In case phone, fax, e-mail, FedEx or text messages are too easy, fast and cheap for your liking, it's good to know you can still send a telegram.
Yes, you can send actually send someone a telegram, that is, a message sent via telegraph lines formerly owned by Western Union. For $18.95, you can send up to 100 words to a friend or a loved one, and it will arrive in a mere two to four business days.
And yes, you can order the telegram online. This is easily the worst business model I have heard of since Miller Clear.
iTelegram, which apparently took over Western Union's service, offers this unusual pitch: "Even in today's world of mobile phones, text-messaging and e-mail, telegrams are still the thing that gets read first. People use them for cancelling (sic) contracts, contacting government officials and VIPs, social milestones such as weddings and graduations -- or just to say 'hello' in a unique way."
By comparison, a Priority Overnight envelope from FedEx costs about the same and obviously isn't limited to 100 words. A fax costs pennies, and an e-mail or text message is just about free. But hey, they don't arrive on a "standard telegram form, office-quality sheet paper or telex roll paper that will last for decades."
Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service is also setting up a Web site where you can type a letter to someone, and they'll print it out, stuff it in envelope and mail it.
Anyway, now you know: telegrams, for some reason, still exist. Check it out for yourself at itelegram.com. STOP.
Telegrams were totally the Twitter of the 19th Century! Stop.
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