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Topic: Rural Post office changes

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Subject: Rural Post office changes
Date Posted: 10/5/2011 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 130
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My rural Post Office in Pennsylvania has changed the way it processes mail. It used to be like any big Post Office.  They had a computerized digital scale which then printed postage and then the clerk put label on the package. Last month it changed and the computerized scale is still there. Now, however, the clerk has to write down the Postage on the package and total it up on a paper. The clerk then needs to go to a postal meter that she manually has to input the mail amount and put the label on from that meter. 

If you want a receipt she has to write it out on a receipt form. I think if the revenue from this office falls below a certain amount it will be one of the 3,000 Post Offices that will close. The clerk told me that the Postal meter is rented equipment and her theory is that if the Post Office closed the company renting the equipment to USPS would have to pull it out of there.  Has anyone else seen this happen at their Post Office ? 

Date Posted: 10/5/2011 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Now that you mention it, there was a fairly recent post.  A member said something about their local post office, and how the 'new' procedure seemed to be a step backwards...similar to your experience.

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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My post office just sticks stamps on everything, they don't even have a meter thing. They do have an electronic scale, it just doesn't print postage. 

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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My office is one of the ones that went from the IRT equipment to being a "manual" office.  And I would not be surprised to find my offfice on a list for closure a few years from now.  The revenue we take in does not even cover my salary, let alone the lease of the building, the utilities, etc.

Date Posted: 10/6/2011 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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The office I work in has always been "manual", but the office in the next town just converted down to manual. We are on the closure list, with everything done except the final decree.  We just hope they wait until after the holidays to close us for good.  We are like Diane-very little revenue coming in. Some days it's not even enough to cover one hour of work, let alone all other expenses. I do wish they would do a compromise, though. Closing rural offices will safe such a miniscule amount of the USPS total budget. They could save some by just cutting our hours to more reflect what is needed to function in small towns. Folks would adjust to shortened hours more easily than to no post office at all. It's a mess, I could go on and on.

Date Posted: 10/8/2011 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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Tina - when USPS is studying to close 252 mail processing locations along with the smaller post offices more then a minimal amount will be saved.  If you know there is not enough revenue coming in to cover salaries how can you expect such a business entity to remain viable - where does the payroll and other daily expenses  come from for an entity that cannot substain itself. Private industry readily shuts down non-cost covering locations in able to remain solvent.  So USPS should just be able to absorb somehow locations that can't produce enough to sustain - I dont see how as the company is near bankruptcy and the day might come when none of us receive a paycheck.

And if you look at the strategic planning documents from the Blue site, the company remains on the brink on insolvancy thru 2020 with the continuing decline of first class mail thru 2020 -  5-day delivery, revokation of $5.5B pre-payment of RHB, etc are not enough to carry the compant forward financailly into the future - thus the proposal to relinquish overnight service and consolidate some major mail processing plants.  I know my staff is working at an accelerated pace to close plants and get savings - help us all if this doesn't happen or some other significant change happens as I foresee the day when I will no longer be showing up if the paycheck hasn't been deposited - I don't care how much goodwill my AVP is asking us to provide and keep working at the point in time when payroll might be defunct.

Date Posted: 10/10/2011 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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At this point, USPS management has done or is doing nearly all they can on their own to avert crisis.   Congress really needs to get their act together and give us the legislation we need to try to make our own way in the world of commerce.  We need more independence and flexibility to take the steps we need to take to continue to provice universal service & regular and effective service to the citizens of our country.

Date Posted: 10/13/2011 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 142
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You aren't alone.  The exact same thing happened at our (very rural) post office.  They are actually doing a study on how busy it is now, which is why I don't use any kind of online postage - I figure my P O needs all of the business it can get.

Thankfully, we're 20 miles from any other post office, so we've been assured by the USPS that they won't be closing our office, but they say they'll be cutting back hours in it.

Date Posted: 11/15/2011 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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My post office just sticks stamps on everything, they don't even have a meter thing.


My rural PO doesn't have meter thing, they have to put stamps.

Until recently, they still used the COOLEST scale I've ever seen!

It was  a true antique.  .........an actual metal scale with a weight on it that you move left and right, sort of like the scales they weigh you on at doctors office.  It was huge, and.............weighed stuff perfectly, even a light as feather envelope.  I was amazed.

It's still lthere behind the counter, which is good, because I like to look at it!

mistie -
Date Posted: 11/15/2011 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I don't use any kind of online postage - I figure my P O needs all of the business it can get.

same here - my local rural post office seems busy enough, but, I'd still rather add to their sales figures.

Date Posted: 11/18/2011 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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If your return address is the same zip code as the PO you are mailing from, they are getting credit for your shipment. I think each PO is encouraged to have a certain percentage of customers using online postage, or Click n Ship at least.