Discriminated against for having using General Delivery? (1 Viewer)

txchad

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Apr 10, 2014
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7
I live in my car and have been discriminated against in all sorts of ways because I use General Delivery. I order things off Amazon and since they won't let you pick the shipper, sometimes they use UPS and it becomes a big hassle. UPS refuses to even acknowledge the existence of USPS. I have even told Amazon my situation and they don't care. I tried to ask for a P.O. box but I can't get one because I don't have an address. Haha. I can't get a bank account or prepaid debit card to tranfer money off the internet because they require a phone number and address. All because of the "Patriot Act". I don't have a phone anymore. I did have a cheap $10 prepaid phone from Dollar General but one time I dialed 911 on a car burgler. The police traced my location down to the exact address I was parked in front of. With a cheap $10 phone, not even a smart phone. That was scary. Does anybody else have stories or griefs they have from using General Delivery or maybe some solutions?
 
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briancray

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I live in my car and have been discriminated against in all sorts of ways because I use General Delivery. I order things off Amazon and since they won't let you pick the shipper, sometimes they use UPS and it becomes a big hassle. UPS refuses to even acknowledge the existence of USPS. I have even told Amazon my situation and they don't care. I tried to ask for a P.O. box but I can't get one because I don't have an address. Haha. I can't get a bank account or prepaid debit card to tranfer money off the internet because they require a phone number and address. All because of the "Patriot Act". I don't have a phone anymore. I did have a cheap $10 prepaid phone from Dollar General but one time I dialed 911 on a car burgler. The police traced my location down to the exact address I was parked in front of. With a cheap $10 phone, not even a smart phone. That was scary. Does anybody else have stories or griefs they have from using General Delivery or maybe some solutions?
Have you tried shipping to the Post Office directly using your name and the Post office address? I believe they hold packages for up to a certain length of time, however there may be fees, but if you don't have an address and are near the Post office you can swing by to see if it's there. They'd need an ID of some kind to verify it is yours. I heard of people shipping care packages to themselves on bicycle touring trips, but I don't see why you couldn't do it in your situation. They only hold the packages for so long though.
 

Matt Derrick

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They'll generally hold it for about 30 days. There are no fees, but yeah, you'll need an ID to pick up your package.

In my experience you can put any address you want on a prepaid card as long as the social security number is correct.

Also, if you need a phone number, just sign up for google voice. You get to pick the area code and you'll have a perfectly useable number with free voicemail included.

Lastly, it's extremely easy to fake residency. Just go to any office supply store, and pick up a generic lease agreement form. They all have them. Have one person sign for the landlord and yourself for the leasee. Boom, proof of address.

A lot of the hurdles we encounter in life merely require some creative thinking :)
 

Rover

Drifting away
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Jun 6, 2014
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27
Location
Western Canada
Good thread topic. I was thinking of ordering some stuff online soon, and I was wondering if using GD would work. It's not surprising that it didn't work though, most companies want you to fill in the blanks with an actual address, but it doesn't mean that you have to physically live there. When ever I need a local address, I usually use one of a friend, or family member that lives in town. But, even if that's not an option, some shelters, churches, or soup kitchens may be willing to let you use their address.

What does it say on your Drivers license? I'm guessing that you already have a "physical address", that you can use to get a mailing address.

Did you go in and talk to UPS. Just quickly looking at their website, it looks like they may be willing to accept packages on your behalf. Even if Amazon decides to use FedEx, the guys at FedEx 'probably wont' set your package on fire once they find out that its going to a UPS Store. Or, even vice-verse.
 

eske silver

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Sep 5, 2012
Messages
251
Location
Oakland
GreenDot works fine enough, I used it for about a year. BUT when you do activate it (and you need to in order to use it any/everywhere) you've got to do it by phone and they need an address to send it to. It was ok enough, but they charge you 5$ every monthr for the account and then another 4$ for the card (which comes with 24 hours support, etc, blah, blah, blah). NOT worth 10 feking dollars every month, IMO.
I would highly suggest a credit union. If you can, use a neighbors address that doesn't mind you getting a letter every few months, and sign up for online banking. I signed up for Alliant and not only do they not have any fees whatsoever (except overdraft, but both times I've gone over, they refunded my fee within 24 hours of asking them), but afte signing up for online banking (which was one of the requirements for the removal of a 5$ "maintenance fee", I haven't gotten any snail mail from them at all.

I'm not sure if it's offered to everyone, but I just ordered a bunch of stuff and had it shipped to an Amazon Locker, which was located just up the street from a UPS store, in a 7/11. It was easy - you just get the 6 digit code from the arrival alert email and punch it into the machine, your locker pops open and you're done. Next time you're on there, go through checkout just far enough to see shipping options and try to see if it's an option for you. If not, contact amazon tech support and ask them to enable it for you.

As far as phone service, once you get a CU account, that parts easy. Just set it up for autopay and make sure you always have enough digital dough for the bill each month.
I'm lucky enough to have an understanding aunt who offered to pay for a phone line for me, but I had MetroPCS for what seems like forever. It was only $40 a month, which is a lot for people like us, but a pretty good deal considering other phone services.
I second the Google Voice option, though. Get yourself a cheap smart phone and download the app. Et Viola! You don't need phone service to access it, Wifi will do the trick.

Good Luck!
 

Dameon

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Get the visa gift cards, not the reloadable ones. Don't need to have anything for those. And there's no fees.

Also, some places now have Amazon drop boxes at 711, you can get stuff shipped there. Only seen that in Portland so far.
 

Matt Derrick

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Heyo, I don't think you need a phone number to activate a GreenDot card, at least, I don't remember needing it for the last two I had.
a phone number is not necessary if you activate it online. you might need to fill one in on the application, but you can put in any number you want.

Good thread topic. I was thinking of ordering some stuff online soon, and I was wondering if using GD would work. It's not surprising that it didn't work though, most companies want you to fill in the blanks with an actual address, but it doesn't mean that you have to physically live there.
green dot and similar cards WILL work. anytime i needed to order something online i'd just go change my address on the card online to wherever i needed to have the package delivered.

GreenDot works fine enough, I used it for about a year. BUT when you do activate it (and you need to in order to use it any/everywhere) you've got to do it by phone and they need an address to send it to. It was ok enough, but they charge you 5$ every monthr for the account and then another 4$ for the card (which comes with 24 hours support, etc, blah, blah, blah). NOT worth 10 feking dollars every month, IMO.
there are good prepaid cards, and bad ones. the good ones won't charge you for sending you a physical card. most prepaid cards charge about $5/month. for some reason though, the walmart versions of green dot only charge you $3 for the card and $3 for reloads (free if you do it in a walmart) and $3/month. also i believe if you sign up online walmart will send you a card free of charge.

i recently switched to paypal's prepaid card, which costs a little more ($5/month) but it's totally worth it if you do a lot of paypal stuff, since they'll give you instant transfers from your paypal account (to transfer from paypal to other prepaid cards takes anywhere from 3-5 days). so for example, when someone donates money to stp's paypal account, i can instantly access that money from my paypal prepaid credit card, and pay the server bills (since linode.com doesn't take paypal payments).

if you're considering one of these cards, look closely at the fees. if a card charges you fees to check your balance, withdraw money from an atm (in addition to the atm fees) or anything other than a monthly fee and a reload fee, don't bother, they're rip offs (netspend, i'm looking at you).

i've been using prepaid cards in lieu of bank accounts for about 6 years (pretty much since they started selling them, back in the days when you didn't need to verify your address/ssn) and i can tell you that absolutely the best card to use is the walmart visa card from green dot. they only charge you a monthly fee ($3) and a fee to put money on it ($3) but are also compatible with the $5 green dot reload cards you find everywhere else. the walmart card doesn't charge you to transfer money onto it from a paypal or direct deposit account.

as i said above, the paypal mastercard is a decent choice if you're into doing a lot of paypal stuff. i've been using mine for about a year now and it's been pretty great.

Get the visa gift cards, not the reloadable ones. Don't need to have anything for those. And there's no fees.

Also, some places now have Amazon drop boxes at 711, you can get stuff shipped there. Only seen that in Portland so far.
visa gift cards (non-reloadable) can be used for physical goods/transactions, but cannot be used to buy anything online without registering your name/ssn/address first. this is to prevent 'money laundering' and other similar schemes (although, really, it's a minor hurdle that isn't hard to get past).

and the thing about amazon drop boxes is that they are not only for amazon products only, but also only for amazon products that are either sold directly from amazon or an authorized FBA (fulfillment by amazon) retailer. this means that most used goods don't qualify for amazon drop boxes. a minor point, but something to consider.
 
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