View Full Version : United States Postal Service Question

03-22-2002, 05:10 PM
While reading a rant in the pit about the USPS hiking their rates again, and subsequently reading all the replies about how well the USPS works, I thought of an interesting little experiment.

My thoughts ran along these lines:

Get a group of dopers from all across the country (world?) to sign up. If the group was small enough, have each person send a business size envelope with a note in it saying where/who it was from to each other person in the group. If the group was too large, then assign each person to send out two or three. Preferably all letters would be sent on the same day. We could post departure and arrival dates, and see exactly how long it takes a letter to go from NYC to LA or Dallas to Minneapolis. Sounded interesting to me at least.

Then I got to thinking, I've heard of mail fraud. I don't think this is it, because they're getting their money, and I'm not telling people in the letter to send ME anything...

So, fellow teeming millionses, anyone know anything about this?

NOTE: I'm not proposing to do this in this thread, I realize that is more of an IMHO thing...if there are no objections and someone wants to go ahead and start it, go for it.

03-22-2002, 05:29 PM
No fraud here noted. Just an experiment. I would not be interested in participating because of my own horrible experience sending & receiving mail. One letter from a friend took 2 weeks first class from a large southern city in the U.S. I get mail at a large west coast city. Go figure. I also sent a priority envelope to someone, and that took 10 days! What a rip off. The times for these mail items were not during holidays, and not during the anthrax scares. I even heard from a postal inspector who said some of his personal bills were posted late because they didn't arrive on time. :mad:

03-22-2002, 09:23 PM
The post office does this sort of thing on an ongoing basis, using an accounting firm to run it and check the results. Well over 95% of all first-class letters arrive within the 2-3 day standard for first-class mail.

Most people remember the one or two letters that went astray (often because the address is no good or other sender error) and forget then 98 others that arrived on time. (There's also a matter of getting it to the PO -- I've had bills arrive late because I went through our company mailroom and it took four days to get to the USPS).

03-22-2002, 11:53 PM
For those that are intersted:

Postal Experiments (http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html)

Results From A Performance Evaluation Of Handwritten Address Recognition Systems For The USPS (pdf) (http://unipen.nici.kun.nl/7th.iwfhr.2000/proceedings/pdf/paper-005-damato.pdf)

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