USPS Approval 101
What You Won’t Believe About “USPS Approval”
In order to stamp “US Mail approved by the Postmaster General” on a mailbox, the manufacturer must demonstrate that their manufacturing process is sound, and that the mailbox product meets a certain level of quality and integrity when subjected to harsh environmental conditions. However, the USPS does not include level of security as a criterion for curbside locking mailbox approval. In fact, we have found that the vast majority of USPS approved security mailboxes can be opened with a small screwdriver and very little effort; some boxes can even be broken into by hand. With many of the “hopper bin” incoming mail slot type boxes, one can simply reach in and retrieve the mail with no tools and no force!
At Epoch Design, we believe that no matter what the requirements, if manufacturers are going to use the terms “USPS Approved” and “Security Locking Mailbox” on their product package, they had better be able to back it up with some level of security. I believe many consumers see this terminology and trust that a government entity, the USPS, is looking out for the security of their mail to some degree. Furthermore I think that it is irresponsible, if not dishonest, for companies to manipulate the consumer thought process in this way.
I am not saying that all locking mailbox manufacturers use these misleading tactics. Indeed, there are several very secure curbside locking mailboxes available other than the Mail Boss (though they all cost more). But far and away, the vast majority of secure locking mailboxes are, in fact, not secure. Making the public aware of this reality is not a small task. In this busy world, not everyone has the time to invest in differentiating the first-rate from the inferior products.
I believe it is up to the companies that produce first-rate locking mailboxes to do what I have done here – Make consumers think twice before buying an inferior product, and let them know they have better alternatives.