Gary Santoro: “Drop the whole postal thing. I’m going postal just reading your column!”

Hey, when you’re right, you’re right.

But as I threatened yesterday, I just couldn’t resist one more suggestion — and a tip.

Here’s the tip. Did you know you can call the post office and have them pick up? Not just for Express Mail, but for the $3 Priority Mail also. There’s a $4.95 charge for this, but unlike FedEx, which collects its $3 pickup fee on each of the 30 packages you might hand them — $90 for the visit — the USPS charges that $4.95 just once. The number to call: 800-222-1811. Someone will be out within two hours (or, in my case, two hours and twenty minutes). Just remember to ask him to do you a favor and hand-cancel your package for you when he gets back to the post office. Otherwise — if you used stamps rather than a postage meter and it weighs more than a pound — your package will be returned to you as a security precaution.

Here’s the suggestion. What if the dispatcher at 800-222-1811 had a computer? With Caller ID, it would see who’s calling. Then, if you’ve ever called before, it would know your address automatically. Indeed, the entire pickup could be scheduled without a human, just the way FedEx does it. It would save the customer time; it would save the post office money.

I assume this is someplace on Marvin’s wish-list (Marvin Runyon, Postmaster General).




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