Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Post Office Is Evil

In pretty much any other "business" you go to the employees will have been taught the aged old lesson that "the customer is always right" (even when they are wrong) and the word "service" in "Customer Service" actually means something.

Somehow the US Postal Service gets by with little regard to these age old lessons.

When it comes to sending a package you have several options in the USA:
  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • USPS (US Postal Service)
Of course some are a little more expensive than others but the level of Customer Service and Package Tracking available is usually worth the added expense.

Somehow the US Postal Service "forgets" that there are options for sending packages and relies on the fact that they are the "only" way to send regular "mail".

With that in mind though, lets take a look at how easy it is to replace the US Postal Service:
  • Pretty much all "bills" can be sent electronically
  • Email is much faster
  • UPS, FedEx and DHL all supply better service and better Package Tracking
  • In store Kiosks can easily replace everything else (photo printing, etc)
Think about it, if you went with Electronic Bills and Email as your sole way of communication other than telephone, you could cut down on all of that junk mail that piles up in your mailbox only to be tossed into the garbage and end up in a landfill. Yes, Email has junk mail (spam) too but Junk Mail Filters can handle that.

So then, why is the US Postal Service relevant?

The thing that keeps the US Postal Service going is the fact that it is a government based institution. Our hard earned money is being used via our Tax Dollars to keep this business operating yet every few months they raise their rates and lower their attitude toward the "service" aspect of their name.

Why so bitter about the Post Office today you might ask. Well, I have an important package that was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but since the US Postal Service's "Tracking" system is so horribly bad, I had no idea it was being delivered yesterday. My wife was out walking the dog at the time so she missed the mailman. So, I get home, grab the little pink slip, head over to the Post Office only to be told that they send all packages to a warehouse and thus I can't get it unless I make other arrangements for them to "hold" my package at their location.

You have got to be kidding me.

I asked the guy at the desk if they could just hold it for me to pick up on my way home tomorrow and he tells me that isn't possible and that they would have to make another attempt before I could make such arrangements to pick it up.

You know, we always here about how mailmen go "postal"... wouldn't it be the other way around with "customers" going "postal" :-)


Tomasz said...

FedEx and UPS charge minimum $70 for a small package to Poland. USPS charges about $10. USPS charges less to send a letter to Poland then the Polish Post Office to send a letter to the U.S. while the postal employees in Poland earn probably half or even maybe only a quarter of what the postal employees make here. In Poland the mailman often will not even ring a bell to check if you are home, they will just leave the slip asking you to come to the post office to collect your package. For bigger packages you always have to go to the post office. I do not know how USPS does it, but in my opinion they provide great service for the price. Cheers Kevin! :-)

Tomasz said...

I had a "pleasure" of doing business with UPS on Friday. They left an InfoNotice on my door on Thursday. I called them on Friday to arrange for a pickup from their warehouse. Got there on my way from work 18 minutes before 8pm on Friday. Bad time. I waited for 40 minutes in line before receiving my package. This is my complaint #1. The process of retrieving a package was very slow. My complaint #2 is that when I got home there was another InfoNotice on my door saying that I have 4 items to pick-up - they only gave me one. Ok, I did not ask if they had more for me, but their computer system should have alerted the clerk to the fact that I have 3 more packages. My complaint #3: the warehouse is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you very much. :-)

Kevin said...

Ouch, talk about bad luck... sorry to hear about that Tom... very frustrating indeed.