21 May 2008

Postal Idiocy

Okay, the price of stamps just went up by one cent. At this time, the local post offices both have their stamp vending machine out of order, and at least one is being replaced by a supposedly "better" machine ... which takes only debit or credit cards. Now, no one is likely to want more than, say, five dollars worth of one cent stamps. More than likely, they'll want maybe fifty cents or even twenty five cents worth. With a debit card, afaik, there's no fee to the vendor, but with a credit card there is. Unless there's a minimum amount to require said fee (I'm no expert), this guarantees that the post office loses money.

Now, all that assumes that the post office was sensible enough to let people type in the exact number of one cent stamps that they need. Er, no. There were five options. If the options had been 5-10-15-20-25, it might have been passable. But, no. The options were 1-2-3-4-5. So they're requiring a debit or credit card be used for a five cent purchase, or less. Now, the whole purpose of having a stamp vending machine is to make it easy and convenient for after hours customers to get their stamps. This machine does just the opposite. My mom opted to wait until morning, when she could get the actual number of stamps she needed and not make a five cent charge to a card.

I hope that this machine is still in beta-mode, and can be modified once the complaints start rolling in. If it's in its final stage ... er, the post office is already losing money, and this will not help.


John said...

The USPS is clearly not run by Moist von Lipwig. GWB is certainly no Vetinari either.

Ankh-Morpork is run better than the US. Kind of scary.

Qalmlea said...

If GWB were Vetinari, we'd have the Middle East competing to see who got to sell us their oil for the lowest possible price. Oh, and the Iraq War, if it happened at all, would have lasted for approximately 5 days.