice. It seems to me that many "oh my God why did I ever to business with this moron/idiot/crook/psycho" stories begin with someone who said "well, I know he's a moron/idiot/crook/psycho and my friend had a bad experience working with him, but the work is easy and the pay is good." Also, I am assuming that your client is not asking you to do anything illegal, or to participate in some kind of illegal or crooked scheme. Just to be very clear, I'm not accusing you of that. But I do think you should consider whether there is time in your schedule and your life to deal with this person.

With all that out of the way, I vote for the p.o. box. as the best way to "insulate" you from weird client.

Not knowing the details (which you are understandably reluctant to go into) I can only speculate, but I am just wondering how weird client is going to react if you tell him, "hey, just send it to me general delivery at my local post office." Assuming that he is a weird, control-freak kind of person, I suspect he will say "what? why don't you just give me your address? I need to get this to you quickly, I don't have time to screw around with genderal delivery." What exactly are you going to say then?

On the other hand, if you tell weird client, "just send it to my address with is blah blah blah street, suite 245, blah blah blah," then that is that, and there's nothing to discuss. These day you do (almost always) have to show ID with your home address on it when you get a P.O.Box at Mail Boxes Etc. (or wherever) but so what? That doesn't mean they will turn over your address to anyone that asks.

I have heard vague rumblings that you used to be able to list P.O. Box #24 as "Suite 24" and that you are not supposed to do that anymore. But when I asked the guy at my local mail box place, he said they don't care. If mail comes in addressed to a suite number rather than a P.O. Box number, they will still deliver it to you.

If you're very worried about cost, you could also just rent the box for month, and then cancel it.

spinky
10-09-2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by constantine
Assuming that he is a weird, control-freak kind of person, I suspect he will say "what? why don't you just give me your address? I need to get this to you quickly, I don't have time to screw around with genderal delivery." What exactly are you going to say then?You can just say that you've had a lot of problems with packages being delivered to your home and/or office due to lack of someone to sign, lack of place to leave the package, or because it's hard to find. My last house was in an alleyway, not visible from the street my address was on, and I really had a hell of a time getting packages delivered. I usually ended up going to the UPS or FedEx holding center and picking them up myself. General Delivery would have been a good solution.

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