The Federal Times has a story today about the rollout of cell phones to letter carriers. The phones are intended to allow carriers to upload data from their barcode scanners in “near real time”.
The USPS says that the introduction of the old style clamshell phones is “the first step in building out the capabilities that postal workers could have in the field.”
And that’s where the story turns into a bit of a head scratcher. One of the “innovations” the phones will supposedly allow is the ability to accept payments. You might be surprised to know that, according to the story, “the agency does not allow postal workers to accept payments while delivering items”. You would no doubt be especially surprised if you happen to be a letter carrier who has delivered a COD item! It’s possible that the reference is to credit card payments, but as written, the article gives the impression that neither the author nor the USPS official are aware that the PO has accepted payments on delivery for a century or so!
But there’s more: the story quotes the postal official as saying “There are a number of services we are envisioning that once we have real time communications and potentially voice communications to the carriers that we would be able to use to enhance the capabilities that they have and the things they can do on their route”
Imagine that! Cellphones have the “potential” for “voice communications”!