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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 30
    More: Asinine, snail mail, Americans, U.S. Postal Inspection Service  
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5287 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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Archived thread
2013-02-26 09:08:59 PM
3 votes:

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.
2013-02-27 01:07:07 AM
2 votes:

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 12:02:55 AM
2 votes:

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.
2013-02-26 11:45:54 PM
2 votes:
dilbert.com
2013-02-26 11:18:17 PM
2 votes:
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 11:15:59 PM
2 votes:
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 07:38:56 PM
2 votes:
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 06:55:30 PM
2 votes:
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.
2013-02-27 01:06:48 PM
1 votes:
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 06:03:13 AM
1 votes:

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 02:12:08 AM
1 votes:

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 02:07:57 AM
1 votes:

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 01:24:23 AM
1 votes:
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 01:10:58 AM
1 votes:
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 12:54:00 AM
1 votes:

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 12:40:55 AM
1 votes:
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 12:34:42 AM
1 votes:
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 12:22:35 AM
1 votes:

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 12:10:23 AM
1 votes:

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 12:08:40 AM
1 votes:
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 12:02:09 AM
1 votes:

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 12:00:13 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-02-26 11:58:50 PM
1 votes:
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 11:50:27 PM
1 votes:

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 11:50:20 PM
1 votes:
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 11:44:50 PM
1 votes:

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 11:36:44 PM
1 votes:
Austerity is a great concept, subby, but spending is what keeps the economy afloat.
2013-02-26 09:48:48 PM
1 votes:
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.
2013-02-26 09:15:46 PM
1 votes:

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 08:50:42 PM
1 votes:
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.
 
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