• Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 2 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Should the Postal Service Monitor Packaging Supplies?   2 months 3 days ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for taking the time to notify our offices of this occurrence.

    The role of the USPS Office of Inspector General is to investigate waste, theft, fraud and abuse within the Postal Service (USPS). Unfortunately, this issue falls outside of the jurisdiction of this office.

    However, please contact your local Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-275-8777, so they can look further into this matter for you.

  • Reply to: Should the Postal Service Monitor Packaging Supplies?   2 months 3 days ago

    There is a local private postal/shipping store in my city. If I bring USPS flat rate packages to their location, is it legal for them to ship at a higher rate? They told me flat rate is not a service that they offer. That may be legal, but is it legal for them to then charge by weight, as if it were not a flat rate package, even though I'm using the flat rate packaging? How do I report this if it's not legal?

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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..."

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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...

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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!

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 3 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    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.

  • Reply to: Post Office Relocations: Having Your Say   2 months 4 days ago

    Hello Leidy,

    Thank you for taking the time to notify our offices of this occurrence.

    The role of the USPS Office of Inspector General is to investigate waste, theft, fraud and abuse within the Postal Service (USPS). Unfortunately, this issue falls outside of the jurisdiction of this office.

    However, please contact your local Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-275-8777, so they can look further into this matter for you.

  • Reply to: Network Consolidation: It Takes Two … Phases   2 months 4 days ago

    Postal delivery was somewhat poor prior to the changes, but at this stage of the game it's worse than it's ever been. Subscribers in communities that are only 20 miles away wait four or five days to receive their paper and in some cases never receive it at all. Out of state subscribers are worse off. I had one subscriber in Texas who didn't receive his paper for three months. Address was correct. I pay $500 a week to send out my newspapers and when they don't arrive at all, this makes me angry. What happens to these papers that never get delivered? Perhaps I should request a postage due refund. Should the USPS lower their standards? I believe that started a long time ago.

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