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Postal Service Closings: Snail Mail Can’t Compete With Internet

New bill introduced to stop closings

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Postal Service Closings: Snail Mail Can’t Compete With Internet
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With the ushering in of the digital age comes the inevitable decline of long-standing traditions, like going to the post office to send out and receive mail. So many companies do business online now–the offering of bill-pay and e-commerce have certainly been huge components in the decrease of traditional mail–that snail-mail has become all but obsolete, which is bad news for postal workers.

Do you think the U.S.P.S. can survive the digital age? Tell us below.

Not only are people relying more heavily on online bill-paying services now, they are also turning to the web for interaction with others; rather than sending a birthday card or party invitation, they send an email or e-vite, citing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as major modes of communication. The introduction of media sources like Netflix and Gamefly saw a brief surge in mailroom activity, since millions of DVDs and games were being sent back and forth every day. However, even those companies can’t be relied on anymore by mail carriers, because they’ve conveniently added streaming and downloads to their services. And with more things going digital every day–even books–people are using their computers and digital devices more than ever, seriously decreasing their need for mail service.

The loss of revenue in the postal industry–which is the second-largest civilian employer in the U.S., coming right behind retail giant Wal-Mart– and sorting facilities meant the suggestion of raising stamp prices to 50 cents, but that idea is tempered with the realization that people will just seek services from UPS or FedEx instead. In other words, consumers don’t want to lose their mail service, but they don’t want to pay to keep it.

But with all the talk of closings and employees being laid off, groups like the Pensacola Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union have pointed out to WebProNews that the U.S.P.S. isn’t dependent on taxpayer dollars and that the idea of a taxpayer bailout is ridiculous. They also say that the revenue losses don’t stem from mail processing or delivery, but rather from a “2006 congressional mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years”, which amounts to $5.5 billion every year to ensure the futures of people who haven’t even been born yet. They also propose that Congress grants the Postal Service access to its own money after billions of dollars were overfunded in their pension accounts. In their view, Congress is largely responsible for the issue and is capable of fixing the problem.

On the government’s end of the spectrum, President Obama has introduced the Postal Plan, which would eliminate Saturday service, saving as much as $3 billion a year. It seems like a fair idea; most post offices around the country already have limited hours on Saturday anyway.

But the plan has been opposed by some and began talks of a new bill introduced to the Senate; the bill went into debate on Tuesday and would allow for regional facilities to keep their overnight delivery capability. This would mean everything for some select postal employees, since it would keep open about half of the 260 postal services which are on the list to close. It will still mean layoffs, however, which apparently can’t be avoided.

Of course, there is also the fact that shouldn’t be overlooked–that some rural communities don’t have access to the internet and still rely heavily on the post office, and those communities would be taken into consideration with the bill and the introduction of closings. For some small towns, the closings have already begun and are taking a toll on their small business industry because of the need to ship packages in a timely manner.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he pushed hard for a moratorium on the closings in his state and won, a brief victory in what may be a long battle.

“The Postal Service is supposed to be a universal service available to people wherever they live in America,” Branstad said. “What they’re doing is going against that premise.”

A representative for the Pensacola Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union says that the U.S.P.S. has survived technology advances before and come out on the other side bigger and better for it, adapting to “the invention of the telephone, the telegraph, the fax machine and more”. They acknowledge that the Internet offers “new and improved services to meet society’s changing needs”, but say that consumers are also still in need of mail service to accommodate their online ordering of goods; the Postal Service, in their opinion, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Do you still use traditional mail services over the internet? Tell us your story–or comment–below.

Postal Service Closings: Snail Mail Can’t Compete With Internet
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  • http://www.broadbandall.com Ron

    The post office is obsolete. It is time for it to go bye bye. Old and useless. Its even sadder that its the 2nd biggest employer. People need to diversify their skills and be open to change. You are not going to stop technology advancement. Who sends mail when you can fire off an email.

  • Cindy

    I live in Canada and have two on-line businesses. I rely on Canada Post and USPS to get my products to my customers in the USA. We pay more than 50 cents for a stamp and we have never had Saturday delivery. Our postal device is trying to work WITH the Internet , NOT against it. Maybe USPS just needs to get a little more creative in its business plan. In other words, get with the plan. Embrace the changes and make them work for you not against you.

  • Dick

    I use the postal service to ship orders received via internet as well as advertizing too many of our small business customers. Our reason for advertizing with snail mail is that most companies use spam filters that knock out our efforts to contact them by email. The spam filters are even killing much of our non-advertizing email such as order confirmation notices. So the USPS is going to be here for quite awhile.
    Congress is for the most part a bunch of business inexperienced individuals whose only claim to fame are their law degrees . . . these degrees entitle them to think that they know all things. The USPS mess is an example of why we need to think about the experience of our candidates and to try and keep the closed minded narcissists out of our politics. Let’s take another look at what congress has demanded of the USPS and see if a practical business based approach would correct these unintended consequence. If it proves that they are over-paying or offering retirement that is non-sustainable then the USPS will need to deal with the problems just as a business would . . . otherwise they will fail.

  • John

    Too bad…As one postal worker posted here there are way to many managers and waste. There is no excuse for this as USPS got a real boost with so many people using them for ebay sales(They contracted with Fed Ex to handle small packages and this gave them a brand new revenue source). They also now get business from Fed Ex and UPS on items that are only a few pounds where UPS or Fed Ex delivers to a local office and then USPS handles the local delivery. . . . This is nothing new with ANYTHING the government runs. You could double the amount of money they get and the next day they would be asking for more.

  • Shelby

    I do a lot of ordering of goods on the internet and they for the most part are shipped usps. If the post office closes, I would be without a way of receiving anything. The prices seem to competitive with ups and half of what I order with ups ends up being delivered to the post office for final delivery anyway.

  • http://Www.ibosocial.com/krbender Kobi

    UNLESS THE WWW – INTERNET ALL OF A SUDDEN GROWS WINGS, there will ALWAYS BE A NEED for THE USPS! I pay the majority of my bills online, it’s just easy! There are a few bills, services for which I MUST USE SNAIL MAIL & write a check….for ex. my pool man, my yard man. Now if forced to they may have to get online, but I can’t imagine that! Some areas as mentioned have poor, little & even no Internet access as hard as that may be to believe! What if you need to send a physical item to someone? UPS/FEDEX & USPS all fall into that category! People have been delivering packages since the horse & buggy days!

    Although much sensitive, personal data such as financial transactions, tax filing, etc. is performed online, there is still not 100% security from theft/fraud! Maybe you file taxes online, or submit via Internet, you may also be required to “mail” additional documents. (just an ex.)

    I am not an employee of any of these companies but I did at one point work for a local gov. Agency many years ago. One thing I learned…it was poorly run, managed & a big mess! In my opinion, if the gov. treated agencies such as the USPS like a private businesses owner (a good one) would manage their business, things would probably be a lot better!

    Just my opinion.

  • http://www.youngsebooks.com Jim Young

    We have the right to have the Post Office. They deliver the mail and now many more packages at fairly reasonable rates. They are forced to cut because your government, headed by your beloved dumb Obama, thinks that the Post Office is suppose to have retirement funds put in that would cover the next 75 years. Nobody else has to do that and lose billions every year. Over the past few years, costs have increased and services have been cut. Services have to be added and not cut. Competetive services that only the Post Office can deliver. They can reduce internation costs to make our country more competitive, that can put back shipping by sea, they can reduce bulk mail rates so that businesses can compete with the internet, they can there own social media. This whole thing is upside down and it smacks of more government control and socialism.

  • http://www.bnoticed.com Gregg

    As a small business we still use the post office for sending out thank you gifts, catalogs, samples, and yes… Even checks to pay the bills. We learned quickly when we started our business during the great recession that having the money in our bank account longer made sense when requesting credit from our suppliers and needing to pay upfront on larger orders or if it was our first time using that supplier. We also learned quickly how the post office wastes money and really doesn’t want to pick up the packages that in turn pay their salary. First and foremost we would sometimes forget to put a Priority Mail sticker on the package, but did have the correct postage. Instead of seeing this and putting the sticker on it, they would pay to return the package to us for us to put the sticker on and set it out the next day at no additional cost to us. Does this make any sense??? UPS and Fed-X fix the problem and keep moving the package along. Of course they do charge you for your errors. Our postal delivery person hates that we mail packages and how it is inconvenient for them to have to pick them up without notice. Don’t they have a thing they drive that can be moved and then they can easily pick up the packages that in turn keeps them employed and with a salary??? The postal service is no longer a service and wants us to work for their salary. When we ship smaller packages, it can be cheaper than UPS or Fed-X, but does come with another price… Inconvenience and to hear the postal carriers complain that they have to work for a living. They have chosen, as so many companies who used to be the huge and are now gone, not to change with the times. They keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a new result. INSANITY is the only result to this! They keep hiring and they are already over staffed with snail mail slowing more and more. I do have to agree that it amazes me that it only costs $0.45 to mail a letter anywhere in the US. Although what amazes me more is the fact the postal service somehow believes they are owed something, but don’t want to change with the times, work hard for a living (as the rest of us do), or even provide good (when it should be great) customer service. They have lost and continue to lose the loyalty of their customers.

  • ladonna m. smith

    Being an author I still use both? what if the internet crashes? also how about the dominoes effect closing post office would effect paypal etc

  • Spamexterminator

    This is just stupid. They only thing they can’t compete with is their own inadequacies. The only decline they have seen was the frequency personal letters. In-fact the the number of Registered letters and legal documents has increased, Since they CANNOT be sent via E-Mail(more people = more snail mail). They are just using the digital age excuse to increase their salaries, after if you by something(non-software) online does it come through E-Mail? If you send a gift box/basket to someone can you ship via E-Mail? When you get that summons to appear in court does it come via E-Mail? Does let them fool you snail-mail has increase exponentially since it’s beginning and is still increasing. Their problem is they keep raising their prices forcing people to run to their competition(UPS, FedEx, etc.) and that would be the only reason U.S.P.S has seen a decline not because Snail-Mail has slowed but they are losing costumers.

    • Spamexterminator

      Corrected Grammar And Spelling Errors. This is just stupid. The only thing they can’t compete with is their own inadequacies. The only decline they have seen was the frequency personal letters. In-fact the the number of registered letters and legal documents has increased, Since they CANNOT be sent via E-Mail(more people = more snail mail). They are just using the digital age as an excuse to increase their salaries, after all if you buy something(non-software) online, does it come through E-Mail? If you send a gift box/basket to someone, can you ship it via E-Mail? When you get that summons to appear in court, does it come via E-Mail? Don’t let them fool you, snail-mail has increase exponentially since it’s beginning and is still increasing. Their problem is they keep raising their prices, forcing people to run to their competition(UPS, FedEx, etc.) and that would be the only reason U.S.P.S has seen a decline, not because Snail-Mail has slowed but they are losing costumers. Higher prices = less Consumers, lower quality transactions and Antique methods in a Digital age Opens doors for competitors(i.e. U.S.P.S. You have to pay extra for Insurance UPS free, U.S.P.S. you have to pay extra for tracking UPS more detailed and free, and the likely hood a package sent via U.S.P.S. being damaged is about 60% while UPS is about 10%).

  • http://www.leslielello.com Leslie

    I use electronic communication almost exclusively, but I must say that there is nothing that can be sent electronically that is as special as getting a note or letter or birthday card in snail mail. And I don’t mind paying 50 cents for it.

    Maybe they should just make the spam mail more expensive. Like all of those dumb circulars that come in everyday. It was unrelenting when I lived in Los Angeles.

  • john

    There is much more involved than simple mail. About one third of our UPS deliveries are ‘drop shipped” and delivered by our post office. Voting information and ballets, IRS and other financial documents all would be affected. Believe it or not, many people DO live in no or fringe Internet reception areas and would be totally affected. Reliance on the Internet is certainly not a complete solution and UPS, FedEx and other “for profit’ corporations will NOT be cheaper than the USPS (think about it!). Our postal system would not be in such bad shape if it were not for the costly regulations imposed on it by Congress. Start by fixing that.

  • http://www.rwrinnovations.com Ron Nixon

    My father retired from the post office and I worked as a substitute clerk for 10 months. I also filled in for him on his RFD route for three months when he needed an operation. (I gained a tremendous amount of respect for him during that 3 months!)

    There is and will continue to be a need for the postal service. For some years to come we will have a lot of people who are either not on the Internet or have decided they no longer want to be a part of the digital revolution.

    I remember when families knew the person who delivered their mail. My father told me, before he died, that it seemed like he had a new carrier every few weeks. Postal carriers used to know their customers as well. I have nothing against contractors (I’ve been one myself), but, contractors work for one thing only, a pay check.

    They have no vested interest in the success of the postal service and have no incentive to go out of their way to service post office customers.

    I get packages back that are addressed correctly but stamped unknown or unable to deliver. I remember a time when a letter bearing only the likeness of Alfred E. Neuman was delivered. (According to Mad Magazine writer Frank Jacobs, a letter was once successfully delivered to the magazine through the U.S. mail bearing only Neuman’s face, without any address or other identifying information.)

    There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. My father complained about that when he was working and I saw what he meant during my short time with the post office.

    Get rid of the political appointees. Make the postal service a career like it used to be and pay reasonable wages and benefits. You do not need a college degree to deliver mail. You do not need a college degree to be a mail supervisor. (A business or management degree might help to be run your post office if you have the authority and initiative to make your post office one of the best in the postal service.)

    Years ago the post blew it. They had the chance to innovate and provide email type services to everyone by combining postcards and electronic mail. But they let concerns for privacy get in the way. (There is no privacy when you send a postcard.)

    Get some think tanks going and let employees and entrepreneurs brain storm ways for the post office to take advantage of the nationwide infrastructure that they already have in place.

    Letter carriers and clerks need to be honest, in good health, care about their customers and be willing and able to do a fair days work.

    Supervisors need supervisory training and should come up through the ranks. In other words, learn how to do the jobs that the people you are supervising are doing.

    The post office needs to expand their services. Some post office lobbies should be open 7 days a week accepting and processing mail.

    Speed up deliveries and reduce the cost of mailing for small businesses and individuals. The post office is going in the wrong direction by cutting services and delivery times.

    If a post office cannot pay for itself, contract it out. If a post office is generating a profit, give that postmaster some of the profits and let him or her innovate and try things that will improve their services to his or her community. Let them have fun and once in a while they will come up with something that works that can be copied by other post offices.

    Please don’t give up on our postal service. Get rid of unnecessary management overhead; pay reasonable salaries and benefits based on the work being performed’ improve delivery times and let employees have a say in making things better for everyone.

    Ron Nixon
    Owner of RWR Innovations LLC
    Supporter of a strong, innovative US Postal System

  • http://www.sympaticoclothing.com/ Marty

    Interesting how many of my fellow commenters resent postal employees receiving a living wage. What is it about we Americans begrudging each other a reasonable income while being sanguine about fat cats reaping in hundreds of millions?And nobody seems to recognize the value of the USPS package service that’s highly competitive with UPS/Fedex. Our business depends on that for dependable and affordable delivery service. Sure, the PO is not faultless and undoubtedly political patronage undermines its effectiveness. But compared to entities such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, it is a far more benign and useful entity in the lives of the 99%.

    • Spamexterminator

      There’s another interesting point. U.S.P.S. Employee’s starting pay is $13.45 for doing less work than the Paper Boy who by the way get’s $0.05 per paper.

      The only thing they can’t compete with is their own inadequacies. The only decline they have seen was the frequency personal letters. In-fact the the number of registered letters and legal documents has increased, Since they CANNOT be sent via E-Mail(more people = more snail mail). They are just using the digital age as an excuse to increase their salaries, after all if you buy something(non-software) online, does it come through E-Mail? If you send a gift box/basket to someone, can you ship it via E-Mail? When you get that summons to appear in court, does it come via E-Mail? Don’t let them fool you, snail-mail has increase exponentially since it’s beginning and is still increasing. Their problem is they keep raising their prices, forcing people to run to their competition(UPS, FedEx, etc.) and that would be the only reason U.S.P.S has seen a decline, not because Snail-Mail has slowed but they are losing costumers. Higher prices = less Consumers, lower quality transactions and Antique methods in a Digital age Opens doors for competitors(i.e. U.S.P.S. You have to pay extra for Insurance UPS free, U.S.P.S. you have to pay extra for tracking UPS more detailed and free, and the likely hood a package sent via U.S.P.S. being damaged is about 60% while UPS is about 10%).

  • http://www.blockercreek.com Darrel Dunson

    my bank doesn’t charge for on-line bill pay but, the utility company charges $4.00 per. Snail mail is undependable but, it has its place. Read one comment to get rid of bulk mail (doesn’t that person realize they pay postage too? Granted it is at a lower rate. Pros and cons – If my business doesn’t make a profit, it goes under. Government business should enjoy the “same” benefits as I do. Postal (new) construction has been a recent drain on postal income, and much of it unnecessary. Changes are inevetable – go with it or get run over by it!

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    When ever the US Congress inserts itself into areas not proscribed by the Constitution and/or the workings of the “free market” it makes a mess of things, over and over and over again.
    And the bigger a Government gets the more unaccountable it gets and the bigger the messes it creates get (just look at this past week’s news and at the various US agencies enveloped in scandal and consider too, the stories that the partisan press is sitting on that have yet to reach the people).

  • http://quitterscanbewinners.com Vic

    Like all good things in life you will miss the United States Postal Service when it is gone.
    It is true that most rural areas do not have internet service and our government, in their lack of wisdom and abundance of greed, is going to close those postal facilites first.
    In the 1960′s the Federal Government decided to allow private, commercial for profit companies such as United Parcel Service, FedEx and other companies take over the United States Postal Service’s parcel post business. How is that working out for you folks that have to ship materials using their service? Is it cheaper or more expensive?
    A first class letter even at the price of $1 is a bargain compared to what you will be paying when your banks and other financial institutions can charge what ever they please to service your bill paying needs.
    Cutting out Saturday delivery will not only slow down the delivery service on Monday but it will cost more in over time pay to catch up with the extra accumulated mail burden.
    It is true that Congress with it’s unreasonable mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund, at the rate of $5.5 billon per year, the health benefits of workers for the next 75 years has caused the annual deficit in the Postal Services revenue. If the private companies that took over the United States Postal Service’s parcel post business had to pay that amount they would be bankrupt and/or charging even higher rates than they presently charge.
    Congress needs to re-examine their priorities and give the American Public the Postal Service they deserve, full six day delivery service to every house hold in the nation.

  • Greg

    We just need the first big disaster and watch everyone complain about not having the postal service.

    This will not happen for many many many years and just like books keep on trucking so will the mail. It will change of course but always be the need to deliver mail … try emailing your “original” copy of a bill or your child’s work of art. ….

  • Alex

    Usps also heavily relied on goiter shipping through priority mail as a more effective option to ups and fedex. Just the equipment find holding of 5.5b / yay needs to change as its bleeding their revenues dry.

  • http://www.inneedofmoney.org Patrick Judge

    yeh its bad but lucky i saw this and would ask that as a distributor for a greeting card sending company if you come across it use it to send cards and gifts by mail rather than ecards, everyone spending money now will keep thing moving, nobody is spending now with the way the economy is going

    Pat

    • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

      And shutting down the USPS also means shutting down all the ancillary businesses that operate based on or because of the USPS.
      The amount of unemployment created by curtailing the postal service would be devastating to the entire US economy.

  • http://mauimassageernesto.com Ernesto

    I rather have my letters, payments and so by de regular mail, I know the technology today is growing so fast. Some retailers like Borders, Block Boster and others have already closed their doors, a lot of people lost their jobs, It is very sad. I love to go to the post office and pick up my mail and packages. We need to do something to save the Postal Service, it’s not a easy task, but I think we need to preserve this service and avoid to laid off thousands of workers, this is a social costs.

  • Chilly8

    The USPS can still survive. There are some online ratailers that will only use the likes UPS or FedEx, if the package is over a certain size or exceeds a certain weight.

    • Spamexterminator

      The only thing they can’t compete with is their own inadequacies. The only decline they have seen was the frequency personal letters. In-fact the the number of registered letters and legal documents has increased, Since they CANNOT be sent via E-Mail(more people = more snail mail). They are just using the digital age as an excuse to increase their salaries, after all if you buy something(non-software) online, does it come through E-Mail? If you send a gift box/basket to someone, can you ship it via E-Mail? When you get that summons to appear in court, does it come via E-Mail? Don’t let them fool you, snail-mail has increase exponentially since it’s beginning and is still increasing. Their problem is they keep raising their prices, forcing people to run to their competition(UPS, FedEx, etc.) and that would be the only reason U.S.P.S has seen a decline, not because Snail-Mail has slowed but they are losing costumers. Higher prices = less Consumers, lower quality transactions and Antique methods in a Digital age Opens doors for competitors(i.e. U.S.P.S. You have to pay extra for Insurance UPS free, U.S.P.S. you have to pay extra for tracking UPS more detailed and free, and the likely hood a package sent via U.S.P.S. being damaged is about 60% while UPS is about 10%). U.S.P.S. Employee’s starting pay is $13.45 for doing less work than the Paper Boy who by the way get’s $0.05 per paper.

      • Spamexterminator

        Maybe if the effin Government quit trying to screw the little guy, got their heads out of their arses and finally got with the program. Instead the give us more money we are failing line, maybe they should try we have improved our methods you now get free more detailed tracking and free insurance up to$???.??(UPS is first $100 is free) along with, if it fits it ships slogan. All the while keeping their prices competitive, maybe just maybe people would be more likely to use U.S.P.S. more often. Though it will probably be very difficult to get people back after they have been treated so poorly. $0.50 per stamp is absolutely ridiculous for sending a piece of paper when held up to it’s free counterpart E-Mail. Focus more on EVERYTHING that will NOT fit into an E-Mail and… improve… improve… IMPROVE… Or the only places left for handling the Snail-Mail will be your competitors.

  • http://www.amyspaintedhouseandmore.com Amy

    The US Post Office is a very important part of my business process. My postal branch is very busy…..I think it is vital, at least from what I see……It would hurt me if it were eliminated….

  • http://www.goldcurrent.net Gold Current

    This economy is the worst since the last depression.
    The Post office is simply experiencing the effects like any other business.
    Less commerce = Less mail / physical deliveries.

  • http://www.rainbowriting.com Karen Cole

    Our family uses both Internet email and the post office for a lot of different things. I use email primarily to contact clients and workers for my agency, but I use the post office: for a post office box address for our business; to receive various forms of business and personal mail at our PO box; to mail out packages; to receive packages. So we do use both, and I would be very hampered if the post office services were to permanently close down. But I do understand the problems.

  • http://topshelfcopy.com Doc Sheldon

    I’m retired now, living in Mexico, where the postal service is ignored by everyone, including the government, because it’s so unreliable. As an example, I once mailed 25 Christmas cards the first week of December… only 8 of them ever arrived, and two that did were finally delivered in April! So cry me a river!

    Yeah, the USPS has some serious management issues, and personally, I believe a lot of their problems stem from the union. But I’ve lived in eleven different countries, almost all of which had an established national postal service, and I can tell you, the USPS, even on its WORST day, outshines them all in terms of reliability and cost.

    I’m old enough to remember posting one cent post cards and three cent letters, so the increases bug me too. But if you look at the cost in terms of the Consumer Price Index increases, it’s really not out of line. So paying a reasonable amount for what I consider to be the best postal service in the world is still better than the alternatives.

    Because I’m not in the US right now, paying online is much more convenient for me. I wouldn’t even consider trying to mail a payment from here. And my bank charges me $6.95/month, whether I make one payment from my bank account or a dozen. But the beauty of it is, I have the choice. If the USPS was funded by our taxes (which has been raised repeatedly as a suggested “solution”), I have no doubt it’d cost me a lot more than it does now. And I’d lose that choice, unless I care to pay twice.

    My suggestion would be to try to keep things in perspective. Mailing a first class letter in the US costs a good bit less than in many developed nations, while the probability of secure and timely delivery is orders of magnitude better than nearly anywhere in the world.

  • http://theartinquirer.blogspot.com Jose Carrilho

    Hi,

    I’m Portugal and it’s been several years that I’ve been sending mail to US and receiving. I use the Portuguese postal services and I like to get my mail sent through USPS.
    From the experience that I have, the employees of the USPS, namely the mailmen/women are dedicated people who worry about getting the mail delivered.
    I’m aware that in the recent years, prices went up, namely because the size of the package influences the price alot, while here in Portugal is more about the weight; the size is not that relevant.
    People must realize that some public services may not turn profitable, what is needed is for the Government to manage well other profitable areas in order to compensate those services.

    For insteance, here in Portugal the public transports have deficit, but to turn that into superavit, they’d have to rise the prices in a way that many people could not afford. So, as I said, one needs to have profit in other areas to compensate those that are difficult to turn out profitable.

    Sincerely, I think that you guys won’t get a better service that the one offered by USPS, unless you want to pay more.

    José

  • http:www.uslabel.net Roy Harris

    The Postal service will survive as small business still uses admail

  • http://www.illustrationsbyphil.com Phil

    As sad as the passing USPS is, one must realize it is not about money or budgets, or irrelevant services etc…funneling all correspondence into the internet allows a one point likelihood of monitoring everything. Pieces of paper flying around in airplanes is much more difficult to survey. The great internet revolution has been a fantastic, easy, and fun way to keep tabs on everybody everywhere.

  • http://www.sympaticoclothing.com/ Marty

    Interesting how many commenters resent postal employees receiving a living wage. What is it about Americans begrudging each other a reasonable income while being sanguine about fat cats reaping hundreds of millions in salaries and perks? Nobody seems to recognize the value of USPS package service that’s highly competitive with UPS/Fedex. Our business depends on it for dependable and affordable service. Sure, the PO is not faultless and undoubtedly political patronage undermines its effectiveness. But compared to predators such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, it is a far more benign and useful entity in the lives of the 99%.

  • http://www.lifepharma.com Ben Falvy

    I send 30-40 small parcels every week via USPS; orders I get via the Internet; postage costing between $40-90.00$ It gets delivered in the US in 2-4 days overseas in 7-10 days. They only lost one parcel in five years; probably stolen ? UPS or FedEx can’t come near their price specially overseas deliveries where they have to add $30-40 buck for custom brokerage. So cut the pension crap and keep USPS. Nice people work there. Ben

  • Rob Gustave

    I have to mail packages the internet just doesn’t have a star trek transporter yet; (but boomtubes should exist ala K+Jack Kirby New Gods related series). Send my family my percentage for sharing this idea. Multibillion dollar idea. Thanks. I hope the USPS always exists and even rolls back some prices. For I do not care how long some of my stuff takes to get somewhere. (A slow rate should exist).

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    The post office has been a mismanaged gravy train for years and now they’re complaining about not having enough money to survive. Big deal.

  • Drape

    I send small parcels from Los Angeles to New York, it costs less than $3 with the USPS, normal delivery 2 – 5 days, average 3 days, it includes Saturday delivery.

    With UPS, the cheapest is about $8, takes 5 business days and no Saturday delivery.

  • //n/a...lol radford

    Take away the snailmail??? Nutz! This is another “BAD IDEA” pushed by the moneychangers.
    When a computer is given to me, I will consider going online with all my business. Until then, I am “none of their business”!!!
    This is a “borrowed” PC … I refuse to invest in instant communication! …and the total lack of privacy which goes with using one! Plastic $ and the “private” on-line communication is a joke! Every time your plastic is swiped… there goes your entire financial history / address / preferences to every survey / marketing scumbag. Don’t believe me? Witness your junk mail , both on-line and USPO. See the mailing label? Where did “they” get this? Right! How do you spell “cash”???

  • http://www.marketsharewebdesign.com Kathy

    They have sealed their own fate. They have not kept up with the times nor do they have any plan to. I say shut them down today and the world would be better off. Why delay the inevitable? It will happen anyway.

  • http://www.ericgillette.com Eric Gillette

    You know, I can understand everyone’s points in these comments. I read them all! I think that the Postal Employees (like Shawn) make good points, but I also think that the people making comments about the postal service’s ACTUAL service also make good points. Yet, further to this, I understand the point a few of the other postal workers made as well that some postal workers are just not meeting the same requirements as others, and yet people view the ENTIRE postal service as being terrible based on their experience with a specific mail carrier or post office. All I can say is I have family that works for the postal service who exemplify high standards, and I have also sent lots of mail/packages through the postal service in my almost 12 years of doing business online. That said, it doesn’t change my opinion that the postal service (like any other business that does the work it does) needs a serious overhaul. If a mail carrier receives too many complaints (say 5 complaints in a 12 month period), they should be replaced. There are far too many people who would value having such a job, and will do it properly and receive no complaints. At the same time, in order to avoid complaints with specific mail carriers, I think the USPS should institute a national standard that all postal employees must meet in order to be considered for continue employment (or to start employment) with the postal service. This would help to eliminate those isolated incidents where postal employees “drop the ball”. In addition, I’ve also been to post the office in more than one location, and the employees behind the window, who have lines of customers to deal with all day, tend to act as if they’re doing you a favor when you come in and pay money (i.e. their salary, which is pretty good in this economy) to have packages/mail delivered even when you are kind and nice to them, I’ve personally experienced them treating me like a number, or “dragging their feet” (i.e. taking their time and acting like they don’t want to be there) to perform a specific service for me and other customers. Unfortunately, it causes me to view the Postal Service in a negative light, even though I know that not all post offices operate that way, and there are actually postal employees who work with a smile, and treat you like a valued customer. In my experience though going to different post offices, the negative treatment and experiences seem to be the norm when compared to services like UPS and FedEx. I have had a P.O. Box with the postal service, and things often got returned because the employee failed to read the address or name properly, which to me is unacceptable. With UPS/FedEx (I use UPS more than FedEx), I’m always greeted with a smile (no matter the employee) and they always seem eager to help me get my package delivered in the fastest fashion possible. UPS and FedEx have also increased their costs in the many years I’ve shipped and received packages through them, and I agree that the Postal Service should follow suit, however, there is a certain expectation of reliability that is expected with UPS and FedEx, that just doesn’t seem to be matched by the postal service on a large scale. Shipping a package with UPS or FedEx using the “ground” method, which is equivalent to USPS’s First Class Mail is an entirely different experience. Sure, UPS and FedEx will cost more to deliver the same package, but you get a tracking number which is confirmed upon delivery, in addition to the fact that you can track the package as it arrives/departs specific facilities, and so forth, and finally when it’s delivered, you know (is most cases anyway) the time/date it was delivered and who signed for it — try receiving that level of service with the Postal Service. You can buy “Delivery Confirmation” or “Signature Confirmation” for an extra fee (which is good, but instead of charging the extra fee, but perhaps it’s a better idea to just include it and make it a standard offering as part of a new USPS “Ground Service”), but with “Delivery Confirmation” you only get an update when the package has arrived, and can’t track its arrival/departure from specific facilities which would be critical in determining where a package may have been lost/mis-sorted for example. In addition, in my experience with “Signature Confirmation” the USPS simply leaves a sticker in the person’s mailbox, which defeats the whole purpose of delivering to the person’s door, and having them sign for the package in question. I’ve had several packages returned to me after paying for “Signature Confirmation” simply because the carrier left a notice in the person’s mailbox which required them to pickup the package from their local USPS facility. It’s even happened to me when I’ve been the recipient! So I think the USPS often leaves things to be desired, which causes the dissent so many people have towards the USPS. On the same note though, I think if the USPS adopted employee “standards” like UPS/FedEx do, implemented a letter carrier complaint system which would cause an incompetent letter carrier to lose their job after enough complaints from residents, and perhaps further developed their existing services to become more reliable and robust, they’d be able to compete better with UPS and FedEx. I think it’s pretty bad when I send two identical packages overnight using the Postal Service (with Signature Confirmation) and using UPS (with Signature Confirmation) and the UPS package is delivered on time the following day before 11AM, and the equivalent package is delivered not the next day, but the day after because the USPS letter carrier didn’t go the customer’s door, but instead left a letter in their mailbox, and the customer had to pick up the package the next day after work. When your service is like that, it leaves much to be desired, and inevitably people will simply move to more reliable and dependable carriers like UPS/FedEx. After all, if the USPS had done it’s job accurately, and dependably from the beginning (and perhaps it did in the early stages, but current day USPS leaves much to be desired in a lot of cases), services like UPS and FedEx wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. Personally, I have a box with UPS, because some places won’t deliver to a P.O. Box, but they’ll deliver to a UPS store address no problem. Recently the Postal Service started offering an equivalent service (free too). Now that is how you compete, and ensure that your customers are happy (I personally think they should have charged an additional fee for that service). But again, it seems like USPS always brings up the tail end with innovation and ways to make the customer’s life easier. Why wait for UPS or FedEx to create a new innovation? Where are the brains of the postal service?? It seems like the USPS is always on the heels of UPS or FedEx because they launch services *AFTER* UPS or FedEx has already done it in a “copycat” fashion. The USPS should be the innovator, and creator, and set the standard that UPS and FedEx follow, not the other way around. Unfortunately, bureacrats, red-tape, unions, and Postal Workers who are only around to “earn a buck” will forever plague the USPS unless they strategically re-structure their core offerings, and force their employees to adopt a common and national standard (that can weed out the “poor” employees). Until then, I’ll continue to use UPS when delivery has to be guaranteed, and I’ll keep my UPS Store box which accepts all packages, regardless of whether or not my first name appears on a package, or my company name, as long as it’s addressed properly it ends up being delivered to me. I do feel a sense of remorse for the good postal employees (some of which have commented here) who will unfortunately be affected by the negative press and negative policies that may cause them to lose their jobs as a result of the ideas the USPS decides to employ (like eliminating Saturday delivery) rather than employing the robust ideas that would truly make them a competitor in the field. At the same time, I feel that the poor postal service employees losing their jobs wouldn’t cause me to lose any sleep at night, because by my standard (which is the standard set by exemplary USPS employees, UPS employees, and FedEx employees), they’d be working at McDonald’s or someplace where the world didn’t depend on their diligence.

  • http://www.ericgillette.com Eric Gillette

    (Re-posted to make it easier to read):

    You know, I can understand everyone’s points in these comments. I read them all! I think that the Postal Employees (like Shawn) make good points, but I also think that the people making comments about the postal service’s ACTUAL service also make good points.

    Yet, further to this, I understand the point a few of the other postal workers made as well that some postal workers are just not meeting the same requirements as others, and yet people view the ENTIRE postal service as being terrible based on their experience with a specific mail carrier or post office.

    All I can say is I have family that works for the postal service who exemplify high standards, and I have also sent lots of mail/packages through the postal service in my almost 12 years of doing business online. That said, it doesn’t change my opinion that the postal service (like any other business that does the work it does) needs a serious overhaul.

    If a mail carrier receives too many complaints (say 5 complaints in a 12 month period), they should be replaced. There are far too many people who would value having such a job, and will do it properly and receive no complaints.

    At the same time, in order to avoid complaints with specific mail carriers, I think the USPS should institute a national standard that all postal employees must meet in order to be considered for continue employment (or to start employment) with the postal service. This would help to eliminate those isolated incidents where postal employees “drop the ball”. In addition, I’ve also been to post the office in more than one location, and the employees behind the window, who have lines of customers to deal with all day, tend to act as if they’re doing you a favor when you come in and pay money (i.e. their salary, which is pretty good in this economy) to have packages/mail delivered even when you are kind and nice to them, I’ve personally experienced them treating me like a number, or “dragging their feet” (i.e. taking their time and acting like they don’t want to be there) to perform a specific service for me and other customers.

    Unfortunately, it causes me to view the Postal Service in a negative light, even though I know that not all post offices operate that way, and there are actually postal employees who work with a smile, and treat you like a valued customer. In my experience though going to different post offices, the negative treatment and experiences seem to be the norm when compared to services like UPS and FedEx. I have had a P.O. Box with the postal service, and things often got returned because the employee failed to read the address or name properly, which to me is unacceptable. With UPS/FedEx (I use UPS more than FedEx), I’m always greeted with a smile (no matter the employee) and they always seem eager to help me get my package delivered in the fastest fashion possible.

    UPS and FedEx have also increased their costs in the many years I’ve shipped and received packages through them, and I agree that the Postal Service should follow suit, however, there is a certain expectation of reliability that is expected with UPS and FedEx, that just doesn’t seem to be matched by the postal service on a large scale. Shipping a package with UPS or FedEx using the “ground” method, which is equivalent to USPS’s First Class Mail is an entirely different experience. Sure, UPS and FedEx will cost more to deliver the same package, but you get a tracking number which is confirmed upon delivery, in addition to the fact that you can track the package as it arrives/departs specific facilities, and so forth, and finally when it’s delivered, you know (is most cases anyway) the time/date it was delivered and who signed for it — try receiving that level of service with the Postal Service. You can buy “Delivery Confirmation” or “Signature Confirmation” for an extra fee (which is good, but instead of charging the extra fee, but perhaps it’s a better idea to just include it and make it a standard offering as part of a new USPS “Ground Service”), but with “Delivery Confirmation” you only get an update when the package has arrived, and can’t track its arrival/departure from specific facilities which would be critical in determining where a package may have been lost/mis-sorted for example. In addition, in my experience with “Signature Confirmation” the USPS simply leaves a sticker in the person’s mailbox, which defeats the whole purpose of delivering to the person’s door, and having them sign for the package in question.

    I’ve had several packages returned to me after paying for “Signature Confirmation” simply because the carrier left a notice in the person’s mailbox which required them to pickup the package from their local USPS facility. It’s even happened to me when I’ve been the recipient! So I think the USPS often leaves things to be desired, which causes the dissent so many people have towards the USPS. On the same note though, I think if the USPS adopted employee “standards” like UPS/FedEx do, implemented a letter carrier complaint system which would cause an incompetent letter carrier to lose their job after enough complaints from residents, and perhaps further developed their existing services to become more reliable and robust, they’d be able to compete better with UPS and FedEx.

    I think it’s pretty bad when I send two identical packages overnight using the Postal Service (with Signature Confirmation) and using UPS (with Signature Confirmation) and the UPS package is delivered on time the following day before 11AM, and the equivalent package is delivered not the next day, but the day after because the USPS letter carrier didn’t go the customer’s door, but instead left a letter in their mailbox, and the customer had to pick up the package the next day after work. When your service is like that, it leaves much to be desired, and inevitably people will simply move to more reliable and dependable carriers like UPS/FedEx.

    After all, if the USPS had done it’s job accurately, and dependably from the beginning (and perhaps it did in the early stages, but current day USPS leaves much to be desired in a lot of cases), services like UPS and FedEx wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. Personally, I have a box with UPS, because some places won’t deliver to a P.O. Box, but they’ll deliver to a UPS store address no problem. Recently the Postal Service started offering an equivalent service (free too). Now that is how you compete, and ensure that your customers are happy (I personally think they should have charged an additional fee for that service). But again, it seems like USPS always brings up the tail end with innovation and ways to make the customer’s life easier. Why wait for UPS or FedEx to create a new innovation? Where are the brains of the postal service?? It seems like the USPS is always on the heels of UPS or FedEx because they launch services *AFTER* UPS or FedEx has already done it in a “copycat” fashion. The USPS should be the innovator, and creator, and set the standard that UPS and FedEx follow, not the other way around.

    Unfortunately, bureacrats, red-tape, unions, and Postal Workers who are only around to “earn a buck” will forever plague the USPS unless they strategically re-structure their core offerings, and force their employees to adopt a common and national standard (that can weed out the “poor” employees). Until then, I’ll continue to use UPS when delivery has to be guaranteed, and I’ll keep my UPS Store box which accepts all packages, regardless of whether or not my first name appears on a package, or my company name, as long as it’s addressed properly it ends up being delivered to me. I do feel a sense of remorse for the good postal employees (some of which have commented here) who will unfortunately be affected by the negative press and negative policies that may cause them to lose their jobs as a result of the ideas the USPS decides to employ (like eliminating Saturday delivery) rather than employing the robust ideas that would truly make them a competitor in the field. At the same time, I feel that the poor postal service employees losing their jobs wouldn’t cause me to lose any sleep at night, because by my standard (which is the standard set by exemplary USPS employees, UPS employees, and FedEx employees), they’d be working at McDonald’s or someplace where the world didn’t depend on their diligence.

  • http://www.webdesignghana.org Web Deign Ghana

    As much as a convenience that it will offer people, its still sad to see the post office going out of business. My local post office is now turning into a money transfer agency. Its true that with the availability of the internet, its obvious that the post office will really go out of business.

    Even in rural communities, there are mobile phones that will do the job of the post office.

    But there is still some stuffs that needs to go through the P.O. anyway.

  • TMoore

    Okay, I’m reading a lot of pros and cons to the issue, but let me educate you.
    - We didn’t complain when the USPS was subsidized by the government and was a government agency. Our tax dollars paid for the difference. Then some stupid bean counter at Treasury decided that the USPS could be privatized. That was when the trouble started. So if you want to blame someone, blame government.
    - Both FedEx and UPS are way more expensive to ship products than USPS ever was. They also only ship Monday through Friday, so letting USPS not open on Saturdays is a no-brainer to save money.
    - Small businesses need the USPS to ship physical, tangible goods, from books to refrigerators. There is no way to “beam” a product anywhere. Got that? Small business still need to truck the stuff to somewhere to mail it. They also have the right to not use any of the other services. USPS has had a sterling record for delivering the mail; ie: getting it from point A to point B. And they do it in all sorts of weather except tornados and snowstorms.
    - If rural USPS hubs close, then the USPS might as well hang its “CLOSED” shingle for good. You can just stop servicing those communities just because they are not cities.
    - The ONLY solution to this is to return it to government control, because government caused the problem in the first place. Then commerce can regain its footing by ensuring that there is a reliable, efficient mail service no matter what happens.

  • http://win-soft.com Paul Cormier

    The USPS is totally lacking in innovation. Allowing anyone to print their own postage would drop costs dramatically; stamp manufacturing, machine readability, improved routing, etc, not to mention that more people might use the USPS if they didn’t have to go stand in line at the Post Office. Instead, what do they do? They make printing your own postage more expensive than buying stamps!?!

    The issue isn’t “Competing With the Internet”, it’s leveraging the Internet. It’s be relatively easy to track EVERY letter you send if you printed your own postage. How many more would use the USPS then? There are all kinds of ways to innovate and make the USPS better instead of just cutting off parts.

    Raleigh Marketing & Web Design

  • kingofnyct

    everyone is complaining about the USPS, but you will notice the article mentions that CONGRESS is to blame. wow what a surprise! our CONGRESS is to blame for every problem you can think of. they are completely mindless competent peons who need to be voted out!

    • Spamexterminator

      Competent Don’t you mean Incompetent. What do you expect this is what happens when you mix Religion and Politics.

  • Arthur Baldwin

    Yes, the USPS can survive the digital age. If they shift their focus from “end user mail” to “business mail”. Priority mail is a great choice for businesses who sell on EBay. But they are going to need a change of website design and a change of their own employees’ attitudes in order to pull it off.

  • Sam

    USPS will survive, just as books will survive. There is a sense of decorum involved. Receiving a hand written letter or a special card with a handwritten note is a special treat. Also, many packages are less expensive to ship via USPS and the boxes are free. Finally, I feel a certain pride in a public mail service with a long history.

  • Bryan

    It’s going to be extremely difficult. You still have your old-timers and diehards out there who like doing things the traditional way. And also, the mail and UPS systems may survive for a while because everyone still doesn’t own or have access to a computer.

  • http://www.computerhowtoguide.com Computer How To Guide

    More jobs lost due to advancing technology. Sad…

  • Mary

    i like President Obama’s plan of closing the post office on Saturdays
    to save 3 billion dollars…alot of people need the post office
    due to not having a computer or do no want one. i have a computer but still perfer to walk to the mailbox to send mail and get mail. i think the president has a great idea. the small post office need to stay here.
    i really hope it works out for we need the post office in small towns
    just as we need post carriers. i like letters from my grandchildren
    and seeing them in the mailbox.

  • Done

    Our mail delivery has been terrible for years. Several times per year we have to call the post office to ask them to locate our mail/packages that were misdelivered. Each time the person we speak to groans and says something like “I knew it would be that carrier. We’ll speak to him again.” or “We’ve got another meeting scheduled with him.” Our neighbors in our townhome association have the same problems, and this has been discussed at association meetings for the LAST 4 YEARS but here we are, still with the same carrier, still not getting our mail. This past week when I called I was told that many of our neighbors had also called this week and all of us were missing mail. I’m waiting for a call this morning to learn if my mail will ever be located. If I made this many mistakes on my job I would have been unemployed years ago, but then, I have to perform well to keep my job and don’t have a union to protect me if I prove to be careless and incompetent. If I could rely on the postal service I would be happy to use their services and pay the necessary costs. Since I cannot will now make every attempt to completely avoid the U.S. Postal Service in the future.

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