• Reply to: Automation and the Life of the Letter Carrier   5 years 6 months ago

    Carriers still have to case mail because they have to wait for parcels, letters unsorted by machine, and signature required items so carriers case machined mail while they wait. Machines are being paid for by cutting carrier pay because supposedly casing is not required. It'll be the same thing with FSS.

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 6 months ago

    Lots of good ideas here. Let me add another. With the 5 day deliver around the corner the number of employees must be decreased due to the loss of T-6 positions. When HR 22 passes and the Postal Service recoups the almost 4 billion dollars overpaid into the retirement fund these funds should be used as follows. Offer employees with at least 25 yrs of service and 50 yrs of age a real retirement offer. If you added 5 yrs you would not have to pay out any cash incentives up front, thus not dipping into the 4 billion right away. I presume the majority falling into the afore mentioned years and age would take this offer over any cash incentive. This would reduce the ranks and would remove older, slower and with more physical liabilities,and more paid leave time, to retire. A young carrier, in better health, with less annual leave, will cost considerably less than keeping the "Old dogs".
    As far as management. The suggestion of 204b's counting the mail and then carrying auxillary routes makes alot of sense. We have too many high paid supervisors doing street supervision trying to catch a carrier taking a couple extra minutes on a break or lunch. Is that supposed to be cost effective? Someone mentioned crossing crafts. Well I don't know where you work but we have had carriers doing clerk work, custodians spreading the mail and more for a long time.
    As a Union member I am appauled at how the Union defends the lazy. I have restrictions for walking and how long I can be in heat due to heart problems. Yet I carry twice the mail each day as the carrier beside me that has no restrictions. I can count less than 10 days over the past 6 yrs that I have had to use my restrictions. The Union is right to say to do it by the book but they also should emphasize a 8 hr's of work for 8 hr's of pay. We have too many doing less than 6 hr's of work for 8 hours of pay. We have carriers who go shopping, get haircuts and more while on the route and it is not during their lunch time. These types of carriers is why we have high paid supervisors driving around in their AC looking to catch carriers.
    And last the Post Office should place NDCBU's on walking routes. Hardship cases can be done by individual needs. Every Carrier knows NDCBU's decrease street time. This decreases chances for dog bites too. Plus the added security of the mail would be a big plus for the Postal Service. I have people now that have started paying bills by internet because they didn't trust leaving their information in an unlocked box.

  • Reply to: Business Reply Mail   5 years 6 months ago

    BRE is first class mail -- we pay for it that way, at least. But over the last two years, the Oakland post office has been delivering our BRE's once a week or less, instead of the daily deliveries we once had (and pay for). This causes customers to complain about orders not being filled promptly and administrative headaches from getting large batches of BRE's on one day.

    We have complained to the Post Office perhaps 20 times, including through the D.C. office and our Congressional office. We are always promised a call back within a day (this rarely happens, however). If we are given a cal back, we are usually told that someone is on vacation or the person is new (for two years?). I have no confidence whatsoever that this issue will ever be resolved.

    We are considering just dropping BREs and asking customers to affix postage -- and including a note explaining that because the USPS no longer can be counted on to deliver BREs reliably, we have had to discontinue the service -- another black eye for the Post Office.

    We are far from alone in this area with this problem. The delivery person says a lot of people complain. Before the Post Office decides how to charge differently for BREs, it needs to figure out if it can deliver the service people are buying. If we don't get the service FedEx promises (and we have switched all ground shipments to FedEx because they are much more reliable and can track delivery), we would a) be called back promptly on complaint (or have the issue resolved up front) and b) get a full refund of what we paid for shipment. This inattention to customer service, sadly, seems to create a downward spiral for the Post Office where it does not have the money to provide better service and people abandon it because it doesn't.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Much of first class mail has already migrated to the web. Standard rate mail has done the same. Periodicals and the post office should have a symbiotic relationship. If USPS keeps raising the periodicals rates, more publications will continue to migrate to digital...in turn lowering the mail volume, in turn raising the rates again. It's a recipe for oblivion. It's a vicious cycle and USPS needs to understand that publishers will migrate to the web as the post office drives them toward it.
    You know they caution drowing men not to jump on their rescue-ers when they appear as that could drown both of them. I caution USPS not to take up all down.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    How did failed past efforts to package mail for delivery (DPP) affect current pricing? Was that the fault of mailers? How is FSS going to be any different? Are these machines versatile enough to be useful? Does the 'human battery' run out after 6 hours in the street like the Segway's did? Are the tabbed booklets and folded self mailers mixed in with my flats being counted as potential FSS material? What is the opportunity cost of pursuing FSS? Is there a simpler alternative out there? Why isn't the actor in the Flat Rate Box commercials carrying FSS? Why is the USPS advertising on TV anyway? Is it because we can't automate our own post cards? Shouldn't the USPS be able to automate post cards before moving on to flats? What is the optimal number of bundles to carry in the street? Is it two? Do we know how to carry two? Do we know how to carry three? Is our workers' compensation deficit fixed?

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Yes, it does appear that a larger share of the Postal Service's costs are institutional, at least insofar as mail processing costs are concerned. Attributable costs are supposed to be volume variable, yet mail processing costs, as I suggested and as Jim O'Brien explained, do not appear to behave that way to the extent claimed by the PRC. Moreover, as we both wrote, while manual processing costs may, technically, be "attributable," they should not be attributed to Periodicals unless the manual handling was both necessary and undertaken for the benefit of Periodicals' mailers. Here's a simple, and likely realistic, example. Let's say that a facility manager can reduce Standard mail handling costs by $2 million annually by manually handling good deal of machinable Periodicals mail. Doing so adds $1 million to Periodicals costs but still leaves a net gain of $ 1 million. She would be encouraged and praised for doing so, because she has saved the Postal Service $1 million. But, in this example, Periodicals attributable costs have increased by $1 million, an increase incurred not for the benefit of Periodicals mailers but for the good of the system as a whole. Operating decisions are not made on a class by class basis, but if attributable costs are measured that way, inequities can result.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    This thoughtful post makes the point perfectly. This one area is one of the fundamental reasons why the Founders thought to address the Post Office in the Constitution.
    As we address the challenges that confront this institution we do well to remember that the exchange of information is part of democracy's foundation. Calling the Postal Service the lynchpin of a $900 billion industry and thinking of us as "the company" have become the rage but the existance of this public institution is a critical element in sustaining democracy.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Today, Time Warner will be filing comments with the PRC in response to order no. 269. These comments will directly address some of the questions that you're asking. Quite frankly, some of these questions have yet to be answered. For example, in FY 2008, when flats volume was so low that almost all of it should have fit on the sorting machines, and perhaps did, the Postal Service's costing system still attributed very large costs for manual sorting of Periodicals flats. With ample automated mail processing capacity, why is manual processing still required??? Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of this issue once and for all.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Thanks for commenting.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    We want the OIG's blog to be a place to discuss all kinds of issues. This topic seemed interesting to us. That's why we picked it.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. The Postal Service has whittled down workhours in recent years. Shouldn't this have reduced the phenomenon of automation refugees?

    Good point about mailer efforts to reduce postal costs. Do you think those reduction efforts were not captured? Even if Periodicals processing has become more efficient, perhaps other classes have become even more efficient. In which case, Periodicals might see relatively higher cost increases.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Most of my purchases are delivered by Fedex or UPS. Most of my bills are paid online. If it weren't for magazines coming to my mailbox...
    Let's keep this affordable. Forcing more publishers to go online (where ad revenue can't be found to equal print) will only make the creation and distribution of well-researched material even more difficult to come by. And BTW: Because of my affordable paper magazines, the USPS has made a ton because of all the direct mail pieces I receive based on the sale of my subscription information. And I'd have to say, for the most part, these direct mail pieces are on target and are actually welcomed by me. Let's be smart about this, USPS!

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Interesting point about the relative "wantedness" of Periodicals. Do you think that the historic prices already have that consideration baked in?

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. Are you saying that a larger share of the Postal Service's costs should be considred institutional? Also, what are the reasons that there is a lot of manual handling rather than mechanized handling?

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    That's a good point. Should the pricing rules be adjusted to consider the residual effects of the mail?

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 6 months ago

    Regain Consumers Confidence!

    Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services - this is simply a title of a person that owns the ''DENIED'' stamp. This economy is tough enough without big Govt. in your pocket. I understand taxes and many other things I do not necessarily believe in, though what I do believe in is doing the right thing. USPS has not.

    I understand if I mail a package without tracking and insurance, it is like putting money in a slot machine. I do not gamble. I mailed a $500 package to a customer. I added tracking and insurance. I had that information sent to my customer. The customer never received the package. I filed a claim with no response. The customer put a hold on the funds ($500) and I had to reship ($500). This transaction now cost $1500, and I lost a very valuable customer.

    I e-mailed everyone including Post Master General, My Congressman etc. I went down the list and e-mailed my issue to every e-mail I could find with the USPS and finally got someone to respond: Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services. After several weeks of back and forth, she finally said she has everything she needed. I check the mail today. I was so excited to see my letter from USPS. I opened it like a Christmas card, waiting for the check to fall out. Again it is denied.

    Can anyone explain how this works? Get tracking number-did that! Get Insurance-did that! File a claim-did that. Contact USPS customer Service-did that! Send in Invoices and itemized list-did that! HELP! I am a very small Concho business, and $500 is a Big Deal! How does the little guy fight big Govt.?

    What happened to our confidence in Govt. Who will stand up and fight? Everyone wants donations and votes, and will pull a plumber out of the audience for votes. This is not a election year, and I only sell Conchos, but someone has to do the right thing. I am a small voice that is tired of getting kicked around. I am standing up, and ready for the fight!

    I have proudly served my Country (USMC Reconnaissance), I have four children (three adopted, one with Autism), been buried alive in a tornado, fought Cancer and Heart issues. I am not afraid to stick my neck out to do what is right.

    I simply want what is do to me through the US Post Office. I followed your rules, step up and do what is right. I have my documentation of every conversation with the Post Office, and all documentations of the transaction, tracking and insurance. Please put someone in contact with me other than:Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services

    claim#05038555749124058140

  • Reply to: Click-N-Ship® — Have You Used It?   5 years 6 months ago

    Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services - this is simply a title of a person that owns the ''DENIED'' stamp. This economy is tough enough without big Govt. in your pocket. I understand taxes and many other things I do not necessarily believe in, though what I do believe in is doing the right thing. USPS has not.

    I understand if I mail a package without tracking and insurance, it is like putting money in a slot machine. I do not gamble. I mailed a $500 package to a customer. I added tracking and insurance. I had that information sent to my customer. The customer never received the package. I filed a claim with no response. The customer put a hold on the funds ($500) and I had to reship ($500). This transaction now cost $1500, and I lost a very valuable customer.

    I e-mailed everyone including Post Master General, My Congressman etc. I went down the list and e-mailed my issue to every e-mail I could find with the USPS and finally got someone to respond: Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services. After several weeks of back and forth, she finally said she has everything she needed. I check the mail today. I was so excited to see my letter from USPS. I opened it like a Christmas card, waiting for the check to fall out. Again it is denied.

    Can anyone explain how this works? Get tracking number-did that! Get Insurance-did that! File a claim-did that. Contact USPS customer Service-did that! Send in Invoices and itemized list-did that! HELP! I am a very small Concho business, and $500 is a Big Deal! How does the little guy fight big Govt.?

    What happened to our confidence in Govt. Who will stand up and fight? Everyone wants donations and votes, and will pull a plumber out of the audience for votes. This is not a election year, and I only sell Conchos, but someone has to do the right thing. I am a small voice that is tired of getting kicked around. I am standing up, and ready for the fight!

    I have proudly served my Country (USMC Reconnaissance), I have four children (three adopted, one with Autism), been buried alive in a tornado, fought Cancer and Heart issues. I am not afraid to stick my neck out to do what is right.

    I simply want what is do to me through the US Post Office. I followed your rules, step up and do what is right. I have my documentation of every conversation with the Post Office, and all documentations of the transaction, tracking and insurance. Please put someone in contact with me other than:Domestic Claim Appeals Accounting Services

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    At a time when dissemination of information is being curtailed by the failure of newspapers and homogenized by the consolidation of the media, the rate preference for periodicals is more critical than ever. That preference is rooted in the First Amendment and should not fall prey to considerations that discount that amendment's importance to our democracy. I will be the first to note that finding out the latest shenanigans of Britney Spears has only a tenuous connection to the furtherance of democratic ideals. But toleration for such foolishness, and subsidies for it in print and broadcast, have always been the price we have had to pay to guarantee the widest dissemination possible of comments that are, indeed, critical to public discourse and to our democracy. The cap should stay in place. The continued creativity of the USPS should be brought to bear on seeing that it does.

  • Reply to: To Award or Not to Award: What’s the Postal Service to Do?   5 years 6 months ago

    I can understand how USPS can lose a package, though I do not understand why USPS refuses to refund customers that have tracking numbers, insurance, packing slips. I love the click and ship program, but if you lose a package, stand up and do the right thing....PAY! USPS lost a $500 package, cost me $1500 and I lost a very valuable customer. I was told by the Domestic Claims Appeals Accounting Services, they had everything they needed...then refused to refund the package. If I owed them money, it would already be in the bank!

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 6 months ago

    Eliminate the district level. I asked the fine folks that work at the local branch and they said their district managers get large bonuses and service is sacrificed to employ this needless level of management. It makes sense to listen to the people in the trenches! Mags @ Child Safety

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    I love my magazines. Please keep their delivery affordable.

  • Reply to: Click-N-Ship® — Have You Used It?   5 years 6 months ago

    I agree with Dan, but we need to know the extent of the problem. Some products do not receive acceptance scans because it would raise the attributable costs, and thereby raise the price of the products. Maybe acceptance using a skip interval, say 1 in 10, would allow USPS to determine the extent of the problem.

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    And you made this post so you can try to nail the Post Office on offering a service that promotes the transmission of ideas? Hunting for leads ?

  • Reply to: Periodicals   5 years 6 months ago

    Well said Jim.

  • Reply to: How Should the Postal Service Sell Its Products?   5 years 6 months ago

    It does help seeing so many other comments that validate the feelings I constantly struggle with. Asking a customer who comes in to mail a book to her sister(no hurry, she says)if she would like to guaranty delivery by tomorrow for $34.95, then having to ask if she would like cash back, and would she like to rent a P O Box, on top of all the other questions, is insulting to the customer and demeaning to me as a SSA.

    I have never been to McD's and had to listen to "Would you like to buy a jar of mustard and apply for a job here today?" We are the Postal SERVICE. Have a little faith in your employees to help the customers that need it and to promptly give service to the customers who already know what they want.

    Also, think long and hard before trying to retail other items. Remember the phone card debacle?

    Thanks for the forum. I do need to vent sometimes, and discussion and communication is always a good thing.

Pages