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August 07, 2009



Well, in France we have the same problem. And way before this so-call economical crisis ( how can they call it a crisis, banks are giving bonus ! do I look stupid ?! ... rah that's another subject )
LaPoste has always been part a post service part a bank ( and recently became a real bank, before it is was a strange thing and since I'm not French, I didn't really understand it ) so going to the local post office has always been a pain : there is always a lot of people because, everyone needs money ! Opposite to me, who need stamp. Real stamp.

So, at first, because people where complaining about waiting and getting clerk fed up by seeing way too many people ( upset by they bank account and so on ) they had a fab' idea. They did a machine that gives you stamp. So you don't need to wait ! You just put your envie on the balance, it calculates the rate and you pay. The machine give you a sticker with a big printed number on it.

As I said, I'm not French. And I love mailing. Would they really think that real people-who-like-stamp will buy those ugly stuff ( I can't even call it stamp ) ??
They did. Not later than last week, I was at the post office, waiting patiently in line ( I want real stamp, I know I have to wait, it's my choice. I'm patient ) and came mister big-boss-of-local-post-office. Ask me if I came for bank transaction. No I answered, I came for stamps. You can get one by the machine did he replied. No thanks I said ( I'm polite see :) ) I want real stamp.
No kidding, they all laught. Because I ask for real stamp.
Oh, you want philatelic stamps ? Why not but I'm not so demanding, I want a real stamp, with a Marianne on it !
Can you imagine having such a conversation with post office employees ?
I don't know, but when I'm sending mail, I think that people are a bit sad to see an ugly stamp on their mail. Since there is no stamp on bills ...

So, that was something laposte did couple of years ago to get less people. Now they do it by internet ! I don't know how, but you can send your mail by internet. I don't want to know how !

But the main problem is : government want to privatise LaPoste. Part of it of course. But still. Even if mostly all French hate to go to local post office because it takes half an hour / 1 hour ( or more ) to get things done, think that LaPoste is really taking people for idiot when mail get a week to go from North to South by urgent mail but 1 to 3 days by normal mail, and other stupid exemples, they don't want it to be something else than government business. ( so they can rant ;) hey, France is France isn't :p )
Really, 'cause, finally, even if in France postman don't take your mail ( I admit, I totally envy that service you have ! ) are a bit stubborn about name and postbox, they are still someone you can see everyday and talk to. Someone, most of the time, friendly and smiling. France love postman ( they mostly rant on them but that's french love ... took me years to understand )

And I won't comment about Canada ( that's worst !!!!! ever ! )

In the end, don't we all complain about waiting in post office and mailcarrier a bit strange ? But don't we all love them anyway ( all french love :p ) ? Don't we all get pitchfork and toch against privatising post services ?! ... we should united for a unique post service ;) ( that would be aweful I'm sure ;) )
So the problem isn't about individual post office, but clearly an politico-economical problem that economical patterned can't be applied to post services. It is time that government and people who don't use postal services often ( those should send letters to their family !! ) understand that !

Bonnie Jeanne

The USPS business model relies too much on bulk mail... mail that annoys everyone. Way to treat your customers... annoy the hell out of them. That has to change. Also needed, more satellite offices in supermarkets and drug stores, with staff that is NOT USPS staff. Hire people who are good at customer service and make the place interesting and fun. Think "boutique" post office, but focus on the postage and services and NOT the cheaply made USPS merchandise that is found in USPS official offices. Go down to 5 days a week delivery. I hate the idea but I think it has to be done. And here's a suggestion for the USPS... promote letter/postcard writing! Wow. Imagine that. Be a postal service that actually promotes using the service. I can see how the USPS could be made a profitable business, but it takes a bunch of people who aren't stuck in the past and willing to take chances.


A lot of the comments suggest that the problem is that there *is* a business model in the USPS service. It should be a service, not a business. I think I agree. After living in Germany and Austria for six months, the one thing that I looked forward to coming back was the postal service here. In Austria it can take a week for a letter to get somewhere else INSIDE the city. My letters to the U.S. were lost more often than received, and when they were received they typically took 10 days to get to their destination. I was proud of our postal system because of its reliability, and I hope that, whatever they do, the reliability doesn't change.

Laurie in Maine

I love my rural carrier - squeaky brakes & all! (I know when she's coming ;) Hate the substitute when he puts all the mail one or two boxes off - the people after my stop are fine but the people before us I suspect of foul play.
My question: Priority Mail used to get here in 2 days (3 max). NOW taking 5 - 7 days - this summer. The tracking option used to make me feel better when I was sending a 28 page newsletter to the Printer - and often next day service. (Have gone to PDF by email delivery now.) The late packages this summer had no tracking - wasn't offered... but I'm wondering if we requested it/pay the extra would 2-3 day service be more likely as before? OR a thing of the past and waste of money? (Live Plant material - less days the better!)

On the other hand: I'm a "quilter" and discovered making hand made fabric "postcards" several years ago. Some post offices make us jump through hurdles and the cost is all over the place from postcard rate to 2 first class plus hand stamp surcharge. International cards are to about $1 per card now. (fabric, embellished, sent no envelope like a postcard.) They should encourage this entire new culture of "artful letter writers"!

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