questionshear about the usps plan to cut first class…

vote-for61vote-against
vote-for13vote-against

I was at the post office today, the clerk said this plan could even mean that local mail could be purposely delayed to promote "Priority" and more expensive mail.

vote-for10vote-against

The joy of government involvment with deliveries.

I wonder where "next day delivery" of first class mail occurs? I haven't seen it anywhere I've ever lived.

vote-for11vote-against

@mtm2: It mainly occurs in close large metro areas. For example, it would probably be easy to get next day going from Washington DC to Philadelphia.

EDIT: This has a potential to be a big deal with people using the mail to pay their bills. Now you will have to mail it sooner to avoid late fees and if you checking account balance is low, run the risk of an overdraft if it gets there too quickly.

vote-for10vote-against

@wisenekt: this has zero potential to affect anyone in your scenario who isn't already disorganized and likely to miss a payment due date. We're talking about a day's difference in delivery... max - 2 days.

If a person's margins for both time and available balance are that tight - then that person needs to re-evaluate some priorities, and learn not to wait until the last minute to pay bills.

vote-for9vote-against

Considering that the biggest change appears to be 1st Class mail changing from 1-3 day service to 2-3 day service, I don't see what the big deal is. Yes, people who wait until the last minute to mail their bills will now have to do it one day sooner. More and more people are paying bills online or by EFT, so it seems like a no brainer to me.

When you look at the shipping costs for companies like UPS and Fedex compared to USPS, they are almost always higher. This is because the USPS is subsidized and runs a deficit. If the USPS is a viable and worthwhile service, it should be able to run without a deficit and without taxpayer subsidies. If not, services should be reduced or eliminated or prices increased correspondingly.

vote-for5vote-against

@goatcrapp: Or pay online. That's what I do. I don't like having to factor for mail time.

vote-for13vote-against

All due to Federal Government using the Post Office a a giant Piggy Bank having to pre-fund retirement benefits. No other Federal Agency must do so. It's congress's fault for the law that started this. The Postal Service had one of its best years in 2007 before the Bank fiasco, bailouts and the recession. What happens when finances get straightened out, build new plants? The automobile manufacturers got help during their crisis what about the Postal Service.

vote-for9vote-against

The USPS. The forefront of innovation.

vote-for-1vote-against

Maybe the USPS should stop paying for plane tickets for the wives/husbands of inspectors to with them when they sent for training...or offer retirement packages to get the people who are at retirement age but refuse to go out (since they are the ones making all the money)...instead of excessing the people with no senority to BFE when they are the ones that actually do the WORK!!!!

Maybe that will lower some expenses. Freaking money hungry idiots...

vote-for21vote-against

I don't think paying bills at the last minute is really the thing here, but this will slaughter Netflix/et al. Will have to buy more discs and people will be able to get fewer discs in a given month due to add'l transit time.

vote-for11vote-against

@pwknowles: "It's congress's fault for the law that started this."
That pretty much sums up everything wrong right now. Satisfy those who fund you = shortchange those who elect you.
Need to add 535 more to unemployment.

vote-for8vote-against

This sucks. I use USPS a lot. Hopefully Priority Mail will not be affected...yet.

vote-for6vote-against

@pwknowles: That is sort a result of a recent change in accounting rules. They aren't really prepaying pension. It is more about funding the current period expense to the company for what it will need to pay in the future. Ultimately, defined benefit pensions are destroying our society and economy.

vote-for2vote-against

This will not be too much of an impact to me.

I already pay most things on line. In fact, I haven't written a paper check in 3+ years as far as I can remember.

In terms of shipping things (or receiving) I can't see this impacting too much since anything that arrives USPS is because it's shipping using one of those hybrid services that rely upon USPS to do the final leg. Can't get much slower than they already are in that respect...

vote-for4vote-against

I'm curious what will happen if/when the USPS shuts down. Everything will have to be run by the private companies. Bill pay for the regular person will have to be done digitally?

What about paying CC bills? How do others pay their credit card bills? I've only every done it by sending a Check, but if that's not possible anymore?

vote-for6vote-against

@goatcrapp: Ever hear of living paycheck to paycheck? It is a reality for millions of Americans.

Of course this has the potential for an opposite effect and push people to pay bills online to make sure they make it on time. That also allows for flexibility of paying it the day it the day that it is due from a public library if necessary.

vote-for2vote-against

@bogie21: I pay online. I can pay directly at the cc company website (if I pay by 11am I get credited the same day), through my credit union, or through a service called mycheckfree.com. The CU and MCF let me pick what day I want to pay, so if I want to have the check go out to the utility just before it's due I can make some tiny extra amount of interest instead of paying it immediately. I have all my bills set up with all three (the company itself, the CU and MCF) so that if one website is down or glitchy I can pay using the alternate. I get all my bills paid in about 5 minutes every two weeks, and have a nice electronic record of the payments.

vote-for2vote-against

@benyust2: They are prepaying healthcare benefits, not retirement, that's already paid.

vote-for2vote-against

@moondrake Very interesting, I'll have to check that out. Currently I just have reminders in my outlook calendar that says to pay so and so bill today. Which is usually 5 days before it NEEDs to be sent in case it lands on a Saturday/Sunday or if I forget.

vote-for1vote-against

It's a service that loses incredible money from year to year. Where else will it cost you less than 50 cents to send a letter, via air mail, the same distance from Maine to Hawaii? Nowhere. Efficient for what it is, but in no way is the current model sustainable with email and competitors. They gotta do something.

vote-for4vote-against

This could decrease the value of netflix by exactly one half.

They are talking about shutting down the distribution facility in downtown New Orleans, a location that was recently upgraded to the tune of some millions of dollars and the loss of 800+ jobs.

vote-for7vote-against

Sounds like a death spiral.

Revenue drops -> cuts costs -> service quality degrades -> people switch to alternatives

Rinse and repeat.

About the only things I use the postal service for (besides the occasional package) are donations to charity and Christmas cards. And even those are at risk.

vote-for3vote-against

@pwknowles: Well, that is sort of the same principle. They will have to pay future healthcare costs because of the work the employees are doing now (the expense for post-employment benefits including insurance should be taken evenly over the period that employee works). The current period expenses for 2011 should include a portion of the future healthcare and pension costs for the current employees only, not employees that are retired. The retired employee amount should have been expensed only during the period those employees worked.

vote-for2vote-against

Who uses the mail to pay bills? They have these things called computers and the internet for that. Most of my bills are on auto-pay so I never even see them, and the ones that I do get in the mail I pay online.

Also, I would be fine if they only delivered mail 2 or 3 times a week. Something like 1/2 an area getting mail on M, W, F and the other 1/2 getting mail T, Th and Sat. That would cut down on hours and costs. I barely need mail once a week much less every day.

vote-for6vote-against

@wootmeharder: But then, there's nasty old reality: almost 1/2 the people I work with don't have internet service @ home, and it's expressly forbidden to pay bills @ work.
Now, I'm not saying that it's anyone's fault for having their priorities the way they do, but LOTS of people do still rely on mail and 'float' time.

vote-for1vote-against

@wisenekt: You're silly to think i haven't heard of living paycheck to paycheck (hand to mouth, borrow from peter to pay paul, and whatever nice little terms of art you might have for it) - but how is an extra day in the mail to blame for any of that? Equating one with the other is just lemming feed and fear mongering. If your margin for time is really that close - ie: the funds won't be there 24 hours later... then as i said - its the result of lack of organization, planning, etc... and how many ppl living paycheck to paycheck still insist on having their cell phones, xboxes, and other liesure/luxury items? Hence the need for people to re-prioritize.. don't blame the post office for a personal lack of culpability! But lets say by some odd set of circumstances, this really WILL affect you so negatively... then pay online, in person at a branch, pharmacy that does bill-pay, etc etc etc.

vote-for2vote-against

@wisenekt (continued) As for bouncing checks - thats where personal organization comes in. How do you not know what you're spending and what available funds you have? We're not talking about an accidental over-draw due to a double charge, or check that took longer to clear than you anticipated - you very clearly stated that this extra day's worth of transit time will causepeopletobouncechecks, to which i replied that those particular people would be subject to that behavior regardless of any transit time. Living paycheck to paycheck isn't an excuse to be disorganized, and uninformed.

Paycheck to paycheck - barely making it, and often not making it... I've been there myself, plenty of times. Know what helped? better planning, organization and notwaitinguntilthelast_minute. Even in the worst of times - i wasn't ever plagued by this 1 day margin of error you're so worried about.

vote-for6vote-against

It is so shortsighted to say everyone should pay bills online, as though everyone has internet access at home and as though everyone knows how to use the internet & computers. Don't you all have parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbors, what-have-you, who you know wouldn't know what to do with a computer--especially online!--if their life depended on it? If you're ready to say everyone should pay bills online, you should be ready to pay for their computers, internet access and give them lessons on how to use them! (And paying bills via free public internet is very risky business.)

Also, I don't know about where other folks live, but where I do I know of virtually NO places like pharmacies, markets, etc where ppl can pay their utility bills anymore.

vote-for2vote-against

@pamfenway: I agree that there are a lot of older people who do not want to pay bills online (or can't), but I do not know of any older people who wait til the last minute to pay their bills. Every older person I know is extremely organized with bills and budgeting. I'm sure other types exist, but all of the older people I know would not be affected by having to mail bills one day earlier than normal.

vote-for2vote-against

@dcalotta: Believe it or not, I don't think Netflix cares about extra mail time and might even by happy about it. They seem to want to be out of the mailing DVD business, so they are probably hoping this will just give more people the impetus to change to Netflix's streaming only service. This also gives Netflix the ability to blame the USPS as a reason to switch to streaming.

vote-for2vote-against

Also, regarding Netflix. Slower delivery means less movie turn around. This means they ship less per user, thus lowering their overall operations cost. That, or it will push users dedicated to the DVD portion to increase the amount of movies received by one to speed up the DVD process.

Either way, it is a win win for them assuming they stay in the DVD rental business.

I assume that the $0.01 increase next year in postage wont effect them much as they have a bulk mailer account.

vote-for2vote-against

Doesn't the postmark date usually satisfy deadlines or due dates on bills?

Not that anyone here would know, as I'm sure we all pay our bills online. I just don't see how an extra delay of delivery affects the timeline of the people paying the bills.

Just sayin'.

vote-for2vote-against

Take 2 or 3 days extra for all I care. There's nothing I care about that much going through USPS first-class.

On that note, if I did care, I'd rather pay another 2 cents extra to mail a letter than have service slowed down. It's two cents. The only people who will care are businesses that mail out 1,000 a day. Maybe that'll conveince them to stop sending out so much damn junk mail.

But again, it's really a non-issue with me. I'll wait the extra time or else use priority, UPS, or FedEx.

vote-for2vote-against

@bogie21: I do the same thing. Good minds think a like i guess.

vote-for3vote-against

Within the last year and a half the Postal Service also said it was possibly going to cut out Saturday deliveries, but that hasn't happened as of yet. It's just more proof that the U.S. Government cannot run a business and make it profitable.

vote-for2vote-against

@bbjenjen1: yes... because postal employees are synonymous with yachts and gold plated toilet seats...

vote-for6vote-against

@misterron: It's a service... the problem is, it's being treated as a for profit business. prior to private shippers, the usps was never intended (nor pressured to be) a for-profit entity. It was a service. subsidized and budgeted for.

Let the cries of socialism roar lol. i for one am happy that services like my fire department is a practice in socialized services. imagine if it were run like "the 1%" - you'd be extorted upon their arrival, have to sign forms, and pay up front to have your fire put out. Poor neighborhoods would be allowed to burn :)

vote-for3vote-against

The post office won't close, but may have reduced services. Politicians get free franking for their propaganda pamphlets and letters, and businesses get a reduced rate to send you junk mail. The people pay, as we always do, full price.

for those who say pay online, I submit to you the fact that millions of people have had their identity stolen while using online bill paying services. It is a fact, find it out for yourself. One of the biggest "hackers" ever wound up working for the feds, then he continued to steal stuff while working for them.

vote-for3vote-against

@goatcrapp: A small town with a co-op fire department made national news. The fire department was funded by fees. One family did not pay, and when their house caught fire, their house was allowed to burn to the ground. With their pets inside. From what I heard the fire department showed up to make sure no people were inside and that the fire didn't spread to paying houses, then stood and watched it burn. While I can intellectually understand the economics that drives that sort of behavior, it makes me sick to my soul to imagine it happening. There's an old saying used when you shouldn't be taking money into account "It's like arguing over the price of water when your neighbor's house is on fire." But we are literally doing that. Take my taxes. Save my neighbors' house, even if they are slackers who don't pay their fair share. I don't want to live in a country where I would stand by and watch my neighbors' house burn because they didn't pay. I will never be that person.

vote-for1vote-against

People are going to run around like the sky is falling over this, but for most people it really isn't a big deal. When was the last time you heard anybody say:

"Can you believe I sent that letter yesterday and it's STILL not there today!? I'm outraged!"

Hardly anyone can seriously expect overnight mail for 44 cents. Those who do will adapt soon enough.

E-mail (and facebook, and IM, and texting, etc.) have changed everything. The USPS is no longer most people's main point of contact with the world anymore. They can adapt or die. They're adapting, not dying. Good for them.

vote-for3vote-against

@ndcouch: Not saying that but they get 5-8 plus weeks of vacation to sit at a postal store behind a desk with a line out the door with only two people on the window doing crossword puzzles....and they grieve when someone tries to help them because they are loosing overtime if someone at another grade level does their job's....it's truly pathetic. No other job in this country is like this and if it were we would have been fired a long time ago! So in a way I call that sitting ok a gold plated toilet.

vote-for2vote-against

@bbjenjen1: I think you need to check your facts before you post. Oh, I forgot, this is the internet!

vote-for2vote-against

@bbjenjen1: Did you get your mail on friday/saturday? How about the entire week previous? What about the years 2007 through 2010?

Its one thing to have a grievance - maybe the courier crumpled your copy of Out magazine, who knows. But it's another thing entirely to spread misinformation. If you've witnessed this behavior, you should have called a manager over. More likely, no crosswords were being done with crowded lines, and you're using poorly constructed hyperbole to try and make a poorly thought out point.
I DO believe there were long lines. The line was a natural byproduct of only having 2 people working the windows, which itself is a byproduct of the fewer subsidies and more stringent budgets. If so - you should have immediately asked for the post office manager. No window clerk is getting 5-8 weeks vacation. Sorry, bub - you're dead wrong. They also aren't paid very well, and OT has all but been eliminated within the USPS except to deal with holiday season volume.

vote-for2vote-against

@moondrake: agreed! I've had more than a few "i don't want to live on this planet anymore" moments because of things like that.

Its like during the witch trials of salem - even after the decisions were repealed, and the guilty parties (confessed or otherwise still living) were exonerated... many of them still died in prison, because they couldn't afford to pay the accrued "housing" fees for their imprisonment. Sad, and yet telling. Many generations later, when we "ought to know better" - and yet look around.

vote-for2vote-against

Well, considering my local post offices actually make no attempts to deliver any packages, hold priority mail for upwards of 3-4 days, deliver 3-day delivery mail two weeks late... I could care less what happens to them. They already deliver such pathetic and untrustworthy performances that I would welcome them closing and someone else launching.

It comes out that whenever I want to ship something, if I DON'T pay for it next day (3-4 day real world deliver), or the fast priority (6-13 day real world delivery), then I just don't expect anything I send to make in that month. So, this news to me just means they are being honest and admitting that their service doesn't exist.

vote-for3vote-against

@geredeth: how far in the stix (or projects lol) do you live, man? I've lived all over the US, big cities, and smaller towns, and never had the service so consistently bad as you describe. Individual instances - sure... but never a consistent enough service delay to be considered the norm... I also ship things all over, and primarily use usps - and again, never had the deliveries delayed consistently like that, with 2 exceptions.. extremely rural areas, and housing developments (the PJ's) where package delivery is more often than not un-safe for the courier.

Not saying you're not having service issues - but I can assure you - yours is a bubble, not the norm, in my experience.

vote-for1vote-against

Well you certainly wouldn't want to charge more for the junk mail that I don't want to get in the first place do you? I wish I could have a toll mailbox for goodness sake, make them pay me to deliver to it.

Other than junk mail resentment though, I don't send mail more than maybe once per year. Everything I receive that I care about is carrier/route sorted, non-first class - magazines, packages, etc.

Edit: And if there were another answer, I'd take it and USPS could go away completely. USPS is unable to deliver a magazine/catalog/etc. without damage (unless you perhaps ship it in a box.)

vote-for3vote-against

@wisenekt: "Ever hear of living paycheck to paycheck? It is a reality for millions of Americans."

Sad and pathetic, but true.

vote-for4vote-against

I've got to say that I'm a bit surprised that there are so many positive comments made here regarding the USPS. Nice to see that. Every day millions of people receive their mail in a timely and efficient manner. Methinks that the complainers are clueless about the logistics involved in moving the mail. Having spent 30+ years pounding the streets pror to retirement in as much as 120 degrees temperatures, it's nice to read positive comments. Slackers? Yes I've worked with some of them, but for the most part the people I've worked with were dedicated and hard working.

vote-for1vote-against

@geredeth: I've had the same experience. And after I paid $18 to overnight something 130 miles away signature guaranteed, on Monday, and it gets there the next Monday, UPS handles all my packages now