Postal deliveries

June 9th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Saturday postal deliveries may be axed or posties may call only every second day as looks to keep its mail business profitable in the face of people switching to email.

In a letter to State Owned Enterprises Minister Simon Power, obtained under the Official Information Act, chairman said the NZ Post board was looking at several options, including “reducing the number of days that mail is delivered”.

Mr Bolger said yesterday that deliveries every second day were an option. “Personally I don’t think you could rule that out”, but that was not a NZ Post position. “There is only one message – mail volumes are going down worldwide. Digital technology is replacing hard copy.”

However, a spokeswoman for Communications Minister , who must approve a change in delivery days, said no option had yet been presented to him. “He would take a lot of convincing.”

I think canning Saturday deliveries is a no brainer, and even going to deliveries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only is worth considering. I really doubt there are many people who need to get their mail every day.

Most houses did not receive a piece of mail every day and some got only one letter a week.

Would be interesting to see exact stats on that, but they sound right to me.

Postal Workers Union advocate said an end to Saturday deliveries would be popular among the 1200 posties he represented – provided they were paid the same.

What world does Mr Clarke live in? Why on earth would anyone expect to continue to be paid to work six days a week, when in fact they only work five?

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing secretary , representing 4500 NZ Post workers including 2000 posties, was not opposed to five-day-a-week deliveries in principle. Deliveries every second day would be another matter.

Good to see Andrew not entirely opposed. I think deliveries three times a week is also worth looking at – it could significantly reduce the cost of postage. Remember the purpose of having a postal system is not to create jobs, but to provide an efficient and effective communication service.

Issues of bag weights and pay would need to be discussed.

If bags are heavier, then could be fair enough to look at an increase in hourly rates to compensate. However that is very different to Mr Clarke just saying we should be paid the same for working one day a week less.

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50 Responses to “Postal deliveries”

  1. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    It’s pretty much inevitable that postal services will have to be cut back. The system is caught in a vice of falling revenues and rising costs. Revenues will continue to fall as electronic communications take over. The only option for survival is to cut costs. Within a decade we may have PO Box daily delivery and home delivery once a week.

    With home delivery once a week there would be a full time job for a smaller number of deliverers.

    We only have rubbish collected once a week. I guess we could have it collected every day, but the volume doesn’t justify it. Same argument really.

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  2. Pete George (22,719 comments) says:

    It would work well if our rubbish is collected the day after our mail is delivered, much of the paper mail is junk anyway. I organise most of my important stuff electronically.

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  3. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    In what particular roll was Little speaking this time. So hard to tell which hat these double dippers are ever wearing.

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  4. PaulL (5,871 comments) says:

    Delivering every second day wouldn’t usually mean that posties work fewer hours. It would mean fewer posties – you’d deliver to one side of town on Mon/Wed/Fri, and the other side of town on Tue/Thu/Sat. Agree with you on canning Saturday deliveries though – the point of canning it is to save cost. If you pay the posties the same, then there is no cost saving…..so no point.

    If they’re serious about it, they should also have a run at the pamphlet delivery business – try to get to a point where everything that goes into someone’s mailbox is delivered at the same time. Surely a postie can delivery those circulars for a fraction of the cost that a special delivery costs – given they’re already visiting every address.

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  5. Johnboy (14,857 comments) says:

    I’ve got a PO box in town and only empty it once a week so it doesn’t worry me at all.
    Makes sense to cut it to say three days a week as snail mail is a dying business.

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,787 comments) says:

    He lives in France, where money grows on tree for workers who stop working at the age of fifty but continue to be paid as though they are still working.

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  7. Fletch (5,992 comments) says:

    What about the Herald? I think my folks get it delivered everyday. Would they cut down on that as well?
    The mailman already won’t deliver on long holiday weekends.

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  8. Pete George (22,719 comments) says:

    “In what particular roll was Little speaking this time. ”

    Bread roll? Electoral roll? Toilet roll?

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  9. David in Chch (508 comments) says:

    Perhaps someone should point out to Mr Clarke what the choices are: fewer hours and/or jobs vs no jobs at all if the Postal Service falls over completely. I admit that it’s not a politically viable option BUT in private industry that is always a possibility. He needs to step back and view things in context.

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  10. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Letter via NZ Post – Bay of Plenty – Timaru 4 – 5 days

    Letter, side of lamb, underage girls via New Zealand Couriers ( they charge more for the girls these days)- Bay of Plenty – Timaru – 24hours.

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  11. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    What world does Mr Clarke live in? Why on earth would anyone expect to continue to be paid to work six days a week, when in fact they only work five?

    They’d be delivering the same amount of mail, shouldn’t they get the same pay?

    Why should a fruit picker who picks 60 kg of fruit at 15kg/day over four days be paid more than one who picks 20kg/day for three days?

    Get with the capitalism, DPF :-)

    [DPF: Heh if postal workers want to go onto a per item commission basis, I suspect NZ Post would be very happy to do so. It would make pricing far easier]

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  12. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Issues of bag weights and pay would need to be discussed

    And just how long before there were disputes about the relative strength of posties – with the smaller claiming discrimination on account of insufficient strength, and the more stupid claiming ACC on account of electing heavier routes and loads?

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  13. freethinker (680 comments) says:

    We switched our invoicing/statements to e-mail because of the increasing unreliability of the post, when a service is restricted or priced beyond economic value people look for alternatives.

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  14. Pete George (22,719 comments) says:

    [DPF: Heh if postal workers want to go onto a per item commission basis, I suspect NZ Post would be very happy to do so. It would make pricing far easier]

    And progressively cheaper.

    Fruit pickers are often paid wages rather than on quantity for various reasons, particularly of quality. Mail just has to be delivered.

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  15. MikeG (391 comments) says:

    I don’t have a problem with deliveries 5 days a week, but less than that i’m not so sure. It would also require some organisations i.e. Health Boards to get their act together – I’ve received an appointment letter the day before an appontment – not great at the best of times, but it could mean missing an important appointment. This is NOT really NZ Post’s fault, but the lack of efficient process at the Health Board.

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  16. gravedodger (1,504 comments) says:

    Typical response from Mr Clarke, another socialist with absolutely no understanding of the commercial reality of running a business.
    I have only had Saturday mail delivered for about two years of my nearly 70 on the planet and it never seemed important to me even when the mail contained some important information.
    Anyone who requires snail mail on a frequent basis get a PO Box and collect it yourself, very little good news comes through a letterbox.
    Snailmail seems largely an age thing, although its changing, a recent survey of the members of my service club resulted in only 3 out of forty odd, av age over 65, could not receive our monthly news letter electronically.
    For many of my years, I paid a ‘rural delivery fee’ to receive mail on top of the sender paying postage. Have we reached a position where those requiring mail to be delivered paying for that service and those who collect it from a post center have their cost covered by the postage.
    What is the proportion of residential boxes that ask for junk mail not to be delivered and would be happy to receive the Post paid mail once a week.
    Ignoring the reality of a changing world is the sort of rubbish that is holding us all back.
    I suppose Mr Clarke would still have the postal service maintaining a team of pony express animals to avoid job losses in the industry.

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  17. SteveO (76 comments) says:

    We get quite a bit of mail in the Saturday delivery but have never (for at least two years since I noticed and started keeping a mental note of it) received anything in the Monday delivery.

    Mail delivery three times a week would not inconvenience us at all.

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  18. Pete George (22,719 comments) says:

    Steve, I’ve noticed that too, never seem to get mail on Mondays. Maybe that’s because mail posted Friday arrives Saturday, and businesses don’t post mail in the weekend.

    So maybe they should drop deliveries on Mondays rather than Saturdays.

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  19. freedom101 (459 comments) says:

    Has anyone noticed that a higher and higher proportion of snail mail is now from government agencies (as everyone else goes electronic)? There’s almost no switch to electronic from the state sector. Hugely wasteful, but I guess it keeps the postal system running – a subsidy of sorts.

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  20. burt (7,786 comments) says:

    NZ Post is clearly under the command of a socialist. Service levels being reduced and undoubtly costs will go up for consumers. Everything this muppet man touches turns to custard. Well done Dr Cullen, you get to add another fauilure to you long list of “achievements”.

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  21. burt (7,786 comments) says:

    DPF

    [DPF: Heh if postal workers want to go onto a per item commission basis, I suspect NZ Post would be very happy to do so. It would make pricing far easier]

    Rubbish, Cullen is in charge so the only way forward is to base the postal rates on the income of the sender and/or the receiver. It’s only fair…..

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  22. kevin_mcm (152 comments) says:

    at some stage they should look at differential pricing for a po box versus home address. Bit like they have fastpost now.
    You could have:
    - price for PO Box delivery
    - price for home delivery within 2 working days
    - price for home delivery in 5 working days

    User pays for the service they want.

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  23. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    What next a four day working week to save the planet.
    It all comes down to costs in the end.

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  24. burt (7,786 comments) says:

    What next… Remembering Cullen is involved…. High volume mail service users who are also low paid will be paid to send even more mail while people who opt out of the postal system and use couriers etc will be required to support it. This way postal delivery can be made into a political football in such a way that the new price structure encourages people to vote for more socialism….

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  25. quirky_username (22 comments) says:

    PaulL “If they’re serious about it, they should also have a run at the pamphlet delivery business – try to get to a point where everything that goes into someone’s mailbox is delivered at the same time. Surely a postie can delivery those circulars for a fraction of the cost that a special delivery costs – given they’re already visiting every address.”

    This is simply what Rural Delivery drivers/contractors have been doing for years. They own the post contract, the courier contracts (for most if not all courier companies), the pamphlet contracts, newspaper contracts etc for their run. It’s the only way they make money! The rate they are paid for their post contract depends on mileage and the amount of mail (based on a mail count done every so often). All other contracts are on a per item basis. Without these other services, post would not be economical.

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  26. Manolo (13,303 comments) says:

    What if we sell the whole of NZ Post to the highest bidder? Service could improve and even imagine the joy of getting rid of Bolger and Cullen in one hit.

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  27. artemisia (207 comments) says:

    DX Mail seem to have an increasing presence in central Wellington these days. The delivery guy on a motorbike is in my street (city fringe suburb) every day. No doubt they are cherry picking, and benefit from not having to deliver all over the country. Good business. Mr Bolger didn’t mention competition, I notice. Also, NZ Post already have lots of different rates for parcels (apart from size and weight) – P O Box rate, rural rate, cross town rate and more. Might not be too hard to have an extra rate or two for letters.

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  28. simpleton (154 comments) says:

    For over 40 years I have run with a post box number for free instead of using rural delivery.

    I think now most every one pays a reasonable sum of money for a post boxthese days

    Rural delivery never seemed to get it right as family names made things confusing for them. The point of view being it is all family Grand parents, Uncles Aunts and cousins and it is best if you folks sort it out the mail. The delays, non privacy, was totally frustrating. Which still happens when some one tries to use my residential address.
    Over the years and a few minor changes of residential address, although only by a few kilometres would have made major changes to my address, by township as well as road.
    At the same time as long as some one puts my name and town it ended up in my PO box. Absolutely marvellous. My address sort of has become a brand in itself for me. People from decades past still make contact to me and to my parents, who originally made the change to PO box.

    Last year I was forced to pay for my Box number $125 + GST per year as after all the rural delivery drives past me. I have not had the time yet , as my intention is to put up a mail box that complies to their standards and will then expect them to deliver every thing , yes probably a lot of junk mail, as well as keep the PO Box. I have had to jump up and down to get certain mail that relates to my rural back ground, and nor do they yet deliver the free local paper, even though that goes by RD. I have found ways around how to get what I need.

    Internet is rather intermittent, between power outages, flickering, and telephone lines and to my frustrating limited skills with computers and seems to take so much time when things get lost into the “ether”. Also concerns with security, then the computer gets into needing a lot of time consuming saving and refreshing and re boooting etc. Up dating constantly and then differing security systems seem to be stirring concrete. Then spam and phishing has a go at you. How much time do you have to sit to get well practiced and so to get it right and at what costs. It does seem a false economy sometimes.

    Do not get me totally wrong as I perservere as I know computers running well are great, quick contact, news, library source, etc.,but there seems like a lot of work and time to keep them afloat.

    The snail mail can be filed, not trojaned, not lost, not spam, not phishing, waiting for you to hit the wrong button. Only a house fire can seem to stuff up the snail mail.

    Well that is just me, 3 – 5 deliveries a week is OK, so long as people sending have their a into g like hospital appointments and such notices needed, and business’s also count for less business working days too.

    The critical thing is to allow for less business working days to a week to allow for the message being sent out and for the reply to go back

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  29. KiwiGreg (3,169 comments) says:

    Which century are we in that this can be a POLITICAL issue. Let anyone deliver mail anytime they want. Sell NZ Post. Problem solved. I’d be happy to get no mail.

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  30. burt (7,786 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg

    You might be happy to get no mail but remember; It is people like you who must pay low income people to send more and more mail so we can retain jobs at NZ Post. Keep up, socialism is about encouraging churn – not delivering efficiency.

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  31. simpleton (154 comments) says:

    Hear Hear KiwiGreg.

    No mail
    Certainly none from IRD , ACC , District Councils, and fancy name regional councils and etc. Would be much better for them to try and find me, than to say that since they posted it , you are now liable plus any penalties.

    Whoops that refund, where is it?

    Might end up going back to having my PO box for free too. with icreased efficiency

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  32. wreck1080 (3,719 comments) says:

    DPF, what about these postal services?

    If they cancelled saturday deliveries, and only delivered every couple of days, I’m cancelling my fatso subscription.

    Also, I need to know as soon as possible about bank deposits (the bank posts advice). That will be inconvenient for me too.

    Just because you and a few others don’t care, doesn’t mean this doesn’t affect others.

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  33. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Wreck1080 – HTFU and drive to the video shop or learn how to download… no one is interested in your whinging and apparent belief that you have a right to have every nz post user subsidise your video deliveries. Sheesh.

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  34. kyotolaw (52 comments) says:

    What I would really like is email notification that there has been something go in to my PO Box. That way I wouldn’t be clearing it until I needed to…

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  35. Rex Widerstrom (5,253 comments) says:

    All this is great in theory but has every sector of NZ society caught up with the 21st century yet? I’m thinking particularly of institutions like the courts, local authorities and so on, who in my experience seem to be wedded to the quaint notion that delivery of something can only be proven to have occurred if it were passed across the counter of a postal outlet rather than dispatched via an email server, despite the fact most email clients can request automatic delivery and read receipts.

    I’m forced to traipse to my post box far more times a week than I’d prefer just because I need to receive something I could have had via email days earlier.

    If daily postal deliveries are to disappear, I’d suggest a quick Bill saying “henceforth, delivery by email is acceptable for everything, in any circumstance”.

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  36. KiwiGreg (3,169 comments) says:

    “If they cancelled saturday deliveries, and only delivered every couple of days, I’m cancelling my fatso subscription.

    Also, I need to know as soon as possible about bank deposits (the bank posts advice). That will be inconvenient for me too. ”

    So maybe fatso needs to like, I dont know, hire a courier.

    On your second point, learn to internet.

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  37. PaulL (5,871 comments) says:

    Fatso could deliver via courier instead of mail. Problem solved there.

    Bank deposits – have you not heard of internet banking? Can your bank not e-mail you? I’ve never heard of anyone needing to learn by mail that money has been deposited in their bank account. Does your bank send you a letter every time you get a deposit?

    I’m all in favour of just cancelling the mail entirely. I have no need to get it – the things that I get via mail at th emoment I’d rather get via e-mail.

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  38. wreck1080 (3,719 comments) says:

    @kiwigreg & PaulL

    ASB does not offer free internet banking for certain account types.

    SO, yes, ASB send me a letter every time a deposit is made into the account – crazy I know, but NZ banks are pretty backward when it comes to international banking. It is actually worse than this, I get 3 letters in total.

    Hire couriers? This would significantly increase the cost of fatso. I doubt that would be an option for them.

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  39. moaningmoa (67 comments) says:

    Dropping Saturday to me makes a tonne of sense, it is an entirely unnecessary delivery day.

    However, dropping even one day during the business week is going to cause untold issues.

    Most mass-billing systems (specifically the receivables component) is based on assumptions about the delivery of mail within defined time frames, henceforth a reduced number of delivery days would necessitate companies to extend the “days to pay” by several days to allow for this increased delivery time… Greatly impacting on their cash flow.

    Call centres are typical designed (and staffed) on the assumption so many customers will get their bill, letter, credit notice, etc each day. If you have reduced delivery days, the call centres will have to increase staffing to allow for increased calls on those delivery days… (possibly a 50% increase in staffing levels).

    In short it would be an almighty mess up for the business world, and those are just two example of my head based on my time within the utility industry, and working with IT people from; banking, telecoms, insurance, etc industries.

    Yes, there is the internet, but unfortunately having internet access is not a legal requirement, and with the upcoming copyright bill it will be impossible to even require it (as connections can be terminated based merely on accusation). While having a post box on your property is actually a legal requirement (I believe, but am happy to be corrected).

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  40. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Does that mean no weekend newspapers?
    Surely that would kill the Saturday Herald and Herald on Sunday and the Sunday Star times?

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  41. moaningmoa (67 comments) says:

    No, newspapers are delivered seperately…..

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  42. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    “What world does Mr Clarke live in? Why on earth would anyone expect to continue to be paid to work six days a week, when in fact they only work five?”

    From memory posties get paid a minimum daily rate based on a structured standard X hour day viable by day of the week (loosely based on average mail volumes) and if their run takes them longer than that (it depends on mail volumes) they get paid overtime… I don’t see why that couldn’t be condensed into 5 days…

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  43. Jeremy Harris (323 comments) says:

    viable

    *variable

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  44. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Shit you should live in the country David, we must get at least 5 to 10 different items a day, bills, farming mags, rubbish mail, promotions, IRD bullshit, people wanting money, people trying to sell something etc,etc, etc. I remember a few years ago rural delivery tried to make rural mail box holders pay extra for delivery if they lived so many K’s from the city. It was fucking hilarious, they threatened to keep all mail at the mail center if we didn’t pay the delivery fee. Guess what, the clowns were begging farmers to come in and pick up their mail, they couldn’t store it all and chaos at the mail center was the order of the day. Why the hell should we pay extra to receive mail, whats the point of putting a stamp on a letter if the bastards aren’t going to deliver it.

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  45. Michael (894 comments) says:

    I’d rather they dropped a weekday than Saturday. Because I am at work on the weekdays, so any signed for deliveries have to be on Saturdays.

    But other than that, I’d be happy with one less day a week.

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  46. fatman43us (166 comments) says:

    Owen McShane asks: “Does that mean no weekend newspapers?
    Surely that would kill the Saturday Herald and Herald on Sunday and the Sunday Star times?”

    Where we live, the Herald is delivered by the company about 3.45 a.m.

    The Postie is noweher to be seen.

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  47. Johnboy (14,857 comments) says:

    Hey wreck. What happened to “No delivery fees& no late fees” as the fat sweaty guy says on the ad?

    What does it matter if the DVD takes longer to receive or be returned?

    (I’ve never used them, as I don’t watch movies, so I don’t know how their system works).

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  48. Steve (4,489 comments) says:

    What ‘mail’ is delivered in my mailbox is not mail. It is shit. The sign says ‘no junkmail’ but still it is there.

    The other communication I get is ‘Bills’ therefore I do not have a ‘mailbox’ I have a ‘billbox”

    Mail comes by email and a lot of that is shit too, but I can control it, either block or junk it.

    Then there are those faxes from unknown numbers international wanting me to change my ISP

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  49. wreck1080 (3,719 comments) says:

    It doesn’t matter if the fatso dvd’s are late – it just means, you get less dvd’s because delivery time would slow down.

    Also, if you order a dvd on the friday for the weekend – it won’t get there until monday now !!!!

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  50. David in Chch (508 comments) says:

    Some interesting comments. Frankly, I have a PO Box in case some one wants to send me something in hard copy form, but I have cancelled ALL postal bills – they ALL come via email now. I do almost ALL of my banking online, and anything that can’t be done that way usually requires my physical presence at a bank or shop to sign or whatever. So I only check the PO Box once a week, and even then it’s sometimes empty.

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