Where's the 'Service' in 'U.S. Postal Service'?

I know, I know, I have lamented several times over the years about the abysmal service we get from the vaunted U.S. Postal Service. It seems that just about anyone I speak to has his or her own story about postal problems. And yes, I am in the midst of my own new one!

Several weeks ago, I received a small cardboard package that was slashed open on one end. Fortunately, the contents were not damaged, but I wanted to file a complaint about the damage to the package. I talked to the individual who is in charge of my post office and was told there is no form to use, but that he would do it for me. He took a picture of the damage and said he’d take care of it. I said I wanted a copy of the form he sent to the powers that be, and he agreed.

A couple of weeks later, I asked about it, and he said he’d send me a copy of the complaint form.

Today, I asked again, and he said, “Didn’t the state contact you?”

No, they didn’t. He asked me again my name and address – and now I am waiting, again, to hear a response.

Oh, I know, I will never get a response, but I will keep nagging him about it because I really am furious about how these things are “not” handled, and I don’t like his snarky attitude.

This is similar to the fragile item I carefully packed, cushioned and mailed, with insurance, to a friend. It arrived totally shattered even though the box was not damaged!

Go figure. It was insured, but that isn’t the point. I can’t replace that item, and it is totally destroyed. How? I have no idea, and the post office doesn’t either.

I am currently waiting for an important business letter mailed to me from a firm about 20 miles away. It’s been two weeks, and it still hasn’t arrived. Why? Who knows? And the good old P.O. is no help.

I just saw a news report about a postal problem in Santa Monica, California. It was of interest to me because a number of years ago I lived in that area, in fact just two blocks from this incident. Apparently, several postal workers have been physically attacked and or threatened by “someone,” so the Postal Service has decided to stop delivery to homes in that area. Residents will have to go to the post office to pick up their mail.

This is not a low-income area – homes there now sell in the millions – and yet they will not get mail delivery! Apparently, the police are no help in solving this and neither is the Postal Service. This is another instance in which the “good old P.O. is no help.”

In the midst of all this, Washington has come to the rescue of the USPS with the announcement that postal rates will INCREASE (again) by July 30!

One-ounce letters will go from 58 to 60 cents. Metered 1-ounce letters from 53 to 57 cents. Additional ounces on letters increase from 20 to 24 cents. Postcards from 40 to 44 cents. One-ounce international letters from $1.30 to $1.40.

The Postal Service released a statement about the increase, saying that it amounts to 6.5%, which they added is “lower than the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual inflation rate of 7.9% as of February.”

I guess they think that’s supposed to make us feel good about the increase!

The increase will pay for a “$40 billion investment into its infrastructure over the upcoming decade.”

President Biden signed the Postal Reform Act, which he says will “shore up the … agency’s financial future and cement 6-days-a-week mail delivery.”

As CBS News reported, “The legislation will provide $107 billion in direct and indirect support for the agency, allowing future retirees to enroll in Medicare and end a requirement that the P.O. pre-fund workers health care benefits for the next 75 years.”

Anyone out there care to estimate how high postal rates will increase over those 75 years? I know I’m not inclined to make a guess. All I know is that given the past performance of the post office, postal rates will keep increasing, and the caliber of service will continue to decrease.

Not too long ago, I was going through some boxes of papers at my parents’ home and came across a couple of items I will keep for memory’s sake: some 3-cent, first-class postage stamps, and some penny post cards! They are from the ’50s, ’60s and possibly the ’70s.

Talk about changes!

I will continue to use the Postal Service for my mail, but I send every single piece of mail with a “proof of mailing” – for which I pay a total of $1.65 each! I do this as a result of an instance a year or so ago when more than three weeks of my outgoing mail NEVER got delivered – and that included letters and bill payments. The Postal Service was no help solving the problem, and that mail never showed up.

Remember that old postal delivery adage, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”? It’s too bad that’s gone away, and what we’re left with is an increasingly more expensive system whose “service” is increasingly poor.

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