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April 17, 2006

Pitney Bowes: The Pits

by Kit Cassingham

My office had used a Pitney Bowes postage machine to help us more efficiently handle our business mail. It worked well, though it did have the inconvenience of requiring a trip to the post office to refill the postage. Also, we were told that it was legally required that they "inspect" the machine twice a year -- presumably to ensure we had not tampered with it. It was definitely a bother to have the guy come by every six months, but it was better than standing in line at the post office every day.

When postage systems became available through the Internet, we shifted to one of those systems and cancelled our account with Pitney Bowes. One odd thing we suddenly realized was that the "inspector" hadn't shown up in quite awhile -- maybe a couple of years. But that didn't matter anymore: having cancelled our account meant Pitney Bowes had to retrieve their machine, and we'd be done with it once and for all. We had a home office, so we made it clear they needed to call first so that we would be there for them. We never heard from them, and the postage machine became a nuisance in the office because of the space it consumed.

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