Skip to comments.The Incredible Shrinking Postal Service
Posted on 03/18/2012 10:21:29 AM PDT by QT3.14
Let's say you own a store with a good clientele, but sales have been slipping in recent years. A new store with new products has faster service at lower prices and is open 24/7. You're losing money. What do you do?
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
Raise prices and cut service, of course.
Either they are morons or they think that we are.
The hell with snail mail. Use the computer instead. Its far more reliable and a hell of a lot quicker.
Arrange a riot and burn down the new store...........
Internet allows you to communicate at lower cost and pay bills with more certainty. Private sector FedEx stores and UPS stores opening multiple locations (even acrooss street from each other)where you can pack, ship, print, and even purchase office supplies. Got to love free enterprise system.
I think i am going to support them by buying a couple hundred dollars worth of the Ronal Reagan Forever stamps, gonna use them to send my liberal family members X-mas cards this year....
Junk mail. which is close to the most annoying thing on Earth, turns out to have found a much cheaper way to live and more rewarding life aboard the world wide web, and robotic calls out of Bermuda.
When the PO delivered the next batch they came in fine.
It costs more to deliver to remote rural areas than it does to metropolitan centers. The costs per delivery are higher due to the low volume and remote location.
If free enterprise takes over, it would cost a lot more to deliver an envelope to Kodiak, Alaska that it does to New York City (which is the way it should be).
My local post office has started a new "service," I guess to decrease wait times in line. They never seem to man all of the counter spaces, even during peak business hours (around lunchtime), which can result in fairly long wait times. So, they've now begun taking one of the counter people out from behind the counter, slapping a red vest on him, and having him mingle with the people in line. He carrries a notepad where he checks off the various services each customer requires, and then hands it to the customer, who then takes it with him to the counter. At this point, the counter worker reads the note and peforms the desired services. It's so stupid and inefficient that it makes me feel like I'm in a Kafka novel.
Do they do this everywhere?
I work for postal service—we can’t really raise prices all that much without permission from Postal Rate Commission. Admittedly a large part of the debt is having to pre-fund
75 years of retirement in the next 10 years...45 cents is
a good rate for postage (1 oz.) but if we made it 50 or
60 we could get rid of that debt. But wait. We can’t. By law. Has to follow rate of inflation...up by just a few
cents each time.
—Many are being offered early retirement
—Facilities being consolidated (big sorting centers). I myself may wind up in downtown Boston after spending 25 yrs
in the suburbs. Some of the suburban facilities are being
closed. Vermonters may have their mail sorted 75 miles
away instead of only 25 miles...and it gets there a day later. Smaller post offices being closed.
—Salary freeze (actually all fed. employees exc for
military is affected)
—We do have universal service. Want to privatize? Fine,
but if you live in the boonies you may have to drive
40 miles or so to get your mail.
—Price of gas. It ain’t cheap. It adds up in jeeps,
planes, trucks, etc.
Sure we could raise the price. They won’t let us.
We’re cutting but we can’t raise the price all that much.
We’re quasi-governmental; if we were privatized the price would go up and you’d still get the cuts in service.
Sat. service? Who needs it.
Do you remember that several years ago new architecturally designed post offices were springing up all over the country?
The management didn’t seem to care about the costs. They just raised that rates to cover whatever silly concept came up, even creating new stamps almost every week it seemed.
They dug their own hole.
Even though I’m a postal worker I pay a lot of bills online. But I use USPS for other things like sending flash drives or cassettes to friends with radio stuff, music etc
Also acc to a supervisor what’s the biggest part of post
office? Parcel sorting, not letter sorting.
It's not as if a 2% "reported" inflation rate is enough to offset the 20%+ increase in fuel costs and whatever pay raises are built into the USPS labor agreements.
I’ve posted several times on this issue. The problem started when the PO discontinued cheaper classes of mail to make “more” profit.
This has affected my company’s international business in terms that it now costs an international customer three times as much to ship items to them via their only option, air mail vs what they used to pay just a few years ago for the “boat or land” mail option, which has been discontinued. We’ve lost fully a third of our company’s international orders because of it.
Also the subway ride would be $27.49 each way and the rural areas would have less taxes. Same holds true for buses.
The overabundance of USPS supervisors is a union sacred cow, never addressed:
Snip: The new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will expire on May 20, 2015, retains protection against layoffs for all career employees who were on the rolls as of Nov. 20, 2010, when the current contract was scheduled to expire.
. Expert only reports average salaries for 10 cities, but five of those featured average earnings between $50,388 and $54,531.
. With bonuses and other incentives, those yearly earnings may increase by $1,458 to $4,929.
. Union contracts let postal supervisors access health benefits at a rate cheaper than the rest of the federal employee labor pool.
. Upon reaching qualifying retirement age (55 to 57), workers receive a monthly pension check for life.
any postal delivery model that depends on tons of junk mail that goes directly from the box to the garbage will never last. It’s a make work postal system
Is there any reason it cant be both?
I am pretty sure it is both.
Let’s hope the same happens with our healthcare, yeah!
“Internet allows you to communicate at lower cost and pay bills with more certainty. Private sector FedEx stores and UPS stores opening multiple locations (even acrooss street from each other)where you can pack, ship, print, and even purchase office supplies. Got to love free enterprise system.”
Like California ( and probably more than a few other states) going bankrupt, the USPS is on track to fold. I say to all of it, the sooner the better for us all.
When government unions grow, government service shrinks...
“The USPS says it will “consolidate” this center with one in Medford, Oregon, about 150 miles to the northeast over slow mountain roads.”
“Slow” doesn’t say the half of it. 299 and 101 are the only ways to get to Medford and in a semi, they’re flat-out dangerous.
UPS is union and their prices are outrageous. screw em
The USPS is making tons of horrible decisions, but the Saturday service cancellation is particularly boneheaded. Unless they have done the research to show that Saturday is an underutilized service day, it seems to me that a Wednesday closing would be more appropriate (if we buy into the argument that reducing the window in which customers can purchase your product improves performance).
The M-F working stiffs like me can’t get to the PO during the week; Saturday hours are the only ones many like me can access. Additionally, weekend closing would by definition create a two day gap in service every week. Better to have two one-day gaps, in my opinion.
Plus, the FedEx folks I encounter are always friendly and accommodating...and the packages are delivered on time.
If the USPS was private I wouldnt be required by law to pay for the mailbox at the end of my drive way that by law is the property of the USPS that must comply with USPS regulations.
If the USPS was private the mail box would be personal property and unauthorized use of it would not warrant a fine such as when a political candidate tubes political literature.
If the USPS was private I would not be required by law to receive their service whatever my personal choice might be.
Nothing against you personally but I have had enough issues with the USPS over the years as to have no sympathy at all to its continued existence.
You make a good point regarding Saturdays. A few years ago I got a post card telling me I had a certified letter (from the IRS no less) and if not for the PO being open on Saturday I would had to take off work early to go to the PO to pick it up. Other than that however, the only mail I get is 99.9% junk mail.
All my bills are delivered electronically and I pay all my bills electronically. And if I need to receive or send anything of value or importance I use FedEx. The USPS could close every other day or shut down completely and Id barely notice the difference
Where in my post did you see a pro-postal slant? If anything, I was illustrating how "management" cuts are not being made prior to making cuts and raising costs elsewhere (for those served by the USPS). Friends/associates of mine who've worked for the USPS described to me a top-heavy post office system with pushed to the limit postal workers beneath them, while multiple highly-paid supervisors "supervise.*"
*USPS Supervisor - as in how many "USPS supervisors" does it take to screw in a lightbulb...... It's time for the post office to show accountability by management cuts before raising costs and cutting services.
The internet with mail order sales like on Amazon and e-Bay were supposed to save the USPS. Now, with Kindle and i-Tunes....half of the need is erased from shipping needs. Now people don’t really have the expendable income to buy stuff on e-Bay any longer.
Read between the lines....
I dont know about that. A lot of people are going to sites like Amazon and eBay in order to save money and avoid sales taxes. Amazon Prime offers free shipping and is often a good deal. Personally in most cases when Ive purchased anything on Amazon or on purchased or sold items on eBay I go for the UPS delivery vs. the USPS FedEx if its really important or valuable.
I’m with you on the general irrelevance of the USPS in my daily life, but as you mention, there are some things that require interaction with them.
My funniest USPS moment: I was getting my passport (I had lived 30+ years without one) and the line wasn’t too bad, but I had waited about 25 minutes on a lunch hour to get to the front. With the transaction only requiring one more step, the fire alarm went off. The clerk could have easily stamped/done whatever she needed to do to complete the file and I could have gone on my merry way. By the second tone of the alarm, she had dropped everything and said “everyone out”.
I spent the next 45 minutes waiting outside with a bunch of giddy postal employees, thrilled for the unscheduled break. I couldn’t return to my office because my documents (including birth certificate) were sitting literally in plain view on a postal counter. When the all clear was given, I spent a grand total of approximately 45 seconds wrapping the transaction up.
I’m sure there are good people who work for the USPS. But organizationally, they suck.
For the most part the USPS is not bad for what they do and Ive had some good experiences but when I had to pick up my last certified letter it took a ½ hour of standing on line only to deal with a rather surly and rude USPS worker for whom it was quite obvious, didnt want to be there.
OTOH, when I accepted my current job my HR manager sent my pre-employment paperwork via FedEx and mistakenly checked the option for signature required.
So I came home and found a sticker on my door from FedEx saying they had tried to deliver a package to me and since it required a signature, gave me options for doing so redelivery or picking up from my local FedEx site and provided a toll free number and a web link for doing so. It was great. At 9:00 PM I logged into the FedEx site with the tracking number and indicated that I would pickup. I was then linked to directions to the closest FedEx site and within minutes received a phone call from a FedEx rep to confirm and ask me if I had any questions or concerns. When I went to the FedEx site, which was open until 8:00PM, I was greeted by a friendly and helpful rep and got in and out with my package in less than 5 minutes.
FedEx organizationally wise is very good in my experiences with them.
I don’t think that’s an either or proposition...
I mean this is so weird because the USPS already depends a lot on fedex and ups to deliver a lot of long-haul mail (via air) already.
USPS is never happy with customer volume. When people mailed a ton of stuff they bitched they couldn’t keep up. Now that letters are tapering off because of email, they bitch they are losing money because people aren’t mailing enough letters. Just charge more for junk mail, that volume will go down and everyone will be grateful they are receiving less crap they have to throw out.
Yup my union (APWU) is fighting to keep Sat. service. Most customers asked said they wouldn’t miss it.
yes...sometimes someone will do a “talk tape” for me (chatting about whatever) and throw in stuff like some
radio he recorded on a trip to the UK. We also will send
stuff on flash drives, CD-Rs, etc
Maybe the Wed. idea would make more sense...especially since what happens with a 3 day weekend? Mail gets even more
Some post offices do have automated postal centers though
(can weigh mail, print postage etc)
True but I’m talking more like your basic one ounce letter, bill, etc. The diff. between 45 cents and say 60 cents shouldn’t matter to most people. I’m not saying that to be greedy—only to balance our budget deficit.
Admittedly machinery, gas costs—and yes, people costs—
are the reason for this. USPS is the only agency required to prefund retirement for the next 75 years (employees not even hired yet) over 10 years. In some ways, we’re providing for the future, but it puts USPS in huge debt.
The post office should have provided “free email” and made that the equivalent of first class mail in terms of the law.
As it stands now, all federal courts require attorneys to have AN email account but nothing specific for legal notice in a case.
Even wedding invitations now provide an rsvp via email option.
This leaves packages as the only need for the post office.
true but don’t forget taxes (not everybody does ‘em
online), postcards, Val. Day cards, Christmas cards. Wedding invitations may have reply by email but they are often
sent by mail.
Magazines and catalogs (though those have obviously declined)... etc.
but I know what you mean
Admittedly the days are gone when I’d be at work around midnight at Apr 15 and I’d see a line of cars with people dropping off their tax forms...