I rarely use Kinko’s but I had a great experience today at a local Kinko’s FedEx office. I brought in a mac formatted USB drive and acted like a dumb consumer. I asked the lady at the front how to do it, and she walked me through the process of sticking in the usb drive. It immediately came up with a list of files on the USB drive, which was only one PDF file. It had the appropriate PDF logo on it, and it had a nice graphical interface which was easy to use. It asked me in some simple steps what I wanted to do, and for .14 cents I walked out with a color copy!
The last time I was at a Kinko’s was before they were bought by FedEx. It was a difficult process for that store to recognize my mac formatted Word file. I gave up on them for emergency printing and thought it was easier to just buy the printer. However as the years have gone by, I suspect like many people the need for printers has decreased. Since we rarely write letters, and even less need to print at home for things like coupons, I bet home printer ownership is at an all time low. It makes sense to outsource things that you don’t need very much since its much cheaper.
The last time I used my printer at home was a cheap Cannon. It worked pretty well but then I didn’t use it for about a year. After that it never worked right, no matter how many cleaning cycles that I put it through. I wasn’t mad, it was cheap after all. Still I was disappointed. Many offices have laser printers that are a decade old. Why is inkjet printing so unreliable?
The point of this article however is to just point out that it’s not a bad deal to outsource the printing in some situations. It turns out that the package that I had to mail was cheaper than the USPS as well. Private companies are really undercutting the government. I wonder how much longer the USPS is going to rely on handouts?