Reshaping a postal network doesn’t happen overnight. Especially one built to handle mainly letters and flats and not the tremendous anticipated growth in parcels. The Postal Service is attempting to tackle realignment in two phases, playing out over 4 years.

Phase one was completed in 2013 and resulted in 141 consolidations for an expected cost savings of about $865 million. To achieve full cost savings, however, the Postal Service also had to reduce service standards for First-Class Mail. Phase two, which started in January and will run through late summer, calls for consolidating 82 mail processing facilities and eliminating most overnight delivery of First-Class Mail. It will also change service standards for Periodicals Mail. All other products will stay the same.

The Postal Service launched its overall consolidation plan in 2012 to adjust the size of the network and workforce to the reduced demand. The plan calls for fewer processing facilities and for machinery to operate longer and more efficiently. Total mail volume has declined 27 percent since its peak in 2006, and single-piece First-Class Mail – primarily correspondence, bill payments, and greeting cards – has been hit even harder. It has declined by more than half in the past decade.

Speaking at the February Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee meeting, postal officials said they are confident consumers will not notice the service standard changes. Surveys suggest most people don’t know what the service standards are, but they do care when their mail arrives in their mailbox. So the Postal Service is working to ensure consumers receive their mail at the same time each day. They also reminded people that consolidation doesn’t necessarily mean closing. Some facilities could be repurposed for other services.

Business mailers have generally supported efforts to eliminate excess capacity and reduce costs, with the exception of those whose business model depends on overnight service. But mailers also worry that some costs could be shifted to them. Unions have opposed the consolidation plan, arguing it downgrades service and delays mail at a time when the Postal Service should be stepping up its efforts to compete with digital communications. As for consumers, the Postal Service may be right that they won’t really care – unless they notice a change in delivery performance. It’s also worth noting that service standards are not changing for Priority Mail or Package Services, so the Postal Service should be able to satisfy customers’ growing demand for packages.

Are you concerned that network consolidation has resulted or could result in mail delays? Or do you think network rationalization is necessary to reduce costs? If you oppose consolidation, how do you recommend the Postal Service better match its capacity to demand?

Comments (59)

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  • anon

    Two days to for a local first class letter to be delivered is absurd. The volume is down you say, so delivery time increases?? I mail a letter today, it is postmarked at the distribution center today but it comes back to my town 2 days later. Previously it came back the next morning for delivery. And you say we won't notice?? I am just glad that my dad is DEAD. He was a thirty year employee of the USPS and I'm glad he is not living to see what kind of service the USPS is giving today. I know, that if he were still alive, he would be ashamed to let anyone know that he had ever been associated with your organization. The USPS is committing suicide. I

    Jul 15, 2015
  • anon

    PLEASE update the post office delivery dates to reflect that first class packages now take 2 WEEKS! This causes so many problems it is unreal! All the automatic delivery dates on sites come off USPS rate quotes. None of the retail websites are showing accurate info, because your dates are still 4 days, if you cannot deliver the mail within the time you yourself are stating than adjust it! People will choose priority or something else but at least they will be accurately informed as to stop asking me all these questions and for event related items it is a nightmare, these people think the party items they want will be there for the party! And, even when I tell them allow at least 2 weeks they think I am over exaggerating to try to get them to spend more money because they can go to the post office site and see it only takes 3-4 days or the same day as priority so why spend the extra money! I am about to have to dump the post office because of this and my 50 thousand a year may not matter to you but I think it is ridiculous to lose a customer because you won't update your website dates.

    Apr 24, 2015
  • anon

    I have been waiting for 10 days for a small package to be delivered from Indiana which is only 2 states away from the state where I live, Pennsylvania. After leaving Indiana, it went to Illinois and now is allegedly in route (hopefully) to me. For all I know it will go to St. Louis next, instead of East. This isn't the only package In the last 2 months that I have waited an excessive amount of time to receive. It seems to me the USPS is forcing people to pay for 3 day priority mail because regular service is so terrible!

    Apr 23, 2015
  • anon

    Package is still not here. If it gets here on Mon April 27, that will be 2 weeks since it was posted. Again Indiana is only 2 states away from Pennsylvania and there are an excellent network of roads connecting the states via Ohio. Pitiful service.

    Apr 25, 2015
  • anon

    During the past few months I’ve noticed a significant slowdown in package deliveries. A package sent from Westport, CT to Salt Lake City, UT now takes over two weeks and, when tracked, seems to sit at a location here or there for days on end before making it’s next leg in transit. What I don’t understand is whether the additional delays are a result in lack of manpower in sorting at a facility or lack of transport mode to move forward, i.e.: Delivered, In/At Mailbox Apr-13-15, 17:20 PM, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84121 Out for Delivery Apr-13-15, 07:31 AM, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84121 Sorting Complete Apr-13-15, 07:21 AM, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84121 Arrived at Post Office Apr-13-15, 04:57 AM, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84121 Departed USPS Facility Apr-11-15, 09:47 AM, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84199 Arrived at USPS Origin Facility Apr-11-15, 07:55 AM, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84199 Arrived at USPS Origin Facility Apr-06-15, 14:30 PM, DENVER, CO 80217 Departed Post Office Mar-30-15, 17:37 PM, GREENS FARMS, CT 06838 Acceptance Mar-30-15, 15:00 PM, GREENS FARMS, CT 06838 If I buy a smartphone protector off the web for $1.59, which includes shipping, from a seller in China, I receive it in less than two weeks after being sent by China Mail and ultimately delivered by USPS. Does that make sense, that you can deliver something for pennies faster than something for dollars? I am overwhelmed by the excellence of service provided by USPS on little nothings from China but stunned by your inability to be as fast as what Pony Express was over 150 years ago when it comes to getting my package from CT to UT. I use USPS for package deliveries because, on balance, less damage occurs when using USPS than FedEx Ground. I have to say that the amount of increased snail you are putting in your handling of mail makes it difficult to stay with you at the margin. I fear a mass exodus coming by the general public in using USPS package deliveries and it is due to very poor long range planning on your part.

    Apr 22, 2015
  • anon

    Our weekly newspaper, The Calhoun County Journal, is mailed out every Wednesday morning. We use Interlink circulation software. A year and a half ago, when the Post Office closed the Grenada 389 section center, our northern delivery in the state because non-existent for more than 5 weeks. The newspapers were stuck in Jackson, MS where they remained the ENTIRE time. We were getting hundreds of complaints and cancellations. When the post office agreed to re-open Grenada 389 as a hub, delivery immediately returned to normal. When the Tupelo 389 sectional center closed, newspapers now go to memphis, delaying them up to a week. We are now driving newspapers to post offices 30 minutes away using exceptional dispatch so they can be delivered the same day. Every time a sectional center is closed, delivery changes to at least 7 days later. But I am paying the post office the same amount for delivery. It is very hard on our business to handle these complaints that we have no control over. I used epub for watches and complaints, but now that is no longer an option.

    Apr 17, 2015
  • anon

    We publish a daily paper in Monroe MI and send the papers to our local post office every week day packaged exactly as we are instructed to do so. In recent months we have received an increase in out of county customers complaining that their papers arrive a week or so later than they should. Some days a customer will get 3 or 4 papers and then nothing for half a week and then a bunch again. Sometimes the papers shows up a few days after publication day if they are lucky but most of the time well over a week. Absolutely no consistency. I have readers begging me for help and there is nothing I can do nor get any answers from anyone as to why the delays. Regardless if I am mailing to Florida or in the next county over the inconsistency happens constantly. I have even mailed a paper to my own house because it was hard to believe the complaints we received. After I finish writing this comment I will have to process a refund for a customer that has had enough. On a final thought I would like to suggest the postal service eliminate the Publication Watch process as that doesn't do anything other than say the final local post office delivered on the day they got the paper...problem is that is a week after I sent it out. I want to know what is happening in between my post office and the customers local post office.

    Apr 09, 2015
  • anon

    I am a newspaper publisher in Wisconsin. I have no problem if it takes another day or even two for my out-of-town newspapers to be delivered to my customers. What distresses me is customers saying they are receiving papers 2 or 3 weeks late, if at all. And the fact that the Post Office charges me for papers that are never received. If I treated my customers this way they would fire me. I know the U.S. Post Service is comprised of dedication, concientious people, but the operations/systems stink in terms of reliability and accountability.

    Apr 06, 2015
  • anon

    We are a weekly paper here in Southwest Wisconsin and have been having so much trouble with the postal service. We send our paper all over the US because we have customers that are "snowbird" (live in the south during the winter) and we had many concerns from them about not receiving their paper this entire winter. I know they are being sent out because we label each paper by hand. We have been in contact with our post office and others around the area and the major hub out of Milwaukee. I did have the problem solved for people out of the state not getting the paper, or so I thought, but now people in state and even in the same city are not getting their paper. Since our post office went through and became re-CASS certified, we have been in contact with them more to make sure our papers are getting to the right places. Like I said people in our town are not receiving the paper and currently others from out of the state are calling and staying they still haven't got their papers. I have a list of more than 50 customers who are fed up with paying for something they are not getting. We are losing subscriptions which then has us loosing money and when we finally get the situation figured out, I have to reimburse them a certain amount of weeks or months which also does not help with our money situation. Even when we send out our renewals or bills they get to people late and the bills are adding on overdue amounts. We are a smaller company and can not take hits like this when the cost of everything else (ink, paper, etc) is going up. We are working on getting our Postal Statements online but it is again difficult when our papers are going to the wrong places and our counts are not adding up. I just took over this position at the beginning of the year and that is when everything started to go downhill. I feel that I am doing a terrible job because I can't even get this figured out. I feel better knowing that there are others out there like me but I feel terrible know that there are others out there like me and having to deal with such difficulties. I do not understand the USPS system and have no right to really criticize them but this is ridiculous. I just hope and pray that this will be resolved so everything can go back to normal.

    Apr 06, 2015
  • anon

    Bad idea. As a business owner who depends on the prompt deliver of our newspaper to keep our customers happy, any reduction in standards will dramatically affect me and my business. As it is now I get calls on a weekly basis about papers not being delivered. I have one client that I have to take papers to because the post office refuses to deliver and then tries to charge us again for a return fee! Please consider the local newspapers before implementing these changes! Jennifer Reed Managing Editor Raymore Journal

    Apr 06, 2015
  • anon

    As the owner of a small community newspaper, I have seen the USPS service deteriorate to the point where i think you should rename it the United States Postal... because there really isn't much for service anymore. My out of state subscribers regularly see their papers taking 2 weeks. Many of my instate subscribers can take up to a week. And yet our costs keep going up but service keeps getting worse. How does that work? Luckily we have the Internet that we can now ship pdfs to our subscribers that desire their paper sooner.

    Apr 06, 2015
  • anon

    As newspapers who use the mail for delivery, we are already not getting the service we are paying for each week. Unfortunately, it has become routine for it to take two to three days for a paper to be delivered to a neighboring community 12 miles away. This can all be traced back to consolidation of mail processing centers. Periodicals are supposed be given the same priority as first class mail. Oh wait, that's being slowed down even more. We will all lose subscribers that we can't afford to drive the papers to the destination delivery post office.

    Apr 06, 2015
  • anon

    Our newspaper has seen a drastic drop in mail delivery and service. Newspapers delivered in the local market surrounding our drop zone take 3-4 days to be delivered when in the recent past, they were delivered the next day. Our paper is dropped at our local Post Office in Louisville, OH. Picked up by the Canton, OH office, driven to Akron, OH, then transferred to Cleveland, OH to be returned to Canton for delivery to all the local cities. Not only has the delivery times been lengthened to 4 delivery days, we are receiving at least 10 calls/week for papers not received at all. This is out of our small circulation of 1700. I am confident that the minimum 10 calls/week is only a small amount of papers not being received as not all customers call to complain. We have lost at least 20-30 subscribers due to lack of delivery and the customer has given up on subscribing. As a small business, we cannot afford to continue to lose subscribers due to the Post Offices failure to provide the service for which we dearly pay. In fact when one of our customers was directed to the Cleveland Customer Service phone number, she was told by the agent in Cleveland that, "they should consider finding another way to deliver the paper. " Rather concerning when the Post Office employee tells a customer that the publisher should find another delivery agent.

    Apr 03, 2015
  • anon

    I just received a call from subscriber that just today (April 3) received his Springs Valley Herald mailed March 11 (sent from French Lick, In.) to Shoals In. just 25 miles away (over 3 weeks for 25 miles). Of course I am going to lose this subscriber because they can not accept that delivery time. This is not an isolated case, we get these calls almost daily from all over the country. We also get a lot of calls stating they do not gat a paper for 3 or 4 weeks, then they get 3 or 4 papers in the mail the same day. which means the papers are being delayed at some point and then delivered all at the same time. Of course we are losing subscribers and there is not much we can do except try to get them to our website, but they insist they want the paper. I spend a huge amount of money with the USPS every year and the service declines every year, they may force me to look at other alternatives if things do not get better. Are experience in the past with contacting customer service is. You usually get a answering machine with a promise someone will call you back which rarely happens. We have waited months in the past for tracking papers to get back to us. The local Post Offices do a good job of delivery of our product and responding to our concerns, if it is something they are authorized to handle, but it is a real mess after it leaves the local offices, it seems the mail gets in these distribution centers and gets misplaced for days I understand the USPS is going thru a very tough transition, but so are we as a newspaper, and we are striving very hard to give are readers more and better service, not less.

    Apr 03, 2015
  • anon

    at the rocky mount nc p&df we use to handle most of the mail from I-95 to Elizabeth city.now all the mail goes to Raleigh for processing,but wait!raleigh can not handle all the mail,so...they send it to Greensboro.there is no one in this world can convince me this is cost effective.as an mm I do mail searches in the dbcs.i find mail every day going and coming to the same town that is postmarked 3 to 5 days previously..we are cutting our own throats

    Apr 02, 2015
  • anon

    To add to Mike's comment......Now some of the mail processed at Raleigh and Greensboro is delivered to post offices in North Carolina which are as far away from Raleigh and Greensboro as Boston is to New York.

    Apr 14, 2015
  • anon

    Are these numbers inflated? Are they consolidating across the time zones or just in one distinct area? Tell us more about service standards, in particular how they are going to be improved? Will you guys be emailing or admailing some of my mail? Can other people (not mail carriers) drop off my mail? Is the overnight service to accommodate "international" mail? Are male "packages" included in the products or services?

    Apr 02, 2015
  • anon

    Increase revenue as well as public service by initiating a secure email transmission service that would stand in the place of certified mail. Senders can attached scanned copies of secure documents to email, Postal service would transmit the document to the addressee either by email or by possibly by printing the document an delivering in paper format. Postal Service appears to see internet email as a competition but it is an opportunity if it were employed as a secure guaranteed communication service. It is technically feasible to transmit email to an account holder and be able to confirm that the mail was not only received but was opened. Courts recognize that Certified Mail, when sent to an addressee and then returned for non-acceptance constitutes 'Constructive Accpetance' and thereby obligates the addressee to be liable for the knowledge contained in the document. That quality of 'Constructive Acceptance' has not yet been (as far as I know) recognized for general email on the internet, but that could be achieved if the Postal Service provided an email account system that would provided the level of guarantees obtained via regular certified mail and regular registered mail. The cost for delivery and confirmation would be dramatically reduced since handling physical documents would not be needed.

    Apr 01, 2015
  • anon

    This is the time for change. Let's unite and ship with joy. Don't be ashamed. Read my blog if you like it.

    Apr 01, 2015
  • anon

    We publish two weekly newspapers in Hancock County Maine and mail approximately 7,300 newspapers each week. Of the 7,300, over 2,300 are mailed out of state. Timely newspaper delivery has been an ongoing problem for us for years, mostly with out of state delivery. In county delivery for the most part is reliable. We have started receiving reports of late delivery in other Maine counties in the past few months. Newspapers that used to arrive on Thursday or Friday are now arriving on Saturday or Monday. The problems with out of state delivery run the gamut: consistently 3 weeks late to Maryland and Florida, 6-8 weeks late in NJ, receiving February 13 and March 13 issues on the same day, erratic delivery, receiving later published papers before earlier ones, and on and on. A subscriber in New Jersey tells us that years ago he received his American on Saturdays. Then it became Monday and now it takes a week or longer. For us, the two worst states for delivery are Florida and New Jersey. We have lost many long time subscribers due to poor delivery. Subscribers are very loyal and love their Ellsworth Americans but they often tell us that news three weeks late is not news. They are correct. It is not news. The Postal Service is slowly killing off our out of state subscriptions. Will in-state be next?

    Apr 01, 2015
  • anon

    We are having delivery issues with our smaller postal carrier towns. What use to take 1 day to deliver, is now taking two to three days. We have loyal customers who are thinking about dropping their subscription if service does not improve. Any and all help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Mar 30, 2015
  • anon

    First off degrading service standard in effect is charging money for first class and providing third class service. That's called fraud! The consolidations are needed no doubt. But USPS is not laying employees off of shuting down Plants. The savings are questionable at best and again fraud at worse. USPS continues to procure processing equipment while volumes (demand) continues to decline. The entire company is being managed poorly. If you want to be treated like a "real" company you need to act like one.

    Mar 29, 2015
  • anon

    The Philipsburg Mail newspaper uses the Exceptional Dispatch service to deliver papers to the Anaconda Montana 59711 zip code, a Post Office 30 miles away. This stop eliminates an 81 mile journey west to Missoula, Montana plus a return trip 350 miles east to Billing, Montana before delivery can be made 250 miles west to Anaconda, Montana, a final destination only 30 miles east of Philipsburg. This effort shortens delivery time regularly by four days. It would be beneficial to the newspaper and the Post Office if the Philipsburg Mail could drop off all papers that are heading east instead of delivering them to the Philipsburg, Montana PO where they would travel to Missoula, Montana and potentially Spokane, Washington before heading east. As noted, the journey west regularly adds four days to the delivery time of this weekly newspaper. This delay is unacceptable to our readership and advertisers. It is costing us business. The Post Office is an essential part of our delivery system. To date 60 percent of our papers are delivered via the P.O.

    Mar 27, 2015
  • anon

    Network consolidation has already and will continue to cause massive delays. I am circulation manager of a rural newspaper in the midwest and service has tremendously slowed for us. We try to DDU drop our newspaper everywhere we can, but due to the shortening of hours the local post offices are actual open to accept mail, we have to mail some in sacks. Unfortunately, this means that some subscribers who live just 15 miles away from our office do not receive their newspapers for 5-7 days! Needless to say, those subscribers are (although mostly were, as most of them have stopped subscribing due to late news) very upset about the delay, and it gets increasingly hard to explain to them that it is not our fault that the delivery takes so long. At some point, the loss of subscribers is going to force us to deliver ourselves I guess.

    Mar 27, 2015
  • anon

    As I read this article the smoke started coming out of my ears! Then I read the comments posted and realized that I am one of many publishers who are infuriated at the complacency that resonates within the administration of the postal system. Instead of trying to clean up your act and provide the best service possible all you do is require more and more of your mailing customers to ease your load and on top of that, reduce the level of service! Unbelievable!! Any other privately owned business would have had to shut their doors a very long time ago! Our small weekly newspapers are located in the Central Valley of California. We take our paper to the local post office every Wednesday before noon. Thank goodness for the local postmaster who has instructed his employees to keep all of the papers that are delivered locally and in two other surrounding communities and they make sure that they are delivered the very next day. For any of our subscribers who are are of the area, the papers are now taken to West Sacramento Sectional Center, which I fondly refer to as "Never, Never Land." As other publishers have stated, many of the surrounding communities are not receiving their papers for 5-7 days, sometimes not at all and sometimes two or three editions are delivered together. This is unacceptable. And then I have to try and explain to my subscribers that it is out of my hands and I really can't do anything to solve the problem except send them another paper which in turn takes more money out of my bottom line. When it comes time to renew their subscription, it doesn't happen so again, more money out of my bottom line. There is not one person who takes responsibility for this lack of service! Lots of voice recordings, transfers to other departments but not a solution to the problem. Could it be that there are too many chiefs and not enough indians in the postal service? Who knows....because they aren't held accountable to anyone!

    Mar 27, 2015
  • anon

    We are losing newspaper subscribers from out of the local area because of higher postage costs and slow delivery. People 12 miles down the road complain that they don't get their paper until Saturday, and we mail it on Wednesday. Email and online bill paying are certainly hurting your volume. The answer is not to increase rates, as it simply drives more people to electronic communications. Perhaps you should have sales on first class postage from time to time to encourage use. Buy four and get one free, for example. We now pay for software to fit postal service requirements. We used to use an Addressograph that imprinted the address on the front page, and we put them into the proper order by hand. The papers in the northern half of Minnesota were all in mailboxes the next day. Now we have Intelligent Mail, and it takes longer. Another idea: Have a contest to boost productivity. Give rewards like an extra week of vacation to workers at the most efficient sorttation facility, for example.

    Mar 27, 2015
  • anon

    Our business has experienced a noticeable decline in service on delivery of first class mail to Lexington, VA. For the past few months, we will receive a large volume on one day, often a Monday, and then virtually no first class mail for several days, then another large volume day. Heretofore, our mail receipt volume was fairly steady, with predictable peaks around our billing cycle. This has affected our ability manage cash flow, and for our customers to remit payments promptly to us. If this continues, our business will have an incentive to explore more electronic payment options, further reducing our dependence on First Class mail. I believe you will find that may rural mail customers have experienced similar delays.

    Mar 27, 2015
  • anon

    Newspapers send millions of items through post offices across the United States on a daily basis. Further degradation to the already impaired service provided by the Post Office will impact not only our customers, but the customers of many of the businesses both of our organizations serve. To state "postal officials said they are confident consumers will not notice the service standard changes," seems at least disingenuous. Customers not knowing what the service standards are does not equate to customers not caring when the service is cut.

    Mar 26, 2015
  • anon

    We write a rather large check to the USPS every week, 52 times a year. (USPS demands that we give them the check BEFORE they provide the service.) With the check is the week's mailing report, completed to the level of detail that USPS requires. We prepare our mailings to USPS specifications -- exactly. We label, sort, stack, bundle, sack and hod our mailings in delivery order, as required. We put those bags and hods directly on the loading docks of specific post offices. We do this every single week, exactly the way that USPS wants us to. All we ask is that they then take all these mailings carefully prepared to the postal service's exactly standards and deliver them to the addresses on the labels, as we have paid for. We do not think this is too much to ask. Yet nearly every single week, and sometimes for months at a time, USPS fails to deliver one or more pieces of mail as promised. We have endless delivery problems. And that's not the worst of it. The worst of it is that you cannot get a single human being at USPS to care or take responsibility for the problem or even to attempt to resolve it. What we get instead is endless rounds of kicking the can down the road, or passing the complaint on to someone else, or being told to call a certain phone number ... which usually goes to voice mail and from which a return call is never received. We have to tell our customers to file complaints at their local post office. Unfortunately, that never seems to do any good either. In short, the USPS does not do what we pay it to do and does not respond to complaints when it fails to do the job which it has been prepaid to do. The USPS is NOT a business partner, it is a business problem. It is like bad roads or a slow payer ... it is a problem that has to be managed. If we had a reasonable alternative, we would be gone in an instant.

    Mar 26, 2015
  • anon

    Thank you for the feedback regarding Postal Service delivery performance. The USPS OIG will be conducting several upcoming local mail processing facility consolidation reviews this year as well as a national review of the Postal Service’s mail processing operational and transportation changes. These audits will look at delayed mail and Postal Service delivery performance. OIG Blog Moderator

    Mar 26, 2015
  • anon

    The manner in which newspaper mailers are required to prepare their mailings adds to the delay of the newspapers. In the "good old days" newspapers were placed in brown bags that were easily identified as the important mail that they were. Now they are simply put in the same 'ole white bag as the cheap stuff but with a pink label to identify their importance. The brown bags are no longer used. As the bags of newspapers leave the local offices where they are mailed and reach the "consolidated networks" (of which I am honestly a fan if it is done correctly), the tiny pink labels of one quarter inch by two inches (maybe?) are overshadowed by the giant white bags that may contain just a few newspapers. Why just a few? Because Postal regulations require them to be sorted into TOO MANY sacks---too many sacks that cost the mailer time, cost the bulk mail unit time, cost transportation time, and get lost in the shuffle with their tiny pink tags time. Oh but I digress, what do they get lost with? The standard mail that costs so much less to mail that is in the identical sacks. My solution to most ALL the problems with delayed newspapers on this blog---easy---two parts---change the bundling requirements for periodical mailers, requiring more per bundle and next place small numbers of newspapers into TUBS--NOT SACKS so they are easily identified and not mixed with standard mail. If standard mail is allowed in a tub, why not a periodical? The bundling requirement alone will save the Postal Service money on bulk mail verification. Ask any BMEU clerk, or me I was responsible for the audits.

    Apr 02, 2015
  • anon

    We need an accurate rural score that is not buoyed by urban centers. You'll find satisfaction stats are much lower.

    Mar 26, 2015
  • anon

    Correction to previous comment (added 'increase' in 2nd paragraph): "Corporate commissioned an independent research company to study network rationalization and RAOI (Post-Plan) and were told in no uncertain terms, upon completion of the study, that these would cost us business and money in the long term. The decline in 1st class mail has flattened and should be on the rise by year's end. There was this little thing called the recession in 2009 as well as PCSRSFRA in 2003 and PAEA in 2006 which have cost us, the last two unnecessarily, BILLIONS. The one thing you and everybody else are either ignorant of or conveniently forget to mention is that 1st Class letter mail remains, as always, our number 1 source of income. The main problem I see with all of this is US Code Title 39 Section 101. Besides that fact that a combination of the destruction in 1st Class delivery standards in January and Phase 1 of consolidation have degraded our capabilities well beyond what was predicted by Corporate, and that Phase 2 is now not only unnecessary but will render us incapable of processing the enormous increase in parcel business everybody is counting on, is the FACT that everything that has and is being done to effectively 'privatize' us is against the law. Short version is that we're making billions and you should really stop trying to fix something that isn't broken..."

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    Corporate commissioned an independent research company to study network rationalization and RAOI (Post-Plan) and were told in no uncertain terms, upon completion of the study, that these would cost us business and money in the long term. The decline in 1st class mail has flattened and should be on the rise by year's end. There was this little thing called the recession in 2009 as well as PCSRSFRA in 2003 and PAEA in 2006 which have cost us, the last two unnecessarily, BILLIONS. The one thing you and everybody else are either ignorant of or conveniently forget to mention is that 1st Class letter mail remains, as always, our number 1 source of income. The main problem I see with all of this is US Code Title 39 Section 101. Besides that fact that a combination of the destruction in 1st Class delivery standards in January and Phase 1 of consolidation have degraded our capabilities well beyond what was predicted by Corporate, and that Phase 2 is now not only unnecessary but will render us incapable of processing the enormous in parcel business everybody is counting on, is the FACT that everything that has and is being done to effectively 'privatize' us is against the law. Short version is that we're making billions and you should really stop trying to fix something that isn't broken...

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    It is taking as long as five or six days for an in-county paper to reach us. Our Chelsea Reporter mailed March 19 arrived today, March 25. I'm getting my Wall Street Journals sometimes two or three daily issues at a time. That used to happen perhaps once ot twice a year. Now it is every week and sometimes twice. FIRST class mail in this town is taking up to 6 days according to the Postmark--in onje case, from the home of an elderly woman four blocks away (in town delivery pickup is handled by rural carriers); the other was from across the street (literally) but contained a check so it was mailed instead of put in his drop box. We are rapidly switching to electronic issuance and payment of bills, and are getting more and more out of town renewals for the electronic version vs. USPS--citing delivery delays. A paper from Galena day sorted to 9-digit ZIP code by a former president of the Illinois Press Association took 19 days to get here. Priority mail works fine, but is totally impractical financially to send or pay a bill or distribute a newspaper by mail. Many readers want an ink and paper product for a variety of reasons. The Warren Buffets (with whom I have college ties) and Rupert Murdochs of this world aren't going to put up with this kind of damage to a major part of this business, and publishers--a notoriously independent lot--are totally united on this issue. Please don't give us this cost v. service nonsense--you have a Constitutional duty and the anger from both publishers and average citizens are growing. I have discussed the issue with our local postmaster and the service centers. They say there is nothing they can do. Mailing a letter in Oologah which is sent and postmarked and processed in Oklahoma City and then returned for delivery in Oologah? Does anyone in your office know how to calculate mileages and vehicle speeds on a map??? More and more local mail is delivered by hand or email.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    Au contraire on that "people will not notice". Renters are finding that their choice is between a $75 late fee from building managers, or posting their rent checks before their paychecks are deposited, risking a bank fee. I noticed the change in service standards when my payment to the postal credit union was received late, attracting a $25 fee. A complaint about poky delivery sent to the Board of Governors of the post office was returned to me; they sent me to the local consumer affairs office, which told me national management is responsible for these decisions (of course). I ashamed of the Board of Governors for giving citizens the run-around when the Board receives a complaint. Meantime the consolidation is burning up employees, according to the people I know who are in the USPS workforce and are being punished with extra workload. Shame on the privatizers in Congress and on the management of USPS for destroying the people's post office.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    I publish a small weekly newspaper. Delivery failures occur on a regular basis. In the past year, I have filled a folder with complaints from subscribers. I send replacements to all of them. The most common complaint is that these subscribers are waiting up to 3 weeks for 1 single issue. This is all over the U.S. -- not in any particular state or region. It concerns me that I am losing subscribers because of the failure in mail delivery. It concerns me terribly that I cannot get answers from any postal representatives -- I don't care how high or how low on the customer service spectrum. On occasion, I will get the listening ear of a seemingly sincere postal representative who wants to get to the bottom of the delivery issues. Most of the time, I have actually had postal reps comment that they have no clue what the problem is or where it originates. I am totally concerned that many of my subscribers' newspapers NEVER reach their mail boxes. NEVER. It is as if the papers evaporated in thin air. I have postal approved software. I follow all guidelines in mailing out the papers. My office has been inspected more than once for the way papers are handled and prepared for mailing with no apparent problem. Some of my subscribers are asking questions of their local postmasters. Most of the time the answer from them is, "The problem is with the post office that sends the papers out." I disagree in my case. The bags and tubs are put on a mail truck and transferred to other areas. The local postmaster is not responsible for what happens after the papers leave that office. HOWEVER, there should be a way to trace them BESIDES publication watches which I find to be busy work for me, yet they provide no viable solutions. I feel helpless to improve this situation, and I see my business losing a lot of revenue. I have faithful subscribers -- mostly retired folks -- who actually DOCUMENT the day that they receive each issue. It is taking three weeks or more for each paper to arrive. Sometimes, that subscriber will get 3 issues at once. What other explanation is there for that kind of delivery other than the papers are laying over somewhere for long periods of time? Yet, nobody will admit to it. After reading many of these comments from other newspaper publishers today, I realize even more what a truly serious problem this is....and has been for months and months!

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    We are a small daily newspaper that switched to mail delivery a few years back. Since then, we have seen a rapid decline of our subscription base that directly coincides with the rapid decline in service from USPS. Like just about every other comment I’ve read, we have customers that call us on a daily basis who are upset because they did not receive their paper in the mail. We even have the problem of several postal carriers who like to hold delivery of the paper until the customer has other mail to deliver. This results in our readers getting three or four papers at a time. Of course, when this happens, our readers call us not the post office. As far as they are concerned, it is our fault they didn’t get their paper. They do not want to hear any excuses and quite frankly, get tired of hearing the same response. Bad delivery or lack of delivery results in a bad reputation for our paper and ultimately the loss of a subscriber. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear “I want to cancel my subscription. I can just go buy my paper from the rack. At least I will get it on time.” Of course, we explain all the added benefits of being a subscriber, but that doesn’t always help. Less subscribers for us means less revenue for USPS. Yet, every time I contact our post master, I get nowhere. Out of pure frustration, in my last communication with him, I reminded him that we are a fairly large customer. And suggested that as a customer that pays for a service, if the service is not fulfilled as agreed upon, we would expect a credit to our account. I then expanded on that by saying we should be able bill the post office for the cost of every missed paper we end up delivering ourselves in an attempt to keep our subscriber. And that if we lost the subscriber due to their poor service, we should be able to collect that lost revenue from them as well. The only response I got to any of this was, “I will look into it and get back with you.” That was in September of 2014. I am still waiting on that response even after multiple follow-ups on my part. What is interesting is that when we first decided to switch to mail, the Post Master was so thankful. He said it kept him from having to lay-off two employees. So you would think the gratitude and customer service would be outstanding? What I do know is this: if we could have foreseen the amount of problems we would have with USPS, especially the amount of lost subscribers as a result, we never would have made the choice to rely on USPS to deliver our paper DAILY. I wonder what the state of USPS would be today, if they didn’t have any newspapers as customers… On a personal note, I have sent out mail on many occasions that never arrive at its destination. I also paid extra to have a package delivered by a certain date. After two weeks, I received a notice that I had a package I had to sign for. It turned out to be the package I mailed. The post office returned it to me saying the address was invalid. After much frustration and insisting they look into it, they sent the package again (for another fee) and it arrived with no problems. The kicker is, in all these cases, I NEVER got a refund for the money I paid them to get something from Point A to Point B. What other company can get away with customer service (or lack thereof) like that? If USPS does not address the decline in their service, they are going to quickly make themselves obsolete. There are too many other options for consumers. I know I would choose to pay a little more using another company to handle my packages, if I was assured it would arrive and arrive on time.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    I am the circulation manager of the Watertown Public Opinion in Watertown, SD. We have several subscribers from small towns who receive our paper on a daily basis. We have had issues recently with the delivery time of our paper. They papers have been 2 to 3 days late instead of the one day delivery service. We have several small towns (Henry, Bruce, Britton, Gary and Canby to name a few) who have unhappy subscribers because they now received the paper 2-3 days late instead of one day which they are used to. We at the Public Opinion are trying hard to maintain or increase our subscriptions in these areas along with several cities in South Dakota. We would appreciate your help to keep the subscribers by providing consistent delivery schedules. Thanks for your help.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    I have lived in the same house for 25 years. I have seen our local service deteriote. There used to be 3 windows open in our post office now there is ONE. We are a growing office hub and there are many many thousands of businesses that use this zip code and post office. Last Saturday I was dropping off pre posted mail and again there was only ONE window open and a line of about 25 people. The woman at the window said she was the ONLY one in the whole building and that the postmaster was suppose to come to lock the door so that people would not continue to arrive after the 12 noon closing tims, but that the postmaster had not shown up. All the employees are disgruntled and no employee lasts in the post office for more than 6 months. My mail went from arriving by 11:30 am to "i'm lucky " is I get it delivered by 6:30 pm Whatever the USPS is doing you are degrading it further and doing it WRONG! Conshohocken PA 19428

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    It is taking consistently longer than two weeks to get our papers from southwestern North Carolina to our subscribers in Florida. They sometimes arrive out of sequence; sometimes several in one day. Calls to Florida postmasters indicate that the papers go out the day their post offices get them. Our local postmaster sends them out the day our local post office gets them. I called the help line and a "resolution agent" called me back, took my information and said he would check it out. I haven't heard from him in a week and a half. My understanding is that there is no longer a publication watch so we can trace a paper. Getting our newspapers to Florida has always been a problem, but it is getting worse. I handle several calls a week concerning poor delivery. Our subscribers are frustrated and are beginning to go to our E-edition only which of course hurts the post office bottom line even more.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    We are having issue after issue in Sealy TX. Our newspapers that we mail out in our small town on Wednesdays get to the customers (if lucky) the following Thursday. This is one week late! USPS needs to see that they are hurting all businesses by letting their customer service go down the drain.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    We daturate our zip code (only one) and do not seem to be having any problems. If our post office were one recommended o close, we would have a delay of at least 3 days.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    We are getting more false non-deliverable returns for what turn out to be good addresses. Before canceling, I contact the subscribers and find out in fact they are still alive and haven't moved – let alone without leaving a forwarding address. The subscriber misses issues, and we pay 50¢ for the hassle.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    As a small town weekly paper - Subscription service has gone into the tank. from in County taking 2 - 3 days and carriers seeming to have the option to deliver or not. Our complaints have increased to the point we are wondering if maintaining our small subscription(under 500) list is worth it, costs have risen to the point that it has become a loss to maintain mail service. Our out of State subscribers have reported that delivery can take up to 10 days from our mailing date. Some have received 2 or three issues at once? Often people report receiving issues out of order. We do legal advertising and without being able to insure that first class (which used to be one day delivery) can not be at the Court in a timely manner. This does not only impact us, but also the public at large that rely on our services. Degrading service any further would not just create a hardship, but could force a closure of the paper. The loss of First Class as a timely alternative has only compounded the problem.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    We are a small weekly newspaper and we are seeing more complaints from customers. We recently received a letter from a subscriber who received her paper two weeks late (she blamed us). She is an out-of-state subscriber but the most interesting thing is she is located in South St. Paul, Minn. very close to the sort facility in Eagen, Minn., that our none local papers go to. She is threatening to cancel her subscription. But newspaper delivery isn’t the only thing that is a problem. Paying bills and getting paid via mail has become a problem since Jan. 1. An in-town advertiser mailed us a check on Jan. 15 we received it in March. I mailed a check to the phone company a half a block away and it took a week to get there. We moved our payroll in-house because it was taking too long to get paychecks from our out-of-town accounting firm. Only problem is I now have to mail my paycheck to my out-of-town bank 45 miles away and it takes 7-10 days to get there (incidentally the town my bank is in is closer to our sort facility than we are). I’m not sure how lowering the standards from next day to two day delivery has changed the delivery so drastically but it has. Somehow two days translates into 7-10 or longer for the postal service.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    Newspapers in South Dakota are doing all they can within their power to offset degrading delivery of their products (exceptional dispatch, printing deadlines moved up, etc.), but I'm afraid it won't be enough. In a very rural state such as ours, the effects of consolidating processing plants and lowering delivery standards are taking their toll not only on newspapers but their communities as well. Reports of sporadic and delayed delivery continue to pop up among many South Dakota newspapers across the state. Timely universal delivery of mail in rural America is vital and I worry it's slipping away.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    We are a small twice weekly newspaper. We have always had delivery issues with our out of county addresses. As the processing centers have closed these problem have increased. People receive two newspaper issues at a time. We have never had issues with out in county postal deliveries. However, we are having more in county delivery issues now than ever. A few newspapers don't ever arrive. Some routes have mail not arriving at homes until as late at 6:00 p.m. We have had whole routes delivered a day late. We have also seen a drop in timeliness of mail coming to us.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    I must be sarcastic. Why did you not ask for responses to be mailed through the USPS? Could it be that you realize they would all arrive months later if they arrived at all. Still waiting for a check I mailed out in January to arrive in Ohio. Since this wonderful consolidation plan, I have spoken to 15 different post masters at a minimum, and 75% of them responded with they (meaning the top dogs at the USPS) don't tell us anything. Or we do not get that information. Or that is above our paygrade. You have more than public disgust, you have internal disgust. And concerning the check mailed to Ohio - it was for a health insurance premium- luckily they let me know by email that the policy would be discontinued - because if they had sent a letter by USPS, my husband would be without health insurance. And this morning I received one of my weekly newspaper subscriptions which was mailed out 7 days ago. Have to admit that is an improvement - since my Feb 26 edition just arrived March 18th.

    Mar 25, 2015
  • anon

    It is taking consistently longer than two weeks to get our papers from southwestern North Carolina to our subscribers in Florida. They sometimes arrive out of sequence; sometimes several in one day. Calls to Florida postmasters indicate that the papers go out the day their post offices get them. Our local postmaster sends them out the day our local post office gets them. I called the help line and a "resolution agent" called me back, took my information and said he would check it out. I haven't heard from him in a week and a half. My understanding is that there is no longer a publication watch so we can trace a paper. Getting our newspapers to Florida has always been a problem, but it is getting worse. I handle several calls a week concerning poor delivery. Our subscribers are frustrated and are beginning to go to our E-edition only which of course hurts the post office bottom line even more.

    Mar 25, 2015

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  • 13 hours 43 min ago
    Thanks for your comments, which often inform our work. We appreciate your ideas and insights on this important topic. Please also note that general delivery/service issues should be addressed...
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