July 28, 2006

Why Snail Mail (and the USPS) Stinks

Not too long ago, I wrote that Amazon.com's best times had come and gone, that the online retailer didn't offer too much value in a world where iTunes and others offered immediate satisfaction. With recent rumors that Apple is looking to provide eBook support in iTunes and on iPod going forward, that could eliminate yet another media where Amazon has traditionally had the lead.

But even beyond Amazon, the entire concept of the US Postal Service at times seems to defy the space-time continuum.

On July 21st, I broke my 'No Amazon' policy, ordering a few titles on business, PR and marketing for the office. For some reason, I wasn't alerted until July 25th that the shipment had been configured and released to USPS. The next day, July 26th, it was said that my shipment had left the USPS facility in Richmond, CA on its way to our San Jose, CA office. Should be a snap, right? I could drive that in less than an hour.

But the shipment didn't arrive Wednesday. And the shipment didn't arrive Thursday either. In fact, checking on the USPS site simply reminds me that the shipment left Richmond two days ago, without any progress. You mean to tell me it hasn't been assigned to somebody to just pick up and take down to the South Bay? That makes no sense.

In dramatic contrast, UPS and FedEx tell you exactly where your shipments are, and you know when you'll get them. With the US Postal Service, it's one great mystery in the sky.

Listening to ''Cyborg'', by M83 (Play Count: 5)

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