Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anyone who knows me online OR offline is aware that I'm all about technology. If there is a device of any sort that will make life easier, I'm all for it. I'm also in favor of service industries and small businesses', particularly in this economy that has hammered both of the above (and pretty much everyone/everything else).

Yet, I read an article not long ago about a service/tech combo that puzzles me. It's "How to email Grandma if she doesn't have a computer". It discusses a service called that will, for $9.95 per month, print the emails you write to Grandma and snail-mail them to her. Ditto for photographs you email them. They also send out reminders for things like Mother's Day, birthdays, etc.

I commented on the article a few months ago, but I was reminded of it today because I get email notices when new comments arrive. I hold the same opinion today that I did when I originally posted the following comment on the article:
Why not just:

a. Pick up the phone and call. Gotta be less expensive than $9.95/month.
b. Print the letter out, or even handwrite it(!) and mail it yourself, for the cost of a stamp.
c. Print the digital photos, either at home or via a paid photo lab, and mail them along with the letter? (Or, if you're using an online service to print them, you can have them mailed to your relative instead of to yourself.) Again, the cost is sure to be less than this service's monthly fee.

To each their own, of course, but I think the direct contact of a phone call or a letter that YOU wrote, addressed, and sent, is a more meaningful way to communicate.

To tell the truth, if it was a service that charged a modest fee for sending a one-off letter or cobbling together a fancy newsletter, there might be something to that. But anyone who can afford to pay nearly $10 per month for this service should invest that money in a printer, paper, ink cartridges, envelopes, and stamps, then print the letters and photos themselves. I don't see the added value in paying a monthly fee to someone else to perform a task that's simple and inexpensive to do for oneself.

Of course, if you feel compelled to have someone else do the printing and mailing, by all means email me at the address on the top left of this page. You can Paypal me some funds and I'll happily perform said task for you. :D

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