Mail mix-up leaves Phoenix man with nothing but junk mail for months

Every day, Bill Favorite checks his mail and only finds junk mail.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 5:58 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- When you move into a new house, the mail service should be pretty smooth. You start getting mail at your new address, and the previous owners get their mail forwarded to their new home. That’s not happening for one Valley man, and the post office admits they haven’t seen a situation quite like this before.

Every day, Bill Favorite checks his mail and only finds junk mail. There are no bills, no officials notices, nothing important. Just stuff he doesn’t need. “It’s just aggravating,” Bill said. “It’s just enough to needle you every day. I go to check the mail, and I got junk. No first class mail.”

There’s a simple reason for the mix-up. Bill Favorite bought his Phoenix home from a family named Favorito. Only one letter at the end sets the last name apart. “My last name is Favorite. They’re the Favoritos,” Bill said. “And we joked and laughed about that. I did comment this will be a disaster for our mail. And yes, it is. And it still is, since June 14th.”

When they sold, the Favoritos filled out the standard change-of-address form. But the post office uses automated scanners to sort the mail, and the scanners can’t tell “Favorite” from “Favorito.”

Everything gets forwarded to the Favoritos, including Bill’s important mail. “We’ve twice ordered new driver’s license with our current address and we don’t get those; they get returned to the state,” Bill said. “Our primary ballots weren’t delivered. When it came to the general election, the same thing. We didn’t get our ballots.”

And his mail problems keep mounting. One of Bill’s employees got out-of-state toll tickets in Illinois totaling $98. But by the time they arrived at Bill’s correct address, they had ballooned to $248 because of late fees.

The Favoritos have been kind enough to drop off Bill’s mail to him when they’re in Phoenix, but Bill is hoping On Your Side can get this strange and unique problem straightened out with the post office. “Just deliver my first class mail to me,” he said. “I know the names are similar and I understand that but it shouldn’t be impossible to sort out. Our first names aren’t anywhere near but just get my mail delivered to me.”

So On Your Side reached out to the Postal Service, and they think they have a solution. They say from now on, they’ll have a carrier sort through that mail by hand to make sure the Favorites and the Favoritos get the right deliveries.

We’ll check in with Bill in a couple of weeks to see how it’s working.