Don’t let the decline in mail volumes over the past few years fool you. People still place a high value on postal services. Postal customers especially value being able to interact with postal employees at a Post Office as compared to other retail alternatives. And while some people might be indifferent to Saturday delivery of letters, they still value Saturday delivery for packages.

These discoveries are among the key findings in our first-in-the-U.S quantitative survey on the value people place on the services the U.S. Postal Service provides as part of its universal service obligation (USO). In our earlier report on the USO, which looked at the collection of requirements that ensure all users of postal services receive a minimum level of service, we pointed out the need for a quantitative study – one that asks people if a higher level of service is valued enough to warrant the additional cost. We recently conducted such a study, What Postal Services Do People Value the Most?, with market research firm Gallup and postal economist Michael Bradley.

The new study asked respondents to consider four aspects of the USO:

Mode of delivery;
Access to postal services;
Frequency of delivery; and
Price.

We learned household customers place a high value on getting mail delivered to their door or to a curbside box rather than to cluster boxes or parcel lockers. Even for parcels, household consumers don’t like cluster box or parcel locker delivery, our survey found. At the highest parcel price in the survey, more than half of consumers would prefer paying the higher price to have delivery to the door, suggesting convenience trumps other factors for customers.

And it turns out that people really like to go to the Post Office. Both households and businesses have a strong preference for visiting post offices for retail services over alternative access points, including kiosks. However, respondents were satisfied with keeping post offices open for just a few hours, and placed minimal value on normal business hours.

Yet for all services, respondents indicated a limit to the amount of postage they would pay as a trade-off for higher levels of service. It seems both household and business customers value lower prices and might be willing to accept lower levels of service to keep prices from rising sharply.

We welcome your input on our survey results. What aspects of the USO are most important to you? What levels of service do you feel the Postal Service should continue to provide? 

Comments (109)

  • anon

    USPS is a joke. I do everything i possibly can to avoid using them anymore. Your lucky if your mail is picked up or delivered here in Taylor, MI. if you're expecting a package (because the online shop don't use anything but this joke usps) that is "out for delivery" your mail isn't delivered and the package states "access unavailable".

    Feb 17, 2018
  • anon

    PLEASE FIX OPA-LOCKA sort facility. It is known by USPS employees's as the "Black Hole" Too many packages getting DELAYED and LOST...... This place needs to be restructured and investigated.

    Feb 13, 2018
  • anon

    The reliability of postal service directed through Opa Locka Florida is awful. Twice in one month I have had first class packages seriously delayed, one for three weeks and one in transit still. I hate giving up my provider in Hialeah but the postal service has made it necessary.

    Feb 04, 2018
  • anon

    So a few days ago I mailed a package to my boyfriend. He opened it and there was supposed to be 1 blue collar one blue leash one silver metal choker (He had just gotten a puppy pittbull ) one heart shaped box with 2 red roses two pink roses 2 pink hearts 1 read stuffed animal and one box of chocolates. But when he got it... There was 1 blue collar one blue leash one rock one heart shaped box with two red roses two pink roses two pink hearts one red teady one box of chocolate. The metal choker collar had been switched out, with a rock. I am upset about this. Would you guys switch something out for a rock?

    Feb 03, 2018
  • anon

    If you are in S.Florida and unfortunate enough to have your packages go through Opa-locka , do yourself a favor and only order from places which use UPS or Fed-ex . If the place you buy from only uses USPS , explain to them why you don't want USPS. I'm surprised sellers take the risk of packages ''disappearing'' at Opa-locka.

    Jan 27, 2018
  • anon

    Your Opa Locka Center needs to be shut down or hire competent people. Continually late land or lost items. No facility that has this many complaints should be allowed to continue with current management and employees. Failure to address the situation is unacceptable.

    Jan 20, 2018
  • anon

    Great point but seems the S.Florida Post Master couldn't care less and HE is thus the root of the problem.

    Jan 27, 2018
  • anon

    We have the same issue here in Michigan . I believe they have trucks of undelivered mail sitting outside of the warehouse in Detroit / Allen park distribution center .

    Feb 14, 2018
  • anon

    Since December 19, 2017 I'm waiting for a very important envelope sent from Tallahassee, FL to be delivered in area code 33185 in Miami, Fl. The tracking history says the item arrived at OPA LOCKA Fl Distribution Center on December 21. Since then, the system keeps saying the item is "in transit to destination, on its way to Miami, Fl 33185". It is more than 3 weeks that it is on its way. Completely lost confidence in USPS because no one can help or give solution to this matter. Unbelievable.

    Jan 17, 2018
  • anon

    If the USPSIG office is unwilling to step in and clean up the criminal origination that has taken over the Opa Locka sort facility in Florida then the Justice Department needs to step in and do the job. This is a national disgrace and is hurting honest hard working Americans.

    Sep 12, 2017
  • anon

    I want to know around what date will opa locka Florida be shipping packages to California because my package has been there for awhile and hasn't moved yet I need to know what is going on

    Sep 12, 2017
  • anon

    Hello Alex, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service on the USPS website.

    Sep 12, 2017
  • anon

    Yes, i agree with alex. I am in oklahoma, my package has been in opa locka since the 7th and the storm did not affect that area until the 10th. It has now been 5 days as well for me. And zero updates

    Sep 12, 2017
  • anon

    I want to know around what date will opa locka Florida be shipping packages to California because my package has been there for awhile and hasn't moved yet I need to know what is going on

    Sep 12, 2017
  • anon

    I don't know what's going on in opa lockaFlorida sorting facility but my package has been there for over three days and I would like some one to check on it i have called so many times and no one ever answers so if some one could please tell me what's going on in opa locka Florida I would really appreciate it thank you

    Sep 11, 2017
  • anon

    I have lost confidence in USPS in West Palm Beach FL. In February it took three weeks for a card to be delivered. Now it's a mother's day card with gift certificate that is missing, after weeks! I believe you have a real problem that makes me want to report to the BBB and to use UPS for future cards/packages. By the way, my USPS in Michigan is wonderful, so what's the issue in WPB, FL?

    May 26, 2017
  • anon

    Hi Linda, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service which investigates internal fraud, waste, and abuse; and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, 800-275-8777, or file an online complaint with Customer Service. Very Respectfully, The USPS OIG

    May 26, 2017
  • anon

    Mail processing and delivery, has become such a joke. Automated service, which lacks a human touch is making the need for uneducated employees obsolete. If they remain a continued service employee, the process is so complicated, they are either incapable of resolving a problem, or not authorized to inquire.

    May 14, 2017
  • anon

    Looks like I'm a victim of the Opa Locka location as well. Item arrived there on 5/2/17 at 12:00am, (I immediately googled for reviews and out of 359 people, it's a 1.2 star rating). You say it won't happen to you and low and behold, no update since. I was supposed to receive yesterday in NY via priority. The 800# has no clue and it is now 5/5/17 at 7:18am, still nothing. It is now 3 days since last scan. If this post office is getting so many complaints for theft or lost packages, why no action has been taken?? This whole USPS tracking system is a joke, useless and unreliable.

    May 05, 2017
  • anon

    Hi Sabrina, Thanks for the comment. To best resolve this issue please file a complaint with our OIG Hotline. You can access the Hotline by clicking the red button at the top right hand corner of this website that reads "Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse" Thanks, USPS OIG

    May 08, 2017
  • anon

    My issue was resolved... Just a simple delay... Thanks for responding...

    May 08, 2017
  • anon

    Two different packages stuck at the Opa Locka USPS facility for 5 days! What is up with this? NOT ACCEPTABLE! Is anyone paying any attention to all of these complaints? Complete CHAOS or who knows what! Based on what I am reading... this does not appears to be the NORM for this facility! I live 3 hours away. It would have been faster to pick it up myself! CRAZY!

    May 01, 2017
  • anon

    Mine has been sitting there since 5/2/17 @12:00am. I hope you received an update by now. From reading reviews about this location, my anxiety is kicking in big time. I had a delivery date of yesterday.

    May 05, 2017
  • anon

    Hi Sabrina, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service which investigates and audits internal fraud, waste, and abuse; and day-to-day mail delivery issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (1 (800) 275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service at the USPS Website. You can also file a report with our hotline by clicking the red button above.

    May 05, 2017
  • anon

    Again I made the big mistake of having an important package sent to my PO Box in Fort Lauderdale only to have it sent to the wrong branch in Fort Lauderdale from the Opa Locka sorting facility. It is now back in Opa Locka. The last package I had sent to me bounced back and forth for weeks to the wrong branches. It is my own fault for not using UPS or fedEx. Never again will I use USPS for parcels.

    Apr 27, 2017
  • anon

    Why is the mail to be delivered to Boynton Beach Beach, FL, from West Palm Beach, FL, being sent to Opa Locka, FL.? The mail sits on Opa Locka, FL for days at a time, only to be sent back to West Palm Beach, FL. What is going on with the USPS? This West Palm Beach, FL and Opa Locka, FL sorting facility's needs to be investigated by the USPS Inspector General quickly before they ruin people's businesses. Please do something about it now, so we can trust the mail system again. Until this problem gets fixed, I am going to use another carrier. Thank you, Joseph Dos Santos

    Mar 12, 2017
  • anon

    My very important package has been bouncing back and forth from the Opa Locka sorting facility to the wrong branches in Fort Lauderdale for weeks. Sometimes sitting in Opa Locka for several days. I have called the 800 number and got a case# but no return call. I NEED THAT PACKAGE! At this point I just wish they would send it back to sender and I can have it Fed Ex to me. Totally upset, frustrated and helpless.

    Feb 28, 2017
  • anon

    !! THIEFS !! Ive had thousands of dollars worth of items stolen from opa locka in the last couple of months, have ruined my business! They should be constantly be watched by a supervisor or get cameras with security. I no longer trust usps i cant afford to take another loss so i stopped using this company this place is full of thiefs!

    Feb 02, 2017
  • anon

    I would like to know who do I need to contact to make a formal complaint. In less that 6 months I've 2 parcels lost at the Opa Locka sorting facility. This is unacceptable and worst a known problem by USPS when a USPS employee states that the Opa Locka sorting facility is the site where things arrive and never leave.

    Jan 26, 2017
  • anon

    I'm not sure as to why I'm even posting this, considering the complete lack of any response by any USPS employee on this page, in addition to the lack of any mention of customers having been contacted by a USPS employee in response to these posts. That being said, I want there to be a record. I had two packages ship from the same company and location in San Bernardino, CA. The second of which shipped to Chicago and then to my location (APO), which took less than 10 days using Priority mail. The first package, however, shipped on 13 Dec, and has been stuck in Opa Locka post office. It's 10 Jan. This is absolutely unacceptable. Unfortunately, being a military member stationed overseas (hence the APO), I'm forced to use USPS. When I return, however, USPS will never have my business again. I'd strongly suggest that an inquiry be conducted into the employees of this facility, but I know that these cries will go unanswered.

    Jan 10, 2017
  • anon

    Opa locka post office is poorly run. They are probably one of the main reasons USPS is going out of business . If your package doesn't arrive timely, and you call them at the number listed by USPS for that office, complain to consumer affairs. If they have to keep being in contact with consumer affairs maybe they will wise up and hire a capable postmaster for that location

    Dec 21, 2016
  • anon

    Last week I shipped 4 packages USPS Priority mail with 2-3 day delivery. I understand, no guarantee - but each of those packages took a week to be delivered. I noticed that after dropping off my package at the local post office - it took 60 hours for the packages to be shipped out of Florida. (My local post office to Opa Locka to Pembroke Pines) I thought I would be kind and try again this week with yet another package - wrong. My package has been sitting in Opa Locka for over 24 hours. You might want to change your website to read that priority mail takes a week during the Holiday season - just saying you are going to have a lot of angry customers. I am already encouraging everyone I know to ship very early or use another form of delivery if they want their gift there in time for their event. So far, I missed one event and we are trending to miss a second event. Thank you USPS for caring so much about the package I entrusted with you!

    Dec 08, 2016
  • anon

    THEFT!!! THEFT!!! THEFT!!! THEFT!!! STOP SAYING YOU WILL DELIVER OUR PACKAGES THAN STEALING THEM. TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY AND HAVE SOME INTEGRITY.WE G ET IT, ITS NOT ALL OF YOU BUT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE THAT WE GET WHAT WE ARE PAYING FOR AND PROMISED. WE KNOW THE INSURANCE OPTION IS JUST SO ITS A FINANCIAL GAIN AND PROTECTS YOU FROM YOUR OWN THEFT FOR NOW. YOU SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PACKAGES ANYWAY, AFTER ALL IT WAS LEFT IN YOUR CARE. NOT "WE WILL CARE FOR IT IF YOU PAY EXTRA" SCAM SCAM SCAM

    Dec 08, 2016
  • anon

    Fire EVERYONE at the Opa Locka post office! USPS is nothing but a theft pick off. Stop hiring knuckle heads. At least get that right.

    Dec 07, 2016
  • anon

    I am having a problem with getting a package. I have a package that was supposed to have been at my house 12/3. It made it from New Jersey to New Orleans post office in 4 days. It has been sitting in New Orleans post office since 12/2. I asked the people at the Kenner post office about going pick it up and was told that I couldn't and that it would be to my house by today. It's not here, and I'm getting frustrated that my package( by the way a birthday present, now a late birthday present) has not been delivered or I cannot pick up

    Dec 07, 2016
  • anon

    Would just like my packages so that I can meet a deadline. Both were sent 2 day shipping. They have shown the same status since Dec 1st and Dec 2nd respectively. I'm sure this will go nowhere but just had to vent.

    Dec 05, 2016
  • anon

    The Opa Locka post office must be one of the worst run offices in the country. Reading the reviews and my personal experience is the best way to describe it. My package has been sitting there for four days but according to the tracking on USPS on line it is in transit to the destination, whatever that means. There most be a better way, according to the statistics the USPS made millions of dollars last year but cannot put it to use to better serve its customers. Maybe a new Postmaster General can straighten out the problems, the current one can't seem to get the job done or does'nt have anyone looking into the Opa Locka problem.

    Dec 03, 2016
  • anon

    Let's face it. USPS is ancient news and they know it. If they weren't on every corner of America they'd quickly be out of business. Example #1, of all the 500+ collective bad reviews on opa locka, I don't see A SINGLE USPS REPRESENTATIVE REPLYING TO ANYTHING! The customer service is so horrendous, you'll get a better response from a monkey with a typewriter. If you want to share our concerns "USPS" tell us who we can contact that will ACTUALLY run an investigation on this place!

    Oct 30, 2016
  • anon

    I am a senior living on Social Security and have a shop on Etsy and buy from EBay..most of my packages either never arrive or take forever to get here or to my customers. For the price of USPS ( which can be so high it effects my business) or packages take up to 3 months to arrive either to me or a customer... once again.... BIG govt. does not work... what a broken mail system we have.. yet nobody in DC seems to care...

    Oct 23, 2016
  • anon

    My recent experience with services in zip code 92881 on 10/17/2016, in California. I put a vacation hold on mail for one week. In the past their has been several attempts (mail theft) to steal mail in the neighborhood. upon returning from vacation and after checking my mailbox, I discovered mail had been delivered the entire time I was on vacation. This really trouble me because I had recently requested checks from my bank institution which had been delivered. I went to the post office to collect any mail that has been placed on hold. Much to my surprise I had mail. I asked to speak with the manager/ supervisor in charge. I explained the situation regarding the vacation hold and NO MAIL should not have been delivered.This manager/supervisor apologized and stated that the regular postal person must have been out sick and a sub person delivered the mail. As I explain to this manager/supervisor, THAT IS NO EXCUSE. Same procedures should apply no matter who delivered the mails. He said he would look into the matter but by his tone, I doubt that. I wasn't convinced after speaking with him. I Hope this is resolve so it doesn't happen in the future when placing a vacation hold on mail.

    Oct 17, 2016
  • anon

    I am puzzled. Given all the terrible things said about the Opa Locka facility, you would think something would be done about it. Remarkably no one at the USPS seems bothered. As a seller there is nothing worse than a buyer expecting a package and beginning to think they have been scammed. The Opa Locka facility as pointed out by many is a blight on the entire postal system. Frankly if a new service like Amazon shows up to deliver packages, I will abandon the USPS.

    Sep 29, 2016
  • anon

    the opa locka post office is absolute crap please open an investigation.

    Sep 28, 2016
  • anon

    Sent a package to Opa Locka on August 22 and has yet to arrive at it's destination. I should at least get my cost of shipping back. ($53.00)

    Sep 12, 2016
  • anon

    North Houston facility still scamming customers and committing fraud daily.

    Aug 23, 2016
  • anon

    HELLO, I HAVE FILED NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS ABOUT NOT RECEIVING MY MAIL FOR YEARS,, THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS SINCE NEW YORK I USED TO LIVE AT 379 e. 157TH STREET IN THE BRONX, AND THATS WHEN MY MAIL STARTED GETTING STOLEN OR REROUTED TO ANOTHER ADDRESS. THAN I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA AND THE SAME THING I HAVE NOT BEEN GETTING MY MAIL FOR YEARS ONLY JUNK MAIL OR GOVERNMENT MAIL. BUT NOT MY CREDIT CARDS OR CREDIT REPORTS OR CREDIT STATEMENTS . OR HOUSING LETTERS . ALL OF MY IMPORTANT MAIL IS BEING STOLEN. ALSO IN TEXAS, OKLAHOMA SAME PROBLEM.

    Aug 18, 2016
  • anon

    Also . What kind of craziness is it to allow Media mail packages to be opened by the USPS employees. Once its opened and someone likes what they see, what is to stop them from taking it. That is so Ludicrous. I have lost so many items sending them media mail.

    Jul 19, 2016
  • anon

    I'm having a really big issue with getting my package shipped out of your OPA LOCKA, FL 33054 location. i was told my package should arrive to its destination on Tuesday today is Thursday. I can't get anyone on the phone from that office. I opened up a case today under case#ca129044896. I really need that package to be at its location no later than Friday 07/08/16

    Jul 07, 2016
  • anon

    The Opa Locka post office is a DISGRACE to the entire United States Postal Service!!!! I cannot believe that after ALL of the complaints regarding FRAUD and STOLEN MAIL, which by the way is a FELONY, they are still in operation!! This is complete and utter NEGLIGENCE on the USPS as a whole!! There is NO reason a package "went out for delivery" from the Opa Locka office and a week later, has not been delivered!!! WHY HAS THIS ISSUE NOT BEEN ADDRESSED??????????????

    Jul 07, 2016
  • anon

    I had a huge issue with opa locka last June and after hours of filling out forms and calling various depts. I finally got through the Inspector General's office and spoke with an agent re the blatant theft going on. It's pretty obvious nothing has been done since I have another package "in transit" from Opa Locka for 9 days now.

    Apr 11, 2017
  • anon

    Same problem with Opa Locka usps...the package was mailed & was supposed to arrive on 6/30; however it left this usps and has never been seen again!! Customer service is a joke!! Why has no one in Congress done something about the problem that obviously exists at this post office or at least, deal with what appears to be a slew of incompetent postal workers???

    Jul 06, 2016

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