print shipping label is broken

Posted by james on Aug. 9, 2011

I've been using the Print Shipping Label feature for a while, and it's great. I can pay for and print postage from home. I wish they did first class mail, but still being able to do priority is nice to have.

However, the USPS just did a whole website refresh. It looks a little nicer, as their old site was a bit dated. I just went through the site, and now the print shipping label part is broken. Thanks a lot USPS.

-I can't pay with one of my cards because I need to enter a "Valid Security Code". It's the same I've been using here for a while, it has not expired or changed, and I can use it on other sites. USPS may be choking on the fact that AMEX uses a different security code format than Visa.

-Speaking of card info, their form for credit card info conveniently omits the autocomplete="off" attribute, so my card's security code is cached by my browser, as it should be for any form that doesn't include this attribute. Huge security risk there. Lots of sites do this, and shouldn't. Looks like the USPS is one of them (and has been for a long time).

-UPDATE: This part might be due to Chrome taking over PDF printing with a neat but awkward and very poorly designed print preview window. Not sure if there is still a USPS bug here, since it did print out the wrong thing:
They changed the part where it prints. It used to pop up a normal windows print dialog, so you can choose the printer, the # of copies, print preferences, etc. Now it's a window that shows you a preview, but does not allow you to change print preferences. So now I can't print to the rear tray of my printer, so the prints happen on the wrong paper.

-For the above problem, you can choose "Advanced printing". What does that do? It shows the old print dialog. Ironic. Even worse, when you go ahead and print using this old method, it PRINTS THE WRONG PAGE! How in the world could they screw up the *old* site?? That's special.

-For all the above, I actually can't print my shipping label right now... I've tried a couple times. And the kicker - they have a new "Live Chat technical support" button right on that page. I click on it, enter my name/email/reason for chatting, and then... blank window. They chat window is broken.

Ok, I get that they wanted to update their site. Bravo. But seriously - couldn't an organization as large as the USPS hire a competent set of web programmers? Or just spend a little more and test their site prior to deployment? I guess not. It's too bad I can't leave them these comments via their live chat.