Tuesday, July 5, 2016

There's Inadvertence, and Then There's Postal Inadvertence

Postal officials seem to have developed a new meaning for inadvertent, the subject of today's Publishing Word of the Day.

Last month the U.S. Postal Service published a notice that it was expanding expand the service area for the Flats Sequencing System (FSS). But hours after Dead Tree Edition revealed that the obscure posting would inch up postal rates for publications and other flat mail, the USPS issued a statement entitled "Inadvertent Addition of New FSS Zones" that withdrew the change.

Some mailers were dubious, noting postal officials' come-hell-or-high-water approach to rolling out the Flats Screwing System regardless of the costs to the Postal Service or its customers.Those doubts were expressed in a highly unscientific poll that was recently conducted on Dead Tree Edition's Facebook page.

To the question, "How would you describe the recently withdrawn postal rate hike for flat mail?", 83% of respondents chose, "Inadvertent, my ass! Postal officials knew exactly what they were doing . The only thing that was inadvertent was that the USPS didn't mean to get caught and have to drop the change before it could even be implemented." The other 17% of the respondents chalked it up to incompetence or to the traditional meaning of "inadvertent."

What's clearly advertent is postal officials' desire to push up postal rates for flat mail more than is allowed under the current inflation-based rate cap.

This is the fifth in our 31-part Publishing Word of the Day series. Check back every day during July to experience the thrills and chills of cutting-edge publishing terms. Tomorrow's word: denialsizing.

4 comments:

Timothy said...

One of the reasons that the USPS is in financial trouble is due to the signing into law the PAEA of 2006, by the same lawmakers who also added rate caps to what the USPS can charge it's mailers. If those in the mailing industry would take their business to UPS or FedEx (who do not have universal service), they would find out what high rates are! The mailing industry has put a lot of money into legislation to cap what the USPS can charge them, while Congress refuses to cap what FedEx and UPS can charge? In essence, this legislation has taken away not only the USPS's ability to compete for customers, but also forces the USPS to give cheap service, all the while filing the pockets of the mailing industry. The Mail industry will be the death of the USPS, and when that happens, they can cry all they want when they are paying someone else as much as 100% more then they are paying the USPS to deliver their products!

allen sanford said...

The objective of postal management is to eliminate all full time postal positions...
Once the positions have been eliminated, the no-bid, tax-free contracts that are circulated between large mass mailers, the independent mail processors (who were created by the postal service), postal equipment manufacturers, the postal managers and their former associates, will not be contested...
Senator Susan Collins testified in 2008, to the PRC, 2 years after the completion of automation, that none of the contracts had been monitored or audited for over a decade...
Shelley Drefuss testified, before the Senate Committee on Government Affairs in 2004 on March 3, that 30% of the mail that was being processed by the independent mail processors who were created by the postal service and given mail processing equipment "free of charge" was not being delivered...
I filed a "whistle-blower complaint in 2004 because an employee was nearly electrocuted and the "Safety Hazard Complaint" was ignored by postal management and OSHA...
Investigation which produced the complaint reveals that every postal rate increase that has been requested has been requested based on fraudulent data that was taken from bulk belt systems that had been deemed to be obsolete for over a decade when the information was transferred to the computers on the mail processing equipment in 2006...
The story is on my Facebook pages titled, "Going Postal, The Story Behind The Forever Stamp"...
I was the first Maintenance Craft Director for the American Postal Worker's Union on the West Coast...
My name is Allen Sanford...

Joe Schick said...

Timothy should get his facts straight. The cap only applies to Market Dominant Products (predominantly First Class, Periodicals, Standard Mail and Bound Printed Matter). Competitive Products have no cap. And Timothy might be surprised to learn that generally the USPS raises it's competitive prices at about the same levels as UPS and FedEx.

Timothy might also be surprised to learn that while postal prices have been capped at CPI for Market Dominant Products over the last 10 years, postage as a percent of the total cost to produce and distribute magazines and catalogs has still increased from about 35% to 60%. That means the other segments (printing and paper) have seen price decreases which is a big reason why there has been major consolidation in the industry. So best to understand the business you're in and what the market will bear regarding prices. Be careful what you wish for....there are other options besides the Postal Service.

Ernest Johnson said...

The real definition of insanity is expecting the creator of the problem, to reverse and become the problem solver, and please don't expect a solution or else, the real question changes.