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ToddF

US Postal Service is reliable and fast

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I voted via absentee (Minnesota). The local post office (Ocean View NJ) was happy to receive my ballot sent general delivery which I received in a timely manner. After mailing back my ballot to Minnesota, I verified it online at the Minnesota Secretary of State's site confirming that they had received it. Everything timely.

 

In my 30+ of years as a tax preparer and exchanging mail with clients all over the U.S.A., I honestly can't think of a single instance of a piece of mail getting lost. There have been a few odd delays when a piece of mail seems to get mis-routed, but it eventually shows up. More often than not, delivery is within a few days of dispatch.

I'm in favor of dropping Saturday delivery if that will help the Post Office streamline it's operations and make things more efficient.

Hat's off to the U.S. Postal Service and Minnesota Secretary of State for having such a neat system where I could go online and verify receipt of my ballot securely in less than 1 minute. For Goodness sake, why can't the entire country get their act together when it comes to our democratic process of "one citizen, one vote"? People should not have to stand for hours in the hot sun to vote!

 

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The problem with ending Saturday delivery is that the mail does not stop on the weekends.  Mail is still processed and transported.  As it is now even with Saturday delivery, Mondays can be very hectic with basically two days mail that needs to be sorted and delivered in the same time frame as one days mail. Add a Monday holiday, then there would be three days mail to be delivered on Tuesday.

The US Postal Service can work as well or as poorly as those in charge of its' operation want it to.

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I suppose they could drop Sunday delivery, but I don't know if the savings would amount to much compared to what they get paid for it. The sorting center folks would still be working though, so no savings there.

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I realize the mail would back up over the weekend, but everything I read says first class mail is down dramatically from years past. Look at any mail carrier's vehicle and what you will see is overflowing amazon packages. So why isn't this dramatic increase in packages creating enough revenue to bring the PO into the black? There are no easy answers but for us RVers, the Post Office is a pivotal link in our existences as we travel across this great country.

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I almost never use the USPS or buy a stamp. I use Escapees mail forwarding and have them FedEx my mail right to my campground 2X a month. It’s only a $1 more than Priority Mail and it is delivered right to my site so I don’t even have to go to the camp ground office to pick up my mail. Most everything else is sent via email. I think I buy maybe 6 stamps a year. 

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8 hours ago, pjstough said:

As it is now even with Saturday delivery, Mondays can be very hectic with basically two days mail that needs to be sorted and delivered in the same time frame as one days mail.

With the much smaller volume of mail going to each household, it would seem to me that at least home delivery could cut back to alternate day deliveries, thus needing half as many mail stops each day. That is particularly true for rural routes. And they should probably close many of the smaller postal offices, but Congress would have to stop meddling for that to happen. 

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41 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

The USPS  says they lose 5% of daily mail, heard that on the radio today.

With all due respect that is NOT what the article you referenced says.

Here's a quote from the article:

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), the amount of mail that was undeliverable as addressed (UAA) was near 4.7 percent in 2010. The percentage rate of lost mail cannot be measured, because the amount actually lost is unknowable.

There's a big difference between 4.7% of mail being "undeliverable as addressed" and saying that 5% of daily mail is lost. IMHO there are too many "sound bites" that get quoted as if they are truth when, in actuality, they are at best only partially true.

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19 minutes ago, docj said:

With all due respect that is NOT what the article you referenced says.

Here's a quote from the article:

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), the amount of mail that was undeliverable as addressed (UAA) was near 4.7 percent in 2010. The percentage rate of lost mail cannot be measured, because the amount actually lost is unknowable.

There's a big difference between 4.7% of mail being "undeliverable as addressed" and saying that 5% of daily mail is lost. IMHO there are too many "sound bites" that get quoted as if they are truth when, in actuality, they are at best only partially true.

Yep, I got the wrong link. Information still correct as heard on the radio..

As of Dec. 2017 it was 3%  per USPS  figures. I don''t know where the radio obtained their percentage.

Edited by Ray,IN

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20 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

As of Dec. 2017 it was 3%  per USPS  figures. I don''t know where the radio obtained their percentage.

This article is about the effectiveness of the Mail Recovery Center (MRC), the so-called Dead Letter Office.  It's not an analysis of the overall performance of the USPS with respect to lost mail. 

I think the 3% number is far too high.  Think about the number of bills you receive (or used to).  If 3% of them were lost you'd be missing a lot of mail.

Edited by docj

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The Post Office was a "life saver" for my business when the pandemic hit. While a lot of business is conducted online, many clients still want their tax return on paper and don't like secure portals etc. So after I closed my office to "foot traffic" on March 12th, I was going to the Post Office everyday and dropping the day's work inside the post office (we have had people stealing mail from outside boxes). Bought stamps online so I wouldn't have to stand in line. Covid has increased my reliance on the US Postal service. But don't need Saturday delivery.

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3 hours ago, docj said:

 

This article is about the effectiveness of the Mail Recovery Center (MRC), the so-called Dead Letter Office.  It's not an analysis of the overall performance of the USPS with respect to lost mail. 

I think the 3% number is far too high.  Think about the number of bills you receive (or used to).  If 3% of them were lost you'd be missing a lot of mail.

About every other month my water bill does not arrive, the water company blames the post office. My wife is not receiving her credit union statements, they are returned to the CU; the post office blames the credit union, and says the high speed scanners recognize the largest print first, which is the credit union return address.

It's not 5% of my mail it is of all mail.

I have no way of obtaining documentation from that radio station; but I do believe the 5% statement. We should agree to disagree on this matter.

A side note to the subject of the USPS is, mail volume is down to 1978 level.

 

Edited by Ray,IN

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5 hours ago, Kirk W said:

With the much smaller volume of mail going to each household, it would seem to me that at least home delivery could cut back to alternate day deliveries, thus needing half as many mail stops each day. That is particularly true for rural routes. And they should probably close many of the smaller postal offices, but Congress would have to stop meddling for that to happen. 

Yes it is odd; the USPS does not  receive operating money from congress, they must operate on funds received from mailings. Congress members are meddling with the USPS to keep local post offices, 6 day deliveries, etc. and complaining because the USPS has lost money for the past 11 years.

We know one cannot keep doing the same thing and expect change.

The trouble with skipping every other day delivery is retaining postal carriers, but that might be solved by delivery to different areas/routes on odd days by the same carrier.

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7 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

solved by delivery to different areas/routes on odd days by the same carrier.

That is exactly what I am suggesting. 

Most of us really know little about the USPS other than whatever direct contact that we happen to have. A good place to start might be this article from the Brookings Institute. 

HOW IS THE POSTAL SERVICE GOVERNED?

Quote

The fundamental problem is that while the USPS generates enough revenue to cover its operating costs, its pension and retiree health care liabilities push its bottom line into the red. The USPS has operated at a loss since 2007. From 2008 to 2018, it reported $69 billion in losses. For the 2019 fiscal year, it lost $8.8 billion on $71.1 billion of operating revenue.

 

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15 hours ago, Twotoes said:

I almost never use the USPS or buy a stamp. I use Escapees mail forwarding and have them FedEx my mail right to my campground 2X a month. It’s only a $1 more than Priority Mail 

Which FedEx do you use?  Escapees has 4 choices on their mailing instructions page:  Overnight, Ground, 2nd Day, and 3rd day.  I just recently ordered mail and thought I'd give FedEx a try and chose Ground.  BIG MISTAKE!  It was MUCH MORE expensive than what I would have paid if it had gone via USPS!

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I didn’t know there were several choices. I use whatever Escapees recommends. I pay a flat rate of just over $7. It takes about 3 days. 

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For 20 years I lived in a rural area and worked full-time 75 miles away in a big city.  Our local post office was small, it serviced around maybe 5,000 households (?).  If I received something that needed a signature or an oversized box, I had to go to the post office to pick it up.  That meant I had to go to the post office during the 1 hour they were open on Saturday, or else take time off from work, so I could get it while they were still open.  If they were to close that post office, I would have had to drive 50 miles to get such things, and probably in the opposite direction from where I worked (I lived in a different county than where I worked).  I would rather have had mail delivery 3 days a week rather than lose our rural post office.

I also preferred using USPS when I lived up there - I was more likely to get my mail after a storm than if something was shipped UPS or FedEx - they would delay delivery because of snow while the USPS driver was local and had chains for their vehicle.

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14 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

...I have no way of obtaining documentation from that radio station; but I do believe the 5% statement. We should agree to disagree on this matter...

 

 

 

You are free to believe whatever you wish, but there is no way on God's green earth that the USPS loses 5% of the mail. On a side note, mail that is returned to the sender for any reason is not "lost mail."

Edited by pjstough

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"The fundamental problem is that while the USPS generates enough revenue to cover its operating costs, its pension and retiree health care liabilities push its bottom line into the red. The USPS has operated at a loss since 2007. From 2008 to 2018, it reported $69 billion in losses. For the 2019 fiscal year, it lost $8.8 billion on $71"

The USPS has operated at a loss from 2007 on because in 2006 the Congress and the President thought it was a good idea to force the USPS to pay about 6 billion a year into the retirement fund, which will then have enough money in it to pay retirees 75 years into the future!  This a a requirement that no other private business or government agency, or quasi-governmental agency has to pay.  The only reason for doing this was to continue efforts to destroy the USPS.

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in fact going back almost as long as I can remember other private business have been able to write off underpayment and non payment of their required payments into their pension funds.  .

  Some have been able to default completely to " save the jobs" they generate since no one was forcing them to live up to their legal liabilities for years.

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15 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

A side note to the subject of the USPS is, mail volume is down to 1978 level.

FWIW we don't get any credit card or bank statements in the mail.  We've signed up for electronic delivery with virtually every entity we do business with.  Most of what we get in the mail are Amazon packages and none of those have ever been lost.

Edited by docj

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5 hours ago, docj said:

FWIW we don't get any credit card or bank statements in the mail.  We've signed up for electronic delivery with virtually every entity we do business with.  Most of what we get in the mail are Amazon packages and none of those have ever been lost.

I would like to do that,however, DW is not computer literate nor does she want to use a computer. (She has some residual brain damage from that wreck in 2016.) So I  must retain snail mail (JIC I mess up big time), and electronic  dual system. Yep, Amazon has a tracking system that is coordinated with the USPS system.

 

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I have minimized some of my stuff but for some items I want a current paper copy.  I do not have a copier to print and have limited space so it is not practical to print out receipts etc.  I am kind of aggravated about paying what it costs for some things like insurance, Coachnet, or the like and they want me to print. Hell I will give them and extra dollar to send me a hard plastic or stiff card copy.

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10 hours ago, bigjim said:

I do not have a copier to print and have limited space so it is not practical to print out receipts etc. 

Although I do have a printer that gets used occasionally, lately I have shifted to saving documents to "the cloud" rather than accumulating paper.   It's pretty easy to "print to a PDF" rather than to a physical printer which yields a stored copy that is no different than what you would have printed.  That way, if you ever need it in the future, it's there for you.

At one time cloud storage seemed "scary"; these days it's a routine part of many businesses standard practice.  I happen to use the Microsoft Cloud, but there are quite a few of them to choose from.

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4 hours ago, docj said:

Although I do have a printer that gets used occasionally, lately I have shifted to saving documents to "the cloud" rather than accumulating paper.   It's pretty easy to "print to a PDF" rather than to a physical printer which yields a stored copy that is no different than what you would have printed.  That way, if you ever need it in the future, it's there for you.

At one time cloud storage seemed "scary"; these days it's a routine part of many businesses standard practice.  I happen to use the Microsoft Cloud, but there are quite a few of them to choose from.

So, if a cop asks you for proof of insurance, you send him to the cloud? Or ask him to wait while you go to a local copy shop to get a print out?

Linda

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