Have you mailed a letter recently? USPS in Dire Trouble!

By
Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Decatur Homes

What has happened to our tried and true, trusty US mail?  It appears to be in  terrible shape and getting worse by the day!

It's a well-know fact that the USPS is losing money, reporting a net loss of $8.5 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and there is consistent buzz about  plans to do away with Saturday mail service.  Postage rates are also set to rise again as soon as Congress approves the new rate. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, in March, the US Postal Service will begin closing as many as 2000 post offices, with reviews underway for another 16,000 possible closings.

Standing in  line at my local post office, I hear complaints about letter carriers caught hording junk mail rather than delivering it, about opening the post office at 10:00 or 10:15 a.m. when the stated hours are 9:30 a.m.  I hear about surly responses by overworked and understaffed postal workers, and about wrong mail deliveries and checks being stolen from roadside mailboxes.  The postal service has not kept up with the times and their public image has suffered drastically.  No-one has a good word to say about the service, the attitude or the public perception of the USPS. 

Rising Postal rates affect many businesses that are struggling to balance rising costs with decreased earnings, including Realtors.   Major  companies, like Netflix, one of USPS's largest corporate customers, are faced with significant increased costs.  Although Netflix continues to develop online streaming , the majority of movies are still delivered by mail.

The new Postmaster General, Pat Donahoe, has his work cut out for him, attempting to reduce spending for this ungainly organization, and improving their staid public image. 

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Here's an interesting concept on how the USPS could "rebrand" itself, suggested by Rick Barrack in a  clever blog.  Temporary shops are popping up in malls and major department stores during the holiday season.  He proposes designing a hip, fun "temporary "Post Office  to drop into a corner of Macy's or in the food court of a mall during the holidays, naming it the USPS Holiday Express!  What a great idea and one that might improve their fusty, old image and bring it roaring into 2011!

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Rainmaker
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Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
MOOERS REALTY

I would not make it sound like the entire USPS is headed down the tubes or has employee problems. I find in Maine we are so lucky to have such an efficient service. In fact, we have a ton of Canadian businesses that use the Maine postal services because they claim it is faster, cheaper. Vessey seeds was one outfit that used US and it is an even better deal if the dollar is weak. Folks are mailing less, look at a typical real estate office. We used to direct mail weekly with bulk permit. Still do direct mail but no way to the same degree shifting to other forms of media.

March 07, 2011 09:04 PM
Rainmaker
38,749
Sharon Kolb
Broker - Atlanta Decatur Homes
Atlanta Decatur Homes

Andrew - Funny that you mention Maine.  I'm actually from Camden and have a summer place in Hope.  My post offices in Camden and in Union, where I get my mail, are far superior to the metropolitan post offices that I frequent here in Atlanta.  The postal workers are friendly, often neighbors, and the service is much more reliable.  And, you are lucky to have such efficient service in Maine.  Nice to hear from you!

March 07, 2011 09:20 PM
Rainmaker
680,143
Kay Van Kampen
RealtorĀ®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions

The post office is going to have to close so many smaller offices to make up for some of the large offices.  Cutting costs is a must, but not delivering the mail......that's a disgrace.

March 07, 2011 10:26 PM
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Rainmaker
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Sharon Kolb

Broker - Atlanta Decatur Homes
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