The government and financial institutions don’t like it when one drops off the map, so I need an address. Most mail forwarding services are designed to physically forward the mail, which is useful if one is moving around the country in a boat or RV. I don’t want the mail, I just want to be able to read it.
[Added March 5, 2010] I no longer use or recommend Earth Class Mail. The price went up substantially and their service has become slower. The business press reports they are getting out of individual retail customer portion of the business to focus on small business services. They’re still running on venture capital so the company could go tits up at any time. I have switched to St. Brendan’s Isle who offer many of the same services plus a more stable track record.
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I choose Earth Class Mail because they’re focused on dealing the images of one’s mail. Both sides of the envelope of incoming mail is scanned and emailed to me. I can then choose to have it opened and scanned, unopened and shredded or unopened and recycled. They have PO boxs in several states including Nevada which is where I live. I didn’t want to use a box in a state that has income tax, thinking they might decide I owed them something at tax time.
I’ve read that the main drawback of their service is that if one does need the mail physically forwarded it’s expensive unless you wait until you’ve accumulated a pile and send them in a single batch.