Rick Pineiro

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are seven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(Ray Andrews)

Banks Mail Out Pre-Activated Credit Cards, Don’t See The Problem

When you receive a new credit or debit card in the mail, it usually arrives in need of activation. You have to call a number and verify some information: sure, no information that a determined identity thief wouldn’t already have, but at least it stops random passers-by from harvesting credit cards from mailboxes. Only pre-activated cards are a new trend in banking again. Some customers aren’t thrilled. [More]

(Mike Matney)

Should The USPS Open Up Mailboxes To All Kinds Of Deliveries?

What are mailboxes? What are they used for, and what should they be used for? In the delivery biz now, companies are wondering what goes in our mailboxes, what a mailbox should be, and who should be allowed to have access to them. Now, only you and your mail carrier are legally allowed to use your mailbox. Should that change? Should package delivery companies have access? What about grocery deliveries? What about your dry cleaning? [More]

Mail Carrier Wedges Package in Box, Doesn’t Have To Leave Vehicle

Mail Carrier Wedges Package in Box, Doesn’t Have To Leave Vehicle

The weather in Alabama, where reader Alison lives, has been extremely warm lately. If she lived in an old cartoon, mercury would be bursting out of the top of the thermometers. With temperatures of about one hundred degrees every day, she doesn’t really blame her mail carrier for not wanting to get up. However, what takes more work: walking to the porch, or shoving a package in the mailbox so firmly that the customer can’t get it out? [More]

Canada Post Can’t Deliver Your Package Due To Bears

Canada Post Can’t Deliver Your Package Due To Bears

There are all kinds of reasons why the post office may not be able to deliver your package today: maybe it requires a signature and you’re not home. Maybe the post office can’t get access to your apartment building, or can’t get in the gate. Or your mail carrier ran away because your home is apparently guarded by a bear. [More]

The U.S. Postal Service Doesn't Want Night Owl Business

The U.S. Postal Service Doesn't Want Night Owl Business

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]


Mail Carrier Puts My Package In Someone Else’s Rural Mailbox, USPS Calls It ‘Delivered’

H. lives on a rural mail route, and her mailbox is secure, with a lock and a slot just big enough to slide letters through. When a package containing an expensive camera lens went missing recently, she learned that her mail carrier had put the package in the “parcle box.” The what? Oh, the unused but not secure mailbox on her street that some neighbor wrote “parcel box” on a long time ago. H. had no indication that her package had been placed in the box until the mailman left her a note about it. By then, the box had already been stolen. The post office, for its part, insists that the package was delivered as addressed. [More]

Check With The Postmaster Before You Install A Mailbox, Or Else

John Conway paid $1,300 for a lamppost and matching mailbox, but the Thiensville, WI postmaster refuses to provide service because the mailbox is on the wrong side of the street. The disputed mailbox is part of a new housing development located twenty minutes north of Milwaukee.

“I’m sort of the guy who set the pace here,” Conway said, pointing out that he and his wife are the first residents of Concord Creek. “I’m cemented in.”

The Conway’s concrete stance has the post office in a tizzy. They have refused to answer the Conway’s phone calls, and a local paper quoted one postal supervisor threatening to mark the Conway’s mail “return to sender.” A killjoy postal spokeswoman later retracted the statement, adding “We don’t do that.”