Rant the first

What’s up with the latest postage hike that went into effect two days ago? Honestly, I’m not terribly annoyed by the one-cent raise in the domestic letter rate. But bumping international (letters and postcards alike) from 90 cents to 94 cents? Doesn’t the USPS realize that it’s singlehandedly stopped my Postcrossing activities? And that I have a lot of friends and family who live outside the USA? And don’t even get me started on the Priority Mail flat-rate boxes. The domestic rate on those just went up over a dollar, from well under $9 to nearly $10. Good grief.

For decades, the USPS has been operating without taxpayer money. Its job was to break even—and it accomplished this just fine, and did a great job of delivering the mail in a timely fashion.

But in 2006 the idiots in Congress decided to change the rules. Now the USPS is legally required to make a profit. How is this accomplished? By drastic staff cuts in the brick-and-mortar offices (which, in spite of efforts to get everyone to use online features, still see a lot of traffic) and by charging customers more and more. The day after Mother’s Day in 2007 the international postcard card jumped twenty cents, and the USPS eliminated international surface mail.

Um, hello? USPS? I know that FedEx and UPS and DHL are some of your strong competitors and that some changes to USPS practices are necessary. But if you keep pissing off regular, noncorporate, non-bulk-mailing customers like me, then you’re going to lose your bread-and-butter money.

6 Responses to “Rant the first”

  1. ariannaon 14 May 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been really upset with the USPS in recent years, as well. Ugh.

    What really gets me angry – and keeps me from using their online services – is that they CHARGE YOU POSTAGE to order stamps from them. Excuse my language, but: WTF?!? I don’t want to have to pay for them to deliver to me my means of using them. That’s like biting the hand that feeds you (which, admittedly, they’ve been doing a LOT of, recently…).

    I do really like being able to print postage at home (and can you even print letter postage, or only packages??), but…it’s not the same as stamps. AND, more annoyingly, if they are making me COME INTO THE P.O. to mail a package that’s >13 oz. (if I don’t have a printer to print postage), they should be UPPING staff numbers, not deleting from them.

    Ugh, they are really ridiculous these days. I am & always have been a huge fan of letters over emails, but … these days, I’m leaning towards the latter due to monetary constraints!!!! Booo.

  2. ariannaon 14 May 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Okay, so I was wrong – I guess they don’t charge you postage anymore on shipping supplies, but I’m 99.9% sure that they used to.

    Also, if this is rant the first…how many are you planning on, here? :) And, are they all USPS-related??

  3. Amyon 14 May 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Add to that a more personal rant: I have two dogs, small and friendly and adorable. The Fedex and UPS guys love my dogs. I’ve even seen them stop and play with the dogs in the yard when making deliveries to houses other than mine. The postal carrier? Left a note in the box one day: “had a package to deliver, but couldn’t because of dog in the yard.” That was my 22-pound Cavalier Spaniel Gracie. She’s sooooooooo vicious. Wimp.

  4. Frankon 14 May 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I see you’re developing your own “Axis of Evil” too. ;)

  5. Mom Unpluggedon 18 May 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I too was shocked when I went in to buy stamps and was informed that they’d be increasing the rate AGAIN. Didn’t they just do that?

    On a positive note however, at least the USPS doesn’t go on strike like post offices in many other countries. I lived in France for a few years, and EVERYONE goes on strike there, including the post office.

  6. Ginaon 21 May 2008 at 4:36 pm

    I’m telling you, stamps piss me off. The entire USPS makes me want to choke a bitch. They are open about 2 hours a day. They never deliver packages when they are supposed to, either. My opinion is, if you are going to PAY for the “priority rate,” which is supposed to take 2-3 days, then it should take 2-3 days. Over the years, it’s been my experience that “2-3 days” in post-office time is actually 5-6 days. Unless you are in the post office at 7:30 am on a Monday when you purchase priority service, there is no way a person will get that package before Friday.

    I heard a rumor that the USPS was trying to do away with Saturday mail service. Yeah, let’s decrease service to an already disgruntled populace. SMART!