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View Full Version : Post Office wants stamp rate increase....again...


Deberg_1990
05-03-2006, 11:26 AM
Geez....it seems like 10 years ago it only cost like 25 cents to mail a letter?? I cant help but think that the internet has cost the USPS alot of business? Nobody writes letters anymore (email) and more and more people are paying bills on-line as opposed to paying for stamps.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060503/ap_on_go_ot/postal_rates


WASHINGTON - The Postal Service said Wednesday it wants to raise the price of a first-class stamp by 3 cents to 42 cents and proposed a "forever" stamp that people could use as hedge against future rate increases.

The changes would take effect in the spring of 2007 if approved by the independent Postal Rate Commission.

"A forever stamp would help ease the transition to any future price adjustments," board Chairman James C. Miller III said.

Postmaster General John E. Potter said the agency would not be making a rate change if it were not necessary.

"The Postal Service is not immune to the cost pressures affecting every household and business in America," he said.

For example, each penny increase in the price of a gallon of gasoline costs the post office $8 million, and payroll, health expenses and other costs also have been rising.

And, unlike private delivery companies, the post office cannot simply add a fuel surcharge to its rates.

In addition to the increase in first-class prices, the package of rate changes includes boosts in other categories and even some rate cuts.

For example, while the first ounce of a letter would rise 3 cents to 42 cents, additional ounces would cost 20 cents instead of the current 24 cents. That means a saving on heavier items such as wedding invitations. The cost to mail a 2-ounce letter would drop from 63 cents to 62 cents.

Other changes would include Express Mail, flat rate up from $14.40 to $16.25; 2-ounce barcoded bank statement, down from 54.5 cents to 48.6 cents; bulk-mailed weekly newsmagazine, up from 17.9 cents to 20 cents; presorted catalog, up from 32.1 cents to 33.6 cents; post card, up from 24 cents to 27 cents.

The forever stamp would help soften the blow of a rate increase by allowing customers to stock up. As originally proposed it would sell for the first class rate and, once purchased, the special stamp would remain valid for whatever the first-class rate is when it is used, regardless of future increases.

Once the post office proposes a rate change, including the new stamp, the matter goes to the Postal Rate Commission, which holds hearings and has 10 months to consider the matter before responding.

The earliest a change would take effect would be May 2007.

The cost of a first-class stamp went from 37 cents to 39 cents in January. Before that, the price had been unchanged since 2002.

The proposed increase would boost the price of mailing a letter to 42 cents.

The increase in January was required so the post office could place some $3 billion in an escrow account, a step required in law.

The House and Senate have both passed bills to eliminate that requirement and efforts are under way to resolve differences between the two versions, but it also faces the threat of a presidential veto.

Since that increase went into the escrow account, the Postal Service still must cover rising costs of fuel, salaries, equipment and other expenses.

In addition to its own fuel expenses, the post office has about 70,000 employees who use their own vehicles and are reimbursed for fuel costs, and there are some 17,000 contractors whose rates are adjusted for rising fuel costs.

Overall, the Postal Service expects to finish this fiscal year about $2 billion in the red.

While a 3-cent increase in first-class stamps would be the most visible change, rates will change for other types of mail also.

For example, it currently costs 63 cents to mail a two-ounce first-class item whether it's a letter, large flat envelope or package. But the post office makes more than 30 cents on the letter, 10 cents on the flat and loses money on the package.

That means the agency will be looking at shape as well as weight in setting new rates, officials have said, particularly in the face of a decline in first-class mail as more people pay bills and send messages via the Internet.

Congress mandated the escrow requirement in 2003 when it passed a law reducing the amount of money the agency has to pay into its retirement system, which auditors said was being overfunded. Instead, Congress ordered the money to be used to reduce debt and, when that was done, to be put into the escrow fund.

The White House has opposed the release of the money from the fund because placing it there counts as income for the federal government and releasing it would have the effect of raising the deficit.

BigMeatballDave
05-03-2006, 11:30 AM
Who cares? It could be a dollar and still be a bargain. Even if you just had something delivered across town. You'd spend WAY more than that is gas...

MichaelH
05-03-2006, 11:33 AM
EMAIL ;)

sedated
05-03-2006, 11:33 AM
This is the US government, after all.

Why should a price increase surprise us?

Within 6 months stamps will be $2.89,

and everyone will b!tch,

and the governement will pretend to be doing something about it,

all the time lining their own politicians' pockets

BigMeatballDave
05-03-2006, 11:37 AM
This is the US government, after all.

Why should a price increase surprise us?

Within 6 months stamps will be $2.89,

and everyone will b!tch,

and the governement will pretend to be doing something about it,

all the time lining their own politicians' pockets
ROFL Yeah, we're talking about a 3-cent increase. The US Postal Service relies only on revenue they generate. With the high fuel prices, I'm surprised they don't want a higher increase...

el borracho
05-03-2006, 11:37 AM
I wish they would just raise the price to something they could leave unchanged for at least 5 years. Dealing with extra 1 and 2 cent stamps is a bother and I am not going to be investing in forever stamps.

Nzoner
05-03-2006, 11:37 AM
In addition to the increase in first-class prices, the package of rate changes includes boosts in other categories and even some rate cuts.


This is really starting to piss me off,my direct mail company took a big hit on the last increase because they waited until a couple of weeks prior to announce the price for 3rd class bulk mail and I had to guess at the new rate for my '06 rate card.

ROYC75
05-03-2006, 11:39 AM
Forever my ass ........ with the rising cost of transportation, the forever is a gimick that will only last a year or two..

Diesel prices are rising, overall operational cost is outrageous and no end in site. Labor cost on repairs is sky rocketing along with insurance, tires, everything.

Just adjust it accordingly as we do now with trucking.....

bkkcoh
05-03-2006, 11:40 AM
September 14, 1975............10
December 31, 1975.............13
May 29, 1978.....................15
March 22, 1981..................18
November 1, 1981...............20
February 17, 1985...............22
April 3, 1988......................25
February 3, 1991................29
January 1, 1995.................32
January 10, 1999................33
January 7, 2001..................34
July 1, 2001.......................34
June 30, 2002.....................37
January 8, 2006...................39

Baconeater
05-03-2006, 11:41 AM
Oh for Gaz's sake, why don't they just raise it to $.50 and leave it alone for 5 years. I still have half a sheet of $.37 stamps I haven't used up.

Hoover
05-03-2006, 11:43 AM
Tell me about it. I send a ton of 1st Class Mail - About 6000 units a week.

Deberg_1990
05-03-2006, 11:49 AM
Oh for Gaz's sake, why don't they just raise it to $.50 and leave it alone for 5 years. I still have half a sheet of $.37 stamps I haven't used up.

Agreed....maybe not that much but at least something signifigant so they dont have to screw with it for another 10 years.

|Zach|
05-03-2006, 11:50 AM
for another 10 years.
Ya that sounds reasonable. :spock:

Nzoner
05-03-2006, 11:55 AM
My biggest gripe about the postal service is not being treated like a valued client.As a 3rd class bulk mailer I mail 79,000 pieces a month and yet like last month I call with a complaint to the postmaster and can't even get a return phone call.

I think I speak for all in 3rd class direct mail advertising when I say the post office has us over a barrel and do they know it.

Cochise
05-03-2006, 12:15 PM
I mail 0 things a month, literally.

Demonpenz
05-03-2006, 12:17 PM
firefox.com

luv
05-03-2006, 12:51 PM
Forever my ass ........ with the rising cost of transportation, the forever is a gimick that will only last a year or two..

Diesel prices are rising, overall operational cost is outrageous and no end in site. Labor cost on repairs is sky rocketing along with insurance, tires, everything.

Just adjust it accordingly as we do now with trucking.....


December 31, 1975.............13
May 29, 1978.....................15
March 22, 1981..................18
November 1, 1981...............20
February 17, 1985...............22
April 3, 1988......................25
February 3, 1991................29
January 1, 1995.................32
January 10, 1999................33
January 7, 2001..................34
July 1, 2001.......................34
June 30, 2002.....................37
January 8, 2006...................39

I wonder if the cost of stamps corrolates in any way with the rising cost of gas, vehicle maintenance, equipment maintenance, insurance and cost of living for employees, etc.

Simplex3
05-03-2006, 01:01 PM
ROFL Yeah, we're talking about a 3-cent increase. The US Postal Service relies only on revenue they generate. With the high fuel prices, I'm surprised they don't want a higher increase...
ROFL

Please tell me you actually believe this.

luv
05-03-2006, 01:04 PM
ROFL

Please tell me you actually believe this.
Do you know anyone who actually works for the post office, or are you going off of popular belief?

Smoke
05-03-2006, 01:06 PM
Maybe they want to sponsor more mens bicycle racing? Lord knows that is money well spent.

Simplex3
05-03-2006, 01:09 PM
The USPS is a ripoff. Years ago UPS gave a proposal to Congress showing that they could do the same job for half the price and still turn a profit, but Congress didn't want to hear about losing one of their precious programs.

If Congress would simply make it legal for private carriers to exist the USPS would be a bunch of people sitting around doing nothing in no time.

Simplex3
05-03-2006, 01:10 PM
Do you know anyone who actually works for the post office, or are you going off of popular belief?
I've actually worked at more than one USPS facility. I've spoken with upper management. I've also worked for the GSA and the PBS division within the GSA. I know the feds personally.

Simplex3
05-03-2006, 01:12 PM
Maybe they want to sponsor more mens bicycle racing? Lord knows that is money well spent.
We could pay a few mil more to artists to make stamps with people on them. That really drives sales, too. I know when they released the Elvis stamps I bought 4x more stamps than I usually do. I was mailing s**t just so I could buy more stamps.

luv
05-03-2006, 01:13 PM
The USPS is a ripoff. Years ago UPS gave a proposal to Congress showing that they could do the same job for half the price and still turn a profit, but Congress didn't want to hear about losing one of their precious programs.

If Congress would simply make it legal for private carriers to exist the USPS would be a bunch of people sitting around doing nothing in no time.
My dad is currently working 60-70 hours per week due to a shortage in help. He doesn't sit around and do nothing. He's basically carrying two routes per day (including his scheduled day off).

Smoke
05-03-2006, 01:20 PM
I think mail carriers earn their pay, but I'm not so sure about the rest of them.

A local postmaster here got caught stealing mail and his punishment was getting transferred to a small out of the way post office..at the same pay and retirement. How many other jobs would a person get away with that?

luv
05-03-2006, 01:23 PM
I think mail carriers earn their pay, but I'm not so sure about the rest of them.

A local postmaster here got caught stealing mail and his punishment was getting transferred to a small out of the way post office..at the same pay and retirement. How many other jobs would a person get away with that?
That's a federal offense. He should have done time in prison.

And I agree. Clerks are usually standing around when I actually need to go in. Unless it's at one of our smaller post offices where people have more than one job they're responsible for.

BigMeatballDave
05-03-2006, 01:24 PM
ROFL

Please tell me you actually believe this.
:rolleyes:

Simplex3
05-03-2006, 01:29 PM
My dad is currently working 60-70 hours per week due to a shortage in help. He doesn't sit around and do nothing. He's basically carrying two routes per day (including his scheduled day off).
Oh, the people that actually process the letters in the plants (generally) earn their pay. The thing you're missing in this picture is the massive and crushing govt. bureaucracy.

KCChiefsMan
05-03-2006, 02:19 PM
ya, I had a packet of 37 cent stamps and I was not aware they raised it to 39 cents, so I got a nice $35 late charge on 2 of my credit cards because they sent it back....I was pretty pi$$ed

chefsos
05-03-2006, 07:08 PM
My biggest gripe about the postal service is not being treated like a valued client.As a 3rd class bulk mailer I mail 79,000 pieces a month and yet like last month I call with a complaint to the postmaster and can't even get a return phone call.

I think I speak for all in 3rd class direct mail advertising when I say the post office has us over a barrel and do they know it.

I used to work for a bulk mail business pretty similar to yours, volume-wise. We delivered almost 3 million pieces the last year I was there, but that number's skewed by two huge special mailings we did. You jump through all the mailpiece compliance hoops, pre-sort it and tray it and do the paperwork for 'em, and all they have to do is get your trays on the right truck if it isn't local mail.

Lemme guess: You have a client who says his mailing wasn't received, or was late, in a substantial section of his target area. The USPS office I dealt with was generally very helpful to us, but any question of missing or late 3rd class pieces was met with:shrug:. They didn't have a clue if it got there on time, or at all. That info's kind of hard to take back to your client.

Yeah, and I had to take my best guess at rate quotes too, when an increase was coming. You guess too high, maybe a competitor comes in with a lower estimate and steals the client. Guess too low, and you're on the hook for the balance. Good times.

dtebbe
05-03-2006, 09:32 PM
My biggest gripe about the postal service is not being treated like a valued client.As a 3rd class bulk mailer I mail 79,000 pieces a month and yet like last month I call with a complaint to the postmaster and can't even get a return phone call.

I think I speak for all in 3rd class direct mail advertising when I say the post office has us over a barrel and do they know it.

You are low-class :)

I do about 1000 pcs of 1st class and priority mail packages per month, and my local post office comes by every day and picks them up for us at no charge. We even have the postmaster's cell phone in case they forget to pick up.

DT

ChiefsLV
05-04-2006, 12:20 AM
ya, I had a packet of 37 cent stamps and I was not aware they raised it to 39 cents, so I got a nice $35 late charge on 2 of my credit cards because they sent it back....I was pretty pi$$ed


Call and ask them to remove the penalty. If you don't have a history of doing this, they should do it np. If the first person you call won't remove it, hang up and call back.

Halfcan
05-04-2006, 12:36 AM
Wish I could get a "forever" stamp on Chiefs parking.

luv
05-04-2006, 12:43 AM
ya, I had a packet of 37 cent stamps and I was not aware they raised it to 39 cents, so I got a nice $35 late charge on 2 of my credit cards because they sent it back....I was pretty pi$$ed
Whose fault was that?

Simplex3
05-04-2006, 12:45 AM
Whose fault was that?
If you ask my wife I'm sure it was my fault.

luv
05-04-2006, 12:47 AM
If you ask my wife I'm sure it was my fault.
I'd say you're wife is a smart person, but she did marry you after all. :p

banyon
05-04-2006, 12:47 AM
Tell me about it. I send a ton of 1st Class Mail - About 6000 units a week.

drug smuggling, eh?

Simplex3
05-04-2006, 12:50 AM
I'd say you're wife is a smart person, but she did marry you after all. :p
Smartest move she ever made. I've been quite the project husband. My income has gone up no less than 7x in the 8 years we've been married. She's a stay at home mom, too. I rule.

luv
05-04-2006, 12:52 AM
Smartest move she ever made. I've been quite the project husband. My income has gone up no less than 7x in the 8 years we've been married. She's a stay at home mom, too. I rule.
There's a reason guys like you aren't single. ;) :(

Simplex3
05-04-2006, 12:54 AM
There's a reason guys like you aren't single. ;) :(
My wife could tell you how to pick the right loser and groom them up nicely.

Halfcan
05-04-2006, 01:03 AM
My wife could tell you how to pick the right loser and groom them up nicely.

And I just might be said loser-I am pregroomed though.

Nzoner
05-04-2006, 05:32 PM
I used to work for a bulk mail business pretty similar to yours, volume-wise. We delivered almost 3 million pieces the last year I was there, but that number's skewed by two huge special mailings we did. You jump through all the mailpiece compliance hoops, pre-sort it and tray it and do the paperwork for 'em, and all they have to do is get your trays on the right truck if it isn't local mail.



Our city is small enough that I even go one extra step and have our trucking company DDU(destination drop)my bulk mailing to each individual post office after clearing bulk mail.

Sure I save a few extra bucks but just last month one of my largest clients called to tell me he had not received his booklet by the date he was supposed to and here I am being told by a delivery supervisor that there was a stack of my publications at the carrier's station that he hadn't gotten to yet but no reason as to why.