December 6, 2011
Postal Service Slow Down: Can't Credit Complaints Without Cash
My local paper, the inimitable Grand Forks Herald, provided this opinion piece today: Stop the Postal Service’s ‘panic selling’. The piece argues that the Post Office has refused to listen to thousands of complaints about the proposal to make financial cuts that will lead to slower mail delivery. They argue:
These changes are coming too fast and with too little thought being put into them. Furthermore, they’re being driven not by any sense of the public good but simply by money — namely, the Postal Service’s financial crisis. ...
[T]he trouble is, the Postal Service is not just another business. It may be a quasi-private organization, but it’s also one with a centuries-old public-service mission: delivering America’s mail.
Perhaps, although it's my understanding that the Post Office isn't getting taxpayer funding. It seems to me this piece gives too much credance to complaints about the Postal Service's proposal without asking one more key question: Are you willing pay enough to pay to keep the status quo?
If not, the plan is the best option. And that's business, folks.
When addressing the U.S. Postal Service proposals, I think you must take into account the institution's inability to quickly morph itself into a competitive model. For at least the last decade, the Postal Service has been trying to close branches to lower its costs of operations. This quasi-governmental model is still subject to the approval of Congress. It is an anchor around the neck of the organization.
The bane of constituents, but the lifeblood of the Postal Service, has been "junk mail." It is a revenue stream to the Postal Service so addictive it cannot float itself without junk mail. The U.S. Post Office needs a form of Chapter 11. It should be able to shed the onerous overhead burdens that have been politically saddled. However, it's consumer base has been slowly "eaten away" by greater efficiency, reliability and dependability in the private sector and resulting technologies. I don't know how a proposal to diminish reliability by institutionally lengthening the permissible time period of delivery will serve the mission of the U.S. Post Office or maintain user loyalty. It would seem that this very move would force users to use alternatives - especially in a business setting.
Being one who still pays bills through "snail mail," I may be forced to rethink ACH and other means. Another customer lost?
Posted by: Tom Norris | Dec 7, 2011 8:48:45 AM