Logistically, something like that could save the post office a bunch of money since they don't refund postage just because it was delivered electronically.
Furthermore, people expecting a high-priority package would be more likely to log in and release it to their mailbox more quickly.
Also I wish I could opt to "block sender" for ads and other junk. The post office would still get money/postage, but I would just give the post office advanced consent to shred/recycle all mail from this sender and consider it officially delivered.
I don't think you understand how junk mail works -- the mailers have a close business relationship with the USPS, and the fact that you can't 'block' it is a deliberate design pattern. Junk mail is a huge (possibly the major?) revenue stream for the post office. Forcing you to physically handle their advertising message before discarding it is the whole value proposition of this form of advertising; junk mailers aren't gonna keep paying the USPS if the ads are never getting to you.
The US post service, being a service provided by the state, should help to prevent wasting paper and serve the people, not the corporations. In the US, the corporations are not just the primary customers of the USPS, they pretty much own them as far as influence goes.
> The post office would still get money/postage,
The post office can't take money from a customer and then fail to provide the service because someone else told them to. That would be fraid.
Debatable for lack of data. Remember, the post office doesn't do special delivery runs just for you, rather to make deliveries to everyone on a route. If your neighbors are still asking for their mail, then the post office still has to pay for labor + gas + vehicle maintenance to make the deliveries, they just skip your house.
What you'd actually have to do is JIT dynamically figure out the daily delivery route, and see if doing so would allow the post office to employ fewer delivery people to cover a smaller number of overall daily deliveries. Of course, theoretically speaking that's relatively simple - but in the real world, different localities will derive different levels of benefit (including possibly zero) and it's a very expensive system to build to find out how much benefit would be derived.
There is a final precaution that should block anyone from signing up as you: Readers who have taken my advice to freeze their credit files with the four major consumer credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union) will find they are not able to sign up for Informed Delivery online. That’s because having a freeze in place should block Equifax from being able to ask you the four KBA questions.
Do people realize that the freeze locks you out of any service using KBA to authenticate? E.g. would this include sites like login.gov?
My father put a freeze on all three agencies when the news of the breach came out. Today, I tried to help him sign up for informed delivery (on the theory that if he did, it would be harder for someone else to do so in his name).
I don't know what impact the freeze had on the KBA, because it showed him a batch of four questions with information that was definitely his (like, last 4 digits of SSN), but then wouldn't verify him; he then got two more batches of questions that had absolutely no relevance, and choosing "none of the above" just resulted in two more failures to verify.
The authentication for it was simple and reasonably secure: they physically mailed me a card with a verification number I had to type in. It took a few days of course, but only someone with access to my mailbox can get the card (and my mailbox requires a key to open).
This "knowledge-based authentication" system USPS is using is most definitely less secure, and I can't fathom how it wouldn't be immensely more complex to build and maintain.
The problem is this is your neighbor confirming that a person by that name lives near them. They have no way of confirming that person is the actual owner of the account being verified, unless they go over, knock on their door, and ask "hey, did you sign up for Nextdoor."
So someone could sign up as Nextdoor as me. I throw away the postcard, because I don't know why I got it and I don't want anything to do with Nextdoor. Meanwhile a well-meaning neighbor of mine can just go and approves the account.
So, when you move, you don't really have to deactivate it so long as you don't send any more packages to that address with your name.
This also means in the case you move and the next resident has the same last name as you, you'll get their package notifications (and can redirect their packages). Presumably the next resident would have to call UPS support to figure this out, but the danger is it would not be obvious someone else has control until they use it, or you attempt to sign up yourself.
"There are some common reasons why you’re currently unable to enroll in UPS My Choice, including:"
"You recently moved to a new home. There may be little or no public record information about your move. Unfortunately, until updated information about your move becomes part of the public record through mortgages, deeds, utility bills, etc., you won't be able to enroll."
It does sound like they do more verification, but it's not clear if they check this regularly to deactivate accounts.
It also makes me wonder if they verify by the name the shipment is going to (matching last name). I've never had something shipped to my house that didn't have my last name on it so I'm not sure.
They emailed me, saying my address is eligible, so I signed in with my USPS account. It ONLY listed an address from 2 moves ago; I haven't lived there in over 6 years. There was no other way to sign up. So I signed up, assuming just some records were out of date, or I'd be able to update my address once signed in.
Nope. I'm getting informed delivery digests for a woman I don't know for an address I haven't lived at in 6 years.
I changed my address in my USPS online profile, and stopped getting the digests, but haven't gotten them for my new address yet.
What's frustrating about this is what's always frustrating about these kinds of services -- I have no idea how they're tracking me, and hence no understanding of how data is indexed.
USPS knows my address. I've filed change of address forms with them every time I've moved. The mail was duly forwarded each time. I've put holds on my mail multiple times when on vacation. The hold was honored. I've bought postage online. Etc.
As an end user, I would't go so far as to say I can't tell how it works, but I shouldn't have to know, and I don't bother. If I file my change of address or mail hold, and it works, that's all I care about. I don't bother to see if I have a saved session, if I'm logged in or if there's just a cookie, and if those services are tied to my online profile. I just go to the site, punch in the info, and use it.
So I found it quite surprising that my online profile would have such horribly out of date info (with no obvious way of updating it during the Informed Delivery signup process).
You also cannot have multiple addresses. So you would need to cancel your old informed digest to register your new address for informed digest.
I guess the best solution would be for them to periodically send a letter to registered addresses with a code they can use to view/manage informed digest reciepients for that address.
Plus some of the moving coupons they mail you are pretty good deals. Win-win.
Looking back on it, I don't think there's any requirement you use your usps.gov login to file a change of address, but that site's info is what they use for informed delivery.
I tried to sign up for the informed delivery service, since it would be nice to know if it's worth my while to make the weekly trip into town, but those stupid KBA questions would never let me through. Verifying you by random, incorrect, data that they somehow scrapped out of the ether seems much less reliable then just letting me show up at the post office with ID in hand to sign up for it.
> USPS could be in the identity business.
Certainly, some role as an "authentication service" could be far more robust and future-proof than their current bread-and-butter: the delivery of junk mail.
(Deutsche Post also runs a consumer bank, and does quite a bit of electric / electric-assisted vehicle R&D.)
Consequently: what the post should do is create an account for everyone eligible and send out a note with username and password. Done.