RARC-WP-15-007 - 02/23/2015

The OIG has conducted a nationally representative quantitative survey on the relative value of some key services provided as part of the universal service obligation (USO). This study is the first of its kind in the United States and was done in conjunction with the market research firm Gallup and Professor Michael Bradley of George Washington University’s Department of Economics. The study, What Postal Services Do People Value the Most?, focused on four attributes of the USO: mode of delivery, access to postal services, frequency of delivery, and price.  This study is a follow-up to our white paper Guiding Principles for a New Universal Service Obligation in which we discuss the need for such a study.

The survey found that both consumers and businesses still value postal services, especially door and/or curb delivery instead of delivery to a cluster box or parcel locker. Respondents also value the ability to access postal services through post offices, rather than using other alternatives such as postal counters in non-postal retail stores and self-service kiosks. In addition, while consumers and businesses are indifferent when it comes to the Saturday delivery of letters, consumers still place value on the Saturday delivery of parcels. Furthermore, consumers and businesses also value lower prices and may be willing to accept lower levels of service to keep prices from rising sharply.

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  • anon

    Interesting report. How to deliver the wants is a problem. Post office lobby should be open 10-7 or something like that. People work, racing to get there for the item they should have got yesterday. Extend hours wasn't an option. These surveys and interpretations are not inclusive of customers needs

    Feb 09, 2016

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Contributors

  • Jeff Colvin, Jennifer Bradley, and Jessica Raines contributed to this report.

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