PRC to USPS: Do it again…again

postal_regulatory_commissionThe saga of “will they / won’t they / how much / when” at the USPS continues. Last week we brought you news on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s order for a do-over on proposed USPS rate changes slated to take place later next month, to which the USPS replied with a 70+ page document addressing the issues. Asked and answered? Nope, not yet. “Not satisfied with alterations made to a rate change request submitted earlier this month, the Postal Regulatory Commission has once again returned the request to the U.S. Postal Service for further accounting,” notes Al Urbanski of Direct Marketing News. According to Urbanski, the response failed to adequately address discount inequities as well as problems in the new Flats Sequencing System (FSS) pricing. The PRC also cited “several inconsistencies” in the work papers used to justify the USPS response, Urbanski notes. What does this do to the planned rate hikes on April 26? It’s anybody’s guess. And direct mailers are getting understandably fed up. According to Urbanski, the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) has called this “the Postal Service’s most poorly prepared rate request in memory, containing mixed pricing signals and shifts of workload that could create inefficiencies for mailers.” And since large volume mailers make the bulk of the USPS’s income, they have to get this right. We wonder what would happen if these people actually all sat down at the same table and worked it out. This uncertainty and back and forth is a waste of resources and leaves lingering uncertainty for business and nonprofit mailers. It’s time to get this sorted out, guys and gals.