USPS Raising Rates On People Who Still Use USPS

Facing a $7 billion debt and an ever-decreasing customer base, the United States Postal Service announced today that it plans to jack up the price of first-class postage by $.02 to $.46. Facing an even bigger hit are magazine publishers and shippers of small parcels, who face hikes of 8% and 23% respectively.

If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the new rates would kick in starting Jan. 2, 2011. The USPS predicts the increases would bring in over $2 billion in the first three quarters of next year.

While most of us won’t be that hurt by a $.02 increase, the 8% increase on periodicals has publishers seeing red.

“The Postal Service is wrong on the law, wrong on the economics, and wrong as a matter of public policy,” said a guy from the Magazine Publishers of America, who added that publishers will fight the increase.

Also impacted by the higher rates will be businesses that ship parcels by USPS. Parcels under one pound will see a 23% hike while the rest will increase by 7%.

The USPS is justifying the exorbitant rate ramp-up by citing a legal provision that allows them to increase postage at a rate higher than inflation under “exception or extraordinary” circumstances.

“We’re doing this because the Postal Service really faces a serious risk of financial insolvency,” said a USPS official, who then went on a three-hour lunch break while the line at the window continued to snake out the building.

Postal Service Seeks 2-Cent Rise in First-Class Mail [BusinessWeek]

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  1. Thyme for an edit button says:

    Note to self: Purchase 100 Forever stamps before January 2, 2011.

    • Minj says:

      Note to self: Sell Ebay stock as this will hammer small value ebay sales.

    • Andy S. says:

      I still haven’t used any of the 20 forever stamps I bought two years ago. I keep getting the occasional free stamp from non-profits looking for donations. To make it easy on me, they enclose a real stamp. I just use those on the rare times when I mail something.

  2. 3rdUserName says:

    “said a USPS official, who then went on a three-hour lunch break while the line at the window continued to snake out the building.”

    AWESOME!

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      It’s like I was really at the post office. A+, will read again.

    • QuantumRiff says:

      It seems that many people hate the post office, and point to it as the height of inefficiency of laziness..

      However, do you ever hear of a magazine switching to FEDEX or UPS? No. Because they cost at least 5 times more. (at least!). Which is funny, cause I always thought “The Market” could always compete and outdo anything that the government can. Yet here we are. 23% increase, and they aren’t talking about switching to competing, private companies. I think the USPS should keep on raising, like a proper free market, until they reach what the market will bear..

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Given that you can subscribe to Wired for $10 it’s really not difficult to surmise why the magazine industry is annoyed by this – it’s already scraping the barrel for subscriptions. If they attempt to pass the cost to people who are subscribing (let’s face it – I’m only a Wired subscriber because I kinda feel sorry for it), people will jump ship.

    • coffeeculture says:

      so begins the death spiral…if i were a publisher, i’d then start pushing digital delivery of magazines. I think we’re at a critical mass of smart phones (iphone & android + ipad selling well) that magazines can start doing this and immediately realizing savings….or maybe i’m just being optimistic.

    • SissyOPinion says:

      You do understand subscription sales are only a small percentage of a magazine’s income, right? Subscriptions make more money by helping magazine show advertisers how many people will see their ads. While Wired’s subscriptions may be down, their online numbers keep growing. Subscribe because you like the tactile feeling of the magazine, not because you feel sorry for the organization.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But Conde Nast isn’t the most stable publishing company right now – after folding Gourmet (the horror!), what’s next? You’re right – subscription numbers are the best way for Wired to tell its advertisers that there are actual eyes on their magazines. That’s why I subscribe. Overall, I find the same content from the magazine appears on the website a day or two before I even receive the magazine – I read more of it online than I do in the actual magazine. But I’ve really enjoyed Wired on and off for the past decade or so, since I was a teenager, and I subscribe because I don’t want it to go under. If it went online-only that’s different, but I think there’s still a market for it, especially in light of the fact that a lot of people (like magazine designers) would lose their jobs if Wired went online-only.

  4. fsnuffer says:

    Yes. Raising rates will bring customers back in droves. Must be the same logic Pelosi uses when she stated unemployment was a stimulus for the economy

    • ARP says:

      So you’re opposed to fiscal responsibility? The USPS generally operates in the black. The last few years, they’ve been losing customers, and are falling into the Red. They’re trying to pull out of the red by increasing rates. They’re also proposing cutting services as well, but it’s harder for them because they must deliver mail to every address in the US (and for a flat fee, when it comes to letters), so they have certain fixed costs that UPS/FedEx don’t have.

      PS- Pelosi is right. Extending unemployment benefits is a stimulus, just like wars, direct stimulus funding, research subsidies, and funding tax cuts with deficits, etc. They’re also a more direct stimulus than the Republican versions: deficit funded tax cuts for rich people and paying a few military supply companies lots of money for often poor weapons and services for wars.

      • EverCynicalTHX says:

        Those Democrats are doing a great job, enjoy your Hope and Change.

      • Tedicles says:

        WRONG….will be brief in political conjecture, but artificially creating a ‘demand’ by re-allocation monies from those who have a little and giving to those who don’t have any is not stimulus. It merely makes the cost of goods and services go up, because the taxes imposed upon business operators.

        For example, if you sell a hot dog for $1, then the gov’t increases taxes by 25% to give away money to those who have none, will eventually drive the cost of a hot dog to $1.25, and both the regular consumer and welfare recipient will not be able to afford said hot dog anymore. Case closed.

        For the USPS, if they did not allow people to make $80,000 per year for not doing anything (and then collecting unemployment on top if it) then MAYBE they would not be in the friggin red!!! Run it like a business and they would be in the black all the time (see UPS, FedEx, etc)

        • QuantumRiff says:

          Or they could go all free market, cause it seems to be popular, and raise their rates as high as the market will bear. Once magazines start switching to Fedex and UPS, they have hit the max price. Thats what private companies do every day. Thats why your costs go up, even as profits go up, and never go down.

          • tsukiotoshi says:

            Do FedEx and USPS offer magazine delivery? I kind of thought they were package only. I mean you can get those little mailing envelopes and all but that would be outrageously expensive for mailing a magazine.

      • huadpe says:

        I’m not against the USPS making money, but this is a very bad way to go about it. My business relies heavily on the USPS (to the tune of about 15 first class mailers a day, 5-10 certified a week, and 1-2 express mail a week). There are many areas where they could make quite a bit of money that they leave on the table, by adding new and better services rather than reducing service. For example, we used to have an office in Manhattan, and were only allowed to buy 1 year of mail forwarding, and after that had to make informal arrangements with ex-neighbours to have mail re-delivered. We would gladly pay an annual fee to continue forwarding indefinitely, but we can’t.

        Also, carriers can’t accept packages over 13oz, due to restrictions on them potentially being bombs. We have envelopes of papers that regularly exceed 13oz and either need to send them by UPS (who will pick up), or go to a post office and wait on line.

  5. bravohotel01 says:

    If they would just raise the price of “forever” stamps to a measly $1 each, and *slightly* increase parcel post by a minuscule 50%, they would make teh profits!!!

  6. bsh0544 says:

    I want to say this is the wrong thing to do (and it is), but what choice do they have if they’re not allowed to suspend service or close facilities or possibly even lay anybody off?

  7. apd09 says:

    The USPS is justifying the exorbitant rate ramp-up by citing a legal provision that allows them to increase postage at a rate higher than inflation under “exception or extraordinary” circumstances.

    Too bad this logic does not apply to the Postal Union in terms of pay and benefits like we in the private sector have been forced to do.

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      What? You haven’t thanked each and every union member for getting you health insurance yet? And don’t you know that public employees earn much less than comparable private sector employees and have horrible benefits with non-guaranteed pension plans???????

  8. heart.shaped.rock says:

    And how about those magazine publishers go to UPS and say “we want you to deliver these million magazines to a million addresses once a day every month and do it for less than 46 cents per issue.”

    I still think a stamp is a great value.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Ya know, I’d be all for letting UPS/FedEx try. Maybe set up a two-tier system – USPS delivers the mail but UPS/FedEX sort? Or vice versa?

      • seishino says:

        Since when has UPS/FedEx been prohibited from competing? The only thing they’re prohibited from is going into people’s mailboxes (which I disagree with). The mail service, problems that it might have, is damned cheap. And the retail boys have trouble keeping up.

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but the USPS should drop to every-other-day service. This every day thing just doesn’t match the realities of business today.

    • G00MAN says:

      As much as it is fun to complain about the USPS, I have to agree that a stamp has great value. Even at $0.46. Think about what it can do, deliver a physical item to anyone, anywhere in the U.S.A. it really is amazing for the price. (No, I don’t work for USPS.)

  9. Mock says:

    In many circumstances I’ve found USPS to actually be less expensive than UPS or FedEx with smaller parcels.

    Time to re-evaluate in January, I guess.

    • Unclaoshi says:

      I like USPS express when I purchase things, its usually cheaper and way faster then FedEx or USP. I wish more people would ship that way :(

  10. ARP says:

    Why not just push it up to $0.50 and hold it for a while? Until a few years ago, it was multiple years between increases in stamp prices as they were better able to manage their finances. The loss in customers/business has put them in a bit of tailspin.

    Still, $0.46 is much cheaper than Fed Ex or UPS for mailing letters. Even with the price increases, I think their parcel prices are still competitive.

    • Limewater says:

      Unless you’re ordering overnight delivery, you CAN’T send a letter via UPS or Fedex. They can’t legally provide that service.

      • jurupa says:

        You can’t send first class mail via UPS or FedEx.

        • Yorick says:

          You can, however, send a document by FedEx or UPS that you could have sent by first-class mail. You’ll just pay a bit more than $0.44 for it.

      • thezone says:

        So you’re saying you can’t stick a letter in a UPS container and have it sent somewhere? You can do that. However, the letter just can’t go into the mailbox. UPS/Fedex can deliver anything via ground or air.

  11. AngryK9 says:

    Publishers will simply pass the increase on to subscribers.

    • scoosdad says:

      Or cease publishing. A lot of magazines are teetering on the edge right now and this is something that may cause them to fail.

  12. Supes says:

    46 cents to send a letter anywhere in the United States is still a huge bargain. Our postal system is excellent, all things considered.

    If they need to raise rates to break even (we’re not even talking about making money here) so be it.

    • iggy21 says:

      Huge bargain for the individual, not for businesses. These business have their budgets planned on mailings. Some small-to-medium-sized businesses may have a typical mailing campaign where they could see a $1,000 to $2,000 difference per mailing (with at least a dozen mailings a year). If a business is in it to make money, how do the recoup the costs? or do they just take they hit?

      • RickN says:

        They recoup the same way they recoup every business cost — pass it on to the customers or reduce their profit margin.

        This is no different from increased fuel costs for their trucking fleet, increased paper costs for their printers, etc.

        • iggy21 says:

          And you’ve hit on a point i was waiting to make. It really doesnt become a huge deal for the individual since they will end up not only paying for their increase, but for the business’s too.

          • iggy21 says:

            Im going to add one more thing to this comment: If paper increases in cost to the vendor, then the vendor passes the cost on to it’s clients who in turn, pass it on to their customers. What if the paper company experiences an increase in cost to ship their paper to their clients? This is a double whammy. The business not has to make up the cost for the increase in the mailing campaigns as well as an increase to the paper they are being charged by the vendor.

  13. Polish Engineer says:

    If the law prohibits them from raising rates beyond inflation then I see why they are having trouble to begin with. This completely hamstrings them in reacting to market forces. The value of money is not the only factor in how much a service should cost; in the case of the USPS gas comes to mind.

    I still think the USPS is a good deal. While they do a lot of things wrong, being able to send a letter anywhere in the US in a couple of days for 46 cents is not too shabby. Verizon charges you more to zip 800 characters (5 texts) across their network than the post office does to come to your house, pick up a full fledged letter, and hand deliver it anywhere in the country.

    Magazine companies yelling at the USPS is the pot calling the kettle black. They are both in the same sinking ship, physical/paper communications.

  14. odarkshineo says:

    I wish they would just make stamps $2.00 apiece. This way they would go under next month, and they can privatize this silly dated service. I imagine the money they have spent on just “deciding what to do” about the usps would cover the next 5 years of operational costs…

    This is almost as bad as the RIAA not updating their business model in decades and wondering why their profits don’t seem to be raising 300% every year…

    • tdogg241 says:

      Yeah! Privatize it so it’ll cost all those losers in rural areas $5 per delivery to get their mail through UPS or FedEx. Screw the constitution (specifically Article I, Section 8, Clause 7)! /s

      I say keep the USPS if only because they *have* to serve all parts of the country. Cut Saturday delivery and bump the bulk mail rate up big time. Then, when the bulk mail volume dies off and the print magazine industry finishes dying, cut delivery to 3 days a week (MWF). The demand for the service is reduced so it’s only logical to reduce the supply.

      Also, just so you know, the USPS hasn’t received tax dollars since the 1980s.

      • iggy21 says:

        How does that screw the constitution? No where does the constitution say that a gov-run post office must exist… just that they have the power to create one.

      • RonYnz says:

        Bulk Mail is the reason the postal rates are so low. There are a lot of small companies that use it to mail quantities of 500. If you raise their rates there will be less mail thus driving everyones rates up. Bulk Mail is cheaper because it is set up to be automated with a barcode that is properly formatted and doe not require a hand sorter to try and read sloppy handwriting or use OCR and apply a barcode. BULK MAIL PAYS THE BILLS!!!

        i know mail uses biodegradable paper that is grown like a crop of corn and replanted and that misguided people think is bad for the environment. Others would rather use computers, that their material will be around forever, powered by electricity.

        In other words, talk about something you know something about.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        If it costs more to deliver to rural customers, shouldn’t they have to bear the full cost of their decision to live somewhere rural? Why should urban dwellers subsidize rural lifestyle choices?

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      The problem with letting them go under is that most states haven’t rewritten their laws to allow legal notices to be sent by Facebook, SMS, fax, etc…..must be USPS First Class, Postage Prepaid!

      (example: in California under the old HOA lien foreclosure law, all the notices had to be sent by certified mail. Now, I can see many times in this modern age where people would ignore the letters sent by their HOA telling them that their home was for sale, because they probably weren’t home to receive the letter, and don’t want to bother getting the letter at the post office which isn’t open at night….)

      Either that or process servers are going to be in high demand.

  15. MercuryPDX says:

    Well, at least they’re keeping it at two cents; I don’t need to go and buy one cent add-on stamps. I’ll just slap a second two cent one on there.

    I will never buy a roll again, unless they’re forever stamps. Lesson learned.

  16. weblamer says:

    What about that big pile of crap advertising newspapers that are always jammed in my box. I bet if people could opt out of those, there would be far less work.

    • brinks says:

      Often, that’s all I get in my mailbox. I’m all for cutting that stuff out. Save the poor postal person a bunch of wasted trips.

      • laffmakr says:

        That’s one of the things that keeps them going. Junk mail is gold to the USPS.

        I have no problem with them raising the rates, I wish they’d just raise them to 50 cents and keep it there for a while.

        I still write letters and I’m happy with the fact that someone comes to my house daily, picks up the letters I’ve written and has his company deliver them in person to my friends 10 states away for just 50¢.

        There are more important things to bitch about.

        • kenj0418 says:

          Let me know what the post office is making each month on the junk mail that is sent to me. I’d probably be willing to leave a few bucks in the mailbox each month. Turn the USPS into a protection racket.

  17. physics2010 says:

    USPS….those are the guys that deliver my junk mail right? I could see this coming years ago as I drove through BFE seeing huge new post offices. Time to learn how to work lean. For an industry that has been able to automate sorting and delivering for the most part I’m surprised that their costs have continued to increase. Long gone are the days where postal workers parked their jeeps and walked their delivery routes. Now they zoom from mailbox to mailbox located at the curb. Were fuel costs that much higher than manpower costs?

  18. tasselhoff76 says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I still think being able to send a letter to anywhere in the country for under 50 cents is pretty amazing. It feels like a bargain really. I don’t think I could do that with UPS or FedEx and I don’t think any of the private carriers are equipped to deal with all of the shipping the postal service deals with on a daily basis. Maybe I am completely wrong – it wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Limewater says:

      You’re right, you can’t send a letter via Fedex or UPS for under fifty cents. The government won’t let you. It is illegal for them to offer regular mail delivery.

      • Kitamura says:

        Well I guess the question becomes, would FedEx even offer that type of service to begin with at those rates if there was also the stipulation that they couldn’t refuse to deliver to areas that don’t profit them?

        Courier companies actually use the government post service to deliver to those remote areas that they don’t “service” because it would cost too much. They get it as close to that area as possible and then hand it off either to the postal service or a local delivery agency for the hands on delivery. They call them “Agents”.

  19. DataShade says:

    I’m all in favor of whatever rate increase they need to start actually putting tracking info for my parcels in their system is under 7 days. I’ve never had a USPS tracking number that showed the package was shipped before it was already delivered.

    • CoachTabe says:

      If you’re talking about delivery confirmation, then the lack of “tracking information” is because they DON’T track the packages. It’s only updated upon delivery.

  20. kingdom2000 says:

    It is a shame that Congress will not let the Postal Service move ahead with its on plans to try and get the service back in the black (such as eliminate Saturday deliveries). This is probably about the only plan they can submit that will get approved.

  21. Paul Schreiber says:

    How about eliminating third-class mail and making junk mailers pay full price?

    • Tim says:

      USPS makes more money on junk mail than first-class mail. Third class is a lot easier to process and send. It’s already a uniform size, all postage is already paid, there are usually bar codes, all the pieces are sorted in ZIP code order, and best of all, it takes the lowest priority in the mail stream.

      So yeah … they make a ton of money on it already.

      • evnmorlo says:

        If junk mail is USPS’s primary business and it is projecting a huge deficit, it can’t be that great of a business.

        • microcars says:

          it WAS a good chunk of their business. Third Class and “Standard” (aka BULK) has dropped off the radar compared to what it used to be. And it did so rather suddenly. This is one of the main reasons that the USPS is in trouble right now. Their main cash cow keeled over.

  22. kataisa says:

    Postage in the US is still far cheaper than what they pay in Europe, plus the USPS delivery time is very good. I’ve sent cards to family members across the nation and they almost always receive it within two days after mailing.

  23. UnicornMaster says:

    I say raise it to $1 already and be done with it.

    • RickN says:

      Except in 2013, it’ll go up to $1.02, citing increased personnel and fuel costs, yadda-yadda.

  24. JulesNoctambule says:

    I ship things frequently with USPS and for the majority of items I send, UPS and FedEx can’t even compare when it comes to price. All in all, I still think paying under a dollar to send a letter directly from my house to someone else’s house is a pretty damn fine deal.

  25. ARP says:

    Wow, that’s great that you’re able to provide the answer with such certainity. I guess all those people who studied Keynesian, Neo-Keynesian, Austrian, Supply Side, Mundell-Flemming, etc. can just do something else. We should also close down the University of Chicago, School of Economics.

  26. evnmorlo says:

    If they had raised rates this year as they should have the increases wouldn’t seem so extreme.

  27. PhilFR says:

    If the USPS is so expensive, why do I keep getting all this damn junk mail? Even getting on the ‘Do Not Send’ lists doesn’t seem to help.

    Proposed formula:
    MailingRate = #Pages / (Quality of Content)

  28. COBBCITY says:

    The best way to encourage people to still mail something via first class mail is to hike up the rates AGAIN. Ya, right. Soon, greeting cards.. about the only thing you still have to mail will be replaced too. Good work USPS!

    I don’t see the rates on bulk/junk mail being increased. Why? The USPS actively markets to junk mail companies and is in bed with them. The more junk mail they get to cram into our mailboxes, the better as far as the post office is concerned. Instead, newspapers, magazines, etc are screwed… because they are “advertising competitors” to junk mail sent via USPS.

  29. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    The current deficit situation will only get worse as the years go on. Even my garbage company has gone to online billing. I used to get a little blue postcard in the mail which I returned half to them with a check, and now have the option to receive a bill via email & auto pay with a credit card or checking account. So that’s one less thing I receive in the mail and mail back out. Because I have a mailbox next to the road, as opposed to the post office, I have opted to receive email statements, etc. and choose not to have statements mailed to the house.

    The USPS needs to reduce the number of delivery days per week, and take a serious look at overhead.

  30. incident_man says:

    Add this to USPS’ already abysmal customer service. I already have a FedEx account for when I need to ship packages, now if only FedEx and UPS were allowed to deliver the mail and my migration away from USPS will be complete.

  31. chris_d says:

    Yeah those parts I got via US Mail the other day… I guess I need to get with the times and start e-mailing them. Or wait, no, send them by text message!

  32. HungryGal says:

    Yikes. 23% for parcels? This will negate the slight savings we get when we use USPS for ‘residential’ orders at work. (UPS surcharge for non-business addresses, but not 23%!) Maybe I’ll call up our web developer and tell her not to even bother putting USPS as a shipping option on our new website….

  33. Boots says:

    USPS is a huge bargain. Neighbours to the north in Canada charge $0.57 to deliver a letter and they have the largest delivery area in the world.

    57 cents to deliver something to the middle of nowhere in the arctic? That is a real bargain.

    Canada Post also operates in the black. Part of what helps is that it owns a 95% share in the courier Purolator which are also very profitable and are as ubiquitous as UPS or FedEx are in the United States.

  34. Klay says:

    I spend about five grand a year with USPS and couldn’t be happier. Three days cross-country for less than UPS ground. Never a lost or crushed package. You can steal and stomp on UPS packages but you don’t f@$k with the Feds.

  35. LastError says:

    Raise postage, decrease what gets mailed, so prices go up, so less gets mailed, so the prices go up, so less gets mailed.

    The is a point of no return beyond which not even light can escape this process.

    The USPSs real problem is that it’s damned hard to do business with them. They’re generally only open 9-5 when people are at work, so those people can’t easily use the USPS.

    In my area, the post offices have ALL removed their stamp vending machines so you cannot even buy a stamp without standing in line.

    And what a line it is! With the recent layoffs and cutbacks, there is often only one clerk on duty out of about six workstations. The result of this is a line wrapped around the lobby and sometimes out the door outside. Typical wait time is an hour. This again is not compatible with people who have jobs or anything else to do besides standing in line for a dollar’s worth of postage.

    By comparison, Fedex lets me print my own shipping label at home, slap it on a box or overnight envelope, and I have until 10:00PM to drop it off at their office where there is never a wait. It might cost more but dammit my time is worth something too. A lot more than a hour wasted standing on hard concrete for a stamp.

    Here’s some math:

    Mailing a letter USPS: .40 cents for the stamp, one hour minimum at $20 an hour (technically I bill my clients $125 an hour and I can’t make that money if I am standing in line, but we’ll cut the USPS a break) for the wait. Total for one letter that will take a week: $20.40

    Mailing a letter at Fedex: $8.00 for the overnight shipment, five minutes total labor to print the label and drop off the envelope at the Fedex office near my home. There’s no line. Well… it comes to about 10 bucks total AND the letter will get there next day and not next week. Kind of a bonus.

    I mainly use Fedex for packages but it’s all boxes I could ship USPS if they didn’t make it a disaster to try to do that. It’s not even close.

    If the USPS wants my business back, they need to wake up and realize the realities of the modern era. 9-5 doesn’t cut it. Long waits in line are a relic of the USSR, not America. And beating people over the head so they will be your customer doesn’t work either. They find another way to do business which is exactly what is happening.

    • webweazel says:

      I think there was an idea floated a while back here about putting USPS locations inside, say, WalMarts, supermarkets, etc. that would be open later hours, and in theory would only need one employee. This would be a great help. Most of the stuff people are in the post office for is mailing packages and buying stamps. That would solve a lot of issues.
      You are (or once were) able to buy packs of stamps in drug stores, supermarkets, etc. you just have to ask for them at the customer service counters.

  36. ecvogel says:

    FedEx Ground is cheaper. USPS maybe better priced via FedEx Express. Oh and USPS insurance will kill you. again why use USPS?

  37. yankinwaoz says:

    Oh for Christ’s sake. Just make it 50 cents and get it over with.

  38. bugpaste says:

    So Friday my office got a piece of mail that had been sent from less than 150 miles away to our previous address (we moved across town ~5 months ago), postmarked March 31. It wasn’t forwarded until July 1. We have similar problems at least once a week, though it’s never been this egregious before.

    According to our former post office, all forwarding is done at some giant Forwarding Facility, which cannot be reached by the outside world, or any postal employee. It’s so good to know the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

    It bothers me that we have to pay for this kind of crap. Even 44 or 46 cents is too much for mail that disappeared for three months.

  39. EdnaLegume says:

    I was informed by my local post office that because we have a cluster box at the end of our road (instead of individual mail boxes on our property) they only take our outgoing mail “if they feel like it”… apparently my particular mail person doesn’t ever “feel like it”. if we had any other kind of mail receptacle.. they’d have to take it. and since there’s nothing wrong with the box, they won’t replace them.

    I guess now I know why they won’t pay to replace them.

  40. H3ion says:

    1. Cut out Saturday delivery.
    2. Cut out delivery of oversized envelopes and all packages. You have to go to the Post Office to pick them up.
    3. Allow a FedEx/UPS/DHL box at the house, or let those delivery services use the mail box.
    4. Put the cost of delivering bulk (junk) mail at the same rate as letters. (Although I will say that bulk mail does allow me to throw out mail unopened without worrying that I missed anything. If it doesn’t have a first class stamp, right in the recycling bin.)
    5. Allow USPS to close, consolidate or whatever is reasonable from a business perspective post offices that are non-productive.
    6. Allow USPS to discharge employees to right-size the work force to the amount of work.

  41. DEVO says:

    I don’t get how the usps is losing business. With the huge demand of internet shopping, compared to buying from stores, Ebay, Everyone selling their crap and mailing it all over the country etc. It seems to me there has to be more mail being sent now than 10 years ago. NO?

  42. DEVO says:

    I don’t get how the usps is losing business. With the huge demand of internet shopping, compared to buying from stores, Ebay, Everyone selling their crap and mailing it all over the country etc. It seems to me there has to be more mail being sent now than 10 years ago. NO?

  43. Hartert says:

    Actually, the USPS is still a good deal for packages. In sending a two pound package of documents to Israel from the US, the “if it fits it ships deal” was $10. By comparison, UPS, the brown truck folks, wanted $55 to ship the same package with the same delivery priority.

    What a difference!

  44. Extractor says:

    This will definately change Mail In Rebates (MIR). Rebates are the only mailings I make requiring a stamp from the USP. Guess Ill get another 1000 forevers.

  45. Southern says:

    This is going to hurt companies that ship PACKAGES too though..

    Ever ordered a cable from Monoprice.com? Get ready for your shipping price to go up 50%. Ever ordered something like a cell phone case (or other small item) from eBay? Same thing, get ready for the shipping cost to go up 50%.

    And frankly, the cost of shipping a “small parcel” is high enough already.

    As for letters, I don’t own a single stamp, and haven’t for 10 years. Couldn’t TELL you the last time I actually mailed an envelope. ALL bills are paid online. The few packages I’ve mailed were WAY to expensive to mail IMO. $8 for a little box? Really?

    Sounds to me like they should make it CHEAPER to mail stuff and take away business from UPS/FedEx instead of pricing themselves out of a job altogether.

  46. Brunette Bookworm says:

    Crap, I’m really gettin tired of having to spend money at work on new rate cards for the postage meter. And thanks Post Office for totally skipping the $0.45 mark and making use use pennies. Maybe if the postal delivery person didn’t sit in his truck reading people’s magazines they would have more money.

  47. lifestar says:

    Maybe… just maybe… the post office should think about competing with UPS/FedEx/DHL for once!

  48. grasshopper20 says:

    Give USPS a bailout! 2 cents on a stamp doesnt sound major but 23% increase on small parcels wow thats gonna be a big blow to small businesses

  49. gman863 says:

    1. Get real. UPS and FedEx will raise their shipping rates at the same time as the Post Office.

    2. Contract Post Offices are much cheaper to run for consumer services. In Houston, dozens are popping up in Ace Hardware Stores and bank/credit union branches inside supermarkets. You don’t need a stand-alone, 50,000 square foot building for each zip code.

    3. Cut residential delivery to Monday/Wednesday/Friday (Tues/Wed/Fri if Monday is a holiday); Business delivery to Monday-Friday. After a few week withdrawl period I don’t think most people will care if their eBay crap or Lillian Vernon catalog arrives one day later.

    • nybiker says:

      Ding, Ding, Ding. We have a winner, at least w/r/t suggestion number 1. I don’t know about option 2 and as a dedicated Netflix subscriber, I don’t want to see any delivery days eliminated.

      Here in NYC whenever the taxi fare goes up, so do the rates the gypsy cab & town car companies charge.