An anonymous worker for USPS has gone viral this week on TikTok after sharing a video that details what people should avoid posting in letters. The 7-second clip has amassed over 5 million views in just over a week and comes with the advice “Stop sending coins, cards, keys, and jewelry through letters. This machine will rip them out.” The video description also states “I can’t even count how often it jams due to stuff like that. There’s a huge chance you’ll receive an empty envelope.”
The machine in the video is believed to be a Delivery Barcode Sorter (DBCS) machine that is used at almost all major USPS sorting facilities. The machine reads the barcodes on each letter and sorts them accordingly. The DBCS machine can sort approximately 36,000 pieces of mail in an hour.
In the comments of the post was someone who claimed to be a post office mechanic, who offered some further insight on the situation. Ultimately he made the point that posting letters with objects inside can often lead to the letter itself being unpostable too.
“I service these machines, [and] Can definitely confirm that at the end of each night I find coins, keys, and pens…What’s worse is that the original letter where it came [from] was most likely destroyed because of it. Now we have no clue where to forward it.”TikTok Commenter
Consumer Advice From The Secrets of USPS TikTok Account
Whilst some found the video interesting and that it made sense, others were less impressed with this piece of advice and claimed that if USPS were using a machine that destroyed mail then it clearly isn’t fit for purpose. One particular comment on the post was “This is the company’s problem, not the people’s. We don’t get paid to accommodate y’all. You get paid to figure something out.”
The @seceretsofusps TikTok account responded to this comment with a video labeled part 2 which informed the USPS customer of a solution that is already in place. The solution is to use a non-machinable stamp which for just 30 cents more will let the USPS facility know that your letter needs to be hand sorted and avoid the DBCS machine.
Usually, when we cover videos on TikTok that relate to couriers and postal situations, they are not always positive, such as when allegedly a courier delivered a package to a carport roof. With a name like secrets of USPS, this content could have gone the other way, but it seems like this account is one to try and help USPS customers understand what happens to their mail and help them make the best decisions. We approve.
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