How important is mail (traditional mail) in our daily life? No so important. In the last few years, I didn’t receive any written mails, and all the mail in my mailbox are either “Direct Mail”, or the fly-er of commercial advertisement, or bills (telephone bills, gas bills, cable TV bills).
I totally have no incentive to open the mailbox.
Among them, there are some special mail notification. It is a small piece of paper to ask me to go to the post office in person to fetch package or registered mail.
I hate this.
Once upon a time, all major services are operated by the state-owned enterprises: banks, post offices, telephones, water, electricity…
20 years past, all these industries changed dramatically. The only industry that left unchanged seems to be China Post.
For banks, most of them are commercialized. Recently, the ICBC is going IPO, which may marks the biggest IPO deal in the history of man-kind. The service provided by banks are among the best in all these industries.
For water supply, in Pudong Area, the water supply company is a JV between Shanghai Water and a France company, and the quality of water, billing system, and maintenance is great.
For gas, and electricity, more and more services are provided. The only interface between end users and the company is the billing and payment. Now people can pay your bill at convenient stores, online, via mobile, via banks… For the quality of gas, or electricity? I have no comment. That is too technical for common people to comment.
Now let’s talk about POST OFFICE!
China Post Office
If you want to experience the “old China” before 20 years of reform, go to a post office.
For example, here is the typical process to get my “registered mail” or package.
On the notification slip (bad quality paper, and all information is hand written – low efficiency), it said “come to post office within 3 days, or we will charge you for delayed fee…”.
They don’t care about whether it is convenient for people to go to THEIR office. The office closes at 7:00 PM. That means, if the mail arrives on Monday, it is for sure that I need to pay the delayed fee.
The post office on the Linyi Road – about 4 km away from my home. I drove there. The package claim area is not inside the post office. There is no sign, and you have to ask the people working there, and they tell you – go out side the post office, turn right and turn right in the first gate of a residential area. To ahead for 10 meters, and there is a small gate on the right. Enter the gate, and turn right. Do NOT go up stairs, instead, go to the left side of the stair and there is a small window…”
The person must have told people many many times – inefficient.
OK. I followed the instruction and go the small window. They need you to write down your national ID number, signature, and hand in your national ID or passport.
They person inside the window will get the small piece of notification, and start to search in the piles of letters – one by one. This typically takes about one minute or two (low efficiency), and then give the the letter… Their attitude is really bad.
After all the suffer, you know what I got?
It is a bill from China Telecom.