September 11, 2008

Neither Snow nor Rain…


In this age of e-mail, SMS and who knows what other communication wonder they'll come up with next, there are still people who use the "regular" - also known as "snail" - mail. Are these people Luddites, or what?

And we're not talking about an insignificant tribe. Judging by the traffic on my local e-mail community list, "can anyone take a letter to the States for me" ranks just behind "looking for a lift to X" on the hit parade of favors people are always seeking.

Maybe it's not so good to ask for favors like this, though. In community life, everybody gets "credits" - which you cash in for favors with friends and neighbors. You can only ask for so many favors before you're put on the "nudnik list," when people see your number on the caller ID and pretend they're not home.

Do you really want to waste your credits on snail mail? Especially when there's a great service that will let you send any piece of mail you want anywhere in the world - for just a dollar or two. And if you're a real risk taker, you can even get your mail sent for free. Mailaletter ( is a reliable, secure, spam- free service that lets you write letters or upload documents. The people on the other end then take your document and stuff it in an envelope, address and mail it for 99 cents for the first page for mail sent to the US, and an additional quarter for each additional page. You pay by Paypal (you can make the payment by credit card if you don't have a Paypal account). And for non-US addresses, the cost is $1.99.

What about the free service? If you want to write a letter to someone (no document uploading), check out . The site will send your letter to any US address at no cost to you - in return for your consenting to sign up for "special offers" (read spam!). If you don't mind a mailbox full of junk e-mail, you can send your non-spam letter for free. Or sign up for a "junk" mail address at Yahoo or Hotmail and use that as your eSnailer "free offer" address. Either way, you get to save your "credits" for something really important - like a ride to "X."

Originally published by DAVID SHAMAH.

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