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ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

Re: The post office should cut costs

I'm not in favor of penalizing people and businesses in rural areas. Those areas have enough hardships. No reason to add more.

What the USPS needs to do is find a way to beat UPS and FedEx at their own game. There should be a simple way for individuals and businesses to mail packages without having to go to a post office. Plus, residential packages should be delivered at times that are convenient for people. In other words, it's a pain to have to deal with figuring out when a package is coming and trying to have someone there to sign for it, or, if the delivery comes at a time when no one is there, having to then go to the package center, which, more often than not, is located in a well-hidden building in a far corner of town.

That, and find a way to cut down on the lines at post offices. I hate the idea of having to spend most of my lunch hour standing in line for something that can be done at a kiosk, or, if I need to speak with a human, standing in line behind people whose business could be better handled at a kiosk.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

The main reason packages have to be mailed at the Post Office is security. They ended the self service kiosks after the Unabomber and incidents involving explosives/hazardous items being sent in the mail. Then the events after 9/11 involving the anthrax in the mail made matters worse for mail security.

So the main reason that they don't have self-serve kiosks is security.

When I mail a letter, I always mail it from the post office. There have been recent incidents around here that have made the news involving vandalism and theft of mail from mailboxes so I prefer to mail a letter/package at the post office and I prefer to get my mail at my PO Box.

UPS has taken security a step further by requiring ID when you send a package.
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cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to ISurfTooMuch
said by ISurfTooMuch:

There should be a simple way for individuals and businesses to mail packages without having to go to a post office.

You mean like scheduling a pickup?

Plus, residential packages should be delivered at times that are convenient for people.

UPS and Fedex don't generally do this. They just dump it on your doorstep. Or if it must be signed for, hold it at the distribution center for you to pickup. This is all the same that USPS does.

In other words, it's a pain to have to deal with figuring out when a package is coming and trying to have someone there to sign for it, or, if the delivery comes at a time when no one is there, having to then go to the package center, which, more often than not, is located in a well-hidden building in a far corner of town.

The 10 real post offices closest to my house are all in very accessible locations, clearly marked, and usually right in the middle of the area that they serve.

That, and find a way to cut down on the lines at post offices. I hate the idea of having to spend most of my lunch hour standing in line for something that can be done at a kiosk, or, if I need to speak with a human, standing in line behind people whose business could be better handled at a kiosk.

There's this thing called a website. A lot of your business can be done there. Print postage. Ship a package. Order supplies. Change your address. Hold or forward your mail. If you MUST go to the post office, the last several I've been in have had ATM-like kiosks that you can do a lot of that at as well.


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

They ended the self service kiosks

No they didn't. My local Post Office has 2 out in the (unattended) lobby near the PO Boxes, plus 2 more slightly larger ones in the main lobby next to the attended counters. Last week when I mailed a package I just walked right past everyone standing in line and went to the machine and beep beep beep swipe and dropped it in the bin on my way out the door.

If I had a scale I trusted I'd just buy the postage online and save a couple bucks.

/M

ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to cdru
Scheduling a pickup is fine, provided you know how much postage to add. How about kiosks placed at convenient locations where you can walk up, place your package on a scale, swipe a credit card, slap on the postage that comes out, and deposit the package? Some may say that security is an issue, but I've mailed many packages at post offices and never once had my package searched, my ID checked, or anything else, so there's no real security there, either.

As for UPS and FedEx not delivering at convenient times, no, they don't. That's something that, if the USPS did it, would be better than these services. And, when I mentioned out-of-the-way package centers, I'm talking about UPS and FedEx.

The post office could be even more helpful if they added a feature that would allow a recipient to reroute a package in transit, provided it could be intercepted in time. Suppose someone mails me a package to my home when I really needed it at work. I could tell the sender, and they'd provide me with a tracking number and security code, which I could then enter on the USPS Web site to allow me to enter a different delivery address. Since it would already be known to the USPS the route the package is going to take for delivery, a printed label could be waiting for it at its next check-in point.

As for the USPS Web site, I'm aware of it. So, why not have kiosks in every post office so people can just walk up and use it? In fact, I just came back from mailing a package, and it sure would have been nice to have been able to skip the line and do everything at a kiosk. And I couldn't have done it from my office because I had to buy the book to place in the package near the post office.

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
reply to IowaCowboy

So the main reason that they don't have self-serve kiosks is security.

Security THEATER. How does handing a sealed box to a clerk who just tosses into the bin any different than me personally placing it in a drop box? (Answer: none f'ing at all)

UPS has taken security a step further by requiring ID when you send a package.

Since when? I've shipped dozens of packages and never been asked by any clerk or driver for any form of ID at all -- hell, they don't even ask for ID to deliver packages. And BOTH UPS and Fedex have drop boxes all over the place.

(ironically, the one time (over 20 years ago) I've had to show ID and sign for a package was with, wait for it, USPS. There's a *reason* law firms use private couriers these days... ups/fedex/usps don't honor their "hand-deliver, id required" options.)

NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ISurfTooMuch
said by ISurfTooMuch:

As for UPS and FedEx not delivering at convenient times, no, they don't. That's something that, if the USPS did it, would be better than these services.

One major difference between FedEx/UPS and the USPS here... When leaving packages when inclement weather is expected, FedEx and UPS will put your packages in a plastic bag to ensure they're not soaking wet by the time you get them.

The USPS can't be "bothered" to do "fancy" things like this (i.e. the postal carrier is too lazy) - hence a number of times I've returned home from work at the end of the day to have packages ruined. One time I had the package shipped via UPS, and they handed off to USPS which treated the package like garbage - I was shocked. When asked, UPS told me they couldn't guarantee that the USPS wouldn't handle my packages shipped through them - hence why I will not use UPS anymore either.
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