Ready for more junk mail? Postal Service hopes so

The U.S. Postal Service believes delivering more junk mail to your home or business will generate more cash to help reverse a $5.2 billion loss.

(Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com)

(Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com)

The agency hopes to lure more businesses and direct mail marketers with rebates and discounts to get a larger share of their deliveries, Postal Service spokesman Tad Kelley told a CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh.

“We’re talking about a national program where a company can take a look at direct mail from a 30-state or more perspective and say, ‘Can I reach more customers?’” Kelly said. The New York Times was the first to report on the agency’s plans.

The Postal Service continues to see a decline in its volume of first-class mail deliveries as more individuals and businesses rely on electronic mail and messaging to communicate. The agency said it handled 38.5 billion pieces of mail in its April-to-June financial reporting period, a decrease of 1.4 billion pieces.

The agency saw a 9 percent increase in its shipping business in the same period as it continues to battle with UPS, FedEx and others for shipping dollars.

Despite the growth in shipping, the Postal Service reported a $5.2 billion loss, a big chunk of it due to having to prefund health benefits for postal retirees, the agency said.

The Postal Service said being able to reduce mail deliveries to five days from the current six and no longer having to prefund retiree health benefits would help it reduce the red ink.

Junk mail already accounts for 48 percent of total mail volume, and the Postal Service made about $17 billion delivering share of it last year.

Are you ready for more junk mail? And while we’re at it, has the Postal Service seen its best days?

34 comments Add your comment

Chris

September 22nd, 2012
4:41 pm

Remember that you always have the right to obtain a federal Prohibitory Order against any sender of unwanted junk mail. Just file a Form 1500 with your postmaster for each junk mail sender, and further postal solicitation from that sender becomes a federal crime.

Hopefully, the USPS’s reprehensible attempt to increase the volume of its garbage dropoff service will result in a tidal wave of paperwork from the recipients of this useless waste. Junk mail only drains value from the American economy and should be punished with stiff fines, not rewarded with revenue.

Sasquatch

September 22nd, 2012
5:10 pm

The reason the PO loses money is they are required by Congress to fully fund their pension fund before they become completely unnecesary. The accelerated pension fund payments are what the junk mail is paying for.

Jim Chaput

September 22nd, 2012
6:26 pm

Chris, we generate “junk” mail for customers and thereby sell a lot of merchandise. It’ the most unobtrusive form of advertising there is. If you don’t our offers the solution is as near as your trash can.

snailboy

September 22nd, 2012
6:30 pm

More junk mail? Great!

hmm

September 22nd, 2012
7:38 pm

Return those self-addressed, postage-paid envelopes right back to the sender-empty… Keeping the system going and USPS in business…

Cohutta Dawgman

September 22nd, 2012
7:43 pm

They just want all the chain stores to put their sale fliers in the mail and put another nail in the coffin of newspapers.

Don Nelson

September 22nd, 2012
7:49 pm

This partially explains the USPS failure, they are stupid. They need to charge more for Junk mail, not less, junk mail is the multiplier for their business, and companies will pay more to get their junk delivered, they will simply pass this along to the consumer. Cutting prices is the exact opposite of a productive plan, so now you know management does not get it. Let them go bankrupt.

Andrew

September 22nd, 2012
8:48 pm

The AJC is offering discounts on the letter N
“Postal Service offering discouts for junk mail”

Steve

September 22nd, 2012
9:53 pm

The USPS is yet another organization looted and tanked by unions.

pooterguy

September 22nd, 2012
10:46 pm

“Remember that you always have the right to obtain a federal Prohibitory Order against any sender of unwanted junk mail. Just file a Form 1500 with your postmaster for each junk mail sender…”

Not so. USPS Form 1500 specifically applies only to sexually oriented material. Unfortunately, there is no such form that will prohibit or prevent the delivery of other than porn mail. Even if marked “Return to Sender” or “Refused,” ordinary junk mail only ends up in the dumpster. Easier just to trash it yourself.

obamaisaloser

September 22nd, 2012
10:58 pm

More junk mail? Thanks obama this must be one of your clueless moves in between kissing the muslims butts.

Kool$kat

September 22nd, 2012
11:18 pm

This is not news. My employer, US Postal service has offered discounts for at least 30 yrs. for newspapers and magazines, business mail (first class-like bills and statements, and standard mail – newsletters, church bulletins, catalogs and advertising mail) all get discounts for meeting volume and presort requirements. So if you like getting free catalogs, thank us for making it possible. Cheap shipping prices for all that junk you order online? Your welcome! Send a card to Aunt Lois on the west coast for 45 cents? Ain’t that a deal?

Bulldawg

September 22nd, 2012
11:21 pm

Just remember, the US government will soon be running our national health care program. $5.2 billion in losses for the Postal Service is just a foreshadowing of what lies ahead for this insurance endeavor. Our government as constituted is inept and can’t run anything efficiently.

Kool$kat

September 22nd, 2012
11:27 pm

And remember we pay same price for gas as you. no discount for USPS. Think about it, we deliver to virtually every home and business every day…that’s a lot of miles. And tho gas prices more than doubled since Obama took office, we are very limited (by Congress) in raising prices for our products and services. And we receive NO tax dollars. None. Not one penny.

Kool$kat

September 22nd, 2012
11:30 pm

Obamacare/Mandated health care system cannot be compared to postal service. See NO tax dollars comment above. Note that nobody forces you to send mail.

Koolsat is a liar pants on fire

September 22nd, 2012
11:35 pm

You do receive tax dollars if you didn’t we wouldn’t need congress involved would we….to drown your inefficiency as a federal company. Personally I think the states should take over.

lexi

September 23rd, 2012
5:25 am

Private businesses with defined benefit plans fund their pensions as they go, for reasons that ought to be obvious. And, post office pension obligations are guaranteed by taxpayers. I’d be delighted to release the PO from the requirement that they fund their pension obligations in exchange for releasing taxpayers from their guaranties. Never happen.

A Paid Political Message

September 23rd, 2012
7:20 am

We know if the post office is on drugs it’s not speed.

A Paid Political Message

September 23rd, 2012
7:22 am

I second these responses:

snailboy

September 22nd, 2012
6:30 pm

More junk mail? Great!

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hmm

September 22nd, 2012
7:38 pm

Return those self-addressed, postage-paid envelopes right back to the sender-empty… Keeping the system going and USPS in business…

Pro Union

September 23rd, 2012
8:17 am

The USPS has overpaid into the pension fund by $75 billion, so once the federal government pays this money back, the USPS will be sitting pretty.

bob

September 23rd, 2012
8:18 am

We are told to go green and accept higher electricity and fuel rates by gov and then have to empty useless garbage from a mail box we are forced by law to have. Chris, I have a better idea, instead of filling out a form for every single biz that may send me mail, how about we stop making owning mailboxs mandadtory

monroe

September 23rd, 2012
8:55 am

postal unions are demanding things to create more mail to fund their obscene salaries and pensions—this inefficiency and waste at the usps will never end. Maybe they can sponsor another racing team with more millions!!!

middle of the road

September 23rd, 2012
8:59 am

“Just remember, the US government will soon be running our national health care program. $5.2 billion in losses for the Postal Service is just a foreshadowing of what lies ahead for this insurance endeavor.”

NO, the US government willNOT be running a national health care program, because there ISN’T one. Insurance companies will be running it (just like now).

The US Postal Service is in a pickle – the government says run it like a business, and you have to be self-sufficient – but then does not give any authority to make decisions. All decisions have to be approved by Congress (that is a scary thought)! The postal service wants to eliminate Saturday delivery or go to every other day delivery – sounds like a reasonable “business” decision – but Congress won’t allow it. We are blaming the USPS for Congress’ failures!

kidding yourself

September 23rd, 2012
9:13 am

The USPS is important not for delivering mail, but for redistributing the wealth. It is the IRS ( internal redistribution service) conduit to dole out money. Have you personnally gone to the post office recently and seen the other patrons. Obviously fedx or ups could deliver the mail.

LMAO!

September 23rd, 2012
9:15 am

Easy solution:
1) Double the cost of sending mail 1st class – it’d still be a bargain!
2) Hiring freeze; allow RIF via retirements
3) No weekend deliveries – this will cut salary costs
4) Contract out deliveries, keep union folks in the post offices and sorting centers
5) Reduce gov’t subsidies by 20% each year; after 10 years, no more gov’t subsidies. If the USPS can’t survive on its own after that, let it privatize and compete with UPS or any other mail carriers that may be created.

LMAO!

September 23rd, 2012
9:16 am

And for those who think I don’t know my math…it’s 20% of remaining subsidies that will be reduced. NOT 20% of current subsidies…that’d only take 5 years.

Whirled Peas

September 23rd, 2012
10:11 am

If you want to talk about the USPS, how about informing the people that the government has stopped funding the USPS pension plan, assuring that future post office retirees will be out in the cold unless taxpayers open up their wallets. These damn politicians, they don’t solve anything. They just find a way to muddle along until everything collapses.

Not only that, but the money they are giving to the post office is not carried on the country’s books. That $16 trillion plus debt that the US owes everyone else, does not even include the debt owed by the post office. The politicians created a fake bank, pretended that they were giving the post office a loan that would some day be paid back, and then the debt is not even carried on the country’s books. Talk about fancy accounting. If you did that, you would be in jail.

Deuntrae

September 23rd, 2012
1:50 pm

How pitiful that our once magnificent postal service has sunk to this level. I don’t know the answer to their dilemma, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t it. I cannot recall ever once in my lifetime buying something as the result of unsolicited junk mail advertising. It all goes into the garbage.

Jess

September 23rd, 2012
2:20 pm

Koolsat is a liar pants on fire said:
“You do receive tax dollars if you didn’t we wouldn’t need congress involved would we”

Seriously, you need to educate yourself before commenting. You obviously know NOTHING about how tied the USPS hands are by the Postal Regulatory Commission and Congress! Ever notice the fuel surcharges UPS and FedEx charge? USPS can barely get a 1 cent increase passed.

bob said:
“how about we stop making owning mailboxs mandadtory”

Really? Show me the law that states you must have a mailbox! Take it down and figure out another way to pay your bills if you are so upset with USPS. USPS doesn’t care if you have a box. Mail will be returned NMR or No Mail Receptacle. Mandatory…LOL!!!

Thank you Whirled Peas for spreading the TRUTH about USPS. I’m sick of hearing “my taxes pay your salary” and that the unions are ruining everything when the bloated management and the fact that their hands are tied by the PRC and Congress is another reason USPS is struggling.

Please don’t just continue the rumor mill. Educate yourselves about the situation and make your own decisions. BTW, USPS management is also playing number games. Start cutting from the top and hire educated people from outside USPS along with freeing USPS up to make actual business decisions rather than waiting on this do nothing Congress!

MANGLER

September 23rd, 2012
5:44 pm

So since charging for parcels that we do want (letters, post cards, legal documents, letter to Santa) is no longer supporting the business model, someone thinks parcels that we don’t want will?

If the only thing that comes into the mail box is junk mail, then I guess I’ll simply let the mail box clog up wih it until they stop delivering into it. I really don’t need coupons every other day for services that I’m not interested in.

Jim

September 25th, 2012
7:54 am

I envy these people who get so upset about receiving unsolicited (junk) mail. If that is all they have to worry about they must have wonderful lives.

Jim

September 27th, 2012
10:33 pm

I’d never heard of that form but I just looked at the USPS Form 1500 and it is used to prevent sexually explicit mail from being delivered. I just checked it and there is no other option. I’m not ready to falsely accuse someone of sendind sexually explicit mail i order to keep from receiving junk mail… as much as I would LIKE to…

Jim N

September 27th, 2012
10:38 pm

I’d posted the recent comment about the form 1500 –I would like to address the other JIM -some of us (like me) may work with varied schedules and 24 hour days so we aren’t home EVERY day. I don’t need a bunch of junk mail and advertisements filling up my mailbox alerting people to the fact I may not be home. I’m sure there are plenty of other people who have valid reasons for not wanting junk mail and for wanting to stop the waste.

Jim N

September 27th, 2012
10:42 pm

Oh and while I’m not happy about the junk mail, I still support and appreciate the USPS.