Friday, March 13, 2009

Delivering the Mail Without the Paper

In a front page article by reporter Alana Semuels, the Los Angeles Times is reporting beginning April 27, Swiss Post, Switzerland's national postal operator, will use the technology developed by Earth Class Mail of Seattle to deliver regular mail online in six European countries.

According to the paper,"Analysts say it's too soon to tell whether digital mail is the next big thing, and skeptics, including the U.S. Postal Service, abound. Still, as consumers become more tied to the digital world, Web-based snail mail services are expanding."

For $11.95 a month, Earth Class Mail will open your mail -- letters, bills, catalogs and all -- then scan and upload it to the Web so you can read your correspondence online.

The $11.95 fee includes 50 pages scanned a month and unlimited recycling and shredding. Each extra page scanned costs 25 cents.

Members are assigned either a post office box or a generic mailing address in Beaverton, Ore., where Earth Class Mail has a sorting facility. Customers who want a premium address, even a false one, can pay extra. Manhattan costs $29.95, and West Hollywood or San Francisco cost $23.95.

USPS spokesperson Susan Brennan is quoted in the article as saying, "The U.S. Postal Service has experimented over the last decade with offering digital versions of some of its core services, but people weren't comfortable."

Shown above, a worker scans a client’s snail mail into digital form to be read online.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM