Snail Mail On Life Support… Or Is It?

from the not-quite-sure dept

Someone who prefers to remain anonymous writes “As users rush to email, global postal services are left with swollen bureaucracies forcing ever higher prices onto a shrinking customer base. Way back in 2000, postal prognosticators confidently predicted that, after subtracting 20.7 billion email messages, the Service could expect a 9% increase in First-Class letter deliveries by 2005. Unfortunately, email volume is nearly thirty times greater than USPS dreamers imagined.” However, this is a bit misleading. While it may be true that the conventional first class letter is a relic of a different era, the internet has opened up many new uses for the Post Office, such as mailing around items purchased on eBay and videos rented from Netflix. It’s easy to point to the loss of certain kinds of mail, but it needs to be balanced with other types of post office use as well. That’s not to say that the Post Office isn’t in trouble, but this only presents one side of the story.

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Comments on “Snail Mail On Life Support… Or Is It?”

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Mousky (user link) says:

Horrible blurb at

That blurb is horrible, what with lines like “By 2007, you’ll be paying one heckuva lot more to mail your grandma… and you’ll probably be schlepping it over to the local postal station”.

Hmmm, the USPS is looking for a rate increase of 5.4% for 2006. So a $0.37 stamp will cost $0.39 in 2006. Assume the same increase in 2007 for a cost of $0.41 maybe $0.42. Wow, you’ll be paying four or five cents more in 2007 to mail your grandma – if that is “heckuva lot more”, then what is the increase in the price of gasoline in response to one natural disaster considered?

SkyDude says:

Re: No Subject Given

They can make the cost of a stamp $2 for all I care. All of my bills are either paid online or with BillPay.
I can’t remember the last time I mailed an envelope.

Same here. Fact is though, more payment money moves through first class mail than over the internet. Going to be that way for some time to come too. Too many users are just not ready to make the leap to the 21st century yet.

Ivan Sick says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

“Too many users are just not ready to make the leap to the 21st century yet.”
More like too many companies. I won’t pay bills online because the utilities and banks I deal with charge one to two dollars to pay online, against 40? for a stamp and envelope. I’ll take the inconvenience.

email squirrel says:

Re: Re: Snail mail bills

Until there is some agreed on proof of delivery, I’ll still take all my bills by snail mail, thank you. It is still the only real way to have any way to prove you recieved anything, and what was sent that can be clearly shown. Email is still “E” and can be easily altered or lost.

that is a whole other can of worms anyway.

Happy user says:

No Subject Given

Without USPS, UPS and FedEx, I wouldn?t receive all the cool packages I now order online — Stuff that i wouldnt normally order if it wasn?t for the internet… Netflix DVD Rentals, GameFly game rentals, eBay used goods and plenty more stuff from those home businesses where the owner sells merchandise through their website, representing themselves as if they were a huge company.

Most of these online retailers offer 3-day shipping or even Next Day air… who do you think takes care of delivering this stuff — to people who could have easily just picked it up from the local retail outlet for $0 shipping charges…

Basically, delivery companies are making their $$$ some way or another — don?t let the “uneducated” trick you into thinking that they only make money when you send an envelope to dear ‘ol gran ma ma

-Happy user

Algorithms says:

No Subject Given

The USPS does not run off tax revenue. It is a self sustained branch of goverment that runs in a balanced red/black swing. As another commenter mentioned, the primary source of the USPS revenue is BBM (Bulk Business Mail). Direct mail marketing will be here for a long time, mainly because the push to stop spam online is keeping it in our mailboxes in RL. I wouldn’t worry about the USPS going anyway any time soon.

email squirrel says:

Email vs. Snail Mail

So, the junk mail people are now putting all the money that was claimed to be holding up the USPS into what? UPS? Spam? I haven’t seen any change in volume.

I still get my bills thru the mail as said in another email. That volume of mail was never claimed to be the realy money maker for the Postal service.

until reaching out and touching someone with junk in the inbox really goes away, I doubt that USPS will really suffer. After all, they claim that the mail generated by the home customer costs them money, so if that is dropping, that can’t wipe them out.

also .02 is only a 5 percent increase, as someone noticed, that is not that much. Also most other things are rising at 10% or more, so this is far less.

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