Postal Service Account actually lets you SEE the mail that's coming...GREAT for those MSCs who pay by mail!

Well, I learn new stuff all the time! Last week I had lunch with a friend of mine, who is not a mystery shopper, and she just happened to tell me about this feature of the Postal Service called Informed Delivery. You sign up for an account with the Postal Service, and then go into "Manage Account", and activate the "Informed Delivery" option. Once you do that, you get daily emails WITH SCANNED PHOTOS of all the mail coming to you in regular envelopes!! (not packages) I already have an account with the Postal Service, so I just went in and activated the Informed Delivery option last Friday, and guess what??? Today I got an email showing me what's coming, and my check from Strategic Reflections will be here today!! So neat! So for those of us who do shops for companies that pay by check, if the company says "the check's in the mail", at least now we can see it the day it will arrive. If it never shows up, we can at least let the MSC know we have Informed Delivery and that it never showed up. Just another tool....easy and helpful, so I wanted to pass it on!

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Great service, if anyone's wondering. You just don't get notifications for any packages. I can save myself a walk to the mailbox when it's just all junk mail.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
We signed up too. Our neighborhood has a big problem with mail theft, and less than observant mail carriers, so its helpful to know what's coming. So far it's been pretty accurate
What a great tip. I wonder when the mail is scanned. If it's after the mailman has done his sort, it won't help much though. My mailman constantly misdelivers. My neighbors are always redelivering to the correct address. I wonder what the postmaster will say when I show him the email scan of mail I didn't get.
@kenasch wrote:

I wonder what the postmaster will say when I show him the email scan of mail I didn't get.
Maybe it'll help the postmaster become better at his/her job. There have been times when I've called my local Post Office because the carrier drove on by without picking up a package I left right at the mail box for pickup. The carrier had to come back and get it. So I can see where this Informed Delivery has the potential to help the postmaster and carrier become better at their job.....even if only to save face! But I agree...this is a GREAT tip that was given to me by my friend!
I may be the oddball, but I really don't see a major benefit to me personally. I see what has come when I look thru the mail each day. I am so busy in life, that I doubt I would find the time to look thru what is coming down the pipeline. To each their own...

I'm sure this new program is costing the USPS a real pretty penny at a time when they are constantly clamoring about being broke and needing to raise rates....

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
Usps is losing so much money so this feature could be one way they distinguish themself from ups and fedex. Some people may not find this helpful. I find it helpful because i can see what i am suppose to get, ahead of time. I see quite a few stories where the mailman never delivered the mail for weeks only to find that they threw it away or went through it. I can see a benefit for people who live in apartment bldgs where if they don't get an email saying mail is there, they don't have to check the mailbox.
The benefit to me is that for those MSCs who pay by check, and I get some sort of notice that it is in the mail, or the time listed in their Pay Policy has come around, I like knowing that the check will arrive and be ready to go in my mailbox. According to the daily emails I get, I believe the mail is scanned by some automatic process and then the pictures sent to me in an email. I live in a fairly rural, safe area. But for those shoppers who live in a city, or in a large apartment complex, I can see where this would be handy. The shopper can get to the mailbox ASAP and get the check.
This service can also help you trace down lost mail that shows up in the Informed Delivery email (or on-line dashboard) but doesn't show up in your mailbox.
While doing a shop, I had the clerk tell me that I couldn't abbreviate the city and needed to write it out fully because they are scanned by a computer and the computer then sorts them - more so than the zip code. Interesting. So they are scanning them anyways, might as well let me know what I am to receive! Plus my husband often times brings in the mail and I can't find it. It will be nice to know if I need to look for something.

My mother is having her mail forwarded to my house. I'm interested in seeing if it will be scanned to her informed delivery account before being sent to my house and/or if I will see it on my informed delivery email because it is arriving at my house. Time will tell.
@msimon-2000 wrote:

I may be the oddball, but I really don't see a major benefit to me personally. I see what has come when I look thru the mail each day. I am so busy in life, that I doubt I would find the time to look thru what is coming down the pipeline. To each their own...

I'm sure this new program is costing the USPS a real pretty penny at a time when they are constantly clamoring about being broke and needing to raise rates....

Believe it or not, it's a money-maker for the USPS which has been scanning all mail since the 2001 anthrax scares. Any color image you see in your daily Informed Delivery email is a paid advertisement and usually includes a link to the advertised product or service -- USPS revenue on top of whatever postage the mailer paid.

The service does have issues and limits -- only ten images a day are included in the email, and delivery is not always timely. I often receive my mail in the mailbox before I receive the email, but it does help identify things that I am supposed to get in the mail but don't show up. Some days the email never shows up and some days it arrives with no scanned images despite mail being left in the box.
Just signed up...thanks for the tip. I do a daily mail survey, I think it will be a nice tool to help with that.

Deb
One drawback - you can only have one address per account. I have both a physical address and a PO Box. I had to set up another USPS account to cover both addresses.

NOTE: I'm not on the forum every day. If someone comments on my post, I might not reply right away. I've been a shopper since 1991. I've never done any work for a MS company in any other capacity.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2017 10:30PM by niteowl.
@gukka wrote:

The service does have issues and limits -- only ten images a day are included in the email...
Yes, that's true for the EMAIL.....HOWEVER....it states that IF you have MORE THAN 10 pieces, they can ALL be seen if you go to your USPS account and look at the Informed Delivery notice for the day....I saw that in my email just the other day, so I thought I'd add that tip as well!
I love this feature b/c it saves me from visiting the PO for something that can wait - I can't imagine it costs them much as they are already scanning the mail as part of the sorting process.
I get my informed digest in the morning (about 7 or 8 AM) and know what will be delivered with my afternoon mail delivery. I also know when I'm not getting any regular mail - as I don't get a digest that day. I did some research and since they scan everything anyway - it's an easy matter for them to just electronically sort it to your e-mail as well as the delivery truck. Since the multi-address postal boxes in our area can be broken into (and are at times) - I'll know if something important is missing if our box for the houses in our area is chosen as one that someone decides to break into. I really like the service and see it as a way for USPS to stand out from the other delivery options.
Is it only 1st class mail that gets the picture taken? I had a people magazine delivered that wasn't scanned.
I have been doing for a few weeks now. It is great. Esp since my mail gets misdelivered and I get other peoples mail all the time.
MSC are not the only ones that send money. There are also mail thieves in the 'hood.
It is ONLY letter sized mail that is sorted into walk sequence order for the carrier for the day by machine. Other letters that are non machine sequenced will not be scanned. Magazines and packages will not be scanned (packages are scanned for delivery, not a picture for the email though). You will get more mail than is pictured in the email (if you have more mail). Hope that helps.
Kasandrae - Thanks for clarifying what I see in the email ! Today I even saw a piece of mail to my address but with someone else's name on it.
Kasandrae is correct. You will only see "letter size" mail...but that also includes some "junk mail", as I saw a post-card sized ad from Charter that was coming to my mailbox. Magazines won't show up, as they don't fit the category of letter-sized mail. Not only do I get paid by check from a few MSCs, hubby does baseball/softball umpiring for youth/teens. Some leagues pay by check, so we can see when the check is coming....like one is today!!!
Guysmom - Thanks for explaining how this works. It's interesting your hubby is an umpire. I use to manage/play on a softball team myself for many years. I LOVED it and miss it.
I think first class mail has always been scanned as it goes through the machines for sorting. A simple program would allow it to be captured and electronically sent to the recipient. Not a real major expense.
I can't say it enough, I love this new feature. I can plan my day if I'm expecting a check so I can go to the bank. I did it last Friday when a MS check came in.
How cool. Naturally the company with my highest paying ongoing gig pays by check. Invariably I will get home and be ready to stay home only to find the check in the mailbox. It will also be nice to be able to keep an eye out. On occasion we have a rash of mailbox thefts.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
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