Correcting someone else's address with the USPS

I live in an apartment building. For the last year or so, I have been getting mail in my mailbox (#4B) that belongs to John and Mary “Smith”, tenants in another apartment (#4R) in the other wing of my building. It started with a mystery package that was delivered via UPS and left on my doorstep; my super was able to link the name on the label to the proper apartment for me.

Since then, I get at least one or two pieces of mail a week addressed to this couple in my mailbox. Some of it seems to be junk mail; other stuff seems to be materials that they were probably expecting.

The time I received the package, I hand delivered it to John, who turned out to be an older man absolutely soaked to the gills at 6:30 PM. (I have never seen Mary.) When I explained to him that his package was misdirected, he just stared at me with all the comprehension of a cucumber. Since then, I leave their mail on the shelf below their mailbox, with 4B crossed out and 4R written large. I have also written notes on the envelopes, asking the Smiths to please file a change of address form at the post office, to no apparent avail.

I’m tired of getting their mail, and I don’t want the responsiblity of making sure they get it. I’ve left a note in my own mailbox asking the letter carrier to put the Smiths’s mail in the box for 4R, but still I get pieces of their mail. I have no idea if anyone in that household is capable of getting their acts together to file a change of address.

Is there any chance I can do it for them? I could reject their mail, but I don’t want them to not get it - I just don’t want to have to play carrier pigeon, or worse, be accused sometime of withholding a really important piece of mail. Suggestions?

Call the Postmaster of your local post office. Explain to him or her what is going on. It’s odd that the letter carrier hasn’t put two and two together and handled it him/herself. The carrier could’ve left a note for John and Mary explaining what they need to do. Some carriers even carry change of address cards that they’ll leave with people who are too lazy to go to the Post Office to pick one up I’m sure the Postmaster, once notified, will get this issue resolved for you. It is not your responsibility to deal with the Smith’s misdelivered mail.

I know you don’t want to reject their mail but maybe then they will get the hint.