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Sat Oct 2 2021 08:59:01

Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS is "persuading" rural customers in one state to upgrade their mailbox or else. A recent "Don't Waste Your Money" column on ABC WCPO Channel 9 in Cincinnati covered the story that has hundreds of residents in Northern Kentucky concerned.

The letter reportedly stated, "We strongly encourage you to upgrade your mailbox to a jumbo-sized mailbox to avoid missed packages this holiday season."

The US Postal Service told the columnist, John Matarese, it is suggesting, not demanding, that rural customers purchase new extra-large boxes, known as T-4 boxes. "The USPS says it does not want to leave boxes sitting at the end of a long driveway, especially in rural areas where its delivery people are told not to drive up long private driveways."

Matarese said the USPS will leave a note instructing residents to pick up packages at their local post office if they don't purchase the larger-sized mailbox.

The following comment from Susan W. Wright, USPS Corp Communications appears at the bottom of the article:

"We apologize for any confusion relating to the letter residents in Williamstown received about next generation mailboxes. The letter suggested customers may wish to install the larger mailboxes but did not state there was a requirement to change mail receptacles.

"Next generation mailboxes are popular with customers and are designed hold multiple packages, letters, and magazines. As ecommerce and the corresponding package delivery continues to increase, the larger mailboxes provide additional convenience to customers, particularly during the holiday season."

From a seller's point of view, which is better if a package won't fit in a standard mailbox: leave it near the mailbox located a distance from the home? Or force the recipient to drive to the post office to pick it up?



Comments (12) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 2 11:31:36 2021

This is resolved by defining who is ‘responsible’ for the security of a package once all contracted delivery requirements are fulfilled.  Certainly, a customer (or the sender, on behalf) can request certain ‘delivery instructions’ to help that, but there are practicalities that will limit what can be accommodated.  The prohibition precluding delivery down long driveways in some areas for example is somewhat for safety, but also because there just are not enough hours in the day to do that for every address so configured, especially as volume increases.  Weather can set limits too.

The PO however, has always maintained that it is the recipient’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure mail receptacle in a reasonably accessible location.  Those not ‘locked’ are assumed protected by Federal laws prohibiting tampering with mail.  (That chat would fill another thread).

Lacking such, or if mail volume (size or quantity) prohibits safe or secure delivery, a notice to pick it up is left.  This has evolved to ‘allowing for’ leaving parcels at or near either doorsteps, or (at) mail receptacles if that’s not practical, however, unless sone ‘receipted delivery service’ is obtained, once accurately delivered, the carrier’s (and the sender’s) contract has been fulfilled.  A ‘delivery instruction’ can preclude that, within limits noted.

One might also note every USPS delivery scan is time/date/GPS location tagged, and if done ‘right’, also indicates one of a few ‘choices’ as to exactly where delivered…at door…in/near mailbox, etc.  If the customer signs up for free USPS delivery notification, (requires track number), they’ll get a detailed eMail almost instantly, so they can retrieve it.  That feature alone has resolved and corrected the bulk of any ‘misdelveries’, in most cases within hours.

Truly, the USPS doesn’t want to deal with preventable evaporating correctly delivered parcels any more than customers do.  The suggestion made to acquire a more ‘suitable’ mail receptacle is only to help reduce that potential, and obviously only intended for those who might expect enough deliveries that would benefit from it.  For everybody’s sake.  Why is that a controversy?

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Oct 2 13:52:49 2021

I'm wondering how Dejoy's investments in non-USPS delivery services are going.  What a shameless cad.   He's like USPS' own heat seeking missile, aimed directly at USPS....from the inside.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 01:10:56 2021

I think it's a fair request.  I've seen some of those rural, non-city  habitats and there is a winding road to the house.  And there's no mailbox at the road, or if there's a mailbox it's one of those "letter" mailboxes.  This is 2021 and packages are being delivered by the USPS.  it's not an unfair request to want someone to either get a bigger mailbox at the PO, or put in a bigger mailbox at their road. However, I think to sweeten the offer, the PO should offer to transfer the existing box holders to the Jumbo box at the SAME rate until the end of their lease.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Fek This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 06:11:38 2021

I bought a T4 mailbox to protect OUTGOING mail.  It's hardly worth driving 11 miles to the post office to send a $20 package from my rural home.  Our mail carrier doesn't mind driving up to our house to bring us big boxes because I set out drinks, snacks and sometimes small gift cards as a thank you.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Fek This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 06:13:50 2021

Chicago48, our rural post office has 7,000 residents in it's delivery area, and 6 jumbo post office boxes.  How would that work, if it offered to upgrade all 300 mailbox renters to jumbo for free?

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 07:28:51 2021

Pick-up lockers in the PO lobby would work better for all. There are several companies now using these. It would save the PO on labor & gas.

I price-checked jumbo mail boxes. Holy moly! Too expensive, plus they are not secure. Rural areas are rife for mail box thefts. The bigger the box--the more reason to steal it. We're rural & in spite of the "don't go down the driveway" rule--my PO does drop them off at my door & I've never had anything stolen. I absolutely would not feel safe having my stuff dropped at the road, even in a "secure T-Box" unless it was able to be locked AND not able to be hauled away.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 08:45:39 2021

Chicago48, our rural post office has 7,000 residents in it's delivery area, and 6 jumbo post office boxes.  How would that work, if it offered to upgrade all 300 mailbox renters to jumbo for free?
^^ Petition petition petition.  Talk to your State & Govt Representatives.
Pick-up lockers in the PO lobby would work better for all. There are several companies now using these. It would save the PO on labor & gas.
^^ The post office is always behind.  In Chicago, AMZ has those lockers in front of apartment buildings.  I don't know how it works.  Does AMZ pay for the land lease or is it a free amenity?  UPS does the same.  USPS -- not so.  A day late and dollar behind.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: cmabresch This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 09:13:52 2021

I work for USPS, I drive an LLV, which is the old trucks you still see on the roads, because of the mirror set up, we are not allowed to drive in any driveway that does not allow a turn around, so we never have to back up.........we also are not required to go down any unpaved road or driveway.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 4 14:55:21 2021

I agree with USPS. This is in good interest for USPS, the buyer and the seller. As a jeweler on Etsy, I will ALWAYS use USPS because they have a dedicated mailbox for security; rather than a package that is left on a doorstep when using FedEx and UPS.

Anymore, the bulk of all mail deliveries are now packages that should be somewhat secured.  

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 03:41:12 2021

“…. the PO should offer to transfer the existing box holders to the Jumbo box at the SAME rate until the end of their lease.”

The original article ‘notice’ was referring to personal (albeit rural) mailboxes, which require mail recipient purchase and installation, where such delivery occurs.Types and sizes vary by choice; they can be purchased commercially many places.   Location placement must be locally approved.  

This does not apply to rural “cluster box” installations, which the PO owns and maintains if outdoor mounted, and lets residents use free except for any initial lock and key change fee good for the resident’s duration.  Those also typically have a few integrated ‘parcel lockers’ where a key to boxes placed in one (“delivered to parcel locker”) is left in the customers mailbox so they can retrieve it there.  Sizes vary and quantity limited though.  

This also does not apply for PO Boxes, rented by customers at the PO.  Many rural communities don’t get regular deliveries, or if they do, rent a box regardless.  But ‘upsizing’ would be a moot point anyway, since packages so addressed that don’t ‘fit’ in those smaller can be “left notice’ then retrieved from the ‘back room’ same time as mail is picked up.  No ‘jumbo box’ is required.  However, larger one’s do hold shoebox and below size spurs, and normally expected excessive mail volume, so customers wouldn’t have to visit the counter to retrieve them.

——-

“Pick-up lockers in the PO lobby would work better for all. There are several companies now using these. It would save the PO on labor & gas.”

Besides the leased PO Boxes already available, It’s not practical.  The volume alone would make it prohibitive.  Sizes and quantities are infinitely variable and unpredictable - precludes achieving any efficiency in loading lockers.  It would take more labor (and handling increasing chances for ‘issues’) to efficiently sort through and then dispatch that daily, then somehow provide appropriate pickup notice, then deal with pickup procrastinator backup, and THEN get all that ‘right’, than is feasible.  That’s why they have ‘pickup windows’ then.  And still, too many parcels that get set back after two weeks (often longer) as unclaimed.

As for ‘gas’, folks seem to overlook the fact the USPS visits every mailbox 6+days/week already.  That’s why they can do it cheaper than UPS, DHL, FedEx, who don’t, and thus are already offloading a significant portion of their <10lb (6kg) volume for PO delivery for that reason.

It’s also deemed unsafe.  Govt. property Lobby Lockers publicly accessible by un-vetted identity persons can be used to conceal items that can undergo a ‘rapidly expanding dematerialization’ at the whim of any with an agenda and a ‘message’ to send Uncle Sam.  Same can be said for any other of course, though those don’t fly Old Glory on the building’s grounds.  Anyway, same reason one can’t use ‘rental lockers’ at airports anymore.  Whatta world.

Meanwhile, bear in mind that any mail receptacle/parcel locker located INside or attached to any building is the responsibility of the owner to purchase, install and maintain.  USPS Carriers have access only rights. and by law other commercial carriers can not use them (or any other USPS mailbox).  So if other carriers want one, it’s between them and the owner how, where, what, kickbacks, etc.

And they would be the one’s to appropriately ‘petition’ for any good that might do.

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 12 22:17:08 2021

After many "incidents" in which rural carriers dropped packages by my mailbox at the roadside (despite many pleas from me and then even actual orders from the central facility to stop doing that), mixing up mail along the route delivering who knows what to wrong addresses, and the final straw was leaving mail on an open porch that we do not use in winter and who knows what blew away -  I switched rather than fought and took a P.O. box -- which has turned out to be one of the best moves I've made.

When the mail arrives at the post office it sits happily there until I pick it up. No more forgetting to stop the mail if we're going to be away; no more worrying the the Wicked Witch In the West Nasty Neighbor (two mailboxes down) will get my IRS and other super sensitive letters in her mailbox instead of mine; no more packages left on my deck and it rains. No more concern that people who want to "stop by" to see my "shop" can easily find my home.  No more wondering if a carrier I anger will actually sabotage my mail.  

Perminate Link for Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?   Use a Bigger Mailbox or Forgo Holiday Packages?

by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 12 22:22:26 2021

Actually I beat USPS to it - " USPS will leave a note instructing residents to pick up packages at their local post office "  

Before I took a PO Box, the rural carriers used to drop packages on the ground under the mail box at the side of the road.  I finally made a sign and taped it inside the mailbox : IF IT DOES NOT FIT IN HERE DO NOT LEAVE IT!!!!! and totally solved the problem by getting  the PO box in a completely different zip code actually closer to my home, where they are great, helpful, kind folks who care about doing a good job, and (most important) do not have any of the "attitude" that my "home" post office seems to be inflicted with.  



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