Aug 302013

Stopped by the Madison post office today to get stamps.  I usually handle this online, but forgetting to reorder a time or two meant I was out and needed some.  But no problem.  I’ll just pop in and get some from the vending machine…

…except there is no vending machine anymore.  Now there is a multifunction kiosk with a touch screen that will sell you stamps, weigh your package and sell you postage for it, and so forth.  It’s pretty neat, really.

Except there’s only one.

And upon your arrival, if someone who requires an alarmingly large percentage of her mental capacity to operate the thing is using it, then well, you’ll wait, won’t you?  We have here someone taking 30 seconds to read the screen before she touches it (and there are 8-10 screens).  Wait behind her?  Or wait behind eight people to see a human being?  I went with the former because it was more predictable.  It was still about an eight-minute stop instead of a ninety-second one.

This is not progress, USPS.  You want to have your fancy touch screen kiosk, then by all means, please do so.  But taking the conventional vending machine out as well was a mistake.

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 Posted by at 1:16 pm

  3 Responses to “Post office regresses on self-service efficiency”

  1. Are you just now noticing that? The kiosk that replaced the vending has been there for at least 6 or 7 years. I use it all the time.

  2. I bought 500 forever stamps when they were introduced. I’m just now out. 🙂

    It’s a good idea, but it punishes stamp buyers severely. Put a single conventional vending machine back in to accompany it.

  3. I haven’t been IN a post office since I got my passport…and as long as Winn Dixie continues to sell stamps, that is fine with me!

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