Post office and intelligence.

Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Messages
49,760
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Almost every day I have some story or another about shipping and receiving packages.

UPS here is not terrible but they have some issues from time to time.

The whole business of shipping parcels to end users could use a superman. A company that delivers beyond anything we have seen before.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Arizona, USA
The USPS is a coercive monopoly. Coercive monopolies are consistently poor performers in all the areas that we would care about, like efficiency, customer service, innovation, quality, etc. The reasons for these dynamics should be obvious to most people (I'm a social psychologist, so organizational psychology is super fun for me, but you don't need to be any kind of researcher to understand why coercive monopolies would tend to perform so poorly).

The reality of coercive monopolies' poor performance is something people should be able to process and move forward with without much resistance. It shouldn't take us 200 years or what have you to learn such basic background facts about human organizational factors. But we see a strange Stockholm Syndrome with the USPS for ideological reasons, and that's frustrating. There's no excuse for the postal service's awful performance, and we shouldn't be making excuses for coercive monopolies in general – we shouldn't be wasting time, as a society, with organizational setups that we know are inherently bad.

The USPS monopoly is specifically on "letter mail". That's why FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc are allowed to deliver packages. The USPS uses the mail monopoly to its advantage in pricing package service lower than the private carriers (the monopoly mail routes are fixed, so adding package delivery to those routes is much cheaper than building such routes only for packages). There's also an exception for "urgent" matter, which is why those companies are allowed to offer express letter mail type services.

It's actually illegal to use private carriers to send letter-mail-like matter (documents) if it's not urgent. That's obviously way too vague and subjective to base a law on, but the USPS has actually tried to enforce it at various points. About 10-20 years ago, USPS inspectors were searching the contents of corporations' outgoing private carrier express envelopes (FedEx mostly) to determine if they were in fact urgent. Yes, they were in corporate mailrooms trying to decide whether some material was urgent or not. (I think it was in NYC – it was in the news.) I'm not even sure if it's theoretically possible for third parties to determine whether communications between two other parties are "urgent" as some sort of objective fact, but that topic takes us well beyond the level at which the USPS would normally be expected to keep up with.

There's nothing about mail, shipping, logistics, etc that requires or suggests a coercive monopoly. Having a government monopoly on mail delivery is as arbitrary as a government monopoly on dry cleaning, package delivery, or canned soup. Mail delivery isn't what economists call a "natural monopoly", like a city's running water or sewage system, where realistically only one such system could or would be built in a given area, and multiple competing sewage systems wouldn't be feasible.

Size only makes the USPS worse. It makes any coercive monopoly worse. It often makes private companies worse too, though in some cases the economies of scale make certain achievements or technologies possible (e.g. Apple and the iPhone – they achieve stunning performance by designing their own chips from scratch, which wouldn't be possible without their size and profit level.)

By the way, there's an awesome story about an awesome dude who tried to compete with the USPS. Lysander Spooner founded the American Letter Mail Company in 1844 out of frustration with the US Post Office Department (they changed their name to USPS in 1971). He offered much lower rates (US Post Office Department was charging 25¢ for Boston to DC letters, a fortune at the time) and probably better service.

They got Congress to shut him down in 1851, formalizing their monopoly privilege.

Fun task: Try calling 1-800-ASK-USPS, their main service line. See what happens when you do. Try asking someone anything. I was stunned at what I discovered calling that number – it was unlike any 800 number I'd ever dealt with.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Arizona, USA
Almost every day I have some story or another about shipping and receiving packages.

UPS here is not terrible but they have some issues from time to time.

The whole business of shipping parcels to end users could use a superman. A company that delivers beyond anything we have seen before.
Drones. Amazon started testing flying drones a few years ago, so I wonder how far out they are this point. A few years is a long time for companies like Amazon, so I expect them to have made significant progress in that span. Maybe by 2025?
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Messages
442
Location
Wisconsin
Sent my dad a summer sausage for christmas and the postal folks stole it. Tracking ended inside a postal building. Tired of the idiots
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Messages
442
Location
Wisconsin
The mail carriers have destroyed 4 mailboxes. I have video camera aimed right at my mailbox. Last time they said they did not do it I said i would call my lawyer and force hit and run charges against the driver. What morons
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
7,508
Location
South Carolina
We've used the UPSP for decades now (gulp, im getting older) we do quite a few mailings and packages. I cant remember an instance when we ever had an issue which is quote amazing. I cant say that about any company I used for my lifetime other than USPS.

I know some complaints are legit but I also know some people in this world who have an issue with almost everything they do in life... 🙃
Also the number of complaints are minor compared to the volume of packages and mailings but seem multiplied because there are so many and almost every American uses the same service.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
7,629
Location
Connecticut
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Joined
Oct 28, 2002
Messages
49,760
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
I'd be happy if they could match the numbers on the box with the numbers on the mail AND know the name of the street they're on.
How about the realization that a 24" square will not fit in an 8" slot?

My soon to retire guy is EXCELLENT. If the box won't fit, you must bring to porch. His back-ups are a JOKE.

HOLY CRUNK! Our stuff could not be more evenly dispersed if the drops were random.

Somehow delivery people are not held accountable. Smart/lazy carriers know this. They simply don't care.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
12,267
Location
Nokesville, VA
How about the realization that a 24" square will not fit in an 8" slot?

I used to live in a place with those cluster mailboxes. They have a big door that faces the street where the carrier puts the mail in. A certain size of priority mail box fits just fine through that side.

However, it's about 1/4" too wide to fit through the other side, where the customer gets their mail.

I would routinely have to rip the box apart while inside the mail box in order to get it out.

After years of this, the carrier finally started using the parcel mail box. First time they did they left a key in my box and I had no idea what it was for so I threw it into the mail slot.

After the key was in my mailbox again the next day a light went on and I tried it in the big parcel box and there were my packages. And the key is trapped by the lock so the carrier has some way of retrieving it.

But I live there for at least 10 years before they ever started using the parcel box....
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,134
Location
Upstate NY
I think I may have posted before, but my local post office is awesome! If I'm out in the yard, she'll drive right in and legit hand me my mail, just so she can say hi!
The actually office is super efficient and people smile. P. Master is a sweet eastern european girl and she knows my name when I head in, I have never had a single problem with the mail..
Now, head over 6 miles east and you're in the anus of my town.. People at the office seemingly have a contest to see who can be the most monotone and dismissive, all while never making eye contact... 6..Miles... away..
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Messages
3,836
Location
Idaho

The law will restructure the investment USPS makes in retired employee health plans and add Medicare requirements, which combined are projected to save USPS more than $50 billion over 10 years, according to lawmakers behind the legislation.

The legislation mandates that USPS deliver mail six days a week, meaning it can’t cut service in the future, and establishes an online dashboard with weekly updates on the on-time delivery rate for everywhere in the U.S., increasing transparency so that people can easily see if mail is delayed in their area and by how much.

The law also lets the USPS work with state and local governments to provide nonpostal services to Americans, which Maloney suggested could include things like obtaining hunting, fishing and drivers licenses.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
910
Location
Off World
Most of the problems start with the local Postmaster. If he or she is unqualified to hold such a position, then you can expect problems with anyone that works at that location.

I had the local Postmaster hang up on me, the last time that I complained. So I walked to the Post Office to finish the conversation, and he threatened to call the police on me. (Did he think he was that difficult to find? He's really this stupid) The guy has an IQ that is somewhere around room temperature, and is in completely over his head. This past summer, the local newspaper had to do a story with photos, because this guy was too incompetent to get the grass cut, and the shrubs trimmed, and the weeds pulled. Once the story and pictures were published, it was finally taken care of in a few days.
Don't worry, local police don't have jurisdiction on Federal property. They can respond "to keep the peace", but have no statutory jurisdiction....Only Postal Inspectors.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
7,508
Location
South Carolina
Not a political post = anything congress has control of is a money losing proposition. I think highly of the postal service, mostly successful because of limited congressional interference, though lately less so.
This is just fact (no politics) = http://usdebtclock.org
Ideally in this day and age five day delivery would make sense but congress won't allow it.
 
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