• Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    Are there detailed instructions online for how to use the kiosks? I hate having to learn to use it with other people waiting in line behind me.

    Maybe "buy one plain stamp for one plain letter in one plain envelope" should be an option.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 8 months ago

    I was not able to tell how to buy a plain stamp, to mail a plain letter in a plain envelope. I tried two times, one time selecting buy stamp, one time selecting mail letter. There are no pictures of what you are buying, and the wording I'm sure makes good sense to people who speak Postal Service, but I don't. In the "mail a letter" process it asks if a printed form would fit, but I don't want to have to fill out a form, I've already addressed the envelope.

    The line to see a clerk had too many people in it to wait. I don't find the machines at all well thought out. On my second attempt, the person in front of me also gave up in disgust.

    The old machines where you could see what you were buying and push a button right next to it were vastly superior.

  • Reply to: To Award or Not to Award: What’s the Postal Service to Do?   1 year 8 months ago

    No...USPS employees are paid too much now, for the work they do, which for some (not all) employees, is shoddy, careless, irresponsible handling of all US mail. With packages being sent and getting damaged enroute, and stuffed inside these damaged envelopes\packages are these nice, sweet USPS notes of apology for damaging my mail/package....and when the contents of my packages disappear enroute, no one wants to try to locate my items for me. Did they just trash them if a package becomes torn? Do they just toss my items instead of repackaging them and send them on to their intended destinations? No....just recently, I sent a package, Priority Mail (for whatever that means) to my sister in Raleigh, NC...I found out that she received it damaged, minus all the contents inside save for 1 book. This 1 book was not in the padded envelope in which I shipped the items...it had been placed inside another padded envelope and a plain, white label with her name and address written on it slapped onto this padded envelope. She said it was not my handwriting...and, the envelope contained the 1 book I sent plus the little sweet, apology note that USPS always sends when a package is damaged. And how and why do damages incur? Because USPS employees fail to do their job as they should, totally irresponsible and without due consideration to the priceless contents inside a package that a customer has sent. Now---will I be able to locate the rest of the contents of that padded envelope I sent? I seriously doubt it. I have filed a complaint but have no hopes that my items will be found. Not sure exactly when or where the damaged envelope occurred, I have speculated that two post offices in Raleigh, NC MAY be to blame--but there is no proof. Meantime, my lost articles are God knows where in the system. And for this "careful handling" I must pay for a price increase? I think not. I have sent 5 packages this year alone and all were damaged, with some of the contents intact, others had zero contents. And the USPS wants a pat on the back and be given raises? No, no, no!!

  • Reply to: Exigent Price Increase Proposed   1 year 8 months ago

    No...I cannot see postal prices continuing to climb. I see, first-hand, how mail, packages, etc. are handled by the USPS and I dislike what I see. Lost letters, lost packages, damaged mail, damaged packages over and over with no improvement. The service gets worse and yet USPS keeps pressing for more money...I have witnessed USPS emnployees handling mail and packages---tossing them through the air like balls, ripping open mail going through sorting machines...complete carelessness and irresponsibility. And to see service like this at the salaries they make---it it disgusting!!

  • Reply to: Making Global e-commerce E-asy   1 year 9 months ago

    The idea of global e-commerce seems to be good but I don't think it would be ever seeing the light, and even if it does, it won't be there in the near future for sure. The customs and taxation policies are different in different countries and they still keep changing, especially in growing/under-developed economies. In such countries, the governments would be supporting and shielding their own local industry and would not let big-fish from other developed economies encroach their territory. Too early for eggs to hatch.

  • Reply to: Electronic Postage Statements – Boon or Bust?   1 year 9 months ago

    The article says everything about this new technology of sending paperless mails however, one thing I am still curious to know is about the security aspects. How are these guys ensure that my data remains confidential and in integrity.

  • Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 9 months ago

    Absolutely no improvement. I've mailed 5 packages to Europe this month. I've paid over $10 a lb. for 6-10 day delivery. None of the packages arrived in 10 days or less and no refunds are available. The packages spend 3 days in Capital Heights, and then lingered in Chicago, IL a while before being forwarded to France, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Norway or wherever to their customs facility. USPS needs to UPDATE their time expectations or LOWER their prices as I'm not getting what I'm paying for. Pathetic service=lost confidence=finding alternatives.

  • Reply to: Exigent Price Increase Proposed   1 year 9 months ago

    Well, I disagree to a degree. I have observed "many" of the employees that do a great job!
    Sadly, it's not the 5-10%-20% rule though. And, definitely evident in other places in givernment, where it's the same, or much much worse.
    As you probably noticed during the giverment shut down, 50%-60% of the world didn't really care.
    Universal Service does not mean to take a tractor and a 37' trailer, and a helper employee, and drive 23.9 miles through morning traffic to deliver
    a political post card to a post office after 0950 when the carriers have already left and give it to the Supervisor of subject PO for delivery, then repeat that action
    to several other PO's and return to P&DC to collect OT after tour, while MVS Supervisors drink coffee & eat cake! BTW, this would be an ideal time (elections) to observe this practice, unless of course, the winds of change have actually had some effect on this circus act!
    All the while during a consolidation period when an existing smaller PO in same district is closing, and the attendant clerk at subject PO, who spent 16 years,
    and never would have considered taking a sick day, or other day off, as work ethic would not permit; Is being excess-ed to various other PO's as Pist Poor management
    sees fit. It's everywhere in giverment, or academia, among other large private sector companies w/1000 or more employees, where the concept of an enterprise is not the business model! And, you're right Martha! I don't receive 80% of mail anymore, except that which I somehow cannot exclude from the mails system by virtue of default via Universal Service technology restrictions or government exclusions. And, they still put the wrong mail in my box, or I never get the mail which was processed? Who would know? As my kids retort.., Jus sayn!!!

  • Reply to: Passing up Passport Revenue?   1 year 9 months ago

    I'm a recently upgraded level 18. My neighbor level 21 office was having a string of poor Mystery Shops. Processing passports is not the 12.5minutes that you are credited for. Often it is much longer, and that affects WTIL. So the office stopped taking passports and directed customers to my office which is about 4 miles up the hill. It's basically just myself and one clerk who is the passport agent. During our peak period at the start of summer, we were processing an average of 12 per day with a maximum of 16. We purchased a passport camera on EBuy and it's been a huge money maker. WalMart and Costco does photos for $5 and we charge $15. But most customers would rather have us do it because it's more convenient and they trust that we know what we're doing.

    Passport service has been a boon to my office by earning more clerk hours, not to mention customers like the atmosphere of a small office. The other benefit is that now we have more new customers coming over to our office rather than standing in a long line at big office.

    We also get good support from Hawaii state passport agency when we have difficult and unique situations. Doing passports in small offices can be a godsend for revenue generation and earning more hours. It's also a great strategy in relieving the long lines in big offices.

  • Reply to: Exigent Price Increase Proposed   1 year 9 months ago

    i could see if they did a good job but they r getting worse .my mail gets delivered all over my neighbors .
    they cant do a good job any more .wished they would close down and it would be privatice they would not get pay for doing a bad job .they always got too much money for doing nothing they also dont answer their phones.so what good r they

  • Reply to: Postal Service Flexes its Workforce Flexibility   1 year 9 months ago

    Amen to that...What happened to working your way up the ladder so you could understand first hand what specific jobs really entail??

  • Reply to: Who Should Pay for Mail Forwarding?   1 year 9 months ago

    If a letter has a return address and you know it is from someone or a company who is just soliciting, you should be allowed to refuse it and have it returned to the sender at their expense. You should also be allowed to write on it refuse, return to sender, do not send solicitations here, thank you. But my post office does not allow this.

  • Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 9 months ago

    I ordered eye glasses from Glasses.com. I ordered and paid for them September 29th. I was told they should arrive by October 15th. It is now October 23rd and it seems like they don't know where my glasses are. It was sent to Des Plaines, IL October 11th. It was then processed at USPS sort facility October 12th in Forest Park, IL. It then departed on October 12th to USPS sort facility in Forest Park, IL, then on October 16th it was processed through USPS sort facility in Forest Park, IL, then on October 19th, it was processed through USPS sort facility in Des Moines, IA, then on October 20th it departed USPS sort facility in Des Moines, IA, THEN of all places on October 22nd it is processed through USPS sort facility in Forest Park, IL again. What in the world is USPS thinking of???? Is this why they keep raising their prices? Why should we pay for such terrible, terrible service. I need my glasses and it seems like they don't know how to send them to the right address.

  • Reply to: Fall Mailing Season Gets Rolling   1 year 9 months ago

    my package is lost!! Some service! Service sucks! Cannot talk to an actual person who does not give "lip service" & no one seems to be able to tell me where it is! I sent it last week & it has not even been taken to the sorting faccilities! Or at least the Tracking does not show where it is, so where is it people!! They did this to me last year as well. Only that package had been opened, stuff taken out & then re taped & sent on. Minus the contents!!! I filed claims on it & still no answer or anything! Where is that one??? If this package is not delivered, I will have 2 broken hearted grandsons (AGAIN) as this is their costumes, same as last year. From now on I will use alternative shipping. USPS SUCKS!!!

  • Reply to: Postal Service Takes a Leading Digital Role   1 year 9 months ago

    How secure can online communications be anyway? Anytime you bring identifying information online it can and will be hacked at some point! No matter the amount of security one thinks exist, it will always be broken, there is always a backdoor. Nothing is secure!!! Even the Postal Service can't maintain the security and privacy of PII or PCI information confidently for a long time. The US government is hacked quite often, if not daily. Now US citizens PII or PCI data will be brought into the mix? Not a good idea!!!

  • Reply to: Do you agree with the Postal Service’s decision to change the name of Express Mail and rename Parcel Post?   1 year 9 months ago

    Tracking has not improved and the mobile system is frequently unavailable. Who cares what you name your services if they are inferior to ups and fedex?

  • Reply to: Fueling a Fleet   1 year 9 months ago

    How Honda produces their hydrogen is not something I've seen them state - doesn't mean they do or don't use methane and you may or may not be right about how this particular - or any other - car company produces their hydrogen. Yes, it can be done by methane and it wouldn't surprise me if that's how they did in fact do it. But that's hardly the point.

    Fact: Sunlight can be converted to electricity. No dirty secrets there, this is well known common knowledge - everybody knows you can buy solar panels from literally thousands of companies. A quick search on google reveals over 14 million hits. A search for solar panel manufacturers reveals a page on wikipedia listing the top 10 "photovoltaics companies". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_photovoltaics_companies
    Most in China but 2 in the USA. So far so good.

    Solar panels can be either purchased, or leased. Leasing means no (or possibly little) upfront costs to the consumer - in this case, the post office as consumer. I don't know the details of leasing to a business but they certainly offer it to homeowners, I see no reason why they wouldn't offer the same to a business. The best part? Solar can and does produce so much electricity that it can be SOLD back to the electric company - I don't know the numbers this is something someone would have to sit down and analyze. I suspect the solar panel company selected would be happy to do that at no charge.

    So why am I talking about solar panels and electricity? It's probably less common knowledge that to convert water to hydrogen requires electricity and is called "electrolysis". This was discovered over 200 years ago. Yup, we've got the physics angle figured out. So far, we have electricity from solar panels and hydrogen from water - the most common element on the planet piped to every home & business in America. Already available. Now I suppose there are areas that don't get as much sunlight as others and it may require windpower or something else. Regardless, electricity is widely available by one method or another so hydrogen can be generated in whatever quantities needed and the major cost would be in the electricity - which if produced by solar or wind or other natural methods is non-polluting and can potentially be very cost effective - again someone would have to sit down and run the numbers for the post office's specific situation. Hydrogen generators are commercially available. Here's one that took me almost 3 seconds to find and was first on the google list: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/PARKER-HANNIFIN-Hydrogen-Generator-39T172?cm_sp=IO-_-IDP-_-RR_VTV70300505&cm_vc=IDPRRZ1#productReviewTabs

    Do the numbers work for the post office? I have no idea, someone will have to sit down and figure that out.

    There is no C02 produced in electrolysis of water - just Hydrogen and Oxygen. You start with H20 (water - 2 Hyrdogen atoms & 1 Oxygen atom) you apply electricity and you end up with 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom separated from each other. Clean electricity from solar, wind or other clean sources which in turn give you hydrogen and oxygen.

    Now I'm not going to sit here and argue with you, the information is available for those who choose to take a few minutes and seriously look into it with an open mind. If you want to sit there and shake your head without checking into the possibilities because you already know everything, by all means enjoy yourself. But in my book it's better for everyone if the negativity is kept to a minimum. Unless you can provide objective facts & figures on both methods with citations for where you're getting your info. then it's just a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Am I disputing it will cost something? No - but "great cost" is a vague & meaningless term meant to install Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Without specific numbers "great cost" means you personally can't afford it - that doesn't mean someone else doesn't have the money and they might consider the same cost to be quite reasonable and/or even better than what they're paying now. Is $15,000 a lot of money? Many people would say yes - and many people would say no; it all depends on your point of view. Everything is relative. Do an objective analysis of all the costs involved - then you'll have a true answer from which a decision can be made.

  • Reply to: Business Reply Mail   1 year 9 months ago

    If the BRM is not completed someone is falsifying documents by performing the BRM reconciliation report checking that it is completed.

    When that was happening in our office I sent screen shots to OIG but I never heard back.

  • Reply to: Who Should Pay for Mail Forwarding?   1 year 9 months ago

    In it affluent home with plenty of "snowbirds" they are always doing over the phone change of addresses and coa is stead premium forwarding . Forwarding should be paid for, if you can afford two home you can afford forwarding.

  • Reply to: Passing up Passport Revenue?   1 year 9 months ago

    We did 10 + passports a day, then we had people retire they didn't replace them.
    We started having appointments and took 8 a day but only 4 on Saturday .

    Our office cancelled Saturdays now due to
    Less clerks. Our office is in an affluent neighborhood and could do
    15 passports on Saturday. We get calls non strop for say appointments
    And after 4,

    Management opts to not offer them due to not enough clerks.

  • Reply to: Do you agree with the Postal Service’s decision to change the name of Express Mail and rename Parcel Post?   1 year 9 months ago

    I don't think we care what you call it, but since online shops seem to want to use it, I'd just like decent customer service when I go in and mail delivered during the time frame I paid for. In my city if it comes into the office late Thursday or Friday, they'll put it in your box Monday. No rush... We have to go in and convince them to look for it. I would never have a client again if I did that.

  • Reply to: Passing up Passport Revenue?   1 year 9 months ago

    My youngest daughter was given the chance to go to Germany for 3-1/2 weeks leaving in late June in mid-May. I called my Post Office to schedule an appointment the next day at approximately 8:30 AM. The station manger answered the call. After stating the purpose of my call, he asked that I call back after 9:00 AM. When I called back the station manager ask that I hold and then advised me that the next appointment time was seven week from when I called, which was 1-1/2 weeks after she was scheduled to leave. So we got up early on the following Saturday to go to the larger Post Office, which previously had walk-in for passport application, only to find out appointments were now required. I took down the phone number and attempted to call for an appointment later that day to no avail. To obtain her passport we went to the Passport Agency two days before she left and got her passport the same, which means USPS not only lost the $25.00 application fee but also lost the Priority Mail Postage for sending the passport and returning of the original documentation.

    My wife and I also needed our passports for an upcoming trip in December. After receiving new birth certificates and marriage certificate I attempted to call to schedule appointments for us to submit our applications. After many attempts to get someone to answer the phone an individual finally answered the phone only to advise me that nobody was there and took my name and number to have somebody call me back, which they never did. On one of my attempts I left the phone ring for 20+ minutes. The next day, after the person took my name and number, I called again and got appointments in less than five minutes. When we went to our appointments the clerk initially told me that I needed a new birth certificate, which I explained that I had already requested and received a new birth certificate and it had less information than the one I had with me. I also had both my Hospital Birth Certificate and my Baptismal Certificates with me, which the US State Department website were acceptable if the parents’ names are not on the Birth Certificate. I also had a receipt of registration for my Birth Certificate, which included my parents’ names. I advise the clerk to check the US State Department website to see what information was acceptable if the parents’ names are not on Birth Certificate. Initially, the clerk took my Birth Certificate and the receipt to submit but upon seeing our Marriage Certificate, the clerk returned my Birth Certificate and the receipt and submitted our Marriage Certificate instead. The clerk also required my wife and I to list were our parents were born, even though the information was optional on the application nor would the clerk allow us to request the 52 page passport. (When I went to the Passport Agency to obtain my daughter’s passport, her application was changed from the 28 page to 52 page by the clerk there.) Needless to say, I received a letter from the US State Department stating that I had to submit my Birth Certificate before a passport could be issued. So I sent all of the original paperwork I had taken with me to apply for the passport and mailed it to the Passport Agency. I called the supervisor of the clerk that originally processed my application and explained the situation. The supervisor told me that the USPS would submit the additional paperwork for me at no cost. I explained that had already mailed at my expense to avoid further delay. As a customer service organization, the feel the supervisor, USPS, should have offered to refund the postage.

    The USPS should put in place an automated telephone system for passport application appointment (similar to the Passport Agency), a web base appointment system, where customers may enter when they would like an appointment or a ZIP Code of where they would the appointment and the “calendar” would advise the customer when/where the appointment(s) are available or have as many of the retail window clerk trained for processing passport applications as possible and then just have passport applicants proceed through the line and if the next available window retail clerk is not able to process passports you just wait for the next clerk that can. It would be more customer friendly and less costly to allow customer very easily schedule an appointment either through a web base or automated phone system than to require them to make numerous calls to many post offices or even one post office to obtain an appointment.

  • Reply to: Fueling a Fleet   1 year 9 months ago

    Almost all of the Hydrogen used today comes from Methane (natural gas), a dirty little secret that you won't see mentioned in current dialog. Hydrogen can be extracted from water, but at great cost. The steam reforming process is less expensive. So, until someone unlocks the physics problem of water really liking to be water, Methane will continue to be the source for Hydrogen. Oh, by the way the the other by-product of making Hydrogen is CO2. OOPS. Check it out before responding.

  • Reply to: Does a Virtual PO Box service appeal to you?   1 year 9 months ago

    I am waiting not so patiently for this to become reality. A Virtual P.O. Box is desperately needed by ANYONE who runs an email newsletter and doesn't have a business address separate from home address.

    CAN-SPAM is a law requiring a physical address at the bottom of business emails, and ANY email newsletter. Violators can get hit with a hefty fine for non-compliance.

    My only address for my home based business is... my home! Putting that address on the bottom of an email newsletter that random people that find me on the internet can sign up for... SCARY!

  • Reply to: Great Expectations of Online Shopping   1 year 9 months ago

    Good article and an interesting read. Online shopping is now dominating retail stores and any store that doesn't offer online shopping is doomed to fade away.