Critical Report Threatens U.S.P.S. Efforts to Boost Stamp Prices
March 15, 2002
The U.S. Postal Service is reportedly trying to keep a highly critical study of its operations from derailing its efforts to raise stamp prices. It wants to boost the price of a first-class stamp from 34 cents to 37 cents as early as June.
The report, filed last week by the Postal Service's Office of the Consumer Advocate, makes these charges among others:
- The Postal Service is guilty of "unacceptable" customer service deficiencies -- ranging from long lines at post offices to delays in delivery of Priority Mail.
- Priority Mail, which costs at least $3.50, is said to move more slowly than much cheaper first-class mail -- and the report accuses postal officials of trying to make it difficult for customers to compare prices, and of misleading customers about Priority Mail services.
- The U.S.P.S. anticipates losing more than $2 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
Officials are demanding that the report be erased from the record of the Postal Rate Commission that is considering the proposed increase. They contend that allowing the criticisms to become a part of the commission's official record "would be inappropriate and would not serve a practical purpose."
Source: Rick Brooks, "Postal Service Tries to Keep Critical Study from Derailing Its Request to Boost Rates," Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2002.
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