• Reply to: Betting on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    Dear Anna,
    I'm sorry for you're awful experience. However, blaming the poor incompentent postal clerk is simply
    not right. Every postal employee is required to pass a competency examination to qualify for each respective position in the organization. So, by virtue of this information, it is unfair to assert
    that the employee's mistake was a result of their
    apptitude and skill level.
    However, you might look into the shenanigans, ahem... er.. I mean work.. of The Department of State as to why it was necessary for you to abruptly decide to obtain a passport on July 13 2010. I would suggest you subscribe to the US Department of State News feed as I do.
    Or you can obtain similar information from the "Federal Register" like the rest of us informed citizens. Regular folks like us have to keep an eye
    on some of the administration's cabinet folk. Just so things stay on the, you know... up & up.
    By the way, I'd probably listen to the weather forecasts once in a while too. You can find them at NOAA.GOV, or simply tune into any commercial radio channel.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/06/143724.htm

    Instead of complaining to the poor incompentent post
    office, try directing you're complaints to the Congressional member representing you're home district.

    Have a Nice Day

  • Reply to: Stamp Vending Machines   4 years 11 months ago

    I am still fuming at the incompetence I experienced at the hands of the USPS today. I needed an original document from London. The London party paid 6 pounds to send it special air delivery registered. I stay in my home/office all day to make sure I would receive it.

    At about 4 pm, I check my mailbox. There was a note "Sorry we missed you!" Nobody missed me! The carrier was too lazy to ring my bell and take the elevator (not even stairs) up to the 5th floor to get my signature. I immediately called and asked for redelivery today but was told that was impossible.

    Now I have to go to the post office before my morning meeting to retrieve this document.

    No wonder people prefer FedEx. This has happened to me with USPS before. This would never happen with FedEx. This is one of the reasons the USPS is losing business. It deserves to lose such business.

    FYI the tracking # is 5293 0280 8780 5045 and the article number is LY 5550 7957 3GB.

    Is that carrier going to keep his/her job?

  • Reply to: Periodicals   4 years 11 months ago

    It makes sense that a larger portion of the Postal Service’s costs are institutional. Also, as others have mentioned more of the manual handling should be automated.

  • Reply to: Betting on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    I'd like to warn unsuspecting customers of something that happened to me at my local post office.

    I took my 16 yr old daughter there for a passport. We waited in line for THREE HOURS yesterday, only to be told by a totally incompetent postal worker when it was finally our turn, that because my daughter did not have a state ID, that she couldn't get a passport. Not knowing otherwise, I went home.

    Then, I read the fine print on the passport application when we got home, and learned that because I am her mother, all I needed to do was show MY state ID, and sign an affidavit. I was enraged.

    I called the post office manager, and he agreed that what she told me was incorrect. I then went back to the P.O. this morning, in TORRENTIAL RAIN, to be sure I was the first in line.

    Once there, I learned that the passport rates GO UP TODAY, and the post office refused to give me her passport for yesterday's rate, EVEN THOUGH I HAD ALL MY PAPERS IN ORDER AND I WAS NOT THE ONE IN THE WRONG.

    To make matters worse, I tried filing a complaint against the incompetent postal worker, only to be told by the person at 800-ASK USPS that because she doesn't have anything in front of her showing that I could have simply shown my ID and filled out a form attesting I have known my own daughter for 2 years, that she cannot take the complaint!

    AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE HATE THE FREAKING POST OFFICE?!

  • Reply to: Could Longer Lines Be Coming to Your Local Post Office…Lottery Lines?   4 years 11 months ago

    I don't play the lottery, but I still think this is a great idea. And for those who are gamblers who can't control themselves, too bad. It's your job to take care of yourself, not the government's

  • Reply to: Could Longer Lines Be Coming to Your Local Post Office…Lottery Lines?   4 years 11 months ago

    Personally, I like the idea. I think the USPS should do whatever it can to close it's budget gap and lotteries have been proven to raise revenue for those that run them.

  • Reply to: Could Longer Lines Be Coming to Your Local Post Office…Lottery Lines?   4 years 11 months ago

    Personally I think it a bad Idea

  • Reply to: Pricing and Price Caps   4 years 11 months ago

    The blog is helpful for price niche.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    Just think about Google mail. Here is a service that costs millions of dollars to provide and we don't have to pay anything to use it. It is advertising supported and that is fine with me. I am free to ignore the ads.

    The post office should adopt a similar model. Just think how much they could make if companies were able to create stamps that also advertise or envelopes with advertisements. We could probably even end up with mail delivery for free. Advertisements on mail trucks & uniforms, sponsorships etc.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    An area for big and relatively easy improvement in linking bicycles and mass transit for intercity travel is making Amtrak accommodate bicycles on all trains without forcing passengers to pack their bicycles as cargo

  • Reply to: Workforce Flexibility – Would it Work for the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    Justcarryingon-
    I am a small town level 11 PM, and I would love to pick up some OT for a little extra money. There are others that feel the same way. Problem is the union rules don't allow for it, even though I do not supervise anybody and the work I do is closer the a window clers than a higher level PM. The flexibility in a case like this would be a win-win for everybody.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    Why do you worry about increasing the price of stamps by 2 cents. It drives consumers crazy trying to keep up w/ the changes, by consumers I mean for current day John Q Public who mails a document probably twice a year. Why not make smart decisions like utilizing all the equipment and space you have. You have large facilities all over sitting empty, while companies like fedex make money off more than just selling postage/shipping, they offer a wide range of solutions which pertain to the shipping/postage world. Get it together, how can you expect to succeed when all you're capitalizing on is a dwindling archaic market, expand for the love of god, go outside the box, open your eyes to the evolving world around you, perhaps...

  • Reply to: Give Customers What They Really Want   4 years 11 months ago

    I live in a city of over 20,000 people. We are are fortunate enough to have fast curtious clerks who work hard and do a great job. The postal workers on the front lines, i.e. the carriers and clerks, are the ones who take the brunt of the cut backs by working longer hours and having to increase routes. I would love to see a solution, but it's an antiquated system whose cost of operation can only go up. I like the idea of reducing delivery days from 6 to 5 or even four if it somehow wouldn't affect anyone's ability to earn a living.

  • Reply to: Workforce Flexibility – Would it Work for the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    I think the USPS could save a greater deal of money by outsourcing the job of OIG. No $100,000 + salaries, no benefts and able to be let go with no recourse. That would help solve a good deal of monetary woes the USPS is facing. Eliminate the Postal Service Gestapo.

  • Reply to: Too Costly to Keep On Truckin?   4 years 11 months ago

    I'm Back, and I've got my "grump" on.
    How Dare You complain about how much it costs to maintain these vehicles:
    When you force us to use "preferred suppliers" that cost 4x more than what any shmoe on the street pays, and 5x the wholesale price we used to pay.
    When you brag how cheap contracting out is, but you still "need" the obsessive clerical recordkeeping, and it's done by the VMF.
    When you brag how great the contractors are. And a lot of them are. But the fact is, a lot of shops wouldn't do work for the Post Office, and never will. We are constantly looking for new contractors, and most shops aren't interested.
    When HQ's insist we use certain brand parts, {like ignition modules, or starters} that fail more often, and when they fail, consume parts they interact with.{flywheels and ignition coils}

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    USPS is not only offering cheap rates in comparison with most European postal operators, but it simultaneously fulfills the universal service obligation for a much vaster geographical area, than any of the European postal operators. U.S. mailers are truly getting a bargain. Most just don’t know it.

    Click HERE to see how USPS rates compare to European postal rates.

  • Reply to: Give Customers What They Really Want   4 years 11 months ago

    Personally I think if the PO wants to stay in business, they need to start thinking IN the box; they need to lower the cost to send packages to stay competitive--honestly how many of us will choose UPS or FedEx because they may be cheaper? Lots! And yes, the "if it fits, it ships" boxes the PO offers are great, IF you have a heavy package you need to send far away. Otherwise it's like the Dollar Store. Surely we all know we may get a bargain on some dollar items but others should sell for much less--so it balances out for the store. To be fair, let's give the PO credit where it's due, because honestly it's EASIER to send a package through the postal service. There are always some who will choose 'ease of use' over cost.

    The fact that Snail Mail (sorry, I didn't coin the term but compared to email and instant messages, it fits) is moving the direction of the dinosaur should have been foreseen when it was suggested years ago that we go to a paperless-money society. Thus sprang e-banking and online bill pay. Now those places were paying attention! They went with the flow. So PO this is what I say--I hear the grievances about short Saturday hours so why not dump Saturday delivery but open the PO all day to customers? You could always be closed some other day of the week to compensate. People will learn to deal. And let me back-track a bit--the USPS isn't all bad by any means--you guys did a great job of jumping on the on-line band wagon (consider this blog for one). It's the BEST PLACE to buy stamps (honestly I am more than willing to pay a buck to have my stamps come to my house or office--it's WELL WORTH IT with no hassle and more stamp choices). I also use the website anytime I need to put in a Stop Mail order. I frequently pay for and print postage for packages on line too. I bet most people don't realize what you CAN do on the website. So kudos on that one! But you have to remember that those advancements using technology will have an impact on the need for brick-and-mortar postal buildings. Again, it's foreseeable.

    Still the sad fact is having a postal service as it is now is quickly becoming obsolete (if there is less mail to deliver...well you do the math). If I were the Postmaster General I would be carving out an agreement with UPS and FedEx to hire a certain percentage of the postal employees (we would assume some would retire). We, the customers, would then choose our carrier like we choose our phone or electric company. Be proactive. Don't wait for extinction.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    Really another increase?! Of course. This is one of the only business' that increases on a regular bases and at such a high rate. Why? No wonder people and companies like the one I do mail for are cutting back. Our customers don't want to pay more,EXPECIALLY with the economy the way that it is. So why do we put up with this year AFTER year? Because we have to? I know what I'm going to do about it do YOU?

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    No, they should not raise prices to the tune of 23% in some cases. it's crazy.

    They should instead continue their cost reduction efforts where it does not impact adversely service. But more importantly, they should pursue more vigorously to get back the $75 billion (or $55 billion) CSRS pension overpayments and reform the prefunding payments for retirees health care. They should get their money back first.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    Try cutting some overhead first.
    The more you raise rates the more you drive away business.

    Pensions higher than the working wages of the retiree isn't sustainable and thus why the private sector doesn't see it, except in a few rare circumstances.

    Bulk mail is sorted and the handling costs are removed before they arrive at any bulk mail center. If you keep the costs down on that, you just might spur a private company to expand a more economical way to collect mail from the public and use sorting technology to offset more of the expensive labor costs to insert the random mail into a bulk rate presort for a profit. Removing the overhead of the handling would save more as well as reduce the attrition of folks reducing their USPS mailing products due to ever increasing rates.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    An 8% proposed increase in peridocials seems excessive. We are doing more now, by having pallets organized, barcoding, and we still get many customers that camplain they do not get their publication. I could stomach a 3-4% increase, but 8%? The post office needs to do like all the other companies had to do during these economic times...layoffs and no wage increases.

  • Reply to: Is the Price Right?   4 years 11 months ago

    They, like all other businesses are doing, should be concentrating on trimming all of the "fat" from their expenses. I would start with payroll. They are definately getting paid WAY too much for the actual work that they have do. I work for a bulk mailer, and WE do 98% of the work at our plant now that the post office used to do. They are doing a lot less and asking for a lot more money.

  • Reply to: Give Customers What They Really Want   4 years 12 months ago

    I feel bad for you overworked window clerks----as you are aware, there are clerks out there who spend their time reading magazines and discussing last weekends barbecue with the postmaster. I heard a telecon where a poom was begging the postmasters to release their unneeded clerk hours to those offices who need "all hands on deck". Sorry guys---not gonna happen---not as long as the local postmaster is making the schedule. If they release their hours they are in danger of losing these hours permanently. It's tough to read People magazine when you have to get up every 20 minutes to help some customer mail a package!

  • Reply to: Workforce Flexibility – Would it Work for the Postal Service?   4 years 12 months ago

    One of the big problems with use 'em as you need 'em employees is that management will abuse them even worse than they do the people who are "protected" under contract. Supervisors and postmasters would give all the hours to their "friends" and those less loveable will be kicked to the curb. Let's make some of the smalltown postmasters and clerks flexible----then they can see what it is like to get dirty and EARN a paycheck.

  • Reply to: Workforce Flexibility – Would it Work for the Postal Service?   4 years 12 months ago

    How about a reduction in management? If any reductions are needed, that's where to look.

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