Reader C. visited the post office recently, and what he saw upset him. The good news was that his post office was doing brisk business. It was early in the morning still, but it received a lot of packages. The bad news was that these packages were piled on the floor in the lobby. [More]
Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman: Helping Customers Through The Mega-Bureaucracy Of The Mail Since 1998
The post office might be one of the most incomprehensible bureaucracies in the country. It is, on the one hand, a massive network spanning every state, county, and city in the nation. It is also, on the other hand, hyper-local: for most of us, letter carriers literally come right up to the front door six days a week. [More]
Your mailbox is going to feel a bit empty starting next summer, as the United States Postal Service is going to cut Saturday delivery in a move designed to save the agency $2 billion a year. Partly because it didn’t want to continue waiting around for Congress to do something to help dig it out of its financial hole, beginning Aug. 1 the weekends will be mail-free, although packages will still be delivered on Saturdays. [More]
As you may have noticed, the price of stamps went up last week by an entire penny. Overall, the nation seems to be coping pretty well, unless they’re small businesses who have a lot of overseas customers. (Air mail prices went up, too. A lot.) One entity that isn’t coping well is reader Layla’s apartment complex. They’ve raised everyone’s rent one penny to compensate for the postage change, and chose to notify everyone by… delivering a letter to their doors. [More]
Most people occasionally need to mail packages. Most people also have jobs. The U.S. Postal Service is in financial trouble, and desperately needs our package-mailing funds. They’re not about to expand the hours that post offices are open to accommodate office workers, though, so they compromise: post office lobbies are open 24/7 and Automated Postal Centers are ready for your package-mailing needs. Blue mailboxes can only accommodate parcels up to 13 ounces, but you can drop much larger boxes in the package drop at your local post office. In theory. Dan found that this was trickier in practice, when every post office nearby had an operational postage machine, but the package drops were all locked. [More]
Rodents make the worst postal workers, especially when delicious, edible holiday treats are involved. One post office in Manhattan had a few rats and/or mice working over packages before they reached their intended destinations, resulting in a holiday surprise of a different kind. [More]
Using the U.S. Postal Service’s Priority Mail, Justin mailed a gift from his home in New York City to a friend in Georgia. Package tracking meant that he was able to follow the gift’s journey and make sure it arrived safely. He was baffled, though, when the tracking information stated that it first traveled out to California for no reason, then made its way back to Georgia, eleven days later than anticipated. Where it was then delivered to the wrong person. In a different town. No one knows where the package actually ended up. [More]
USPS is in crisis mode, stuck in an unsustainable business model that threatens to run the service into the ground by the end of the fiscal year in October. [More]
Cristiana says beware the trap of sending things via FedEx SmartPost: the USPS handles the local part of delivery, and “since you now have two shipping companies involved, nobody wants to take responsibility for the package” when it never arrives. [More]
Thanks to e-mail and online bill payments, mailboxes are a lot less personal than they used to be. According to WalletPop, each week, the average American receives 1.5 pieces of mail they might actually be interested in (yes, including bills), but 16 pieces of junk mail. Evidently, “OCCUPANT” is a pretty popular guy. But when unwanted solicitations are 90% of what’s in our mailboxes, why do they keep on coming? How can you make them stop? [More]
Letters that children mail to “Santa Claus, North Pole” will be destined for North Pole, Alaska after all, and the letters personally answered by dedicated volunteers. The program was initially shut down for logistical reasons, but restored after Rudolph paid a visit to Fairbanks and taught everyone the true meaning of Christmas. Or something like that. [More]
Steve was mailing some packages from his home in Virgina to various points in the country, and noticed something strange on his receipt. The packages destined for Pennsylvania and Washington state are leaving the contiguous United States. What?
Jeff has a quandary. He spotted his neighborhood mail carrier delivering his package in a way he didn’t like. Jeff wants to know whether he should report his friendly, package-tossing mailman to the post office, or whether he should expect retribution.
The USPS is getting all modern-like, hooking up with eBay to let sellers be billed later for postal services rather than pay immediately. Also, a new tool will let sellers roll streamline the shipping process by letting them buy and print labels without having to juggle accounts or wait in line at the post office.
For those readers who are job-hunting for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, let this serve as a reminder: you do not need to pay a private company to get a job with the post office. No study guides. No sample exams. As T.J. learned, these companies will be happy to sell you all kinds of unnecessary exam-taking supplies…whether there are any postal jobs available or exams planned near where you live, or not. Multiple companies are masquerading as hiring for the post office.
After our story about USPS losing a reader’s five insured computers then only valuing them at $74 generated a lot of response (and turned into a vowel-less debate on health care), a couple readers sent us the contact info for the insurance agent who denied our reader’s request.