Changing Your Address Details
By Sean Ford | April 4, 2014
When moving house, one thing that many people either completely overlook or forget about until the last minute, is the need to get your change of address recorded. But it’s a really important process and one that you should spend time on, for a number of reasons. The main reason is a simple one – you want your mail to continue to reach you but if you don’t tell all of your contacts your new address then this won’t happen.
The second reason relates to ID fraud – so much information can be gleaned from one simple piece of mail that it is important that it does not get into the wrong of hands. If a new debit or credit card is sent to an old address, with the PIN number following a few days later, what’s to stop the person at that address activating the card and taking your money? It’s an extreme example, but it perfectly illustrates why it is so important to keep your address details updated so that any mail for you – sensitive or not – is only delivered to you.
The first thing you need to do is identify everyone that currently holds your address details so you can make a list of who needs to be updated. Start by thinking about all the companies you have regular ‘business’ dealings with, such as banks, insurance companies, landlords, letting agent, mobile phone, gas, electric, local council, your employer etc. Then move onto more personal connections – driving licence, passport, doctor, dentist, schools and colleges. If you keep a tidy filing system at home, it should be easy to go through your recent bills and letters and build up a comprehensive list of who you need to contact.
Once you have your list, there are a number of ways you can get in touch with the people you need to contact. Most companies will accept a change of address by phone or you might want to create a standard letter that can be sent to each different company. There are also a number of online applications that can be used to inform a large number of companies in one easy step. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to ensure that you are covering as many contacts as you can think of.
For friends and family it’s slightly easier – a text or email usually suffices, or you can still get ‘change of address’ cards that you can post out to people. Be careful about using social media to let people know of your new address though, as it’s not a great idea to share such personal (and useful) information in this way.
Even with the best preparation in the world, it’s likely that you will overlook a few contacts but there is a way that you can cover this eventuality. The Royal Mail offers a redirection service where, for a fee, they will intercept mail being sent to your old address and automatically send it on to your new address. You can choose to have your mail redirected for 3, 6 or 12 months – if you can afford it, it’s a good idea to pick the 12 month option as this will ensure you receive any annual mailings from companies or contacts that you may have forgotten about.
Whichever way you go about updating people about your change of address, it’s an important job and one that you should spend a bit of time on. If nothing else, it will ensure you get your Christmas cards at the end of the year!