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(CNN)   The latest dumb way Americans are wasting money: Paying someone to collect freshly-delivered mail from their mailbox, haul it back to an office, scan it, and e-mail it back to them. Yeah, really   (cnn.com) divider line 106
    More: Asinine, snail mail, Americans, U.S. Postal Inspection Service  
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5280 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Feb 2013 at 11:31 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-26 06:55:30 PM
This has to be the epitome of laziness.

Also, FTA:

"The idea is that for $4.99 a month, someone can make their pesky physical mail disappear (assuming they can resist the urge to peek in their mailbox between pickups)."

Pffft...Who the hell would pay five bucks a month for someone else to organize stuff on a computer that they can already get for free with a little effort?

hostmypicture.com

Oh...Yeah. Never mind.
 
2013-02-26 07:20:29 PM
I imagine that if you can afford to live in San Francisco, you can afford five bucks a month for stupid stuff like this.
 
2013-02-26 07:38:56 PM
Some people work their asses off trying to steal bank info, SS #s, and various other personal info.

These guys get paid 5 bucks a month to look at it, I don't see what could possibly go wrong.
 
2013-02-26 07:42:48 PM
99% of what I get is junk mail. Here's my chance to have it converted into spam instead.
 
2013-02-26 08:09:21 PM

MaxxLarge: This has to be the epitome of laziness.

Also, FTA:

"The idea is that for $4.99 a month, someone can make their pesky physical mail disappear (assuming they can resist the urge to peek in their mailbox between pickups)."

Pffft...Who the hell would pay five bucks a month for someone else to organize stuff on a computer that they can already get for free with a little effort?

[hostmypicture.com image 161x36]

Oh...Yeah. Never mind.


But we get the bonus of getting to snark on other people who do it before the Liters can
 
2013-02-26 08:47:25 PM
Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.
 
2013-02-26 08:50:42 PM
This sounds like an ID thiefs dream job. Not to mention an awesome little trove of personal data to go out and capture, should you be inclined to do so.

I could have sworn this dumb business model was the subject of a reality show a few years back. Amazed it really happened.
 
2013-02-26 09:08:59 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.


I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.
 
2013-02-26 09:15:46 PM

Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.

I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.


finally an actual reason this could be a good thing.
 
2013-02-26 09:35:45 PM
Sounds like job creation to me.
 
2013-02-26 09:48:36 PM

Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.

I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.


Except I get 99% of my bills on line and the only physical mail I get is spam. Well, I suppose the annual car registration could be a biatch. I think a friend who occasionally picks up the mail is a better solution than paying someone to steal one's info.

How are they making any money at 4.99 a month? Gas to drive to the house is more than that.
 
2013-02-26 09:48:48 PM
The USPS has released a statement saying that they're panning on offering a competing services, one where they collect all your emails, blog and forum posts that you follow, tweets, Facebook updates, and other e-communications, print them out, and mail them to you in a daily newsletter.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2013-02-26 10:13:06 PM

St_Francis_P: 99% of what I get is junk mail. Here's my chance to have it converted into spam instead.


All right, it's true! Of course nobody needs mail. What do you think, you're so clever for figuring that out? But you don't know the half of what goes on here. So just walk away, Kramer. I beg of you.
 
2013-02-26 10:19:19 PM

MaxxLarge: This has to be the epitome of laziness.


Not really.  If you travel frequently or for extended periods of time it makes a lot of sense.  I don't get much mail that's worth opening, but the occasional tax bill, license renewal and crap like that can sneak up on you.
 
2013-02-26 10:31:51 PM
Around here you can pay a service $10 a month to clean up the dog sh*t in your yard.
 
2013-02-26 10:50:37 PM

LadySusan: Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.

I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.

Except I get 99% of my bills on line and the only physical mail I get is spam. Well, I suppose the annual car registration could be a biatch. I think a friend who occasionally picks up the mail is a better solution than paying someone to steal one's info.

How are they making any money at 4.99 a month? Gas to drive to the house is more than that.


You can't renew your car registration online?  I've renewed my license online, unless you're referring to picking up the important stuff.

I am surprised $4.99 would cover cost, as well.  I could see it working better for them if the mail got switched to Outbox's P.O. box, then send stuff like registration tabs onto your house.  I also, don't get USPS' complaint.  The mail is still sent through them first, so that will not effect them anymore than how e-mail already has.
 
2013-02-26 11:15:54 PM
I wonder if the service prints out a paper copy of the mail they scanned.  Y'know, for security's sake.
 
2013-02-26 11:15:59 PM
i like snail mail - my grandfather was a mail carrier and my family writes, sends cards and packages.

Our previous mail carrier stopped a burglar who was breaking into our kitchen - and our current one has dj'd parties for us on weekends. Hey, I've watched crime tv - this man may find me dead in the hall - you never know.

e-mail is useful - but, for me, not as special as personal, tactile mail, sent with thought and effort, that you can open at your leisure - I would pay twice US postage - which would still be less than this service.

What are they scanning? political flyers? your property tax notice? a hand written love letter? who is this lazy and incurious at once?
 
2013-02-26 11:18:17 PM
sgt otter: I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.

the post office will hold/forward your mail  - it's a great service
 
2013-02-26 11:34:43 PM
you cannot waste something that can simply be printed when the supply runs low.
 
2013-02-26 11:36:44 PM
Austerity is a great concept, subby, but spending is what keeps the economy afloat.
 
2013-02-26 11:37:28 PM
Why don't I ever come up with ideas like this?
Oh yeah because there stupid.
 
2013-02-26 11:38:58 PM
Convert my junk mail into spam?

No thanks
 
2013-02-26 11:39:28 PM

St_Francis_P: 99% of what I get is junk mail. Here's my chance to have it converted into spam instead.


They'll convert the coupons into a form the business won't accept.
 
2013-02-26 11:40:02 PM
I'm looking for a service that will take my freshly delivered mail, haul it back to an office, scan it, and then mail the scans back to me.
 
2013-02-26 11:42:13 PM
I think this means the recession's over.
 
2013-02-26 11:44:50 PM

lack of warmth: LadySusan: Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.

I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.

Except I get 99% of my bills on line and the only physical mail I get is spam. Well, I suppose the annual car registration could be a biatch. I think a friend who occasionally picks up the mail is a better solution than paying someone to steal one's info.

How are they making any money at 4.99 a month? Gas to drive to the house is more than that.

You can't renew your car registration online?  I've renewed my license online, unless you're referring to picking up the important stuff.

I am surprised $4.99 would cover cost, as well.  I could see it working better for them if the mail got switched to Outbox's P.O. box, then send stuff like registration tabs onto your house.  I also, don't get USPS' complaint.  The mail is still sent through them first, so that will not effect them anymore than how e-mail already has.


Some states won't necessarily let you use a PO Box for drivers license, car registration, etc ( some charges/taxes may differ by county/city ). And residency can often be proved by an electric/water bill.
 
2013-02-26 11:45:54 PM
dilbert.com
 
2013-02-26 11:46:41 PM
I've considered services that provide an alternate mail address; they scan it, show the envelope on a web page, then choose whether to receive it, open the envelope and scan it, or discard it.  I considered this so I could have an address independent of and unrelated to where I lived.  Decided not to, in no small part because the mail would the proxy address I would have had was in Beaverton, Oregon.
 
2013-02-26 11:47:02 PM
Subby say, "Wasting money".  Economy say, "Creating jobs".  Let's look at what percentage of the economy is to be considered "wasting money" in subby's eyes.  ...oh my...  Subby plays a zero sum game?  That's so very sad and makes Lincoln on the penny cry.
 
2013-02-26 11:49:36 PM
Makes some sense to me. My mailbox is a quarter mile out of my way so I pay a neighbor $20 a month to get my  mail when she goes for hers, I can see how to make this work at $5 a month if you're scanning. But I like some of the coupons in the mail.
 
2013-02-26 11:49:52 PM
Before work I open my mailbox and scream into it "FARKAROO!"
My neighbors "accidentally" let their dog escape and it attacks me everytime I do.

They don't know that's why I do it.
 
2013-02-26 11:50:20 PM
Job creation, I guess...

I used to work for a man who had a Top Secret SCI clearance. I had (and have) a Secret.  He gave me his email login and password to log in to his email to wade through the crap and brief him on the important things.  I'd sit in his office each morning and read the "important" emails to him, and handle the lesser ones on my own.  It was a trip. Here I am, a lowly secretary, parsing Top Secret info for a guy who is not computer savvy. Not to diss him - the man has a lengthy career in covert ops but he just was not a "computer guy". Lucky for him I'm not the type who would go rogue/traitor.

He's no dummy, really, just old school (he arrested Timothy Leary and it was all over the news when I was a toddler).  One of the best bosses I've ever had so I indulged his lack of tech savvy.
 
2013-02-26 11:50:27 PM

Pocket Ninja: The USPS has released a statement saying that they're panning on offering a competing services, one where they collect all your emails, blog and forum posts that you follow, tweets, Facebook updates, and other e-communications, print them out, and mail them to you in a daily newsletter.


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
 
2013-02-26 11:52:25 PM
This service is old, not new.  If you had a small business presence in Delaware, but you were really located in Nevada -- or China -- you could have a physical mailing address in Delaware without having to travel to Delaware.  Don't want to pay a Registered Agent X amount per year? Well, this is an alternative, cheaper/safer or not cheaper/not safer.

Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.
I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.


That would be the other reason to use it.
 
2013-02-26 11:52:26 PM

WhippingBoy: I'm looking for a service that will take my freshly delivered mail, haul it back to an office, scan it, and then mail the scans back to me.


I'm looking for a service that will take my freshly delivered e-mail, print it out at an office, scan it, and then mail the scans of any spam messages to the USPS.
 
2013-02-26 11:53:03 PM
I too thought this sounded insane when I first read it but at $5/month I could see quite a few folks signing up.  You cant get a service of any sort much cheaper than that.  I could probably pull $5 out of my couch cushions or from the loose change in my vehicles.  Personally, I wouldnt go for it but I bet many, many folks would.
 
2013-02-26 11:56:00 PM

aerojockey: I've considered services that provide an alternate mail address; they scan it, show the envelope on a web page, then choose whether to receive it, open the envelope and scan it, or discard it.  I considered this so I could have an address independent of and unrelated to where I lived.Decided not to, in no small part because the mail would the proxy address I would have had was in Beaverton, Oregon.


Exactly.
 
2013-02-26 11:56:56 PM
so, they take a pic of each page of the mail you get? What if i get a catalog from JCPenny, Macys, or Gimbles? Do they scan all of that too?
 
2013-02-26 11:58:46 PM
I wonder just what these people do every waking moment of the day that they do not have the time to read their farking mail while holding it yet have the time to reading it electronically?
 
2013-02-26 11:58:50 PM
I have a service that follows me to restaurants, takes photos of my food, and posts them to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
 
2013-02-26 11:59:59 PM

LemSkroob: so, they take a pic of each page of the mail you get? What if i get a catalog from JCPenny, Macys, or Gimbles? Do they scan all of that too?


I would sign for this service just to have them scan all the free catalogs I would then sign up for!  I would also put myself on every junk mail mailing list and make them scan it.  Why?  Just to be a jerk.
 
2013-02-27 12:00:13 AM

LemSkroob: so, they take a pic of each page of the mail you get? What if i get a catalog from JCPenny, Macys, or Gimbles? Do they scan all of that too?


Do those still exist?  I remember spending endless hours whacking off to the ladies underwear sections of them when I was a teen (there was no internet then) but cant remember the last time I actually saw one of those catalogs.
 
2013-02-27 12:00:27 AM
www.trbimg.com
To quote Beck Bennett in the At&t commercial  "What...?"
 
2013-02-27 12:02:09 AM

parasol: sgt otter: I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.

the post office will hold/forward your mail  - it's a great service


The post office will  not forward your mail to you in a manner that is useful during periods of frequent travel.  Their forwarding service isn't useful at a resolution finer than months.  If you're a snowbird moving to a fixed location for fall/winter and another fixed location for spring/summer, it's fine.  If you're on a contract job in New York for two weeks, another in Miami for three weeks, Austin for a week, then back home...not so fine.

OTOH, nearly every account I have is available online.  Banks, credit cards, cable, satellite, electric, trash, insurance (all flavors), property tax, etc.  The only one that's not available is my water bill, which is set up for auto-pay.  And I have to keep track of the DMV but I know when the registration is due for each vehicle and can pay online.  I don't need any of that mail to keep on top of things.
 
2013-02-27 12:02:55 AM

lack of warmth: LadySusan: Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.

I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.

Except I get 99% of my bills on line and the only physical mail I get is spam. Well, I suppose the annual car registration could be a biatch. I think a friend who occasionally picks up the mail is a better solution than paying someone to steal one's info.

How are they making any money at 4.99 a month? Gas to drive to the house is more than that.

You can't renew your car registration online?  I've renewed my license online, unless you're referring to picking up the important stuff.

I am surprised $4.99 would cover cost, as well.  I could see it working better for them if the mail got switched to Outbox's P.O. box, then send stuff like registration tabs onto your house.  I also, don't get USPS' complaint.  The mail is still sent through them first, so that will not effect them anymore than how e-mail already has.


That is less than $3000 a month at 600 customers.  I am guessing that they are intentionally losing money hoping that as their number of customers rise their overhead will go down.  Personally I think that this will fail.
 
2013-02-27 12:03:10 AM
For only $30/hr I will follow you around all day, take down all your conversations and everything you do, and post it all in an hourly blog or as Facebook updates.

For an extra $500/wk I can rewrite it as fanfic. Buffy, Star Trek, Sex and the City, whatever you want.

/no not really
//but you can use my idea for a 10% royalty
 
2013-02-27 12:04:16 AM

Pocket Ninja: print them out, and mail them to you in a daily newsletter.


The Daily Ninja. Awesome. Mine will be the Vossiewulf Tribune. But coolest will be the feature where for only $1.99/month you can subscribe to other people's newsletters, and USPS binds them all together in your own hardcopy Lifebook.
 
2013-02-27 12:08:40 AM
are you guys serious? five bucks is too much to pay to have someone cut out your junkmail, email you your important mail, sign you up for mail removal from junkmailers, and throw away your mail trash?  I think you all got primed with the headline and jumped on the wagon.  Id pay for that in a heartbeat
 
2013-02-27 12:10:23 AM

Sgt Otter: BarkingUnicorn: Outbox already has 600 customers in Austin.  I cannot imagine why.

I suppose if you travel a lot and aren't home for weeks at a time, this would be a great service.


That was exactly my thought on reading the article--it would be a useful service for those who spend much of their time on the road.

parasol: the post office will hold/forward your mail - it's a great service


For 30 days max and be careful with multiple holds in close proximity--the post office has been known to errantly declare such mail undeliverable.

The post office has no viable system for being gone more than 30 days.  A PO box doesn't work because some important stuff can't be sent there.
 
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