Stepping on Snail Mail

Tech is (finally) replacing snail mail

The postal delivery mantra "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow" may soon be changed to "neither spam, nor virus, nor email limits."

A new mail service, called Zumbox, is being tested in suburban New Lenox.  It's a paperless postal system that lets consumers get mail online that was sent to their physical home address. 

Village businesses and residents are among the first in the country to view mail online that comes from the village. Zumbox lets them access mail 24 hours a day, seven days a week from anywhere on the Internet. 

Here's how it works.  The California-based company created digital mailboxes for every address in the country that it could find.  Consumers can activate their Zumbox and get their mail for free.  Zumbox charges companies 2 cents postage per message sent -- which they hope will limit spam that plagues normal e-mail.

"The paper-mail delivery system has not fundamentally changed for two centuries and is a complete disconnect from the digital world," Maury Friedman, Zumbox's founder, told the SouthtownStar. "Zumbox provides the technology that gives both senders and recipients of paper mail the power to migrate to the digital world."

New Lenox expects to cut its postage and paper costs by using Zumbox.

The company touts its environmental friendliness because its goal is to reduce the trash that goes along with paper mail.  Through Zumbox, users can tell companies to stop sending them paper mail altogether. 

Zumbox maintains it protects users' privacy with the same stringent methods used in the medical and banking industries.  But questions about whether people will trust a startup company with their personal mail remain.

No word on whether or not virtual mail carriers are in the works.

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