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March 18th, 2008

More Post Office Awesomeness

Here at the Ping we’ve made no secret of our disdain for the Post Office, a clock-free package-losing eternal holiday decoration-flaunting organization. So you’ll allow me to indulge a bit, I’m sure.

I am interested in a PO box. After checking the rates at the UPS Store I checked the Post Office and sure enough, their rates were much cheaper. So I headed there during my lunch on Friday, noting that two forms of ID were required as stated on their website. I got up to the counter, was handed the form, and presented my IDs. One was my driver’s license and one was my Social Security Card. I was informed that I couldn’t use my Social Security card as identification; rather, a copy of my apartment lease or mortgage, auto insurance card, voter registration card, passport, or utility bill would do. I was slightly bummed but the counter person was polite and helpful so I figured I’d return Monday.

Monday was yesterday so I returned during my lunch. After being in line for about 20 minutes with just 3 people ahead of me, I got up to the counter. I was asked to present ID and I did: my driver’s license, phone bill, and paystub (just in case). “Sir, oh no, I can’t accept these as valid ID. Rent or mortgage, auto insurance, house insurance, voter registration card, passport…” “But I was told I could bring in a utility bill,” I said as I looked up at the non-existent clock. “Well I’m not sure who told you that.” So I pointed to the empty spot where the cashier who helped me on Friday once stood.

At this point the line behind me had piled up to 12 people, and the only other counter person was just itching to go to lunch.

“Sir all of these counter girls are in training. I thought they knew the rules about PO boxes but I guess not. Please come back with the proper ID and we can help you.” I took my papers away in a bit of a huff and left.

It’s true – per the USPS site a utility bill is not a valid form of ID. Although this was probably a simple mistake on the clerk’s part, that coupled with having to stand in line for 20 minutes and dealing with barely-caring workers going as slow as possible didn’t help.

I’ve gotta say, mail delivery? They’ve got it down. They’re not that bad. But their in-person services suck. A lot.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

Ryan March 18, 2008, 1:53 pm

As I pointed out to Paul yesterday, it’s easier to vote than it is to get a PO Box, apparently.

Steve A March 19, 2008, 12:54 am

I’ve used a post office box for my eBay stuff for a long time. I have to admit it was a smart move for a good many reasons. Also, and this has to do with the fact my town hasn’t broken into the 21st century much less out of 1950, our customer service is pretty good.


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