Postal Service Announces Mail Service Slowdown, More Closures

Posted on December 5, 2011

The U.S. Post Office announced major changes, in order to avoid filing bankruptcy. The organization is making a big change to first class mail: it will now be delivered one day later. First class mail arrives between 1-3 days in the continental U.S. That will change, according to Fox News. Even if a first class envelope is mailed to the same city, it will not get there the next day. Many post office branches are closing and stamps are going up by one cent in January.

The slowdown in turnaround time is going to have widespread effects. Credit card companies have expressed concern that if customers aren't warned of the mail slowdown, everyone will be late on their payments which will lead to late charges. Netflix is unhappy because customers' mailing time will be slowed. Prescription drugs by mail will be delivered late.

Rural residents are facing bigger problems: the slowdown really hurts their ability to get mail delivery of everything from food to drugs to timely copies of newspapers and magazines. Some analysts say this heralds the end of newspapers in general. Who wants to read Monday's news on Friday?

Congress could make up the operating deficit, but has chosen to ignore the problem so far. Soon the post office's promise to deliver the mail to every U.S. address may be come to an end. Fed Ex and other private carriers have refused to take on delivery to all addresses, especially remote rural ones.

The Postmaster General said, "We have a business model that is failing. You can't continue to run red ink and not make changes. We know our business, and we listen to our customers. Customers are looking for affordable and consistent mail service, and they do not want us to take tax money."

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