U.S. Postal Service’s ‘Shipping Assistant’ excludes Apple Mac users

By SteveJack

The United States Postal Service, supported by customers and taxpayers via postage charges, federal appropriations, and even postage taxes in some states to the tune of roughly $75 billion annually, offers a “USPS Shipping Assistant” which is “free” software that combines all the functions you need to create labels (domestic, international, Merchandise Return and custom forms), ship packages, compare rates, calculate estimated delivery times, verify deliveries, request free Carrier Pickup, and much more.

“Free,” meaning, of course, that you already paid for it, if you bought stamps or paid U.S. and/or state taxes.

The USPS Shipping Assistant requires Microsoft’s Windows 2000, 2003, XP Home or Professional, or Vista and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer version 6.0, or higher.

In other words, in this case, Mac users need not apply, but keep buying stamps – and paying your taxes for nothing, of course.

Why does the USPS feel it’s okay to ghettoize Mac users? U.S. postage buying and taxpaying Mac users, does this seem fair to you?

You’d think that with $75 billion annual revenue, the USPS would be able to hire a Mac developer or two or a hundred. (If they weren’t bleeding $5.327 billion annually, that is. Ah, government efficiency; a bigger oxymoron than “Microsoft innovation.”)

According to research firm Gartner, Apple’s Mac comprised 9.5% of U.S. market in Q308 with the Mac growing 29.4% year-over-year, 30 times that of PC market. That’s a lot of postage buying/taxpaying Mac users left out in the cold, USPS. Tens of millions in fact.

Contact the USPS here.

The most important action that you can take, which could actually result in some positive result — as your vote is the key to their having the job — is to identify and contact your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives about equal access to USPS software here.

Additional email contact information can be found here and here.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GizmoDan” for the heads up.]

48 Comments

  1. You would think that some clueless idiot would has asked in the beginning, are you developing it in a programing language that can be compiled or exported to all OS that exceed say 5% of our customer base.

    You think that the upcoming government medical social system will be Mac accessible too.

  2. Mac OS X is now at about 10% of the US market share. We have to have the Spanish translation on all major government paper work. Even when we vote. Do you think that more than 10% of Americans only speak Spanish now?

    In 4 years, we should let these idiots know what we think of Windows only!

  3. The United States Postal Service […] offers a “USPS Shipping Assistant” which is “free” software that combines all the functions you need to create labels (domestic, international, Merchandise Return and custom forms), ship packages, compare rates, calculate estimated delivery times, verify deliveries, request free Carrier Pickup, and much more.

    Other carriers (such as UPS) have offered this online for years.
    And theirs is very accessible with a Mac.

  4. First of all, the USPS does offer this onlne. Got to http://www.usps.com. Mac or Windows, you can buy stamps, change your address, print postage, design & order cards, photo stamps, order shipping supplies – the list goes on. Yes – the USPS does also offer a windows only CD, which does everything you can do with a Mac online.

    Second, NONE of your tax money supports this. The only tax money given the USPS is ‘Revenue Forgone’, a reimbursement from voted on by Congress in 1993 to make up for reduced (and free) mailing rates forced upon the USPS by Congress at the same time. Google ‘Revenue Forgone USPS’.

    MDN – I realize you only repeat what you hear, too bad Steve Jack didn’t do the slightest bit of fact checking, or even internet searching, before writing this piece of crap.

  5. “too bad Steve Jack didn’t do the slightest bit of fact checking, or even internet searching, before writing this piece of crap.”

    That’s why he writes for the Opinion Section of MDN, not the Fact section, or the Even Slightly Correct section.

    Lets see if he has the balls to post a retraction.

  6. Postmaster,

    Besides the fact that the stamp (postage) itself could be deemed a “tax,” SteveJack also explains and provides links for “federal appropriations, and even postage taxes in some states.”

    SteveJack seems to have done plenty of fact-checking and the USPS software should be made available for free to Mac users, too.

  7. @Historian

    Did you at any of those links? They provide figures for USPS revenue and expenses, they also list how Congress is payign the Postal Service LESS than it owes the Postal Service for services it REQUIRES the USPS to provide. The link for postage taxes on the other hand tells the tale of STATES charging sales tax on postage. NONE of that sales tax money goes to the Postal Service, it goes to the states. Read a little would you.

    As far as he price of a stamp being considered a tax, that’s like saying the cost of electricity is a tax. No, it’s a service – if you don’t want the service, don’t pay for it. Feel free to drive your check across town, or across country yourself.

    If you use a Mac, and want this software, go to http://www.usps.com. All of the services available on the CD are available there – for free – not paid for by tax money.

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