Why do I need a suite number?

What is a suite number?

A suite number is your account number with us.  It's important to ensure that this number is visible on your forwarding address so that we can make sure that you receive all of your mail.

If your suite number isn't visible, there is a possibility we won't know who the mail belongs to.  If that happens, then any mail we can't identify a recipient for will be returned to sender.

We have a full article that explains how to format your address and how to use the suite number here - https://support.privatebox.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/206296033-How-should-I-address-my-mail-for-delivery-to-Private-Box-

Important: If you forget to add your suite number, you could be charged a $4 penalty fee for insufficiently addressed mail.

You should also make sure that you are using the correct suite number.  If you provide the incorrect suite number, it is possible that your mail may end up being given to another Private Box customer.  This could also result in your mail being opened and scanned if the other customer requests it.  Sometimes, this is the only way to find out that the mail may belong to someone else.


Can I change the suite number on my account?

Yes - if you want to change your suite number to a lower number, or something that might be easier for you to remember we can offer this option.  There is a once-off transfer fee to make the change, and there are limited availability of numbers - after all we can't give the same suite number to multiple people.  We have more information about how to change your suite number and what the costs are here - https://support.privatebox.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/206538206-Changing-your-Suite-Number-to-different-number


What happens if I have given your suite number to a sender, and they still haven't included it on the mail they are sending?

Unfortunately it can sometimes be a challenge for some companies to keep the suite number on your address.  But there are solutions.  Simply check this article for the different ways you can address your mail correctly.


What happens to mail if you cannot work out who it belongs to?

If the suite number is missing and we cannot identify who the mail belongs to, it will be immediately returned to the original sender.  We will indicate these returned items as 'addressee unknown' or 'insufficient address'.

If there is no return address on the envelope, we hold onto the mail for 3 months.  This gives an opportunity for the sender of the mail or the intended recipient to contact us and claim the item.

If this mail is unclaimed at the end of 3 months, it will be securely destroyed.


I have received mail that doesn't belong to me.  What happens now?

Mail being added to an incorrect account doesn't happen often, but it does occasionally occur.

If you feel you have mail that doesn't belong to you, please contact our staff to let us know.  We will remove that mail from your account and reverse any fees that may have been incurred to that letter (for example, a badly addressed penalty fee or scanning fees).

Our staff will then check the mail and try to figure out who it does belong to, and allocate the mail to the correct account.

If our staff cannot work out who the mail should belong to, it will returned to the sender if possible, or held for 3 months to see if it will be claimed.


I have signed up for a Premium account or a Virtual Office account and wasn't given a Suite number.  What happens now?

The Premium mailbox and Virtual Office account do not use suite numbers at all.  We call these 'named' accounts.  Instead of using a suite number, your mail will only need your company name.  You can have mail addressed to any member of your staff - you just need to ensure your company name is included in order for us to know that the mail belongs to your account.

Very occasionally, we get customers set up a named account using their own name.  This is fine - but can cause confusion if set up by someone with a common name.  It means that if another customer with a similar name has mail sent and forgets their suite number, the mail is likely to incorrectly be allocated to the named account.


For example:

Mr Jacob John Smith has signed up for a Premium mailbox, and does not need a suite number on his account.

Mr Jeremy Joseph Smith signs up for a standard personal mailbox, and is given a suite number to use on his account.  For this example, we will use suite #1234

Mr James Jameson Smith signs up for a standard personal mailbox, and is given a suite number to use on his account.  For this example, we will use suite #1245


Mail arrives addressed to Mr J Smith, Suite 1234 - this means this mail definitely belongs to Jeremy and gets allocated to his account correctly.

Two pieces of mail arrive and are addressed to Mr J Smith - no suite number is included on either of these letters.  Both of these pieces of mail will therefore be added to Jacob's account.

Jacob contacts our staff later to let us know that one of the letters does not belong to him.  It's from a bank he's never done business with.   We will remove that piece of mail from Jacob's account - but still don't know whether this mail item belongs to James or Jeremy.  So this piece of mail will be returned to the original sender of the mail.


Important information regarding your account, and the names of people on your account

Whether you have a named account or an account with a suite number, it's very important that you tell us the full names of people who will be receiving mail through your account.

You can advise us the different names of your expected recipients either by sending us an email to support@privatebox.co.nz or creating individual folders for each person who is to receive mail.

More information about what identifiers are can be found in this article.

By sending us a list of names for everyone who will receive mail to your account, it makes it easier for us to ensure you do receive your mail correctly - even if the suite number is missing for any reason. 


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