Founding father and first Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.” While people might not like death and taxes, they do like certainty. That’s especially true for mailers. 

Mailers have pushed for predictability in postage rates for seemingly as long as there have been postage rates. The market-dominant rate increase of 2015 illustrates the frustration of uncertainty. Customers weren’t entirely sure when the new prices would take effect or what exactly those new rates would be, making it hard to budget. 

In 2015, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which reviews proposed price increases, twice sent the market-dominant case back to the Postal Service because the PRC could not determine if the filing was legal. (Market-dominant products are essentially the monopoly products, such as First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Periodicals.) The Postal Service had to resubmit portions of its proposal and ultimately pushed back implementation of new rates to May 31, 2015. According to our recent audit report, the Postal Service lost out on about $108 million because the price increases weren’t implemented on time. 

We recommended the Postal Service establish a documented and repeatable process to guide its Pricing group in preparing price change proposals. Such a process could have helped it prevent the errors the PRC identified. We also suggested the Postal Service limit complex mail classification changes in its proposed price increase filings. 

While some customers might not complain about a delay in price increases, the uncertainty around the 2015 changes caused a good deal of consternation. Tell us your story. Were you or your business affected by the uncertainty surrounding the 2015 price changes? If so, how? Would you like to see changes in how price changes are implemented and, if so, what would those changes be?

Comments (7)

  • anon

    My business uses the flate rate and region boxes for just about everything. The Region C box was a very large box and I understand why it probably did not make good business sense to keep it. But it was frequently cheaper to use a couple large flat rate boxes anyway. I would have prefered and could really use a box larger than the large flat rate box. Maybe reducing the size of the Region C box would have been a viable option rather than getting rid of it all together. I would gladly pay +/- $25 to ship one box that was about the size of two large flat rate boxes.

    May 05, 2016
  • anon

    Ive had a po box for 24 years. The rate is $24 every 6 months. I was late by two weeks, went to pay my bill. USPS is charging me $22 penalty for paying two weeks late. Thats right $24 for 6 months, $22 penalty. It's $48 for a entire year without penalty. Ill be making several calls on Monday all right. This is complete bullshit,,,Ive had my box for personal and business. It is not a wonder, if i can not get this resolved, i will never USPS again,

    Mar 12, 2016
  • anon

    Some of your information on the usps.com website wasn't clear for reading. Such as: You're showing/or still showing a price increase for Registered Mail/Return Receipt. But, as of now there is no change in the price. Before that, I called the (usps small business center) in the month of 12.01.2015. They didn't even know the priority/first class package services prices were changing. I already knew by the information you posted on your site...and they said they'd know knowledge that there would be a price change. Now, how dysfunctional/break down of communicating and posting information is that? Someone really drop the ball on posting the wrong information and no one noticed it. Unbelievable...

    Feb 10, 2016
  • anon

    The postal service is a vital piece of the American puzzle. Stick a couple sheets of paper in an envelope and for a bargain price send it anywhere in the US, the world even! It's just a shame that the services suck. USPS ought to be allowed to lose money and as a taxpayer (who isn't) I'd gladly pay for good service. It's the government. Every year more people and less service. I have the worst time getting mail and parcels and can tell when inquiring the workers don't give a shit, or deflect inquiry.

    Feb 09, 2016
  • anon

    The PRC is more a drain on both services and resources as it is on revenue delays. With substantial lead times, there is no substantive reason for changes (whether they be finance or service) to be delayed. It is better for our Brand, our Customers and continued service when management is able to cohesively and intelligently utilize the public review steps and time frames to implement the necessary changes. To delay with questions that were better addressed during the review steps confuses our customers, denigrates our image and literally makes us look like fools. Good business's and our customers do not like to work with fools.

    Jan 26, 2016
  • anon

    You have more employees than you need and this is where your money is going. Your employees are spending more time on cell phones than on delivering mail and the cell phones are interrupting there ability to deliver mail to the correct address. I get mail for other addresses all the time. You can't trust the USES any longer.

    Jan 26, 2016
  • anon

    For being a non-profit organization you sure keep raising those prices higher and higher each year...Your pricing yourself out of business....

    Jan 26, 2016

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