With the U.S. Postal Service struggling to stay in business and people becoming increasingly annoyed with the amount of junk mail they receive, one start-up company in San Francisco called Outbox has taken a unique approach to the situation. Outbox employs drivers to travel from house to house taking junk mail out of the mailboxes of those that subscribe to their service.
Once Outbox has gathered all the letters, ads, magazines and bills of their subscribers they take them to a warehouse where workers open and take photos of each bill. The photo files are then sent back to subscribers, who can receive them on the Outbox website or directly on their iPad or iPhone. To have mail sent electronically to subscribers they must have the appropriate app for either their iPhone or iPad.
Outbox gives its subscribers the ability to organize their electronic mail, unsubscribe from the junk mail they don’t wish to receive and ask for certain pieces of mail to be sent back to them, such as a wedding invitation or graduation announcement.
At a cost of $4.99 per month, many San Francisco residents have adopted this technology that allows them to say goodbye to a cluttered up mailbox. The idea of converting junk mail to electronic files originated in Austin, Texas and began in San Francisco at the end of February of 2013.
It should come as no surprise that the United States Postal Service is not pleased with this new service. Though Outbox’s co-founder says he respects the U.S. Postal system, the feeling is not mutual. The USPS has spoken out in protest of what Outbox is doing and has stated that the start-up company does not support them in their efforts to reduce the amount of mail people receive each day at their homes.