Postal Problems

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Eliminate Saturday delivery.

Eliminate Saturday delivery. This would save the postal service money and make for less stressful weekends for all.

Rural communities & the role of the post office

Hi, I was on-hold for 30 minutes, but my phone battery died.

Here is my comment: The post office is, as Robert Baker stated, the heart & soul of many rural communities. Yesterday, I drove up New Hampshire's routes 12A and 120 and noticed that--in many of the "towns"--the only businesses ARE the post office and the town library. Even many of the churches are closed. So, this makes it all the more imperative to keep these towns alive--especially as the rural community ages and becomes less mobile.

Because there are facilities in every small community, this makes them all the more important to re-invent to serve these communities. What does a particular community need? The libraries AND the post offices are closed, for instance, from noon on Saturdays thru Monday morning. Yet, both of these provide the only public space, the only communications space, in town. Why not throw open to the communities in question the opportunity to re-invent their post offices to offer the services--and hours--each community needs the most?

Why not have post offices offer 24-hour internet services, printing and faxing services? Why not have post offices offer the ability to download books, newspapers, magazines? Why not have post offices offer a host of needed services--whether they have to do with communications or not?
Prudence Baird, Brattleboro, VT

The Post can not offer

The Post can not offer anything other than postage and postage related products. Congress has actually made is against the law for the Post Office to offer Fax,Scan,Copy ect..Its called the Competitive Fairness clause to Title 39. Congress (with help from the lobbiest) determine that the USPS can only deal with hard copy mail. In fact if you google GAO Report USPS from 2000 you will see a request from the USPS in 1998 to Congress to allow them to enact Ebill Electonic deliver and Ebill electronic payment. They also requested Global Electonic Document Delivery. In Addition to that the created an Electonic Mailbox linked to every physical address in the County that would convert Hard Copy mail to Electronic format. UPS CEO at the time testified AGAINST the USPS to Congress and Congress denied USPS'S request for these products an in turn wrote a law prohibiting the USPS from these types of service's. Whats strange now is 10 years later private company ZUMBOX offers the digital mailbox and UPS offers Scan, Fax, and global document deliver. Below is the link to the report from 10 years ago where people can see how UPS testified ( or Donated to re-elections) and how Congress does not allow the USPS to offer anything other than stamps... http://www.gao.gov/archive/2000/gg00188.pdf

Importance of 6-day public mail service

Saturday mail is important to the public. Many people receive their medications by mail, either because it's more affordable or their health insurance requires it for ongoing meds. Waiting from Friday to Monday would be a long time if you really need those meds; it'd be even worse when there's a Monday holiday - people would then have to wait half a week until Tuesday.

Also, the only contact many seniors have with people is the arrival of their letter carrier. Letter carriers can tell you that they see many seniors waiting at the window for the arrival of their mail each day and then exchanging a few friendly words with the carrier. Often letter carriers are the ones to alert emergency services when the elderly person isn't seen at that window, thereby providing life-saving treatment in time; sadly, carriers are also often the first to discover and report that an elderly customer has died. The lack of human contact for 2-3 days if Saturday delivery is cut would be a hardship for many seniors. And as far as turning postal service over to private companies, don't expect that kind of exceptional customer service when the companies seek to maximize profits by hiring employees at low wages.

What will you get with conversion to private mail service? Not mail delivered coast to coast for the same price as mail delivered within town. Some rural areas probably won't even be serviced, resulting in rural citizens driving long distances into cities to get and send their mail. The real motivation to privatize the mail service is from big businesses that want to make quick money by handling inner city mail that is inexpensive to deliver, while not touching the long-distance or rural mail that costs more to do. Public mail service serves all Americans equally. Private mail service only cares about making a buck.

Junk Mail?

As President of the New Hampshire Letter Carriers, I would like to remind listeners of the recent decision of the Commerce Committee in the NH legislature, a year and a half ago, that voted against recommending establishing a "Do Not Mail" registry to curb delivery of so called "junk mail". If you ever wanted to stifle commerce in NH this would be the way to do it. The only way for small local businesses to advertise is through the mail. TV and radio is way too expensive for most. A saturation mailing is the most effective, in reach and cost. There are ways to opt out of catalogs and credit card offers and you can do it online in minutes. This really works. The whole argument about junk mail is way overstated. After all was said and done, the full NH House voted down establishing a "Do Not Mail" registry.

Survival of the Postal Service

I listened with interest to the conversation about the survival of the US Postal Service. Privatizing the USPS is plain and simply a horrible idea. We would quickly see a loss of services, except in areas that are high profit. Costs to rural areas, high crime areas, and other areas difficult to serve, would very quickly become unaffordable.

I think it is a no- brainer that you cannot improve a service industry by reducing either the services offered or the quality of those services. While electronic communication has certainly created some of the decline in the mail, much of the decline is directly tied to the current state of the economy. Recent cost cutting measures taken by the Postal Service will help to create a balance.

PRC Chairperson, Ruth Goldway, talked about the 2006 Congressionally imposed requirement for the Postal Service to pre-pay future retiree healthcare benefits. Without that requirement (which has not been imposed on any other agency and is not a common business practice) the financial health of the USPS would not be on the critical list at all. Not mentioned on the show yesterday, was the fact that the Postal Service has made overpayments to both the CSRS and FERS. Correcting these overpayments and removing the unreasonable requirements imposed in 2006, would put the USPS well on its way to a quick recovery.

Janice Kelble
Franklin, NH

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