Who's Got Mail?

by Melissa Brunner

With all the electronic communication in today's society, there's just something fun about walking to the mailbox and pulling out real, paper mail. Ok, maybe it was more fun as a kid when you could hope for birthday cards rather than, as an adult, when you find mainly bills!

Some people could lose that fun under a proposal a U.S. House committee was schedule to vote on late Wednesday. It would end door-to-door delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. About 28 percent of addresses now get that type of delivery, while 42 percent receive curbside delivery and 30 percent receive their mail at a centralized location, like a neighborhood cluster box. This proposal would keep the curbside - so some people would still get delivery at their home, so to speak. But those of you who are used to the mailman coming up the walk and putting your letters in a slot or box next to the door might be finding a new option. In some cases, that might be a central cluster of boxes somewhere down the street.

The Postal Service says it could save $4 billion a year by ending door-to-door delivery. They also point out that it hasn't been an option for new homes since the 1980s.

What do you think? Would you mind switching to a cluster box delivery for your mail? I had this when I lived in apartments. The biggest drawbacks - I would sometimes forget to check the mail for a few days and it seemed mail got mixed up a lot more easily. And, given that, I was always more concerned about someone stealing mail. Of course, the flip side is that, if the Postal Service can't cut costs, how much more will they charge not only individuals for stamps to mail items, but also businesses to send necessary correspondence - a cost which will likely be passed along to consumers.

In some ways, it's not unlike the question of stopping Saturday mail service. Some people (especially those who do most of their corresponding and bill paying via the internet) won't really care how the mail arrives. Others can't imagine a change.

Where do you fall?



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