Check Your Mailbox - “Managed Service Point”
Did you know that the United States government has had mailbox restrictions in place since 1934? While I was aware that there are mailbox restrictions, I was unaware of the specifics.
Saturday night, the subject of mailboxes came up at a small gathering in my home, why, I cannot rightly recall, but the subject did come up, and during the discussion a close friend informed me that the USPS had placed a barcode sticker on the inside cover of their mailbox without so much as a how do you do. In other words, the USPS placed this sticker on my friend’s private property, his mailbox, without permission.
When I asked why the barcode sticker had been placed on his mailbox, my friend informed that he was told by his postal carrier that the sticker had been placed in order for the USPS to better track efficiencies of mail delivery.
Now, this seems innocuous enough, I mean UPS, FedEx, DHL, all use barcode stickers to track delivery efficiencies, and I understand why, but UPS, FedEx, and DHL are not placing barcode stickers on individuals’ private property, with or without permission. But then the United States government does many things without permission, all innocuous we are assured, such as GPS tagging your front door.
I went and took a peek at the barcode sticker on my friend’s mailbox, on the inside cover of the box, and on it it says, “Managed Service Point,” his address, his zipcode, the barcode of course, “CO___,” and the USPS logo.
My friend has not removed the USPS placed barcode sticker, but I told him I checked my mailbox, and if I would have found such a sticker, it would’ve been removed pronto.
FYI - If you are interested in reading a GAO report on mailbox restrictions (pdf of 60 pgs.), you can do so. According to the report, mailbox restrictions are in place, in large part, to ensure USPS revenue streams, and privacy for postal customers.
The post office has also tagged the mail slot on my front screen door with a barcode that says “Managed Service Point.” This has been there since sometime after I bought a new screen door in 2005, inadvertently providing them with a nice brass slot. I am not really sure when it first showed up, I just started hearing a strange noise out front when the mailman was there and I went out one day, investigated and found it. They never asked my permission and it annoys me to hear their barcode reader clicking my front door.
Last year I got tired of it and tried to pull their barcode off, but it was glued on there and I just got a few pieces off. So I put my own address label on top of theirs. The next day the mailman took mine off theirs and since I’d damaged theirs trying to remove it, put a new one back on. I wasn’t home at the time. What adds more annoyance to all this is that I believe I’m the last person on the mail route, so he can mark his day finished on my front door. I never get my mail before 3:30 or so in the afternoon, while just a few blocks away, the same mailman delivers around 11 in the morning.
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