The website for invitees to the Postal Service's Real Mail Notification service. (USPS)
The Postal Service is hoping its customers will appreciate being able to see their mail before it arrives in the mailbox.
Over the last few days customers in the northern Virginia area near Washington, D.C. have been getting invitations to a pilot program that will email them scanned images of the outside of their envelopes and small packages the morning before they receive it. Customers would then be able to see if important documents will be arriving.
“Did you know that the USPS is building new tools to help our customers manage their mail from PCs, smartphones and other devices? Now, we’re inviting you to test on new service—Real Mail Notification—at no cost when you register below,” the invitation said.
About 10 to 14 days after the user signs up they will receive daily emails with the scanned images of the mail that will be delivered that day.
The Postal Service touts the new offering as a boon for people on vacation or deployed by the military.
So far the beta seems limited to zip codes in the northern Virginia area specifically—no Washington, D.C., or Maryland zip codes are listed.