US Postal Service Ships Cover, Forgets My Magazine

Thom’s copy of The Economist got separated from its cover. That’s very sad. We have to give the Post Office an A+ for effort, though: they made sure he received evidence that there was ann Economist that week. They delivered the least useful part of the magazine, because that’s the part that had his address printed on it.

I’m a subscriber to The Economist and last week’s issue never showed up. Today, I get a large white envelope marked “United States Postal Service.” Inside was my MIA copy of the Economist… except a large chunk of the magazine was missing – as in the entire thing apart from the cover.



I get it that things are occasionally lost or damaged in the mail. That said, I find this half hearted attempt to deliver my magazine along with the generic “apology” from the similarly generic “Postmaster” to be laughable:

WE CARE: US Postal Service

Dear Valued Postal Customer:

I wish to extend my sincere apology as your Postmaster for the enclosed document that was inadvertently damaged in handling by your Postal Service.

We are aware how important your mail is to you. With that in mind, we are forwarding it to you in an expeditious fashion.

The United States Postal Service handles over 202 billion pieces of mail each year. While each employee makes a concerted effort to process, without damage, each piece of mail, an occasional mishap does happen.

We are constantly working to improve our processing methods so that these incidents will be eliminated. You can help us greatly in our efforts if you will continue to properly prepare and address each letter or parcel that you enter into the mailstream.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding and sincerely regret any inconvenience that you have experienced.


I appreciate the effort USPS, but a magazine cover and no magazine really doesn’t help me much. The marketing speak and thinly veiled assertion (“you can help us greatly…. “we appreciate your cooperation”) that my magazine being destroyed may have been my or the publisher’s fault was completely inappropriate (seriously, how do you screw up sending a magazine?).

In the end, the Economist came to the rescue and immediately shipped out a new copy.. but still.

Well, at least an Economist cover has a few more edifying ads and some headlines, unlike the Netflix envelope flap that another reader received a few years ago. As we said back in 2010, it’s nice to know that USPS employees aren’t making value judgements and assuming that they know what we want to receive in the mail. If they can identify it as belonging to us, they send it along. That’s good customer service.

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