New Service from the U.S. Postal Service to Allow Users to See Mail Due to Arrive Same Day
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New Service from the U.S. Postal Service to Allow Users to See Mail Due to Arrive Same Day

The Informed Delivery service will provide emails with photos of the front of certain pieces of mail

March 27, 2017

Remember the old days when you'd get excited for the mail to arrive, knowing that you could be receiving a letter or package just for you?

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) does, and it's trying to recreate those moments.

The USPS is launching a new nationwide service called Informed Delivery that lets users get to see what they'll be getting in the mail that day.

Those who sign up will get an email with pictures of the fronts of card- and letter-sized pieces of mail due to arrive that day or a day or two later. The emails will be sent on days when the mail is being processed and delivered and will show up to 10 greyscale pictures per email. They will include a link at the bottom to see the rest of the images, if any.

Users will also be able to look at images for up to seven days on their dashboard, which will be available here.

The service is currently available only to select addresses, but the USPS is planning to launch the program nationwide on April 14.

According to Informed Delivery Executive Program Director Bob Dixon, the service first started in northern Virginia out of a program meant to help customers with a post office box know when they had mail in their box.

Dixon says that customers in specific scenarios, such as frequent travelers or roommates who misplaced each other's mail, found it helpful to have the daily messages.

"I and many people manage their life through a cellphone or tablet or some other digital medium," Dixon says. "As we become busier and busier, it's important to have things in one place."

He himself experienced the utility of the service as one of the first users. He was once traveling and was notified about a jury notice. Thanks to the message, he was able to ask his son to pull the notice out of the mail stacking up while he was away.

People can use Informed Delivery in situations like these, Dixon says, to plan ahead for their day.