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USPS shennanigans
Old 06-10-2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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USPS shennanigans

The Postal Service is busy thinking up new
ways to screw people and reduce their quality
of service. Two of these recently came to my
attention and I report them here to save others
misfortune:

1. Service windows at Post Offices have reduced hours.
Mine closes now at 4:30pm instead of 5pm.

2. If you put tape across a stamp, you are "defacing" it,
your package will be returned and you loss the value of
the stamp. (I'd put address and stamp on an index card
and taped that to a box). Edit: Actually, MickeyD points
out that this rule isn't new, just my awareness of it.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
If you put tape across a stamp, you are "defacing" it,
your package will be returned and you loss the value of
the stamp.
I seem to recall this rule being around for awhile.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:27 PM   #3
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I went to the windows a lot recently while selling off books and found most of the clerks friendly and helpful. My pet peeve is that they have to rattle off a spiel about all the other services I might want to buy, insurance, delivery confirmation, do I need stamps today.

The post office seems to want to make media mail a secret now; Amazon used to remind us to use it and listed the fee by weight but they don't to that anymore. If you want to use the robot stamp machines, they don't give the option of media mail but if I know the rates, I sometimes just print out the stamp and mark it "media mail."

I forgive them almost any shortcoming when the delivery guy runs up three flights of stairs to get my signature.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:41 PM   #4
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I hate junk mail but I think it might be paying for the USPS. Does anyone else get two days of junk? Tuesday we get the normal junk like insurance flyers, credit card solicitations, ads from health care orgs, AARP, etc. Then on Wednesday we get all the flyers from the grocery stores, tire stores, restaurants, etc. On those two days there is never any regular mail such as bills, letters, cards, dividend checks(?), etc. Is this normal for everyone? We still have Saturday delivery which I understand there is a move afoot to do away with that.
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:13 PM   #5
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Jay Leno on the recent increase in postage rates:

The post office is raising the cost of stamps because fewer people are using the mail. Only the government would think "Hey, people aren't using our service -- so let's raise the price!"
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
I hate junk mail but I think it might be paying for the USPS. Does anyone else get two days of junk? Tuesday we get the normal junk like insurance flyers, credit card solicitations, ads from health care orgs, AARP, etc. Then on Wednesday we get all the flyers from the grocery stores, tire stores, restaurants, etc. On those two days there is never any regular mail such as bills, letters, cards, dividend checks(?), etc. Is this normal for everyone? We still have Saturday delivery which I understand there is a move afoot to do away with that.
I'm with you on Junk Mail.

I'm also OK with weekly mail delivery of all of my mail as long as the bills that I receive in the mail extend their due date a couple of weeks.

Or, how about a designated junk mail day, say Wednesday. When we go out to get the mail we could also bring along a trash can to file them in as we stroll back to the house from the box.
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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Only the government would think "Hey, people aren't using our service -- so let's raise the price!"
Our municipality applied this same logic to water rates. We had a drought, the city encouraged conservation. Consumption rates dropped dramatically. Revenues dropped accordingly. Rates increased to meet operating budget for water facilities.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:14 PM   #8
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Although it is amazing that you can stick a 43-cent stamp on a letter and it gets delivered anywhere in the U.S., for the most part without a hitch.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:14 PM   #9
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Is it true that postal workers can't be laid off because of their labor contract? I don't understand how the number of mailings have dropped yet the costs of postage has skyrocketed.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:31 PM   #10
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I don't understand how the number of mailings have dropped yet the costs of postage has skyrocketed.
Increased storage and handling costs.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:32 PM   #11
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Is it true that postal workers can't be laid off because of their labor contract? I don't understand how the number of mailings have dropped yet the costs of postage has skyrocketed.
USPS is like a utility - high fixed costs to process mail, run routes, etc. Less volume = more cost per unit.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
I forgive them almost any shortcoming when the delivery guy runs up three flights of stairs to get my signature.
I'm with you here - love my delivery guy. He is very helpful and
agreeable about holding mail when I leave; forget about filling
out forms, just leave him a note.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:15 AM   #13
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I stumbled into an interesting Post Office game several years ago and figured they made out like bandits.

The City installed new streetlights and each household was billed about $750. The bill was sent Certified Mail at a cost of about $4+. The Post Office never attempted to deliver the bills but instead left each homeowner a "Attempt to Deliver Mail" card. You had to go to the Post Office and pick it up yourself.

I can see their reasoning with over a thousand letters in our area and signatures for each one, but it was still a ripoff. I just wonder if they do that for all mail that requires signatures.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:34 PM   #14
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Although it is amazing that you can stick a 43-cent stamp on a letter and it gets delivered anywhere in the U.S., for the most part without a hitch.
Exactly, I know the USPS is not perfect but the complaining doesn't match...but I am biased, my mom works there. usps and fedex have screwed up their share of deliveries and they charge far more for a letter...sent across town, delivered in a day or two...

Over the 20 years, there have been a lot of changes. The machines she was hired to work on that process the mail were sold to china, she used to manage over 30 employees, now it's down to 12 since the new machines do more of the work. Much of the change was handled thru hiring freezes rather than laying off too many people.

Since my mom is a manager, she doesn't have very warm and fuzzy feelings for the union. From the stories she has told, there is a lot more the union could be doing to tune up the reputation of the USPS as bloated. Some employees were on reduced duty given some disability claim, then when those folks were in line to be layed off, they suddenly were able to work again...I'm sure that is not the case for everyone who rightfully needs the work reduction, but she's seen enough of it to be very annoyed.

If I can toot her horn, she's had a perfect safety record for her unit, turned around a group of grumpies into the best performing team and gets the mail out the door before 530am every day, regardless of volume fluctuations (think holiday cards).

They might shut down the distribution center where she works, she's been the top manager for a LOOONG time and are requiring all the managers to reapply to the job regardless of performance... she won't likely be cut, but the stress of applying for the job is a lot for her right now. I'd love to see her retire early, but she's staring at those little percentage points you get in their retirement system and thinking it's worth the trauma of additional years of graveyard shift...if her center shuts down though, she'll have very few options so may be a mixed blessing...
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RustyShackleford View Post
I'm with you here - love my delivery guy. He is very helpful and
agreeable about holding mail when I leave; forget about filling
out forms, just leave him a note.
Now that I'm retired and sometimes run into the mailman, I've discovered that he is very chatty, who knew?
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by UncleHoney View Post
I stumbled into an interesting Post Office game several years ago and figured they made out like bandits.

The City installed new streetlights and each household was billed about $750. The bill was sent Certified Mail at a cost of about $4+. The Post Office never attempted to deliver the bills but instead left each homeowner a "Attempt to Deliver Mail" card. You had to go to the Post Office and pick it up yourself.

I can see their reasoning with over a thousand letters in our area and signatures for each one, but it was still a ripoff. I just wonder if they do that for all mail that requires signatures.
They might do that for all mass-mailings requiring signatures--that happens to us with city-generated certified mail, having to go pick it up.

I don't see why it's a ripoff, though--the sender is paying for the certificate of delivery only, not for guaranteed mailman at your door to obtain it. The post office still has to incur the extra handling time vs. regular delivery--delivering the notice, holding the mail, getting the signature (whether at the PO or at your door), and returning the signed certificate.
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