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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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5289 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»



106 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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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.
 
2013-02-27 12:11:10 AM  
600 customers in Austin. At $4.99/month

$3,000/month gross wouldn't begin to cover checking 600 mailboxes, every day, and scanning/emailing.

/I got a phone book the other day
//go for it, dudes
 
2013-02-27 12:15:39 AM  
What about stuff that you have to have in physical form? For example, my tabs come in the mail. They would pick them up, open them, and have to return them.

5% of what I get is bills we haven't bothered to go electronic on. 1% misc stuff like tabs and tax info. The rest is spam and catalogs (which my wife sometimes browses). It's such a freakin' waste of money, paper, and time.
 
2013-02-27 12:20:21 AM  
You know what I would pay $5/month for?  A real goddamn mailbox. One mailbox, in my yard, dedicated to my house only.  That is the way it was until I moved away from home.  Then I sadly discovered that the vast majority of neighborhoods now have these communist communal mailboxes that are placed something like one per block.  I have so far been unable to escape them in any house I have owned.  Even most of the older neighborhoods have been converted. Its bs, especially given what a stamp costs nowadays.
 
2013-02-27 12:22:35 AM  

freetomato: 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.


You should have both lost your clearances. Maybe that was a different time.
 
2013-02-27 12:27:43 AM  

gremlin1: Around here you can pay a service $10 a month to clean up the dog sh*t in your yard.


I have it on good authority, that there's a company in Houston, that charges $25/wk to do that job. Everything's bigger in Texas, even the dog-shiat-pick-up-bills.

/don't have dogs if you can't pick-up after them
 
2013-02-27 12:32:27 AM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: 600 customers in Austin. At $4.99/month

$3,000/month gross wouldn't begin to cover checking 600 mailboxes, every day, and scanning/emailing.

/I got a phone book the other day
//go for it, dudes


RTFA. They pick up twice a week.
 
2013-02-27 12:34:42 AM  
What gets sent to you guys in the mail that would allow for easy (note I said easy) identity theft?  If you want everything sent to you via email, wouldn't you also direct your bank and utilities to send online bills/statements?
 
2013-02-27 12:37:42 AM  
SurelyShirley:
/don't have dogs if you can't pick-up after them

Service dogs?  Shouldn't have a dog if you're blind and can't see where to pick anything up?  What are they supposed to do, feel around in the yard for it with their bare hands?
 
2013-02-27 12:38:04 AM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: 600 customers in Austin. At $4.99/month

$3,000/month gross wouldn't begin to cover checking 600 mailboxes, every day, and scanning/emailing.

/I got a phone book the other day
//go for it, dudes


You got a phone book by mail?
 
2013-02-27 12:40:43 AM  

ExperianScaresCthulhu: 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.


In my case it was because A) I didn't see myself as the sort of person who lived in one place very long, and B) I didn't want employers to overlook me based on my address.  Not because I'm any sort of privacy nutcase.

The problem is moot now, since I actually A) live in a city I like, and B) have a job I like, which means I am satisfied with regular mail.
 
2013-02-27 12:40:55 AM  
What if I had 6 magazines and a Sears Wish Book? Would they scan every page? That would take forever. Doesn't seem like a very profitable business model, so I'm sure there must be restrictions such as "maximum 100 pages per month."
 
2013-02-27 12:41:29 AM  

Jument: What about stuff that you have to have in physical form? For example, my tabs come in the mail. They would pick them up, open them, and have to return them.

5% of what I get is bills we haven't bothered to go electronic on. 1% misc stuff like tabs and tax info. The rest is spam and catalogs (which my wife sometimes browses). It's such a freakin' waste of money, paper, and time.


If only there were some sort of government process in which money could be saved by introducing a mandatory reduction in funding to services, thus making them either collapse or work in a more efficient and conservative manner...
 
2013-02-27 12:42:11 AM  
I just let the meth heads steal it, they have a decent system going.
 
2013-02-27 12:54:00 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?


You sound like you've been asleep for a few decades or just trolling a bit.  JC Penny may still have a catalog, but Macy's just sends out sales circulars.  Gimbles closed in the early 80's soon after I moved to NYC in 1981.  Remember them mostly for being Macy's competitor in Miracle on 34th Street,

I don't think I would sign up for this service, but it could certainly cut back on paper clutter in my apartment. Still get lots of snail mail from charities, especially animal and environmental causes.  Lots of them still go straight to recycling bin but others I hold on to with the hope of making a donation because I'm a softy for abused dogs, donkeys and dying polar bears.
 
2013-02-27 12:58:04 AM  

Ima4nic8or: You know what I would pay $5/month for?  A real goddamn mailbox. One mailbox, in my yard, dedicated to my house only.  That is the way it was until I moved away from home.  Then I sadly discovered that the vast majority of neighborhoods now have these communist communal mailboxes that are placed something like one per block.  I have so far been unable to escape them in any house I have owned.  Even most of the older neighborhoods have been converted. Its bs, especially given what a stamp costs nowadays.


It's probably safer for the carrier and allows more mail to be delivered to more people quicker. Less on the job injuries, less chance for vehicle accidents, more efficient use of time. But who knows.
 
2013-02-27 01:07:07 AM  

Tobin_Lam: You should have both lost your clearances. Maybe that was a different time.


This.

I just started twitching almost uncontrollably when reading her post. Not to mention an individual with a secret clearance should not be working in the same room as TS/SCI information on a daily basis.
 
2013-02-27 01:10:13 AM  
"The company already has more than 600 customers in Austin, Texas"

$4.99 x 600 = $2994 a month.

Even if they somehow managed to run this business with zero overhead or expenses, assuming one employee to drive around picking up mail and two more to sort, scan, email and file the mail away afterward. Income for three employees based on a 40 hour work week @ 7.25 minimum wage = $3480 a month

Doesn't sound like a very successful business model.
 
2013-02-27 01:10:58 AM  
Meh - my stepfather bases his company out of Nevada for tax reasons.  Problem being he lives 1500+ miles away.  He uses a similar service to scan mail that he receives and I know several others do the same as well.
 
2013-02-27 01:13:10 AM  
Don't go full retard.  This is full retard.  First of all, EVERY single service I have offeres paperless billing, from cell phones to the city water service to the electricity to the mortgage, not to mention EVERY credit card.  And will bill pay from my bank, theoretically as long as i maintain the minimum balance I could with one final click, send every bill off the respective vendors.  The only thing left would be junk mail and the nasty bills my ex stepson, the farkhead jailbird still has sent to my house, but which I am staritng to just write return to sender and put in the post office for good measure.  But anyway, this strikes me as an asinite idea and well, just that.
 
2013-02-27 01:24:23 AM  
Businesses use services that collect the mail at the PO, scan it and send digital copies to the business. The hard and digital copies are stored in off-site locations.
Guess if you had a home office/business you could use this for that purpose.
 
2013-02-27 01:42:40 AM  

Babwa Wawa: 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.


97% of our mail are packages from Amazon or eBay.  The remaining 3% are credit card solicitations, election materials, and LL Bean and JCrew catalogs.
 
2013-02-27 02:07:57 AM  

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.



http://www.maillinkplus.com/
Highly recommended!

I've been doing this for my mail for the last five years, and let me tell you it is awesome!  Not only for all the reasons listed above, but also if you want a corporation some places will act as your in-state agent for service.  Also the place I use will accept mail no matter what designation is used (apt, suite, etc).  So while it's technically a p.o. box, I can give the address to vendors as "999 somestreet, suite 1000" and items that would normally not be allowed to be delivered to P.O. Boxes (credit cards, some tax documents, etc) are delivered just fine.

As an added benefit, if you use the box as your address for mortgage, credit cards, etc then they will start to report that as your physical address to the credit bureaus.  So that's where they start sending all the shiat instead of sending it to your house.  There is also just something nice about not having much junk mail coming to your house.

When mail arrives it is logged to a website.  If it is something out of the ordinary I can have the envelope scanned.  Or they can open it and scan the document to PDF.

I know what mail I generally get monthly, so I let it accumulate for a couple months and then have statements and personal financial records sent to me in one big envelope for shredding.  The other stuff I just have them throw away.
 
2013-02-27 02:12:08 AM  

Loren: A PO box doesn't work because some important stuff can't be sent there.


http://www.maillinkplus.com/

Done (see my earlier post)
 
2013-02-27 02:19:51 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I imagine that if you can afford to live in San Francisco, you can afford five bucks a month for stupid stuff like this.


I think that if you can afford to live in san fran you should probably be shot a an enemy of humanity.
 
2013-02-27 02:28:00 AM  

Babwa Wawa: 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.


That's all stuff you can do online anyway, if you want to. By the way, isn't it a federal offense to open other peoples' mail?
 
2013-02-27 02:48:01 AM  

phalaeo: What gets sent to you guys in the mail that would allow for easy (note I said easy) identity theft?  If you want everything sent to you via email, wouldn't you also direct your bank and utilities to send online bills/statements?


hmm ok just because it's that time of year, how about W2 forms?

there's always gonna be some personal BS that gets in there occasionally
 
2013-02-27 03:06:11 AM  
If I was on sabbatical or retired while on extended vacation, on extended business trips or doing something else where forwarding mail wasn't really an option, this would be a nice service.
 
2013-02-27 03:45:09 AM  

freetomato: 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.


oh horse shiat.

i don't doubt that your old boss had you sort through his email, but your obviously implying that you were reading through CAA materials. that kind of information would never be distributed below a hard-line that you can't even cross without a TS clearance. let alone distributed on OpenNet.

i won't even get into why you wouldn't read CAA materials out loud even if there was some way of accessing them outside of a typing room.

we're all very impressed that you got to sort through somebody's AOL email though.
 
2013-02-27 04:25:09 AM  

ReapTheChaos: "The company already has more than 600 customers in Austin, Texas"

$4.99 x 600 = $2994 a month.

Even if they somehow managed to run this business with zero overhead or expenses, assuming one employee to drive around picking up mail and two more to sort, scan, email and file the mail away afterward. Income for three employees based on a 40 hour work week @ 7.25 minimum wage = $3480 a month

Doesn't sound like a very successful business model.


What makes you think they're paying minimum wage? or that all their employees are over the table?
 
2013-02-27 05:26:20 AM  
Still no cure for my local USPS seldom managing to deliver a package on time. Or, you know, at all.
 
2013-02-27 05:46:11 AM  
For $4.99 a month, I agree with the rest of you that's not a big profit maker. However, part of me wonders if that company's plan is collecting marketing info about its customers based on the mail they receive and selling that info to other companies.
 
2013-02-27 06:03:13 AM  

parasol: What are they scanning? political flyers? your property tax notice? a hand written love letter? who is this lazy and incurious at once?


someone who is not always at "home" ?

// lived in San Francisco for 4 years, I would have used this service, right now my wife does this for me until she arrives in Beijing.
 
2013-02-27 06:23:19 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I imagine that if you can afford to live in San Francisco, you can afford five bucks a month for stupid stuff like this.


martissimo: 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.


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


THESE!!!
Makes me want to start mailing pictures of tubgirl to my friends again.  Maybe do a flipbook of meatspin gif.  Way better than tinyurl ;)
 
2013-02-27 06:27:51 AM  
Also
1)Mail self active GPS unit
2)Find "scanning" warehouse
3)Sell info on TSR or tardball.nz
4)Profit in BTC
5)Buy fleshlight and drum machine
6)Form band with ROBOT MEG WHITE
7)Avoid cancer
 
2013-02-27 06:52:10 AM  
As someone who has been battling with the post office to forward my dead father's mail (7 weeks after filling out forms, giving copies of probate stuff, etc), I would gladly pay for this service.

/do I need to bring in his ashes?
 
2013-02-27 07:42:09 AM  

Ima4nic8or: You know what I would pay $5/month for?  A real goddamn mailbox. One mailbox, in my yard, dedicated to my house only.  That is the way it was until I moved away from home.  Then I sadly discovered that the vast majority of neighborhoods now have these communist communal mailboxes that are placed something like one per block.  I have so far been unable to escape them in any house I have owned.  Even most of the older neighborhoods have been converted. Its bs, especially given what a stamp costs nowadays.


move out of the trailer park
 
2013-02-27 07:56:56 AM  
Then when I get it I just print it out and read? Ta Da.
 
2013-02-27 08:13:47 AM  
Is this the weekly "Abolish the USPS" thread?

/constitutional mandate or no, I believe the USPS will be abolished in our lifetime, possibly in the next 10 years
 
2013-02-27 08:50:31 AM  
I could see this while you're on vacation maybe.
 
2013-02-27 08:59:07 AM  

ijason: freetomato: 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.

oh horse shiat.

i don't doubt that your old boss had you sort through his email, but your obviously implying that you were reading through CAA materials. that kind of information would never be distributed below a hard-line that you can't even cross without a TS clearance. let alone distributed on OpenNet.

i won't even get into why you wouldn't read CAA materials out loud even if there was some way of accessing them outside of a typing room.

we're all very impressed that you got to sort through somebody's AOL email though.


I have never heard the term CAA in reference to classified materials.  I couldn't find a google definition of anything remotely akin to classification either - perhaps you could define the acronym?  I'm curious now.

We used a system akin to SIPRnet.  I didn't say I read TS Info, I said my boss had one.

Does AOL even still exist? Has any government entity ever used it?  Not to my knowledge.

Lesson learned - don't fark late at night when in your cups.  Clearly I am not able to articulate well at those times.

I'm not a good enough liar to fabricate a story about things I have no familiarity with so it's a practice I've always avoided.
 
2013-02-27 09:10:23 AM  

trappedspirit: Subby say, "Wasting money".  Economy say, "Creating jobs".


How about creating jobs that actually do something useful? Or is that a completely alien concept?
 
2013-02-27 09:36:19 AM  

ReapTheChaos: "The company already has more than 600 customers in Austin, Texas"

$4.99 x 600 = $2994 a month.

Even if they somehow managed to run this business with zero overhead or expenses, assuming one employee to drive around picking up mail and two more to sort, scan, email and file the mail away afterward. Income for three employees based on a 40 hour work week @ 7.25 minimum wage = $3480 a month

Doesn't sound like a very successful business model.


I know, because a business always makes money from day one.
 
2013-02-27 09:38:40 AM  

phalaeo: SurelyShirley:
/don't have dogs if you can't pick-up after them

Service dogs?  Shouldn't have a dog if you're blind and can't see where to pick anything up?  What are they supposed to do, feel around in the yard for it with their bare hands?


I'm so sorry for not adding a disclaimer at the end of my post.
I'll have my lawyer work on it, to make sure no group or person is discriminated against.
 
2013-02-27 09:56:32 AM  

NeoBad: Don't go full retard.  This is full retard.  First of all, EVERY single service I have offeres paperless billing, from cell phones to the city water service to the electricity to the mortgage, not to mention EVERY credit card.  And will bill pay from my bank, theoretically as long as i maintain the minimum balance I could with one final click, send every bill off the respective vendors.  The only thing left would be junk mail and the nasty bills my ex stepson, the farkhead jailbird still has sent to my house, but which I am staritng to just write return to sender and put in the post office for good measure.  But anyway, this strikes me as an asinite idea and well, just that.


Almost everything can be electronic.  Many of us lead lives with a few things left that can't be.  Off the top of my head:

1)  Anything from the IRS.

2)  DMV license tags.

3)  Auto insurance card.

4)  My wife's professional license card.  (And it was only last year that they went electronic on the renewal notices.  You have to have the form, you can't just pay when you know it's due.)

5)  Property tax.  I can pay it with bill-pay but the notices saying what I owe are only available snail-mail and that will probably persist for some time (I inherited some land in sparsely populated areas--places where I can't even look up the property on-line.  It's low enough value that selling would be difficult.)
 
2013-02-27 11:34:58 AM  
Ah, found it!  Crypto Access Authorization.

You learn something new every day.
 
2013-02-27 01:06:48 PM  
I would think the Post Office would be able to market a similar service where you pay $1 or so to not receive any junk mail.

With the prices they charge for bulk mail, and the actual cost of getting it to your mailbox, it would seem they could easily make a profit.

To make it legit, you could sign something saying you "refuse delivery" of mail from a predefined list of marketeers. -Like the "do not call" registry, but the "do not mail" registry.
 
2013-02-27 01:47:14 PM  
I didn't really every single word of every single post, but I can think of several reasons why people might employ this service.

1. They prefer to have a scan of everything for filing and reference, including snail mail, but don't have the time to do it themselves.

2. They are paranoid about germs, anthrax powder, or bombs. This service protects them from injury while opening mail. If there's a bomb or toxin inside the package, it's the service that gets hit, not the homeowner or business.

3. They are paranoid about mail piling up in the mailbox. If you receive a lot of mail and some of it is very important, this might be an alternative to more expensive options, such as a postal box. They charge quite a bit for those, so you might be able to pay less for this service. Mail will never be exposed to the elements, snoopy neighbors, spies, your ex-wife, etc., if it is collected within the mail/web system (you hope).

Some people have security boxes that deliveries and mail can be put into. If a bomb goes off, it may go off in the box. If things are delivered during the day when residents of  the address are out, they aren't left on doorsteps or stuffed into undersized mail slots or boxes. This service cleans up the risk of such mis-deliveries.

I have a UPS box because I had problems with mail orders being left outside my door. I don't have a problem with them being delivered to a nearby postal station but the Canada Post mailboxes were more expensive than UPS and I can't ensure that things are shipped via mail rather than a delivery company. Furthermore, instead of dropping the parcel off at a UPS store nearby, they returned them to their suburban sorting centre, which may as well be on the Moon as far as convenient pick up is concerned. Of the various options, the mailbox was cheapest and easiest. If I can buy enough bargains or things I couldn't buy otherwise, it pays for itself. If not, I pay extra to get things delivered safely and conveniently rather than by regular mail or delivery service, which is sloppy.

I can see this type of mail-scan-fax or email service being useful to some people and well worth the money. It's a question of time versus money, safety, convenience, and so forth. You can actually have the Post Office scan and deliver your snail mail this way, so they have obviously figured out that they can separate some money from regular mail customers for this "elite" service.

Businesses, of course, have mail rooms where low wage drudges open the mail and assume the risk of bombs, toxins, paper cuts, etc. Small businesses and people who work from home may get nostalgic for such services if they work out of homes, or they may find the time and bother worth paying to eliminate.

Sounds crazy, but much of the world seems crazy unless you examine it closely and carefully to see how it works and why.

I mean, it can't possibly be as crazy as paying $5 a month to have access to all the dud headlines people write, can it?
 
2013-02-27 02:04:14 PM  
One of my pet peeves is people who send me urgent work by email. They should not do this.

1. They should not assume that I will read my email the moment it arrives.

2. They should not assume that I will receive the email the moment it is sent.

3. They should not assume the email will tell me everything I need to know (some of them are great at their jobs but lousy at communicating).

4. They should not assume I can or will act immediately upon receipt of their email(s).

5. They should not assume I will give their urgencies top priority regardless of my own important and urgent to do list plus everybody else's list of things for me to do.

If you have something urgent and important you want other people to do you should seek them out face-to-face or telephone voice-to-voice. This ensures communication, including the bits you miss when you reduce words and gestures to text.

As George Bernard Shaw put it:

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

GB Shaw was a smart cookie, and he has a very important point in this quip. The whole world ignores this point at our collective and individual peril.

The thing about face to face communication is that you can read people better than words on paper or screens. It's faster and easier to learn what you need to know from a drop by your desk or somebody else's desk.

Also, when the person is present you can ask questions or they can think of other things which they forgot or neglected to put in their text.

Some people send the most useless emails. They don't say what they should. They don't say anything once they are analyzed for useful content. Face to face you can force them to tell you what you want, when, why, how, and where. It is so easy that sometimes it doesn't look like you are squeezing information out of them at all.

Scott Adams has a massive amount of experience in business and engineering environments and he is fed material by thousands of fans. He often turns this information on human misbehaviour into pithy cartoons that look simple and self-evident but contain many kinds of verbal or visual clues to complex interplays of people, business environments, and institutional, human and environmental flaws and vices.

He is hated or dismissed by many who expect something else or don't share his sense of humour, but he is really quite brilliant. He is one of the best cartoonists (who can't draw and have a spotty success rate, like all cartoonists). And despite a provoking tendency to speculate or to ask stupid questions, not to mention the occasional scandal when he goes there without caution or fear, he is quite a smart person also.

Between GBS and Scott Adams, you can learn a hell of a lot about effective communication and the effects of non-communication, which sadly, is probably a lot more common because human brains don't work very well and aren't aware of this.
 
2013-02-27 02:12:20 PM  
I try to make my communications complete and well-organized. This makes them longer and prone to being ignored, but you don't have to read them to the end if you understand the organization. A journalist or her editor will put every point in an article in order from the most obvious point (the whole point of the article) to the least important background detail. In this way you can get as much or as little information as you like.

Some people only read headlines. Others read the articles backward from the stuff that contracts and disproves the slant of the article. This is usually buried in the last few lines or paragraphs, so reading backwards turns the article into another article with a totally opposite slant.

Cool trick, bro.

I use this trick frequently. I sometimes read entire books and newspapers backwards. It's a different view of the world when you invert the order of sentences or paragraphs.

Editors and journalists have learned to write for two different audiences, using the same facts and opinions. In fact, by organizing the facts and arguments cleverly, they can handle many different types of readers looking for confirmation of their bias, or contradiction and correction.

Footnote:  Clever buggers, although they don't necessarily do this consciously. It's a convention that has been honed by natural selection and is largely instinctive in many cases. They don't necessarily realize or think about what they are saying and thus contradict themselves very efficiently.
 
2013-02-27 02:36:42 PM  
If you're really e-connected, this can be well worth it.
 
2013-02-27 02:41:21 PM  
These people are suckers. I pay a Cambodian midget $3.27 per month to tackle the postal carrier, forcibly wrest my mail from his dirty clutches, and then hoof it back to his tiny house down the street, where he hands it off to his 5'11" Swedish wife. She opens it, takes photographs of each page with a 1965 Kodak Instamatic, develops the film herself, and then puts them all in a large manila envelope. Her husband then hotfoots it back to my place with the envelope and slides it under the door (because I can't stand looking at him. He's rather ugly.) where my heavily-modified Aibo robotic dog can retrieve it for me. It's all very convenient.

And if I determine from the photo packet that I would actually like one of the original piece of mail, I pull a cord which rings a bell near the Cambodian midget's house. He responds by hustling back to my place, where I will have slid a photo of the mail I would like under the door. He then skedaddles back to his house where he instructs his wife to locate the requested mail. She wraps it in three sheets of industrial mylar, which she kisses while wearing "fire brick red" lipstick. The Cambodian then scampers back to my place and uses the secret knock. I open the door a crack and stick a manikin arm through the opening. He places the mail on the manikin's hand, I pull it in and shut the door, and he goes to the corner pub to get drunk.

See? It's all so simple.
 
2013-02-27 04:29:07 PM  

Gabrielmot: I would think the Post Office would be able to market a similar service where you pay $1 or so to not receive any junk mail.

With the prices they charge for bulk mail, and the actual cost of getting it to your mailbox, it would seem they could easily make a profit.

To make it legit, you could sign something saying you "refuse delivery" of mail from a predefined list of marketeers. -Like the "do not call" registry, but the "do not mail" registry.


It would be nice, but they're required by federal law to deliver anything addressed to you, this includes junk mail. Seeing as they make the majority of their money these days from junk/bulk mail, I don't see them changing the law anytime soon.
 
2013-02-27 06:24:23 PM  

Mock26: 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?


They're away from home, maybe posted overseas by their employer.
 
2013-02-27 08:07:57 PM  

brantgoose: One of my pet peeves is people who send me urgent work by email. They should not do this.

1. They should not assume that I will read my email the moment it arrives.

2. They should not assume that I will receive the email the moment it is sent.

3. They should not assume the email will tell me everything I need to know (some of them are great at their jobs but lousy at communicating).

4. They should not assume I can or will act immediately upon receipt of their email(s).

5. They should not assume I will give their urgencies top priority regardless of my own important and urgent to do list plus everybody else's list of things for me to do.

If you have something urgent and important you want other people to do you should seek them out face-to-face or telephone voice-to-voice. This ensures communication, including the bits you miss when you reduce words and gestures to text.

As George Bernard Shaw put it:

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

GB Shaw was a smart cookie, and he has a very important point in this quip. The whole world ignores this point at our collective and individual peril.

The thing about face to face communication is that you can read people better than words on paper or screens. It's faster and easier to learn what you need to know from a drop by your desk or somebody else's desk.

Also, when the person is present you can ask questions or they can think of other things which they forgot or neglected to put in their text.

Some people send the most useless emails. They don't say what they should. They don't say anything once they are analyzed for useful content. Face to face you can force them to tell you what you want, when, why, how, and where. It is so easy that sometimes it doesn't look like you are squeezing information out of them at all.

Scott Adams has a massive amount of experience in business and engineering environments and he is fed material by thousands of fans. He often turns thi ...


tl;dr
 
2013-02-28 10:42:20 AM  

Generation_D: Ima4nic8or: You know what I would pay $5/month for?  A real goddamn mailbox. One mailbox, in my yard, dedicated to my house only.  That is the way it was until I moved away from home.  Then I sadly discovered that the vast majority of neighborhoods now have these communist communal mailboxes that are placed something like one per block.  I have so far been unable to escape them in any house I have owned.  Even most of the older neighborhoods have been converted. Its bs, especially given what a stamp costs nowadays.

move out of the trailer park



It's not the trailer park.  Ima4nic8or is right: the move is towards more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralized_mail_delivery
 
2013-02-28 09:31:14 PM  

I Ate Shergar: trappedspirit: Subby say, "Wasting money".  Economy say, "Creating jobs".

How about creating jobs that actually do something useful? Or is that a completely alien concept?


Like make money for performing a service?  Or is that a completely alien concept?
 
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