Well come August 1st we will no longer have Saturday service at the Post Office unless you’re a package, parcel or select branch. Reason is simple, we now live in the age of the Internet where sending a letter is now just a few keystrokes and a click away and the time-honored tradition of sending a letter via “Snail Mail” his now obsolete. And you would believe that to be a good thing, knowing that anything important would spare you having to go outside in the wind, the rain and the snow to send something important that needs to get there in time. But if I may, there’s a growing argument from people who forget a bit how our country works.
You see, there are people now who want to see the post office go in the name of private companies that can do the same, But it’s hard to do that when the post office is a constitutionally mandated agency. Sure this is just the case of losing a day from the regular schedule and would harsh the mellows of people, the greeting card and junk mail industries but they don’t care, just go a day earlier or take a better service.
I would like to see the Post Office reformed to get better service and get things done better but the reasoning from people who don’t know how the thing works or even their bad experiences kind of messes with the bigger picture why the USPS, the monopoly that it is, is still the most trusted, let alone affordable option. Unless they change, the competition isn’t doing any better. UPS, FedEx, DHL have the better tech, facilities and global outreach but it doesn’t justify the cost of it all when you send something through them.
Also they need to think of some things that electronic mail still cannot do even when we trusted so much information without even thinking about it.
- Certified Mail – The kind that the government needs to know that it’s sent to you.
- Signature documents – You know stuff that you need a physical signature in order to confirm or send something.
- Packages – Already covered.
With that, I would like to side step this and tell you all a little tale in how I learned this terrible lesson first hand. I give you The Tale of the Teashades.
Back in 2011, I had a love for a certain style of sunglasses that were made famous by legends such as Ozzy Osbourne and the namesake John Lennon. But the name is Teashades and I found a good pair of them on Amazon that I wanted so much. I got them, tried them and… they don’t fit. Disappointed, I contacted the dealer and I can return them for the price I paid for them. But as you can see as the Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know guy would say “This is where it gets crazy”. You see the glasses were sent to me via UPS at no additional cost to me but since then the post office was closed, I was left with no choice but the send the glasses back through the same service. Now just to keep you to speed, these are the glasses:
And the value of them is a mere $5.99. Cheap right? Not when you send them to anyone other than the Post Office. And this was still in the original packaging mind you. I was wanting to go with the most affordable option that they have and it was their ground service. Fine. But after calculating the cost of a box and the weight and the method of sending it back the cost came out to $19.38.
I’m not kidding that’s what it was like back then, I got it from UPS, send it back through UPS and they charge me that much. Remember that $5.99 price? Take that into consideration and you can see that as a -$13 loss. For ground commercial? Well it must be considering it was going back to a business As opposed to just using priority for $5.15 losing 84 cents with the post office. Oh I did the check-up online and they now claim $8.61* for ground delivery (none available for ground if your use their packaging), gee, why didn’t they use that? Oh I can guess why, they also charge me for the new box as opposed to reusing the one the glasses came in. FedEx is cheaper at $7.45* ground ($16.67 in their own box), but I would guess they would charge me extra for stuff I didn’t expect to have just to send a stupid pair of glasses.
*These points if they consider the package to weigh one pound since they don’t take in ounces.
I thought that this was the last time I have to deal with them before I choose USPS but no, same thing happened with sending a $14 telescope to someone in California. UPS I go again in their store and it’s already bad enough that they’re ill-prepared to have long boxes but they’re telling me what it would take to send it over the California in the first place. Charging me based on the size of the box, the “custom box” they have to order and the time it would take to get it through ground again. $35 dollars! it would cost me to send it over. No! NO! Worse at the UPS store at the Van Wyck Staples for $10 more and these are the same company in two locations! Since the telescope was an Amazon sell I used their mailing system to get this through and I just paid a mere $5 as a first class parcel. Again think of all the money I would have lost if I went with UPS. The telescope would have more better value being tossed in the trash and not in someone else’s hands. Oh and I didn’t have the box to send it in so it was just double-wrapped in tough paper and from the looks of it, no complaints.
What I came to see that I was much better with the Post Office doing the work even with all the troubles it has both professionally and financially but until the competitors can be as affordable to prove sending anything through them. It can’t be matched or preferred. As for the Saturday service going away. It’s no big deal but seeing how it works in the long run is yet to be seen.
- How Amazon could save the U.S. Postal Service (cnn.com)
- Why Doesn’t the Postal Service Make Money? (slate.com)
- 20/20 News: U.S. Postal Service May Stop Saturday Postal Delivery (everythinggl.com)
- Postal Service to Discontinue Saturday Mail Service (firewireblog.com)
- U.S. Postal Service Ending Saturday Mail Delivery This Summer (ubergizmo.com)
- Cliff Guffey: Dismantling Postal Service Will Not Save It (yubanet.com)