10/26/04 — Postal machine cuts lines

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Postal machine cuts lines

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on October 26, 2004 2:03 PM

The Goldsboro Post Office on William Street has a new automated postal center to help shorten waiting lines.

The new machine has been in the post office for over a month, and last week, postal officials demonstrated its capabilities to the public.

"We wanted to take the mystery out of the process," said Jerome Walters, officer in charge. "Some people are afraid of it."

The self-service postal center is providing access to postal products and services in the same way automated teller machines provide access to banking services.

But unlike most ATMs, Automated Postal Centers don't charge a service fee.

The Goldsboro Post Office is only one of 2,500 post offices nationwide selected to receive this new self-service technology, and one of around 20 in the state.

"This is one of the best things the post office has ever done," said customer Dale Harris.

The machines provide a simple way for customers to weigh, calculate and apply exact postage for mailing express mail and priority mail items, packages, and first-class mail letters.

"It helps provide quicker service during our busy periods, and it's available for use 24 hours a day," Walters said. "That makes it easier than ever for customers to do business with us at their convenience. Now that's a real benefit."

C. Wade Sapp Jr., retail specialist for the post office, said that the machine takes care of simple tasks so that clerks have more time to do the complicated ones.

The automated postal centers accept debit and credit cards, in addition to providing mailing information, zip code lookup, and delivery confirmation service.

Thy give postal workers more time to help customers with more difficult transactions such as mailing packages to international locations, conducting registered mail and money order transactions, and handling passport applications, postal officials said.

"We're trying to get the lines shorter at the post office, and we've seen a remarkable difference in the places where we've put these machines," Sapp said. "The stamp vending machines weren't successful in dropping the lines, but this has been."