The USPS Should Error Proof This
Saw this post on The Consumerist blog about how the United States Postal Service does NOT guarantee overnight delivery of “guaranteed” overnight documents…. IF you place the package in a drop box instead of handing it to an agent at the counter.
According to the blog report:
Dorothy found out that the USPS’s guaranteed overnight delivery doesn’t apply if you use their Express Mail boxes, because “Letters get stuck up in the top of the box all the time. Sometimes, it takes days or even a week before we find them.” Hey post office, maybe you should try to check the top of the box every day. Problem solved!
Checking the box every day would be a form of inspection — that’s waste.
It would be better if the USPS could design a drop box that prevents letters from getting stuck. It’s called “error proofing” (or “poka yoke” if you insist on the Japanese term). It’s not really a new concept. How hard is it to design a box that works perfectly?
Again, from the Consumerist:
…nowhere on the website, while purchasing the Express Mail option did it state that items needed to be taken to the window/desk in order for the guarantee to apply.
I asked her, “Where on the box does it say that?” She then told me she had handed my form over to her supervisor.
I was given my full refund without any further discussion, but we did have to wait for half an hour while all this occurred. Although the supervisor did not want to give me the refund. She actually explained, “Letters get stuck up in the top of the box all the time. Sometimes, it takes days or even a week before we find them.”
Consider yourself warned. Does FedEx have this problem? Or DHL?
To top it all off, one commenter claims:
This is absolutely true. I worked as a USPS letter carrier and when I had to empty collection boxes at least half the time there would be a letter or two stuck against the side of the box or at the very top of the box. To combat this, the USPS has a company send out test letters to see how long it takes for them to reach their destination. They also do random checks after you leave to make sure you grabbed every single letter. People have been fired over this.
Step 1: Design a box that doesn’t meet customer or employee needs
Step 2: Do inspections to see how badly it works
Step 3: Blame and fire people
If you believe that, it’s not a very encouraging thought process they are following. Typical bad management, eh?