Month: November 2009

Not Going Postal

The other day I had to ship a package – stuff my mother-in-law left here from her visit. We had it all boxed up and ready to go, so I took it with me to run some errands. At first, I thought I’d just go to the post office – but when I walked in, I changed my mind. Instead, I went to the UPS Store which was somewhat out of the way for the day’s itinerary.

First thing was that the post office wasn’t clear on whether I could just use the box I had or would I have to buy a new box? I know from previous experience, what would happen if I had to buy a new box – back to the end of the line. I also noticed there wasn’t any tape out there, although they had some to sell. So again, not sure if they would help me out or make me buy a roll. (I’ve had experiences both ways, so it was a bit of a crapshoot). Third was just the general look of the Post Office – it looked like no one actually cared. Industrial grey walls, superficially organized but not really once you actually went into depth, and employees who didn’t really seem to care. I know that not every post office is like this, but this one was on that day.

So I went off to the less convenient UPS store. Walked in, gave my unsealed box to the guy, he took the address information and gave me a price. Done. I didn’t have to worry about boxing it up, supplies, or anything. They just took care of it. Needless to say, I’m not planning to bother with trying the Post Office next time I have to send something out.

When I got home, I went to the USPS website. Turns out that it would have cost me a buck more to ship it with them.

This isn’t meant as a criticism of the Post Office specifically. Honestly, it didn’t matter to me which way I sent it – it’s all about what is going to require the least effort for me. In that light, the message is probably this:

Don’t make it harder for me to want to give your business money.

It’s no surprise to me that the post office is considering dropping a day of delivery and raising rates. Their roots are government based, and it shows – there’s no effort to be customer-service oriented. At least not that day at that location.