Thursday, August 31, 2006


Post Mortem

Per Rob Hinkley:

'Royal Mail has suspended a postie for telling customers how to stop receiving the unaddressed junk which Royal Mail are paid to shove directly through your letter-box. Quite apart from the dubious ethics of suspending an employee for telling his customers about an opt-out service his firm offers, this is a spectacular commercial own goal. Like everyone else, I was entirely unaware it was possible to opt out of this until Royal Mail made a national news story out of it.'

This seems to be fairly typical of the view most people are taking to this story, but I have to say I think it's wrongheaded. I can understand why Rob calls it 'dubious ethics', but to turn it on its head, why should Royal Mail continue to pay the salary of an employee who is going out of his way to deliberately cost his employer money? I worked at a cinema a few months back, and if I'd stood at the entrance telling everyone to go to the competitor down the road, I could hardly have been surprised if they'd given me the boot.

What's more, what nobody is thinking of in this rush to opt-out of junk mail that's now sweeping the nation is its ultimate effect. Royal Mail have already announced increases in stamp prices way above the rate of inflation for the next ten years - taking away one of their major sources of revenue is only going to hit the customer's pocket even harder, for prices will rise even more. All this could be avoided - is it really so hard to transfer a fistful of paper from the doormat to the bin once in a while? I live in Manchester, and we got loads most days, but I can't say carrying it a few yards phases me, and just once in a while, it comes in handy.

I think we've been infected by the 'Grumpy Old Men' mania for getting insanely angry and annoyed about things that are for the most part inconsequential.
Oh gosh yes. Wouldn't it be fascinating to know what John O'Farrell makes of it all?
There's no global "opt-out" in the States, so I have no sympathy.
I get between two and ten credit card applications and an additional two to ten mortgage loan offers each and every day.
Add that to the junk catalogs, coupon booklets, and political come-ons and I would say my junk mail outnumbers my legitimate mail a factor of five to one.
It gives me an excuse to use my paper shredder, so there's some good from it. Whee!!! *SHREDD!*
Mark - I've clearly dreamt that up from somewhere. God knows where. It says something when your daydreams consist of post office privatisations. I'll correct that. My point remains, though.

SafeT - Man, that'a lot of rubbish. Certainly puts our moaning in perspective. I mean really, we only get about ten pieces a week on an average week. Nothing at all.
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