USPS Informed Delivery: Mail becomes Email
by Tom Stuenkel
I recently heard about a new service offered by the United States Postal Service called Informed Delivery. If you sign up for the free service, you can preview scanned images of your mail delivery each day via email or an app. I was skeptical. Did I really need a sneak peek at my mail a few hours before I get it? It felt like the only thing less useful than flipping through what few physical bills and junk mail we get, was doing it virtually.
But I read that it was a good idea to sign up for Informed Delivery for the sole purpose of preventing someone else from doing it for you. Account activation requires either mailing a postcard with a security code to your address or answering a few questions (similar to what you answer to get a credit report). Although unlikely, it seemed like just another loophole for somebody to step in and cause some harm. I can’t remember what bank held my car loan in 2003 so a criminal might guess just as well as I do. If somebody else got the notification, they might know if I was expecting a check.
So I signed up.
And it’s been more helpful than I anticipated. Every morning, I take a few seconds to look at an email to know what I can expect later that day. Maybe it’s a Valentine’s Day card from a grandparent. Maybe it’s the usual collection of store coupons and catalogs. Some days, I know it’s not even worth making the walk to the mailbox, particularly in the cold or snow. And since my mail service has, over the years, been at best, unpredictable, at worst, totally unreliable, this is a check and balance to see if I get everything that at least made it to my local post office.
So it won’t change your life, but I would recommend signing up for Informed Delivery for your small business or residence.
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