Is Cutting Service the Answer for the USPS?

The last thing the USPS should do is make first-class mail less efficient and timely.

Doc is sympathetic to the U.S. Postal Service woes. After all, mail volume is down and getting worse and not likely to come back. Let's face it, we live in an era of electronic communications. But the USPS still provides important services, and I hate to see them react to a downturn in revenue by cutting services.

So instead of cutting back on one-day delivery as recently announced by the USPS, why not increase service and raise prices? It's unrealistic that anything can be delivered from one end of the country to the other for less than 50 cents. FedEx and UPS could never consider such pricing.

Doc sees a future where there is low-cost direct mail (where timeliness of delivery is less important) and then first-class service, where reliability, consistency and timeliness are critical. I, for one, would be willing to pay a lot more for that service when I really need it. If I'm sending a thank-you note or a résumé for a job, I'm not worried if it costs a buck or even two. In most cases, people will spend two or three dollars on a greeting card and then complain that it costs 48 cents to mail. Something is wrong with that formula. The card should cost less than the transportation to get it to its destination.

I recognize that if prices go up volume will go down, but I think there is a happy medium where the USPS can break even and still provide a valuable service. Give the price break to the large direct mailers, but charge a more realistic price for first-class mail.

The last thing the USPS should do is make first-class mail less efficient and timely. That seems like a formula for disaster to Doc.

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