Friday, January 23, 2009

It's curtains for the window envelope

Update: The Postal Service changed course on this proposal after only six days. See "A smarter, smaller Postal Service?"

Postal officials want to outlaw the ubiquitous window envelope as we know it.

The U.S. Postal Service announced yesterday that it wants to change the allowable size and positioning of envelope windows on letter-sized mail. The new regulations would not allow the window to be within three quarters of an inch of the bottom. The common sizes of window envelopes leave only half an inch between the window and the bottom.

The proposed regulation would ban every window envelope “any mailer has in inventory and that is currently in production,” writes Lisa Bowes on the Postal Affairs Blog of Intelisent, a company that helps organizations mail more effectively.

USPS plans to publish the proposal in the Federal Register next month, after which there will be a comment period before the regulations can be implemented. That would leave scant time to adjust to the new regulations, especially for mailers that include return window envelopes in their invoices.

“I expect there to be an overwhelming flood of negative comments,” writes Bowes, whose blog usually explains postal regulations without wading into controversies.

The sudden change of regulations could be a boon for envelope manufacturers rushing to fill the demand for mail pieces that meet the new standards. Or it could just push more people to bypass the Postal Service altogether and to pay their bills online. In either case, it would mean a trip to the landfill for billions of unused envelopes.

“The USPS seems to be trying to regulate and restrict all mailers to the point of where we all go out of business,” Bowes writes.

She also points to another, nearly unenforceable part of the proposal that, as USPS states, would apply “new static charge and the coefficient of friction standards for automation and machinable letters to ensure they do not produce excessive static charge and can be handled efficiently when inducted and removed from processing equipment.”

Here’s a better idea for the Postal Service: Figure out how to harness some of that static electricity and use it to power a few gray cells in the brain-dead bureaucrats who drafted this proposal without considering the impact on postal customers.

19 comments:

ChiTown Gripper said...

This is a perfect example of why Congress should investigate what is going on with the US postal Service. Are they trying to save the Service or trying to end it as we have known it for over 2 hundred years. The systematic series of illogical actions over the last several years points to a plan to end any money making aspects of the Post Office and make it the service of last resort. In other words being only able to deliver to areas that lose money. This is another Bush plan to get the Rich, Richer!

Anonymous said...

This just another example of your government at work. It seems to me that the U.S.P.S. wants to make it very difficult to be able to do business with them. The major policy changes are made without any considerations to the customer, who after all is the reason for the U.S.P.S.'s existence. It is almost like the decision makers are really trying to tell you,that we are in charge and if you don't like it get lost.

Anonymous said...

The reflection caused by the window of these envelopes when the laser on the DPS(delivery point sequencing) machines try to read the barcode, can cause the machine to incorrectly sort the letter to another zipcode. This is to help eliminate this inaccuracy. I do believe, however, that more time should be given to eliminate the use of these.

Anonymous said...

Many mailers improperly position the addresses behind these windows. A letter carrier can simply tap the letter to move the enclosed letter (or peel away part of the envelope to reveal the address) but machines can't.

Anonymous said...

These are PROPOSED standards, USPS is seeking COMMENTS. Implementation would not be immediate, the sky is not falling. Now if you wii read the whole document you will see they are finally getting around to ensuring that mail that is discounted as automation compatible is truly automation compatible.

Anonymous said...

These are PROPOSED standards, USPS is seeking COMMENTS. Implementation would not be immediate, the sky is not falling. Now if you wii read the whole document you will see they are finally getting around to ensuring that mail that is discounted as automation compatible is truly automation compatible.

Anonymous said...

AS USUAL BRAIN DEAD MANAGEMENT WITH NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN MAKE IT HARD ON SOMEONE ELSE, IT IS SOMETHING ELSE THAT WON'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE AFTER IT'S PUT IN PLACE

Cliff Claven said...

I have never-ever seen anyone shoot themselves in the foot with a shotgun--until now--you idiot Postal Management!
You complain about 'not having enough business. Then turn around and distract more customers from using the service'...Go Figure?? I thought dumb & dumber was a movie, but it appears to Real life as John Potter views It!

route9 said...

anyone whose worked for the po for even a few years,knows that 95% of their ideas are never thought out as to the ramifications.always a rush to judgement and very seldom a beneficial outcome.

Anonymous said...

excess static electricity causes out of sequence errors.

Anonymous said...

Get payments for a large bank/credit card company looped back because their window covers their 3/4's of their own barcode but DOES show the full barcode of the remitter. Guess they count on those late-payment fees to supplement their TARP.

Anonymous said...

(fixed)Get payments for a large bank/credit card company looped back because their window covers 3/4's of their own barcode but DOES show the full barcode of the remitter. Guess they count on those late-payment fees to supplement their TARP.

TxSdO said...

If you work for the USPS you know that nothing makes sense. It's all about MicroManagment. Every week there's some new goal to reach about #'s that no one really cares about.

Anonymous said...

Take it from one that does process the letters on the machines: The window envelopes are definately a problem. If there's a clear paper behind the window then it creates static which not only causes the computers to mis sort these letters, but it also creates static for the person that feeds and sweeps them into/from the machines. We get zapped constantly by the static while trying to do our jobs and many stand on rubber mats and it still doesn't help.

The envelopes without the paper over the windows is also a real problem. Letters get caught inside the opening of another letter which causes it to be missorted as well as flip around in the stackers causing jamb after jamb and a real mess to the point that many letters behind them fold over and create quite a mess that takes time to fix.

Many mailers do not think about the consequences of their envelope styling nor size. Many letters are just too flimsy, not properly closed, way longer than the average mailer, too thick, too slippery, far too heavy and won't fit in the mail trays. The average customer pays extra for sizes, etc. but the big mailers get big discounts for this crapy hand to handle mail.Mailers stuff anything in an envelope from dvd's to keys and expect the postal service to mail them no matter what, and they do but it costs far more in postal labor than what they are paying the p.o. to handle these by hand. The discounts are given for "automation compatible" and much of the mailers mail is the real problem. It's time the postal service put some stipulations on the mailers mail because this is one of the reasons the postal service looses money due to the extra handling in much of the mail.

If you ran the machines like the postal clerks do you would understand why they are asking for windowed envelopes be changed.

The Postal Service has had considerations for the customer for years. They have catered to the big mailers long enough. After all they get to mail much of their stuff for 9 cents while the average citizen has to pay 42 cents and are regulated on the size of theirs, thus the mailers also need to have mailing standards too. It would not only stop the errors, but also save the hands and wrists of the mail processers that have to put up with the problems of this type of mail.

Anonymous said...

i got shocks from the plastic trays. Never have I got a shock from a envolope....

Anonymous said...

I am very much concerned about the future of the U S Postal Service. My career spans a period of 48 plus years with a break of about 4 years during that time. I have witnessed much change including the introduction of ZIP Code. Prior to ZIP Code, clerks had study off the clock, take a test and make a score of 95% just to keep our jobs. We had to learn to sort the mail to the correct train or Highway Post Office. There was no automation equipment, not even for postmarking purposes. Each letter had to be picked up from a conveyor belt, turned stamps down and to the left, placing long letters in one slot and short letters in another slot so they could be "edged" and hand fed into a cancelling machine. They then were hand sorted from memory into the proper separations for dispatch. Postal employees took pride in keeping their assignments up and gave customers the service they paid for. In todays world, the USPS is "top heavy" with too many people looking on and implementing programs/requirements and high price contracts with the outside that have little to do with our basics of getting the mail delivered. Those people along with their unnecessary programs/ideas are the real reason the U S Postal Service is strapped for cash. Eliminate the overhead/parasites and the price of postage could easily pay the cost of processing and delivery of America's mail. Just the bonuses of those would be a staggering sum.

Anonymous said...

FYI - USPS has withdrawn window & static proposals today. Thanks to pressure from groups like EMA.

Anonymous said...

Here's a unique idea....why don't they put pressure on the equipment manufacturers to solve some of these problems? As a business owner, I purchase machines that provide solutions...not create issues with products that have been staples for decades.

Anonymous said...

That fat slob potter was on tv the other night How in the hell does he expect the average postal worker to believe him when it comes to expenses? He`s making 800,000.00 a year. How much does the president make. The incredibly poor postal management,cause waste,disenchantment. Look at the dopes who run both indian orchard facilities. phil van cott