on Mar 4th, 2013 in Delivery & Collection | 12 comments
 

Imagine if customers didn’t have to wait at home for a package delivery or have to rush home from work to retrieve a package off their front porch. Or, what if they could avoid paying a fee to receive packages at another address? With 24-hour parcel lockers, their prayers are answered.

Last spring, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled gopost™, a self-service parcel locker system. The Postal Service is pilot-testing the 24-hour secured locker systems in the Washington, DC, area at locations such as shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, and transportation hubs. Many gopost locker systems are accessible 24-hours a day, have a security camera, touch screen operations, and they provide mailing receipts.

Customers can register online to send or receive packages, with no fee to register and use the lockers. Instead of using residential addresses, customers can have shipments sent to the address of a selected and convenient gopost locker system. They then pick up their package at a time that works for them.

Additionally, once registered, the customer can receive communications through either email or by text when their package arrives. More details about gopost operations are at the Postal Service’s website.

The growth in packages is expected to rise steadily as Americans do more of their shopping online and via digital devices. In just the past few years, the Postal Service has seen volume growth in package services of about 15 percent. Increasingly, customers want the security and convenience of picking up packages from a location other than their own address.

What other factors should the Postal Service consider as it deploys more parcel locker systems to other locations? Would you like a gopost location near you? How often do you think you would use a gopost locker?

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I love this idea. Especially being able to get my packages while I am out running other errands, like at the grocery store. I do shop online quite a bit all year long but I am the most nervous about my orders being on my front porch around the holidays.
Please bring this to Texas!

They have one of these at my local Post Office and I think it's a great idea for some people.

I feel that this will be a great service to most Americans. Keep up the good work.

We who live in dense urban areas need this badly! If you don't, someone else (like Amazon) will. We also need the ability to choose to which locker it goes, because my Post Office is more inconvenient than anywhere you'd conceivably put a locker in Center City Philadelphia.

GoPost = Great innovation! It's a virtual Post Office Box (for parcels) anywhere, anytime, only when you need it. It's an innovative use of back office IT, internet, and adaptive physical delivery. Greater expansion will be needed for true success, but there is much room for more innovation with the concept. Like more locations with fewer but maybe larger lockers, to accommodate occassional large packages.
I needed and used a similar locker at the AMTRAK station for a day in Chicago, so these small secure authenticated user spaces have product potential for other than delivering and accepting parcels to postal service. Think about having a small section of these in many 24/7 open locations, some with larger lockers, some 24x24x12 inches. What if I could send bulky things ahead to a few outside a Marriott Courtyard... For the traveler planning ahead, GoPost has huge potential given the cost of baggage fees on airlines. GoPost locations should be given with USNG geoaddress also because they are such small, discrete locations, finding them can be difficult. GoPost has huge potential in the internet age.

I DON"T love this idea. I have spent an hour trying to find out where my tracked package is. Went thru UPS and then thru USPS. I do not like that concept either.
Finally determined my package was DELIVERED to a parcel locker. I have no idea what a parcel locker was. Is my item in a safe location at the Post Office for delivery today? Is it in someone else's "Parcel Locker".
A matter of my full mailbox? No! No one came to my door either.
Not happy with the Parcel locker concept with no information on the tracking page other than "DELIVERED" and no other info about what is next.

Hello Gail,

Thank you for taking the time to notify our offices of this issue. The USPS Office of Inspector General investigates waste, theft, fraud and abuse within the Postal Service (USPS).

We have forwarded your message to the customer service office of the USPS in an effort to assist you in this matter.

Thank you.

U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General

I would hope you could help with this but I'm realistic. I spoke with Kathy this morning at the main station for 99224. She said the carrier delivered both packages to my box at the same time. She said the carrier told her the 9:52 time stamp was an error and that she did deliver both at 1:13 to me. I picked up my mail shortly after that time. Because I had been tracking these pieces I was watching closely. Having not received both I went back out to look again whether it had been dropped. No.
I have to say it is pretty strange that the missing pieces also was a scanning mistake. I also think it strange that if a person got into my mailbox why they would only take one package?

GoPost anyone?

Dear USPS, if you start a new service for customers, say GoPost, how about you train our customer service agents on what it is. You even have a dedicated customer service just for GoPost but everyone there is clueless. If they're not answering the phone laughing or sleepy, they're nonetheless happy to quickly transfer you to an entirely different department who is also....clueless. Actually went into the post office and it's like I'm speaking a different language. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. I thought sprint had the worse customer service of all time, but I stand corrected. USPS customer service sucks. It's like....they don't care and there's no accountability. This rant will undoubtedly be lost in the mix but if you hear someone letting out long sighs because she's tired of being transferred, being put on hold and being treated like I'm bothering people, that would be me. Do better USPS, do better.

As a business that ships perishable items, this is not a shipping method we would use to deliver our product, and is not unlike shipping to a P.O. Box. Like many companies, we do not ship to P.O. Boxes. Unfortunately, we had a negative shipping experience with a customer who gave us a parcel locker shipping address. We were not even aware we were shipping to a parcel locker since there was nothing in the address that identified it as such.

We sent the items 2-day, but have no idea and have no way to verify, when the customer actually picked up their perishable items since the tracking information only tracks to delivery to the parcel locker. The customer subsequently contacted us to let us know our product was inedible due to expiration. After shipping our products to residential addresses for 4 years, in the 48 contiguous states, we have never had this or any product problems.

It seems this delivery system is customer-focused to a fault and to the exclusion of the sender, be it an individual or business. For this reason, we will not ship to any parcel lockers in the future and will be informing our customer that we are canceling the balance of their subscription order. Even though many small businesses dealing in perishable items clearly state on their websites that they are not responsible for any type of damage once the package is in the hands of USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc., and to address complaints to the shipper, the reality is the customer expects the business/sender to address it.

A small business cannot afford to have these types of experiences. Additionally, since this program is still in the pilot phase and not widely available, there is no awareness in areas where it's not available. This doesn't make sense since it's entirely conceivable that a sender could be outside of the program, shipping to a pilot area. Shouldn't both parties know about it?

Please consider the following:
1.) Using an identifier for the parcel locker address, so a business can make an educated decision whether it wants to ship or not.
2.) Establishing some way for the business/sender to verify when the customer/recipient has actually picked up the parcel.
3.) Letting the cat out of the bag! Communicate that this program is out there and in the pilot phase, even to areas in the country where the service is not yet available.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our experience and recommendations.

My package was delivered to a USPS parcel locker but I don't have one, so I went to the post office and they couldn't find it. That was in January and its May and I still haven't received my package. I have lost almost $200 USD. The supervisor in the post office asked me for the key and I told her I had no key, there was no key delivered to my mailbox either. She took my info twice and said they would look for the key but also they didn't know in which locker it was in.. So far the post office of Oakbrook, in 10070 Dorchester Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 has not bothered in contacting me. EG141717014KR is my tracking numbe, please help me!

Hello Liz,

Thank you for taking the time to notify our offices of this matter.

Please try contacting the Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at (803) 926-6387 or (803) 926-6389, they should be able to assist you and look further into this matter for you.

As well, if you still would like to file a complaint with our offices, you can do so on our hotline at www.uspsoig.gov/form/new-complaint-form and we can forward your issue to the appropriate department.

Thank you,

US Postal Service Office of Inspector General