QR codes go postal

Marc Sanchez May 15, 2012

In an effort to remain relevant, kind of like your granddad (“Pops”) donning a pair of skinny jeans, the post office announced yesterday that it will offer a 2 percent discount on items shipped. It’s a limited-time offer – good only in July and August. Here’s how it works: you’ll receive your regular junk mail flyers, only now some of those advertisements will come with QR codes next to whatever they’re trying to sell you. So, if you get a mailer for dog food, you might see one of those square, bar-code thingies (QR code). Scan the code with your smartphone, and you will be sent to a website offering the product and reduced shipping rate.

I don’t think two months of reduced shipping rates is really going to save the post office, but I guess it’s a start. Wait. No, I’m sticking with my first thought… it’s not going to save the post office. Reuters reports on the hemorrhaging:

Mail volume in the United States has been on the decline since 2006 and fell to 39.5 billion pieces during the most recent quarter, a 4.1 percent drop compared to a year earlier.
The Postal Service lost $3.2 billion in the first three months of 2012. The agency said better-targeted mailings and electronic alternatives eroded advertising mail volumes during the quarter.

Nice try Pops, but I prefer the high-water slacks pulled up over your navel that you’ve been wearing for the last 20 years.

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