Get your snail mail by e-mail.
February 20, 2002 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Get your snail mail by e-mail. This startup will scan in your postal mail, e-mail you the images, and snail mail back your e-mailed reply. All for a monthly fee of $30 (or $40 for color scans). They offer CD-ROM archiving and optionally weed out the junk mail. Anyone want to try this out and post their experiences?
posted by waxpancake (23 comments total)
Yeah, and what about the christmard card my gradma sends with $10 in it. Are they going to send that via PayPal?
posted by willnot at 3:01 PM on February 20, 2002

Apparently, they forward "unscannable mail" to your shipping address. I'm guessing that includes checks, cash, presents, fruitcake, and bricks of Columbian Gold.
posted by waxpancake at 3:09 PM on February 20, 2002

um, I believe I can find more exciting ways to waste $30/$40 a month.
posted by Nauip at 3:10 PM on February 20, 2002

they should just announce it on and get it over with.
posted by signal at 3:12 PM on February 20, 2002

I'll read scan all your mail for only $20 per month if I get to keep the Victoria's Secret catalog.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:16 PM on February 20, 2002

I'm not so sure many individuals will sign up for this, but for businesses this could be really great. Check out their list of partners.
posted by xammerboy at 3:25 PM on February 20, 2002

It does seem like an awful lot to pay per month for something that's, well, either free or will only cost you the price of a stamp.
posted by UnReality at 3:28 PM on February 20, 2002

well, to give them the benefit of the doubt, this is for a PO Box, not your home mail. it's conceivably a good way to run a small, mail based business without having to rent and maintain an office or hire secretaries to open letters or address and stamp envelopes for you. you then also have digital files of all your transactions (potentially, text-searchable PDFs, at that.)
posted by badstone at 3:33 PM on February 20, 2002

Take something simple and free. Make it complex and expensive. What a great product! Sign me up.
posted by neuroshred at 3:40 PM on February 20, 2002

ok, throw out the junk mail, then throw out the bills, then throw out all the magazines and vic secrets catalogues what do you have left?

you have either nothing, or the sweetly scented love letters from lonely college girls who desire my attention.

sorry, but that's the only reason i slide my hand in my mail box each evening.
posted by tsarfan at 3:56 PM on February 20, 2002

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen.
posted by misterioso at 4:07 PM on February 20, 2002

I would actually hold off on the predictions of instant fuckedcompany death for this. There have been such outfits, although not electronic ones, for years. Their primary purpose is for people who either move a lot or have no fixed address, such as those who live in an RV or on a boat and have no permanent home location. A secondary purpose is for people/businesses to establish an address somewhere other than where they really are. One service in Miami specifically advertised that they were there so Central and South American entities could establish a US address. In these cases, the mail was simply grouped for like a week, readdressed, and sent on to wherever you happened to be.

I investigated a few of them a year ago because I was sick of all the damn work involved in changing my address AGAIN (7 times in 5 years) but the cost just wasn't worth it.
posted by eszetela at 4:11 PM on February 20, 2002

Why am I the only one who thinks this is a great idea? If they scan the front, you get to choose which mail you want scanned and which ones you don't. What a great idea, and you can rid yourself of all the junk mail.

But then again, maybe I'm missing something.
posted by Rastafari at 4:23 PM on February 20, 2002

I don't doubt that there are genuinely wonderful uses for such a service, or that some people or, more likely, businesses will be able take advantage of it. I just doubt that there are enough people willing to pay $30-$40 a month to keep a one-trick pony of a company like this afloat. If this were one of many services for businesses, maybe, but as is, I can't imagine that they'll turn a decent profit.
posted by UnReality at 5:23 PM on February 20, 2002

If it were a bit cheaper or I received more snail mail than I currently do, I'd be tempted to make use of such a service. I have a tough enough time keeping all of my various meatspace mail organized in the first place; digitizing everything would go a long way towards helping me keep tabs on things.

But more importantly, though: do they have a "love letters from lonely college girls" option? I'd probably pay extra for that.
posted by youhas at 6:31 PM on February 20, 2002

this seems a little convoluted, backwards and small-scale, but the idea of snail-mail/email convergence is huge market. even the us postal service recognizes this. i work for the gov't contractor that USPS paid about $10 million to develop netpost mailing online.

the project i actaully work on is even larger (especially $$$-wise) and more incestuous. we get hundreds of court notices fedexed to us each day, along with a list of recipients. we in turn scan them, parse the recipient list, build postscript files and turn hundreds of notices into tens of thousands of pieces of snail mail. (the majority of the notices we process are received electronically from the start however, becoming about 300,000 pices of mail per day) about 5% of these snail mail pices are actually converted back into faxes, emailed PDFs and EDI files and get to their recipient that way.

so, who knows? with the right marketing this could catch on.
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:48 PM on February 20, 2002

eh, this is a better link to netpost.
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:51 PM on February 20, 2002

this would be better if it were web-based, instead of email-based. you could manage all your mail, organize it without having to deal with the files yourself. the reply mechanism would probably be more efficient as well.

i'm not about to sign up, but if were ultra busy/ultra mobile, i would consider it.
posted by o2b at 8:54 PM on February 20, 2002

I'm desperately waiting for a check from someone. Ohhh no its gonna take 2-3 days more for paperlesspobox to receive and notice that its a check so send it back to me by mail and hopefully it doesn't rotate again and gets picked up by the same company for scanning, though they might have a special seal so that the postal service know that its to be put in my mailbox, so I check my mailbox everyday anyways.....Damn why did I sign up...:-)
posted by pyr at 9:35 PM on February 20, 2002

After reading how actually the service works I take back my above post....hehehhehe what was I thinking !!
posted by pyr at 9:40 PM on February 20, 2002

Friend of mine did this as a side-project in Australia back in the go-go days a couple of years ago. Didn't fly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:55 PM on February 20, 2002

The general consensus seems to be "if it were cheaper...if I were busier...if there were more and better features...then maybe I'd use it". Doesn't exactly spell success.
posted by UnReality at 6:11 AM on February 21, 2002

What, nobody's worried about Anthrax anymore?
posted by jtripp at 6:16 AM on February 21, 2002

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