JohnRoberts

catch 22
« on: September 11, 2017, 01:55:25 PM »
If you never read Joseph Heller you may not know what catch 22 means but here is an example.

I have noticed recently that some website shopping carts try to auto-fill a bogus incorrect street for my home address. After talking with the merchant with the misbehaving website, I found out that the auto-fill was coming from UPS.  So I contacted UPS... their answer is that they use USPS address database, and that database says my street address does not exist.

I live across the street from my local post office so have received my USPS mail in a PO box for the last 30 years. Ironically perhaps UPS has been delivering to my street address for 30 years also...  I was assigned a rationalized street address some 20 years ago or so. The rationalized street  addresses are so emergency vehicles can find houses easier.

UPS will not accept my PO Box as a valid delivery address nor will it recognize my actual street address (because USPS does not have it in their database).

My next step was to approach my local postmaster and try to get my address entered into the USPS database (but not for actual USPS delivery.).  Maybe I need to install a mailbox and make the post office carry my mail across the street.  So far my first discussion with the local postmaster (postmistress) was not very encouraging as she tried to explain 9 digit zip codes to me.  ::)

Not a big deal, but a minor irritation when humans refuse to question their computers to deal with exceptions, even when the computer is wrong.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...


Re: catch 22
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 02:44:36 PM »
Hi John,

it is possible that your Internet Service Provider is providing this information as it knows your IP address and therefore can, roughtly or exactly, derive your address from that?

Cheers

Mike

ruffrecords

Re: catch 22
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 04:00:24 PM »
In a similar manner, we have just moved to a brand new property so it has been assigned a brand new post (zip) code by the Post Office. They know where we are and deliver to us without problems. How ever, most sat navs do not know of us so many other delivery companies cannot find us (the last place we lived it took ten years for some companies sat navs to get updated). Plenty of web sites refuse to accept my post code, claiming it is invalid, simply because their database is out of date.

Cheers

Ian

dmp

Re: catch 22
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 06:07:06 PM »
The actual "catch 22" if I recall was a person claiming they were crazy to get discharged from the army must have been sane, because wanting to get out of the army would be the only sane thing to do (it would be crazy to stay).

A detail here is that the private shipping companies (UPS & Fedex) actually send most rural packages through USPS, since it would be too expensive for them to have the extended infrastructure. The only reasons rural customers have mail delivery at all is because of the 'socialist' nature of the USA in the past century, setting up a federal postal delivery system. If it keeps getting unwound by conservative politics, you might not have any mail delivery in the future  (or it will be much more expensive).

JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 08:36:25 PM »
The actual "catch 22" if I recall was a person claiming they were crazy to get discharged from the army must have been sane, because wanting to get out of the army would be the only sane thing to do (it would be crazy to stay).
yes a classic WWII humorous anti-war novel, like MASH but years before Korea, let alone Viet Nam. I need to look for my copy and read it again, it has been several decades.
==========
There are budget shipping services where fedex and UPS partner with USPS to do part of the delivery (last mile is the expensive part). Not so much lately but for years I have seen daily package deliveries to the local post office across the street from my house.

That is another whine of mine, when UPS or FEDEX hands it off to USPS for the last mile, so my deliveries showing in the computer tracking to arrive today, end up a notice in my PO Box today to pick it up tomorrow... arghhh.  :(

But in case I wasn't clear, UPS is using the USPS address database for their auto fill web widget, so my street address that UPS happily delivers to for the last few decades, does not show up.

I am working on the USPS to try to get them to recognize my street address in their database (I own stock in UPS so I like that they are saving money by not constructing their own database, but I do not appreciate the obvious conflict)... I might have to build a mailbox and set up USPS street delivery... probably one of those solid brick ones so the red necks wreck their own pickup truck trying to run it over.  ::)

I probably need to go ahead and build a mailbox since the USPS will probably close the small postoffice near me (it can't be making money)... so the PO box won't work if I have to drive several miles to a different town to get my mail every day.  The PO Box is nice for getting my daily newspaper first thing in the morning, but times change, move forward or don't. 

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

PRR

Re: catch 22
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 09:18:59 PM »
> only reasons rural customers have mail delivery at all is because of the 'socialist' nature of the USA

No; it is because Farmers used to be BIG politics. And often had money.

You know what a Grange is. A run-down building, right? Local and State Granges used to have hundreds of thousands of members and the political lobby power now enjoyed by real-estate groups.

PRR

Re: catch 22
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 09:22:20 PM »
> UPS has been delivering to my street address

Chat-up a not-new UPS driver. There may be a way a mere Driver can verify a delivery address. There may be a chance s/he knows how to start the process.

Re: catch 22
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 02:18:59 AM »
I probably need to go ahead and build a mailbox ...
As a former volunteer firefighter/EMT/first responder, I would strongly suggest everyone having a mailbox out front with large numbers in it. You'll want us to find you quickly when you need us. Like if you were to step into a 120VAC shower stream.

Sorry JR.  ;D

We know where your street is, now we just need to find your house. Missing house numbers have slowed down our response times too many times to count, and your name on the mailbox doesn't help, we are not given names, we go by address numbers.

Today's public service announcement.

Gene

PS: In a '60's electronic magazine, there was a cartoon of a guy on his front porch showing off his new fancy giant 7-segment LED house number display to his neighbor. The caption was his neighbor saying "Very nice, plan on changing your house number often?"  :D

JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 11:09:45 AM »
> UPS has been delivering to my street address

Chat-up a not-new UPS driver. There may be a way a mere Driver can verify a delivery address. There may be a chance s/he knows how to start the process.
My local driver is great. I will ask him next time I see him (but I am not optimistic about him changing the USPS database if UPS corporate won't), it is the temp UPS/FEDEX drivers that go to the wrong address when lost and looking for me.

My business has a shipping account with UPS so I already yanked their cord...  They advised me that they use the USPS database and suggested I take it up with USPS.

The USPS website confirms that my address is not in their database but offered no  remedy beyond talking to my local PO (which I did yesterday). 

I will try to register for street delivery of my mail but wink-wink... keep delivery to my PO Box. The local postmistress is not the sharpest stick in the bunch so needs to consult with her supervisor (in another town).

Worst case i have to build a physical mailbox and receive street delivery of my mail...Or allow delivery drivers to keep getting lost.   I'm not sure why I didn't already have street delivery... when I bought the house it came with a PO Box and I like the convenience of getting my newspaper first thing. I used to pick up my newspaper and read the front page before driving to work in the morning.

JR

John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

dmp

Re: catch 22
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 11:27:38 AM »
Quote
yes a classic WWII humorous anti-war novel, like MASH but years before Korea, let alone Viet Nam. I need to look for my copy and read it again, it has been several decades.
It's one of those books that I am glad to have read, but I didn't really enjoy and wouldn't read again. The author cleverly puts the reader in the same shoes as the protaganist.


> only reasons rural customers have mail delivery at all is because of the 'socialist' nature of the USA
No; it is because Farmers used to be BIG politics. And often had money.
You know what a Grange is. A run-down building, right? Local and State Granges used to have hundreds of thousands of members and the political lobby power now enjoyed by real-estate groups.
I used the term 'socialist nature' to mean the free market is not covering the service; the government is providing the service - with a subsidized nature for some. To every person their mail delivery needs.
You are correct that it was initially implemented (~1890) because most living in rural areas were farmers and they wanted rural free delivery like the cities had. Farmers were about half the labor force at the time.   But the demographic of rural populations isn't farmers primarily anymore.
Do you really think if the USPS were dissolved and private companies priced out delivery to rural areas it wouldn't be more expensive?
This isn't the only example of rural lifestyles being subsidized. My state has revenue sharing where the taxes from my city is redistributed out to pay for fire, police and other services for rural towns. 


JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 11:57:05 AM »
It's one of those books that I am glad to have read, but I didn't really enjoy and wouldn't read again. The author cleverly puts the reader in the same shoes as the protaganist.
It was making a political anti-war statement (like the more modern MASH). It was supposed to make people uncomfortable. I recall enjoying it several decades ago, but my copy has gone the way of many of my better books, loaned to a friend and never returned. I found a later book on my shelf written by Heller that wasn't very good (probably why it is still on my shelf.)  I read several of his books based on liking the first. :o
Quote
I used the term 'socialist nature' to mean the free market is not covering the service; the government is providing the service - with a subsidized nature for some. To every person their mail delivery needs.
You are correct that it was initially implemented (~1890) because most living in rural areas were farmers and they wanted rural free delivery like the cities had. Farmers were about half the labor force at the time.   But the demographic of rural populations isn't farmers primarily anymore.
Do you really think if the USPS were dissolved and private companies priced out delivery to rural areas it wouldn't be more expensive?
This isn't the only example of rural lifestyles being subsidized. My state has revenue sharing where the taxes from my city is redistributed out to pay for fire, police and other services for rural towns.
Coast to coast and rural US mail delivery was an important infrastructure investment begun hundreds of years ago.  There is also subsidization of rural electricity systems, and even rural telephone networks.  This has helped economic growth and created wealth for the entire country.

Now first class letter delivery is pretty much archaic and obsolete. For decades they profited hugely by the several local bills paid by mail every month.  How many bills do we pay by mail today (zero for me)?

Package delivery to rural areas will likely cost more in the future to reflect the higher delivery cost. I am surprised my local PO has not already been closed, but the USPS is rationalizing and modernizing at government speed.  ;D

They already partner with UPS/FEDEX  for package delivery maybe one of them should buy them, but that will never happen due to legacy pension /retirement funding liability  of nearly $100B. Congress has made the PO pre-fund the pension fund with something like $5B a year for several years.  If they don't taxpayers will end up on the hook as the declining mail business continues to contract.  The USPS has become more aggressive about package delivery but this may be too little too late to save the larger enterprise.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 12:04:16 PM »
Hi John,

it is possible that your Internet Service Provider is providing this information as it knows your IP address and therefore can, roughtly or exactly, derive your address from that?

Cheers

Mike
No I spoke to the vendor and they told me it was a UPS web service that pushed the wrong address auto-fill--- 

I routinely block IP related location service requests (except for weather reports).

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 12:24:02 PM »
As a former volunteer firefighter/EMT/first responder, I would strongly suggest everyone having a mailbox out front with large numbers in it. You'll want us to find you quickly when you need us. Like if you were to step into a 120VAC shower stream.

Sorry JR.  ;D

We know where your street is, now we just need to find your house.
the twist about the drop down auto fill is that it associates my correct 4 digit house number to a different road a few miles away.  They issued me the rationalized 4 digit house number street address maybe 20 years ago, and I ASSumed they wouldn't give the same exact number to two houses that close.  I may need to roll over there and see who is using my number (if anybody)?

Quote
Missing house numbers have slowed down our response times too many times to count, and your name on the mailbox doesn't help, we are not given names, we go by address numbers.
I have 4" tall numbers on the front of my house visible from the road.

I can throw a rock and hit the volunteer fire department from my property.  If my house was on fire they could just walk over.

Quote
Today's public service announcement.

Gene

PS: In a '60's electronic magazine, there was a cartoon of a guy on his front porch showing off his new fancy giant 7-segment LED house number display to his neighbor. The caption was his neighbor saying "Very nice, plan on changing your house number often?"  :D
Makes more sense for a car license plate.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

PRR

Re: catch 22
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2017, 06:27:58 PM »
We can debate the present value of rural delivery until the last postoffice closes.

Historically, RFD had huge impact in ways not anticipated. It was one of several "enabling technologies", with Money Orders and cheap pulp catalogs. Montgomery Ward got started. Sears too. This not only brought goods (including tools) to rural customers, it was part of Chicago's growth and wealth, spread around the thousands of suppliers. This became the local (city/town) Big Department Stores, which anchored Malls and local shopping for several decades.

My dad was just making parallels between this retail revolution and the ongoing change where we get everything on-line. (My parents even got a mattress on-line.) Life out here in the sticks is much more tolerable if USPS/UPS/FedEx bring me stuff faster than I would go shopping in the small city, nevermind the big (pop 30,000) city.

Going further back... before our war of revolt, mail traveled around the colonies by loose agreements between King, colonies, and transport agents. England was doing it better, and Ben Franklin organized better mail on these shores. The ability to communicate across our large land had important benefit to moving goods and money (profit) around.

Post Office was in-town mainly, and I think the Good Roads movement (first bicyclists, then car owners) had some to do with making RFD not implausible. With better roads, mailmen could use light wagons and teams, even bicycles, leading to car delivery.

I really do not see how USPS breaks-even doing our local delivery. I know roughly how much postage is paid for the stuff we get, I know my neighbors get about the same stuff (lot of mis-delivery on this road), what it costs to put a mail-lady in a van all day.... not a business I'd want to operate. UPS/FedEx have a more select market, and I'd cry for them, except being the short-cut between two significant town/city areas, we have trucks wizzing past 3-5 times a day! (This would not be generally true in rural areas.)

Phrazemaster

Re: catch 22
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 03:39:20 PM »
I can throw a rock and hit the volunteer fire department from my property.  If my house was on fire they could just walk over.

JR
Wouldn't you rather they be running?  ;)
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JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 06:06:57 PM »
Wouldn't you rather they be running?  ;)
I would rather they never have reason to visit me (again).

There was some unnecessary drama last year when I was burning a pile of tree branches in my yard (like I have for about 30 years) while we were technically in a burn ban.... It had rained and several nearby counties had already cancelled the burn ban but my county didn't reverse it until another day or two later.

I didn't want to stop until I was finished but they even rolled out a small water tank truck... all of about 50 yards straight out their driveway.  ::) I wouldn't allow them on my property and eventually put out the rubbish fire myself so they would leave me alone. 

Being a model of civility I didn't give them reason to cite me, since technically they could have, but all of us would have looked silly.  8)

  JR

PS: I sent an email yesterday to the local keeper of the E-911 4 digit addresses.   No response yet so I may need to visit them in person or use the phone.   I want to ask if the other identical house number only a mile away is valid?  I need to go there and check it out too...
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

Phrazemaster

Re: catch 22
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2017, 03:08:40 PM »
I would rather they never have reason to visit me (again).
Touché!

PS: I sent an email yesterday to the local keeper of the E-911 4 digit addresses.   No response yet so I may need to visit them in person or use the phone.   I want to ask if the other identical house number only a mile away is valid?  I need to go there and check it out too...
Good Luck!
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** * Kablooie!

JohnRoberts

Re: catch 22
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2017, 05:10:53 PM »
Touché!Good Luck!
Thanks.. the real problem is with UPS using the USPS database for address checking...  UPS can not accept PO boxes for package delivery since USPS has a monopoly on those po boxes. USPS has little interest in e-911 street addresses they do not deliver to.

catch-22   8)

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...