Priority Mail offers Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmaton. It also offers Certified Mail, insurance, and return receipt. Priority Mail does not offer tracking - only the Express Mail services offer tracking.
Please stop being deliberately obtuse - it is unbecoming and makes you appear clueless when you are not so. Of course people can go in your mailbox and steal stuff - the point is that having more people going in there increases the chance that someone will actually take something. The more people go in there, the more likely a crime of opportunity will occur. You might want to do a little research on that debt issue there. The government owes USPS $75 billion - not the other way around.
Then the better soluton would be to reduce the margin by not making delivery to an address unless there is First-Class Mail to float the boat. This would reduce your delivery to 3 times a week which shouldn't really have a bad effect for you. Unfortunately, the USPS' customer is not the recipient, but the sender who pays for the delivery. Advertisers generally want to pinpoint (as much as possible) the in-home delivery date of their materials. They would have to agree to either paying more or reducing service - what do you think they will say about that?
You seem to have the mistaken notion that USPS makes its own business decisions. To a certain extent that is true but they can not do anything that isn't approved by Congress and/or their regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The PRC testimony and deliberations are public records that can be examined by anyone on their website. Anyone can intervene in their proceedings as well. I have done so on many occasions. I would recommend that the folks posting here learn a little bit about the print advertising, product fulfillment and delivery industries and the specific issues of USPS before participating. The level of discourse is significantly higher than is found on internet discussions.
The only reason of which I am aware that it might (note "might") be a bad idea to open up First-Class to the other carriers is they will skim the profitable areas and not deliver to the unprofitable areas. This means that it will either cost several dollars to mail a letter to those areas (essentially every address not in or near an urban center) or the government will have to subsidize USPS to serve those areas. Subsidizing USPS is not something that Congress wants to do and paying more taxes to subsidize a service that currently needs no subsidy is not something that I want to do. This isn't just hypothetical either - it is based on what is happening today. USPS currently carries millions of parcels "the last mile" for UPS, FedEx, and others because their delivery networks do not extend into unprofitable areas. USPS goes there because of the combination of the universal service requirement and the legal monopoly on First-Class Mail that was devised to ensure that the above scenario does not happen.
Opening up First-Class Mail to competition is an issue outside the scope of the previous dialogue. I agree 100% that, if the other carriers were authorized to carry First-Class, then they should have access to the mailbox too. This hasn't happened yet so I don't want them in there. UPS and FedEx are not the problem anyway - they are honest professional delivery firms who would not be likely to tamper with oter materials. If you open up the mailbox you are going to have kids on bicycles going in there several times a day delivering fliers and helping themselves to whatever they want. It was Ima Fish who mistakenly believed that only UPS and FedEx would be in your mailbox.
Not quite true. "Junk mail" is generally presorted and dropped at the destination post office by the mailer so little USPS resource is used in handling it. Plus, the letter carrier still has to go up to every door or mailbox to deliver the First-Class Mail anyway, so the marginal cost of delivering each piece of "junk mail" is miniscule. Paper is a renewable and recyclable resource too - eliminating waste is a good thing but eliminating paper waste is not as important as eliminating other forms of waste.
The Tailwind contract, a.k.a. the Tour de France USPS team sponsorship is recognized in the advertising industry as some of the best ad dollars ever spent in the history of advertising. The story was incredible as Lance Armstrong dominated the Tour for several consecutive years. USPS got a hefty return on its investment too in terms of increased volumes in its suite of Global service and in brand recognition.
Read Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 508.3.1 below. The DMM is incorporated by reference in Title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations, so it is federal regulatory law. There's a $300 fine for putting aything in a mailbox that doesn't have postage on it. If you like your UPS guy you might want to warn him that he could get in trouble for putting stuff in your mailbox. The USPS carrier is also authorized to seize any material that doesn't have postage and bring it to his postmaster but I doubt that happens very often.
3.1 Basic Information for Customer Mail Receptacles
3.1.1 Authorized Depository
Except as excluded by 3.1.2, every letterbox or other receptacle intended or used for the receipt or delivery of mail on any city delivery route, rural delivery route, highway contract route, or other mail route is designated an authorized depository for mail within the meaning of 18 USC 1702, 1705, 1708, and 1725.
Door slots and nonlockable bins or troughs used with apartment house mailboxes are not letterboxes within the meaning of 18 USC 1725 and are not private mail receptacles for the standards for mailable matter not bearing postage found in or on private mail receptacles. The post or other support is not part of the receptacle.
3.1.3 Use for Mail
Except under 3.2.11, Newspaper Receptacle, the receptacles described in 3.1.1 may be used only for matter bearing postage. Other than as permitted by 3.2.10, Delivery of Unstamped Newspapers, or 3.2.11, no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail.
I wouldn't say USPS sucks at tracking. It is more accurate to say that they do not offer that service with anything other than its Express Mail services. Delivery Confirmation is intended for use by large volume fulfillment firms to conduct automated reconciliation of their orders - when the electronic data feed says a parcel has been delivered the order is deemed complete. I agree that it doesn't translate well into a valuable service for the retail mailer.
Oh yeah, I have run businesses - quite successfully, too, if I do say so myself. Your problem is you are pontificating about a market you don't understand and you are unaware of the legalities involved in mail delivery. Efficiency is not the only issue - it's a real issue for sure but not the only one.
In response to your question about whether I have any reqson to think UPS and FedEx wouldn't do a good job with First-Class Mail: No, I don't think they would do a bad job. They are the class of the parcel delivery industry and I assume they would do well delivering First-Class too. The problem withyour proposal is that they don't want to get into the First-Class Mail business. It would require an enormous capital investment and there would very likely not be any appreciable return. First-Class Mail is the portion of the mail market that is drying up and nobody in their right mind would invest billions to get into a dying market. You might as well invest in building a buggy whip factory.
That law is intended to protect the integrity of First-Class Mail. It makes a lot of sense when you look at the legal implications of delivery of documents that might be brought up in a court of law. Proof of delivery is an important concept and would be diminished if any clown was allowed to throw material in your mailbox.
I realize quite well the low level of security in a mailbox and I don't want to lower it any more by having those UPS and FedEx people, who you state can steal my mail, putting heir hands in it. If you open it up to use by anyone, every Tom, Dick, and Harry will be cramming stuff in there. As I said, no thanks. It is a terrible idea fraught with problems and offers no advantage whatsoever.
The true privatization that has already occurred is in the form of "workshare discounts." USPS provides price incentives to large mailers who sort their own mail, affix barcodes, and transport it, a.k.a. "drop ship," to near the destination point. First-Class Mail has presortation and boarcoding discounts but doesn't yet have drop shi discounts. I think you will see them within the year.
Talk of privatization is fun but it is really moot. Nobody wants it because it would be an enormous capital investment with very, very shaky prospects for any return at all. If you own stock in a company that considers buying out the PO - sell your stock as quickly s you can. It is not a profitable business if you have to cover all addresses nationwide. You could spin off the profitable areas to private firms but that would leave the taxpayers having to subsidize USPS when we do not currently do so.
No thanks. I would prefer not to have more hands in my mailbox where First-Class Mail contains personal information like credit card and bank account numbers and maybe even Social no-Security Number. UPS and FedEx have no problem at all delivering my parcels (most of which won't fit into the mailbox) to my front porch. Besides, there is nothing that prevents you from erecting another delivery box for other carriers - just don't get one that says US Mail on it.
USPS retirement already IS 30 years "like every where else." There are two pension plans Civil Service Retirement System for those hired before 1984 and Federal Employees Retirement System for those hired after. To qualify for retirement you need 30 years service and age 55 years for CSRS. FERS is a bit more complicated because it isn't a fixed-benefit pension but is more like a 401-k where the benefit is determined by the contribution.
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