The U.S. Postal Service has recently made it more difficult for customers to submit a change of address, even though reducing mis-addressed mail is one of the agency’s major strategic objectives.
“USPS no longer displays hardcopy change of address (COA) forms at its retail locations,” the Postal Bulletin stated in an issue released today. The Postal Service publication reminded USPS employees of new rules requiring them “to keep Mover’s Guide copies behind the counter so that they are inaccessible to customers without the help of a retail associate.”
“Customers who request a Mover’s Guide should be reminded of the convenient opportunity to submit their change-of-address request at www.usps.com,” the publication continues, failing to provide the complete Web address (www.usps.com/moversguide). Nowhere does it say to tell the customers that they must have a credit card or debit card and pay a $1 fee to submit an Internet Change of Address (ICOA).
Elsewhere in the publication, ICOA is touted as faster to implement, more accurate, more secure, and greener than using the traditional change-of-address form.
The "greener" claim is based solely on the fact that ICOA "eliminates the use of paper, thus preserving our natural resources" -- without mentioning the coal that is burned to power USPS's web servers or its customers' computers. Come to think of it, if we eliminated the use of paper, we wouldn't need to submit change-of-address forms because we wouldn't have much use for the Postal Service.
The Postal Service expects the policy change to increase ICOA by 25%, “generating about $2 million in incremental revenue.” There’s no mention of the cost of making more people stand in line at post offices or of having more mail not delivered to its intended recipient.