Disclaimer – this is another postal post. But I can’t resist writing it because I am completely amazed.
Those of you living in the States full time are probably accustomed to such miraculous service, but I am left with my mouth agape, saying Gee Whiz over and over again.
I had five Christmas boxes to mail off, and dreaded going to the Post Office. When I went to the USPO web site to research what it would cost to mail my packages I discovered that I wouldn’t have to go to the Post Office at all; the Post Office would come to me.
That’s not quite true; I had to go to the Post Office to pick up Priority Mail boxes in which to ship the goodies. But they’re free – which means I didn’t have to stand in the long holiday line to pay for them. I simply walked in, took what I needed and walked out. I have to admit, I expected bells to ring and policemen to run out to arrest me for stealing. But no.
AND there is a flat rate for mailing these priority-rate boxes. A large box costs $12.50 to mail to a US destination, and a smaller box $9.30. It doesn’t matter how much it weighs, as long as it’s less than 70 pounds (you couldn’t get 70 pounds in those boxes unless you’re mailing gold, which I don’t recommend).
So I packed my boxes, went online, printed mailing labels and postage, paid online with a credit card, attached the labels to the boxes (I used plain paper and clear packing tape), made an online request for pick-up and that was that. This morning I put the boxes by my front door and when I returned from errands they were gone. In their place was a receipt from the mail carrier. They will be delivered from California to Vermont and points in between in 2-3 days. And I can track them.
The only way they could improve the service, I think, would be to do the shopping for me and pay for the presents. Maybe next year?
n.b. Reader Giovanni sent in a very useful comment which said, in part,
“Shall we tell to ours readers that in Italy we have a PostaCelere? You go to the Post Office buy your standard package and send it for a 10-30 euro. Your package will be delivered in 24-48 hrs in any civilized location worldwide.”
I didn’t want this very helpful information to be buried in comments. I had no idea this service was available in Italy and am happy to know about it.