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(Politico)   The weirdest survivor of the digital age? Direct mail and the Post Office. Buggy whip manufacturers shake their tiny impotent fists of rage   (politico.com) divider line 39
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1068 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Aug 2014 at 12:26 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



39 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-08-04 11:06:59 AM  
How is that the weirdest? Not everybody is wired in to the Internet, ergo, those people still need to communicate and send payment like they did in the past.

People still go to the post office to mail items to other people. That's not going away.
 
2014-08-04 11:53:45 AM  
I like getting mail, even if it's ads and credit card offers I don't want, there's something comforting about it.
 
2014-08-04 12:26:28 PM  
but the political direct mail industry isn't just still alive; it's thriving.

img244.imageshack.us
 
2014-08-04 12:29:47 PM  
I actually prefer/trust the USPS over any other mail/package carrier out there.
 
2014-08-04 12:30:09 PM  
How else are people supposed to pay rent to old landlords?  Or send documents with embossed stamps?  Certificates, legal documents, etc?
 
2014-08-04 12:35:54 PM  

T.rex: I actually prefer/trust the USPS over any other mail/package carrier out there.


Considering how often UPS and FedEx have to use USPS to ship me packages, even though I live less than five miles from a UPS distribution center and two miles from a FedEx one, yeah I love USPS.
 
2014-08-04 12:36:20 PM  

T.rex: I actually prefer/trust the USPS over any other mail/package carrier out there.


Same here.

FedEx doesn't seem to give a damn if they deliver things to the right address.

UPS == Broken shiat everywhere or boxes labeled "This side up" set upside down (thanks assholes, now there is blood everywhere*).

I've never had either of those problems with USPS.

*Not kidding either
 
2014-08-04 12:40:19 PM  
give every american a little pad and have mail sent this way.  eliminate the trucks, fuel, buildings to maintain and service, personnel and stamps and mailboxes.


why doesn't it get done.  personnel?  Displacing a half a million workers is a tough pill to swallow.  I can't believe this isn't viable, but it is the government were talking about
 
2014-08-04 12:40:36 PM  
As a interesting subset of the headline hypothesis


news.nationalgeographic.com

/Well, my link is 8 years old, so maybe I should chick.., er check-up on my assertions
 
2014-08-04 12:41:52 PM  
It costs me $.50 to mail a letter to an adjacent zip code using USPS whereas it cost about $14 to send it UPS or FedEx.

Yeah, we need USPS.
 
2014-08-04 12:42:17 PM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: As a interesting subset of the headline hypothesis


[news.nationalgeographic.com image 170x240]

/Well, my link is 8 years old, so maybe I should chick.., er check-up on my assertions


Well, it was 8 years old when I tried to enter it
 
2014-08-04 12:58:56 PM  
I know what the Salem Witch Prosecutors will have to say about this, but for the rational, keep in mind that the US also sets 'no internet access of any kind by any device or with any intermediary' as conditions of probation and supervised release for a fair amount of offenders of 'computer crime'.  There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who have served their time who need direct, local mail to function.
 
2014-08-04 01:04:21 PM  

meat0918: T.rex: I actually prefer/trust the USPS over any other mail/package carrier out there.

Same here.

FedEx doesn't seem to give a damn if they deliver things to the right address.

UPS == Broken shiat everywhere or boxes labeled "This side up" set upside down (thanks assholes, now there is blood everywhere*).

I've never had either of those problems with USPS.

*Not kidding either


As someone who buys broken things off of ebay (and other internet sources), fixes them, and resells them -- you're dead on right.  I'll only ship USPS.
 
2014-08-04 01:15:38 PM  
I wish I owned a buggy whip factory. Do you have any idea how expensive those farking things are?

http://www.drivingessentials.com/whips_specialty.php
 
2014-08-04 01:16:03 PM  

Muta: It costs me $.50 to mail a letter to an adjacent zip code using USPS whereas it cost about $14 to send it UPS or FedEx.

Yeah, we need USPS.


You mail a lot of letters to an adjacent zip code?
 
2014-08-04 01:23:27 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: How else are people supposed to pay rent to old landlords?


Most online banking will let you write checks online that they will then print out and mail to whomever you designate.
 
2014-08-04 01:25:34 PM  
I wonder how many people ITT think the USPS uses their tax money.
 
2014-08-04 01:29:05 PM  
Another fan of the USPS right here.
 
2014-08-04 01:33:49 PM  
And as someone who regularly orders stuff from the US for delivery abroad - the USPS beats the hell out of UPS and FedEx.  A great service.
 
2014-08-04 01:43:23 PM  

T.rex: I actually prefer/trust the USPS over any other mail/package carrier out there.


This. Their online tracking isn't always up to date, but parcels are always delivered on time and intact. I came to appreciate them after using ebay so much.
 
2014-08-04 01:47:31 PM  
As lead Implementation engineer for a software company that writes software for the print mail industry, I'm getting a kick out of this thread.

/Love my job, and like everyone there. Good guys to work with.
 
2014-08-04 01:48:48 PM  
I'm also a huge fan of the USPS.  When Fed-Ex or UPS sets up an inexpensive box system to which I have 24 hour access and the little machine where I can mail packages all hours of the night and they still make deliveries to my home at no extra cost, I'll consider them.
 
2014-08-04 02:06:06 PM  
Another fan here.  USPS is a cash-generating machine for us.
 
2014-08-04 02:07:13 PM  
Buggy whip makers are doing great  these days, between legitimate buggy drivers and S/F/ fetish supply markets.
 
2014-08-04 02:21:51 PM  

SurfaceTension: Smeggy Smurf: How else are people supposed to pay rent to old landlords?

Most online banking will let you write checks online that they will then print out and mail to whomever you designate.


So how does the bank get the check to the landlord?
 
2014-08-04 02:24:41 PM  
I am not sure why they are weird considering things need to be shipped in the real world.
 
2014-08-04 02:33:32 PM  

mcmnky: SurfaceTension: Smeggy Smurf: How else are people supposed to pay rent to old landlords?

Most online banking will let you write checks online that they will then print out and mail to whomever you designate.

So how does the bank get the check to the landlord?


Vacuum tubes.

/duh!
 
2014-08-04 02:40:42 PM  

SurfaceTension: Smeggy Smurf: How else are people supposed to pay rent to old landlords?

Most online banking will let you write checks online that they will then print out and mail to whomever you designate.


That's how I paid rent at my last place.  The bank would cut a "preauthorized" check, mail it to the landlord, and he could cash it.  You just have to make sure that your bank doesn't pull the shiat that BoA does.  They pull the money out of your account before they cut the check, so if the check gets lost, you're fukt.
 
2014-08-04 04:17:34 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: but the political direct mail industry isn't just still alive; it's thriving.

[img244.imageshack.us image 617x401]


I just want to applaud who is probably one of the few people that actually recognized what this article was about.
 
2014-08-04 04:18:22 PM  

StopDaddy: Because People in power are Stupid: but the political direct mail industry isn't just still alive; it's thriving.

[img244.imageshack.us image 617x401]

I just want to applaud who is probably one of the few people that actually recognized what this article was about.


And then I want to chide myself for the horrid grammar.
 
2014-08-04 04:20:02 PM  

Muta: It costs me $.50 to mail a letter to an adjacent zip code using USPS whereas it cost about $14 to send it UPS or FedEx.

Yeah, we need USPS.


Yeah, it is amazing how the USPS is the only agency capable of delivering a letter for so cheap. It can't possibly have anything to do with direct competition being illegal. Nah.
 
2014-08-04 04:31:47 PM  

umad: Muta: It costs me $.50 to mail a letter to an adjacent zip code using USPS whereas it cost about $14 to send it UPS or FedEx.

Yeah, we need USPS.

Yeah, it is amazing how the USPS is the only agency capable of delivering a letter for so cheap. It can't possibly have anything to do with direct competition being illegal. Nah.


Because the police wrestle people to the ground and arrest them every time they try to fedex a plain old letter.
 
2014-08-04 05:04:43 PM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: umad: Muta: It costs me $.50 to mail a letter to an adjacent zip code using USPS whereas it cost about $14 to send it UPS or FedEx.

Yeah, we need USPS.

Yeah, it is amazing how the USPS is the only agency capable of delivering a letter for so cheap. It can't possibly have anything to do with direct competition being illegal. Nah.

Because the police wrestle people to the ground and arrest them every time they try to fedex a plain old letter.


http://mentalfloss.com/article/26424/why-cant-you-start-rival-post-o ff ice

Scofflaws beware! The USPS actually enforces these rules from time to time. For example, Equifax learned a terrifying lesson in 1993. Armed USPS inspectors raided the company's Atlanta headquarters to determine whether or not the letters the company had been sending via FedEx were indeed "extremely urgent" as required by the Private Express Statutes. The letters didn't pass the test, and Equifax ended up having to pay a $30,000 fine.
 
2014-08-04 06:04:57 PM  

Geotpf: http://mentalfloss.com/article/26424/why-cant-you-start-rival-post-o ff ice

Scofflaws beware! The USPS actually enforces these rules from time to time. For example, Equifax learned a terrifying lesson in 1993. Armed USPS inspectors raided the company's Atlanta headquarters to determine whether or not the letters the company had been sending via FedEx were indeed "extremely urgent" as required by the Private Express Statutes. The letters didn't pass the test, and Equifax ended up having to pay a $30,000 fine.


Simple workaround.  Include something that is technically a motor vehicle master key in your letter.  Then it becomes a a non-mailable letter under 39 USC 3002.

"(c) For the purposes of this section, "motor vehicle master key" means any key (other than the key furnished by the manufacturer with the motor vehicle, or the key furnished with a replacement lock, or any exact duplicate of such keys) designed to operate 2 or more motor vehicle ignition, door, or trunk locks of different combinations.  "

img.fark.net
 
2014-08-04 06:30:07 PM  
A Certified Mail receipt is one of the few things the IRS respects. Saved a $14,000 refund for me one year (this was back when I had a job). They claimed my redo was mailed weeks too late, so I sent them a copy of my original receipt via Certified Mail. They received it late, but that doesn't count.
 
2014-08-04 07:01:31 PM  
I've never gotten from USPS, say, a 6-foot long 6" by 6" package with a noticeable crease and footprint right in the middle and had the driver wonder why I wouldn't accept it.

/seriously, fark you, UPS
 
2014-08-05 04:10:45 AM  
Not only do I receive via U.S.P.S. a check from the woman who rents my former house from me, the check is dropped into my current house through a slot in the front door.

Some homeowners around here are being forced to put in curbside mailboxes, but I guess I'm grandfathered in to a walking route.

(U.S.P.S. employees at the counter could work on their people skills, however.)
 
2014-08-05 07:07:25 AM  

Huck And Molly Ziegler: Not only do I receive via U.S.P.S. a check from the woman who rents my former house from me, the check is dropped into my current house through a slot in the front door.

Some homeowners around here are being forced to put in curbside mailboxes, but I guess I'm grandfathered in to a walking route.

(U.S.P.S. employees at the counter could work on their people skills, however.)


I had to get my passport a few weeks ago and watched an exchange between a woman and the USPS employee.

She had been there three times before. She had problems understanding 1. She needed a 2x2 photograph, 2. She needed a certified copy of her birth certificate, 3. She needed a copy and the original of a picture ID, and 4. She needed to fill the form out in black ink.

I don't have to deal with people like that, so I can understand why the employees are always somewhat pissed.
 
2014-08-05 11:48:42 AM  
Yup. They're needed because some people are extraordinarily stupid.
 
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