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Topic: It is no small wonder the Post Office is losing money....

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Subject: It is no small wonder the Post Office is losing money....
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Have spent a bit of time perusing the forum this morning and noted the high level of members experiencing postal problems from incompetence to ignorance to what appears to be bullish tactics designed to gain higher sales for mailing packages. 

Is it no wonder the postal service is having problems where people are maxing out their "fed up" meters?

I have twice in a 4 day period received a Netflix movie enclosed in another envelope that states something like "the enclosed document was inadvertently damaged in handling by your Postal Service.

With that in mind, we are forwarding it to you in an expeditious fashion (it arrived no faster than it would have if undamaged).

The USPS handles over 202 billion pieces of mail each year.  While each employee makes a concerted effort to process, without damage, each piece of mail, an occasional mishap does happen (yep, twice in a few day period as well as a third that was so mangled I was amazed it made it)."

It just amazes me.  I would wonder if anyone from the Postal Service reads the issues here and attempts to resolve them.  Happy customers return, dissatisfied customers typically find a way to reduce business with a company that irritates them as much as USPS employees do to some.

I keep hearing the "they are running out of funds" yet I also note the small pieces that state how the higher ups get huge bonus payouts....makes no sense.  Bonuses should only be paid IF the company does well, including in the customer satisfaction department, my opinion.

I work in a customer service job and the tactics I have read about here would not be tolerated and WOULD result in employee termination.

Maybe the United States Postal SERVICE should put the service back in USPS?

OK, off my soapbox.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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I haven't ever received a damaged Netflix.  I guess that's what goes to make up the averages.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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It's the averages...personally my local post office provides excellent service *well, except for lack of any form of automated postage in the lobby*.  On a wider scale, but still local, I've had postal employees question electronic DC or other situation they were unfamiliar with...but willing to listen when I asked them to just process my mail per their computerized procedure.  I have few, if any complaints about USPS.  But given my excellent local service, I have sincere sympathy for my fellow members less fortunate in their Postal situations.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 7:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think they could save a lot of money and move packages faster if they'd stop sending things on little tours of the US.  They complain they don't make any money on media mail-well no wonder when you send a book 2,000 miles in the wrong direction then have to redirect it back those 2,000 miles.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Letters used to be the bread and butter of the USPS.  They were easy to process and paid a good profit.  But, due to the internet, e-mail and on-line bill paying, this part of their service has dropped drastically in recent years leaving them with delivering packages as the mainstay of their business. 

Personally, I think they do a great job.  I receive my Netflix movies the day after they are sent giving me a 3 day turn around time on a movie.  I have never received one in a damaged condition.  My mail carrier is great.  She picks up my outgoing books from my mailbox and if she has a package that doesn't fit in my mailbox, she delivers my mail to my door (giving my dog a biscuit as a reward).



Date Posted: 11/27/2009 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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I don't think the post office is spending much money in my very small town (maybe a few hundred people). They don't deliver mail, you have to buy a PO Box and pick up your mail at the post office. The post office has one employee, the postmaster, and he's great. No computers other than the credit card reader, he just weighs it, calculates postage, and puts the stamps on. I could probably put my own stamps on, but it's easier to just pay him :)

I think a number of the other small towns in the area also don't have mail delivery, at least that's my guess based on the lack of mailboxes I see when I drive through! 


I dunno, maybe USPS should stop delivering mail in more areas where a PO only serves a small geographic area. They'd make more money on PO Boxes and spend less on employees. 

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 10
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I think it's phenomenal that 44 cents can get my letter anywhere in the U.S., including Hawaii, Alaska and U.S. Territories! Unfortunately, the drive to reduce costs means you have more machines and lots less humans handling your mail. Every piece of mail goes through machines, and there are different machines for different sizes and shapes of mail, which is why mail prices are based on shape now. 

I agree that the USPS needs to concentrate more on customer service, but until the USPS realizes they are top-heavy and need to concentrate on cutting the unneeded higher salaries not actually touching the mail to make the business more profitable, it will continue to worsen.

That said, my mail still gets to me and from me very efficiently, especially if you compare it to almost any other country in the world, where many are paying at least ten times the price to mail a letter that may never see its destination anyway.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Thousands of members of PBS and thousands of books mailed weekly.  And yet. . . there are only a few reports on here of any type of problem with the service.  I think they provide the best service for the money of any business I know.

Shelly -
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3,036
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They don't deliver mail, you have to buy a PO Box and pick up your mail at the post office.


I live in a town that they do not deliver to my house. We have a po box. But it is free to us because they don't deliver. I find it strange that in other towns with the same non-home delivery that you would have to pay.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They won't deliver to my MIL and she has to pay for her post office box.  I don' t think it's a town thing though.  She lives on a long dirt road that kind of hilly.  I think they just won't deliver to her street and probably others like it.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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I don't know how it is in other areas, but in the little PO I sub at, everyone is entitled to free delivery of their mail.  If they live within a quarter mile of the PO, they can have a free box. Outside the quarter mile they get route delivery. We have a few customers who live right on the route but still choose to have a box in the office.  They have to pay for it, but are willing to do so. Personally, we live a half mile off the rural route. The carrier does not go by our house (we are the only ones on our road). So, our box is a half mile from our house, alongside someone else's box. No problem to drive or walk over to get the mail.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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I live in a town that they do not deliver to my house. We have a po box. But it is free to us because they don't deliver. I find it strange that in other towns with the same non-home delivery that you would have to pay. 

Well, I did pay for the PO Box online a few days before we moved, but I think the postmaster would have said something if it was free? I guess I will see if I get a renewal thing in a year. 

Even the local paper (a weekly) doesn't deliver to houses in our town, I think they just take them to the post office. On veterans day, our postmaster was nice enough to come in for an hour in the morning to make sure the papers made it into people's boxes, even though the PO was closed and he didn't have to.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 6,060
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I know in the little town near here that doesn't have mail delivery the PO boxes weren't free but were much cheaper than at the PO in my town.  I don't recall exactly how much but I know it was less.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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Would you rather have UPS deliver your books, i'm sure it would cost more than what USPS charges for media mail.

Subject: USPS
Date Posted: 12/6/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2006
Posts: 78
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I have been a Letter Carrier for almost 21 years!  Yikes.  The USPS is quite a place to work!  It IS no wonder it is losing money... the way the place is run!

I am happy that there are a lot of kind posts here!  :)  I like to provide service (and give the doggies biscuits!)!

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 1:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Thank you Lisa for everyday you've been out there making sure the people on your route get their mail.  I appreciate you.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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We have a large and overworked PO for the county. When we first moved here they would'nt deliver to our street so the mailbox was out on a state road.  The PO was across the county, and we did have a PO Box there because when we first moved here we weren't sure when our house would be ready to move into. After a few years it got very tiresome driving all that way to get our mail.  So we switched to the tiny sub-station close by.  Now some mail comes to our road, but the important mail (involving bills,  investments,etc.) go to the PO Box for security's sake.  I love the little PO we have. Only one clerk, and she knows everyone by name.  And she's very helpful and always cheerful and she knows about online postage purchases.  Can't do better than that.  Now if only the large PO which delivers packages to our house would quit losing them.  I really do appreciate all the postal workers.  they all do a good job.  I just wish the mail carrier who delivers to our road would close up the mailbox.  But that isn't usually a biggie if it isn't a PBS book that isn't wrapped for wet weather.


Date Posted: 12/11/2009 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
Posts: 621
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Overall, USPS does a great job, but when they screw up, they really screw up well. 

I collect postcards and those [words I can't use in a family-friendly forum] machines USPS uses rip, tear, shred, or skim off layers of the postcard for about 90% of the postcards mailed to me.  Although I prefer cards written and stamped, I've had to switch to cards sent in an envelope because of this.  In talking with collectors in other countries, this problem seems unique to USPS.  I trade with lots of people all over the world, and am active on several forums of postcard collectors and traders from everywhere, and all report problems specifically with cards handled by USPS, with more severe damage and higher rates of damage to USPS-handled postcards.  If Germany, Japan, Finland and other countries can not severely damage postcards, why can't USPS learn from them?  NipponPost (Japan) and Finland seem to be the best for postcards.

I also had an experience back in October where I ordered insulin syringes online for my diabetic cat.  (One pet insulin requires a special syringe not used in humans and not available in stores.  The vet charged $0.50 per syringe.  The online place, including shipping, was $0.18 per syringe.)  The online retailer was about 200 miles from me. I recevied an e-mail that the package was shipped about 2 days after I ordered, and that it went Priority Mail.  USPS anticipated an arrival date about 4 days after I ordered.

The package arrived 5 weeks!!!!! after I ordered because I use a PO box and the clerks didn't put the usual note in my box stating I had something to pick up at the counter.  I had gone to the counter several times during that time and asked if I had a package, only to be told if I didn't have a yellow card, I didn't have a package, so no, the clerks would not go in the back and check because that would hold up the line.  Unfortunately, I finally received the yellow card in my box, and picked up the syringes 10 days after my cat died (not related to the syringe issue - I bought enough from my vet to use until the cheaper ones arrived.).  So much for the "Service" part of United States Postal Service!

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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By the subject of this thread, I thought you had read this article about "imprudent spending" by the USPS:  http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/18/postal.service.expenses/index.html?iref=allsearch

Date Posted: 12/29/2009 4:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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I was in my PO the other day and someone new must have moved to town. They only got charged $2 for the keys, and the postmaster mentioned something about how they would get a renewal slip saying there is no charge.

I guess PO Boxes are free out here since they don't deliver mail.  I got totally ripped off by the USPS website by paying for my PO Box online!

Date Posted: 12/29/2009 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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maybe you could try for a refund?

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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maybe you could try for a refund?

It's been almost 6 months, it's not worth it. I do need to check and see if I signed up to automatically pay online when it is up for renewal. That I will definitely cancel!