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  Voyagers Mail Forwarding Service

Services

 

Basic Voyagers Service includes:

Mail receiving/forwarding for one year (you pay postage/shipping)

FREE toss the junk plan

FREE emergency message relaying

FREE renewal of your annual United States Coast Guard documentation sticker

 

What's the annual Cost?

About the same as a nice meal for four!

Our annual fee is $249.00 and you will get a 20% ($50.00) discount if you sign up online for the first year.

Wow, I want to sign up right now.

Add a $100 refundable deposit for your postage costs. You will be set up on our computerized system that generates a receipt for each package plus a detailed monthly statement showing the charges made against your postage deposit, and your current account balance.

No Hidden Fees:

Many mail forwarders charge a one-time start-up fee. Some charge extra for any additional last names and temporary guests. Although never mentioned in their brochures, many mark up the shipping rates as much as triple!

We don't!

Your new address:

Here is an example of what an address for one of our customers looks like:  

 

Your Name
PMB XXX
(we will assign a 3 digit suffix)
31 Ocean Reef Dr. C101
Key Largo, FL 33037

Free toss the junk plan:


This service can easily cut your mail forwarding costs in half, even more if you will be traveling outside the US!

With so many catalog companies buying (and selling!) your name on mailing lists, it doesn't take long to start receiving more than you care to get. And we understand that your name is now made available to those list companies when you do a change of address at your post office. It's not that much of big deal before you start cruising, you can just throw them away. But when they accumulate for a month, they can create quite an impressive sized (and heavy) stack of mail. Following is the text from the forms we send out to help you understand how we try to help you solve this problem:

Most new customers have questions about our policies for sorting mail. The following guidelines should answer most of those questions.

If you are concerned about your postage costs, you can ask us to 'toss the junk' by checking the appropriate box below. There is no extra charge for us to toss the junk. What do we consider junk? The dozen mail order catalogs, that we all seem to get without asking for, are sent to the trash. Sweepstakes offers bite the dust (yes, even though you are PRACTICALLY GUARANTEED to win 10 billion dollars). Annual reports, proxy, alumni & nonprofit materials follow close behind. Anything sent at the bulk mail rate is regarded with scrutiny. Some things, like your Cruising World renewal notice and SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) bulletins might be sent to you at bulk rate. We don't toss those.


What is not considered junk? Most first class mail, newspapers, magazines, non profit and trade publications,  and the big boating related catalogs get sent. If there is anything in this group that you don't want to receive, please notify the sender. If we're tossing the junk for you and we're not sure about something, we send it. The decision to toss, or not, may be based on whether you are in the states (i.e. cheap postage) or not.


When you are in the States we don't get too carried away sorting out the junk mail. We toss the obvious heavy stuff like catalogs. You will usually have several pounds of mail to be forwarded. If you have 5.8 pounds of mail and we reduce that down to 5.2 pounds, there is no savings to you. You are still paying for six pounds (all carriers round the weight up). Even if we did get it under 5 lbs, the difference in price for UPS ground service is about a dime. If you have us send something at the more expensive next day air rate, then it makes sense for us to start looking a little closer for ways to lower your shipping cost.


When you are outside the U.S. we pay more attention to what we send. The Overseas rates are very expensive for all of the carriers. A few ounces can sometimes make a big difference in cost. We also take a few more liberties with your mail when we are tossing the junk for you.

If the toss the junk plan doesn't exactly fit your needs, one of our premium services, like our red flag service or special mail sorting, might offer what you need.

Unless you tell us differently, we send everything. One man's junk is another man's treasure.


PS: Speaking of junk mail, rest assured that we do not sell our customers' names to mailing lists.

Extra  Voyagers Services Available

You have probably already learned that we try to be much more than a simple mail forwarding company.  We offer 4 more optional services in an effort to help you be able to tailor our service to meet any special needs you may have.

If you need a service that is not listed, just give us a call and ask. We have been a temporary office for delivery captains and an offshore sailing instructor. Using a power of attorney we've managed other affairs for our customers, like closing the sale on their home.


Red Flag Service

We also offer what we call our Red Flag Service for the important items you are expecting that need special attention. We check your mail, piece by piece, every day until it arrives. Then, depending on the instructions you left with us, we can give you a call, or leave a message on your voice mail, or deposit it to your bank, or return it to sender, or send on to you right away, or...

Do you have a big fat check coming from the lottery commission, and you want us to send it to you via private courier when it shows up? Did your mother send you Uncle Mike's birthday present by mistake, and you want us to send it on to him when it shows up?

Then our Red Flag Service is for you. We charge a small service fee, depending on the complexity of the request and the length of time it is outstanding, for requests of the "keep an eye out for" variety. We document your request and put a red tag in your box, alerting us to look for a specific item each time we put anything in that box.

The red flag can work for things that you don't want too. You might want us to not send any boxes of goodies while you out of the country. Two dollars covers the simple red flags.


If you require a more specialized level of mail handling, read about our special mail sorting service.


Special Mail Sorting

We can handle just about any type of special situation for you. If you need to know what exactly is in your box, and even have us read your mail to you on a daily basis if need be, one of our clerks will be happy to accommodate you. Would you like to send us an itemized list of which pieces of mail to send/not send? We can handle that for you too.

Special mail sorts are not included in your yearly mail forwarding service fee. We offer the toss the junk program for people who don't want or need individualized sorting, but simply want to reduce the volume of mail that is forwarded. Like our red flag service, the actual charge will vary depending on the amount of time and work involved.

The service can be used in other ways too, and is only limited by your imagination (and wallet). For example: When the time comes, we can send his mail to one address, and hers to another. (Not that you will need this!)
 

Message Relaying

Messages are charged at $2.00 each. There is no charge for emergency messages.

Your friends, family, and businesses can get a message to you using our 24 hour fax line, e-mail, or phone. Please ask them to let us know your name and/or your suite #. A message addressed to "Dear mom: Having a wonderful time, etc, etc: Love, the kids" might not reach you. Non-emergency messages are placed into your mailbox, to go with your next batch of mail. We will attempt to contact you whenever there is an emergency.

Bill Paying Service

Cost: $20.00/month + $2.00 per item

How does it work?

You place an additional amount of money in your separate bill paying account to cover the bills you are expecting Voyagers mail forwarding service to pay for you. You choose how much, whatever feels comfortable to you. You let us know what bills to expect by filling out the spreadsheet that came with this flyer (not included in the web version) and returning it back to us.


When your bills arrive we pay them for you. After it is paid we put the original into your mailbox with a check stub attached. We prepare a monthly summary of account activity for you, and place that in your box too.


What if an unexpected bill comes in?

If we catch it, we will pay it as long as it seems legitimate. As with all of your bills, we will try to contact you when we have a question. If we aren't able to connect with you before it is due, we simply use our best judgment. Here is an example. Unknown to us, one of our bill paying customers recently obtained a new credit card and made several charges. One of the charges was for a car rental and another was to a company called Fort Knox. We were unsuccessful in our attempts to contact them before the due date so we had to make the decision of what to do. We figured that the car rental was probably legitimate for two reasons. 1) We knew their last mail had been sent to the same area that the car had been rented from. 2) You have to show ID to rent a car. The Fort Knox charge, however, seemed a little odd to us. So what did we do? We paid an amount that equaled the total of the car rental charges that 'looked right', in order to prevent a late payment penalty and save at least some of the interest charge.


What if my account funds run low?

You are doomed. We don't offer any type of overdraft protection for you. And because it would be considered a cash advance by a credit card company, we can't take a credit card number and use it to fund your account for bill-paying. Some customers solve this problem by putting extra money in the account as a cushion. Others leave several checks with us (postdated ones are OK if you are on a monthly income), which we store in our safe, and we automatically add to their account every time it gets close to zero. If a bill comes in and there is not enough money on account, we will try to contact you if we can. Failing that, we decide what the best course of action is, on your behalf.


The address

We also ask that you have your bills sent to suite # C101-BxxxB (where xxx is your suite #). By using this separate address for your bills, this allows you to toggle the bill paying service off and on at your discretion. Many prefer to take care of the bills themselves while they are in the U.S., in order to save on our fees, then have us take over the payments when they travel outside the U.S., where the cost of getting your mail in a timely fashion could exceed our service fees.


FREE

If you have bills coming due, and you know what the amount is, we can take care of those for you free. Simply provide us with a stamped, addressed envelope, sealed up and ready to go (containing the check already filled out), and write the date you would like it mailed in the bottom left corner. Then you can get the envelope(s) to us to mail for you, and you don't have to worry about the risk of mailing it from overseas three months from now.


Logistics

Do you have a big insurance bill due every July? We do depend on you to keep your account funded for these little surprises, or to let us know when it's time to make the minimum payment on your credit cards for a few months. We don't know, or want to know, your financial status. We have wealthy clients who need everything paid in full every month, and we have others living on limited incomes. If you see a financial crunch approaching, you need to let us know so we can switch to minimum payments for a while. We aren't in the business of managing your money, or juggling accounts, but simply paying your bills as they come due.


Deposits

We also need to know what to do about checks coming in...if you want us to deposit them, send us deposit slips and a full address of the institution (some deposit slips have only a partial address printed on them). Otherwise, we will treat them as regular mail, and forward them to you. Making a deposit for you incurs the same fee as paying a bill. Speaking of which, finally...


Our fee

We charge $20 per month for any month that has any bill paying activity. In addition there is a per check/deposit fee of $2. While this may seem expensive at first glance for just writing a few checks a month, please remember all of the bookkeeping time, phone calls and legwork involved, especially when problems arise. Put yourself in our shoes for a moment, and try to imagine taking care of all of the bills for the last twenty sailors you watched sail over the horizon.


Our pledge

If we fail to make a timely payment on one of your regularly scheduled bills, we will reimburse your account for any late fees, interest, or penalty that you suffer as a result up to a maximum of $100.


Our commitment

Like every other service we provide to our customers, we intend to give you much more than the 'run of the mill' service that is becoming so commonplace in today's business world. As our bill paying customer, you can expect us to monitor your bills for unusual activity, go to work for you when something out of the ordinary pops up (an insurance claim, or hospital stay for example), and keep an eye out for bills you forgot to mention on the grid (no promises we'll catch them, though!). We will make more than a reasonable effort to contact you if anything seems amiss with your affairs.


How do I get set up?

First, fill out the spreadsheet, noting the instructions on the back (the spreadsheet is not included with the web version, call 1 800 860 9256 or email us at mailboat@vmfs.com and ask us to mail our bill paying brochure to you). When finished, you may want to make a photocopy for your own planning purposes. In any event, send it back to us. Then simply have your bills sent to suite # 9-BxxxB and send us a check to put sufficient funds into your account. As soon as the check clears we will pay your bills.

Finally

Are you worried that we are going sneak off in the middle of the night with your money? We don't blame you, there are people in this world who would do that without a second thought. Rest assured that we are not in that group. We are well respected by our peers in the local community.

You can enjoy your adventures, and leave the headaches to us.


How we send your mail to you:

It's all pretty simple, actually. You just get your mail coming to your new address here and we hold on to it until you ask for it (or have us put you on a schedule, if you're in one place for a while). You don't really need to read the rest of the following detailed information. It's just here for those that are curious about the specifics of our mail forwarding services and want to know some typical postage costs. All you really have to worry about is getting your mail coming to your new address here. We will take care of the rest.

When you are in the States:

We use First Class or Priority Mail , based on weight, and United Parcel Service (UPS) ground for most shipments. PM takes 2-5 days, usually, no matter what they promise in their ads. UPS ground usually only takes one or two days in south Florida, so when you are in FL, that's what we try to use. It is about the same cost as PM for a couple of pounds, and much cheaper in the higher weights.

For faster delivery when needed, we use UPS 3-day, second-day, and next-day air, and FedEx two-day and overnight. We rarely use USPS Express mail, as its tracking is far less effective than either UPS or FedEx.

Overseas:

Remember that Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I. have regular mail prices, same as on the mainland US, and it's much cheaper than any other option throughout the Caribbean.

US Air Mail, works well to some countries, poorly to others, keeping in mind , international air mail depends on the receiving nation for final delivery, which varies greatly. We don't have good luck using US Air Mail to most of Central & South America, Antigua, and Mexico, to name a few. We have had things lost and never seen again, other things came back to us months and months later. It takes about 1-3 weeks to most places we send it.

If you have visitors, tell us to forward your mail to them before departure. We can send them a package, to arrive the day before they leave, with all your treasured correspondence. They can be your pack mules!

PLEASE tell your friends and family not to send little dutiable packages to you when you are overseas. That $10 CD or tee-shirt might cost you $30 extra to get if it means we can't use the letter rates for express service, and we can't store the stuff indefinitely -- we will have to send it to you or return it, we don't have unlimited storage. Not to mention that your package will probably be delayed in customs and be subject to import duties.


If you go around the world, try to cull all junk mail and train your relatives before you go through the canal. :-) We have sent to Tahiti, Singapore, New Zealand and many other countries, via UPS and FedEx, and South Africa and Djibouti via DHL, and all we can say is it's expensive! But worth it, it seems, after you've made it through the Mozambique channel, to look through your mail and magazines from home.

Take care with the magazines, as well, once you are overseas. When we went, I had the Economist, Sports Illustrated, Cruising World, and Practical Sailor. I added the SSCA bulletin and dropped SI enroute. I paid for my enjoyment. If I did it again, I would send CW and PS to my sister, to keep for me to collect on a visit home. I would have the others sent. I really liked having a weekly newsmagazine to keep me in touch with the world out there. After I read them, we gave them away to other news hungry boaters. But very few of our customers have a weekly magazine, less than 10%. You end up getting five at once sometimes. SSCA is light, as is PS, and most get them.

If you want to know more detailed (and also boring) information about costs and services offered, continue reading.

Domestic shipments (within the US):

U.S.P.S. (United States Postal Service):

You are probably already aware of the most common types of service offered by the U.S.P.S.... It may be slow, but it's cheap.

First class mail:

This is usually the best way to go with something small and light. Delivery time? As you know, it gets there when it gets there.

Priority mail:

Many people think that this is a guaranteed two day service. Wrong! They promise to try to get it there in two to three days. Our experience has been that it seems to travel at about the same speed as first class.

FEDEX
UPS (United Parcel Service):

A little more reliable, in our opinion and automatically covered up to a declared value of $100. They have four domestic services: GROUND; 3 DAY ; SECOND DAY AIR; and NEXT DAY AIR.

A special note concerning UPS pickup and delivery days: Ground & 3 day select packages are picked up/Delivered Monday through Friday. Don't count Saturday/Sunday as transit days (i.e. a 3 day package sent on Wednesday will be delivered on Monday) UPS Second day air packages can be shipped on Saturday (the cut off time is noon) for Tuesday delivery, but Saturday delivery is not available (it is for fedex). Next day air packages can be delivered on Saturday, to many locations, for an additional $15.00 fee.

Before we can explain the faster air shipments, you need to understand DIMENSIONAL WEIGHT (or, beware of lampshades):

AIR (3 day select and faster) shipments will be charged at the actual weight or the dimensional weight, whichever is greater.

Dim weight is calculated as follows: multiply the width x length x height. Now divide that number by 194 (166 for international shipments). The result, rounded up, is the dimensional weight. You are charged for the higher of actual verses dimensional weight. Packages containing only a stack of mail are rarely affected by dimensional weight. A 2 pound lampshade in a 18" X 18" X20" box might be billed at 40 pounds dimensional weight.

3 DAY :

This option can work well when you need that package to arrive by a certain date. We have found that tracked packages arrive on time (or early) 99% of the time. It is the slowest service available that offers a money back guarantee that it will arrive on time.

Packages are scheduled to arrive by the end of the third business day. You might want to use 3 Day Select, for example, when you need something to arrive in New York on Tuesday for someone catching a flight on Wednesday. This can also be a good option when you are on the west coast and something needs to arrive a little sooner than the regular six business days.

SECOND DAY AIR:

Need it to arrive in two business days? Second Day Air is the way to go and the prices aren't as high as you might think. There is also a special rate for letters and a free envelope is provided.

NEXT DAY AIR (you must be really interested to have gotten this far):

If you need to have it by the next business day, anywhere in the 50 states, Next Day Air is the way to go. We have until about 2:00 P.M. to get shipments out for next morning delivery.

In general, major cities have a door to door 10:30 AM delivery deadline, and usually offer Saturday delivery for an extra $15 fee. Smaller cities usually have a noon commitment and rural areas might expect delivery by the end of the day. Just ask us or call 1 800 PICK UPS or 1 800 GO FEDEX or 1 800 AIRBORNE or 1800 CALL DHL if you need to know the commitment time for your area.

Those are the USPS/FEDEX/UPS basics. Don't worry, We're not going to tell you now about the prices and services that we offer through DHL, TNT, Roadway, Airborne, Yellow Freight, and Ocean Freight Consolidators. I doubt that anyone has stayed awake long enough to read this entire text anyway.

mailboat@vmfs.com

Voyagers Mail , Inc 2009,
31 Ocean Reef Dr. C101
Key Largo, FL Keys USA 33037