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Friday, January 27, 2012

Hey Post Office: Shelve Rules and Make Cash #news

I walked into a U.S. Post Office (USPS) the other day with intent to pay more than the cost of postage. I wanted to send my legal size envelope filled with about 10 pages with a delivery confirmation. You would think that if a customer wanted delivery confirmation they could pay simply for it right?  WRONG!

#1 in Identity Theft ProtectionTurns out although I had a large envelope that it was not "thick" enough for a delivery confirmation. I was told I had to send my envelope priority mail to take advantage of delivery confirmation. I didn't want to spend that much - period.

But here is the bigger issue: if the post office is struggling to stay relevant in modern times when fewer people are snail mailing and more are making online payments does it make sense to turn down money people are willing to spend?

I posed that very question to the clerk at the post office and her response was "Well if we allowed delivery confirmation on any size envelope the postal carrier would be spending so much time scanning at each location it would take him a very long time."  Have I stepped back in time? Is it 1989 again?  Ok really? Isn't the issue that the postal carriers have less mail to deliver? Hasn't the USPS been cutting back on hours, closing locations and laying off employees because of the lack of volume?

It seems that rules in place from 20 years ago are based on the balance sheet from 20 years ago. It is time for the USPS to take a good long hard look at why they are still doing things today to determine if it makes since for the actual mail volume of today.

Something tells me that if the US Post Office suddenly lifted the archaic thickness rule for delivery confirmation that millions of people would NOT flock to their nearest post office leading to an overload of letter deliveries. I guarantee that people will still choose online transactions as they do today, but when they absolutely needed to snail mail and confirm a letter they would do so.  

I can't think of any reason behind maintaining a silly rule that prevents a business from making money. If people are opening their wallets to spend any extra money on their mail why on Earth would you prevent them from doing so.

So U.S. Post Office -  for crying out loud lift the ancient thickness rule for delivery confirmation and start making money off of people willing to spend it.

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