It’s not just a bad idea; it’s a really bad idea for both the service provider and its brow-beaten customers.
We’re talking about the recent approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for a 6% rate hike on bulk mail, periodicals and packages that goes into effect January 26, as reported by Arti Patel in Folio:
This “temporary” hit (it is a two-year rate hike, not permanent, claims the USPS) comes at a time when the USPS’s heavy volume customers – business and organizations that rely on the postal service for their existence — are struggling to find room in their budgets for this new cost.
From a business point of view, it makes little sense. Legislators and the PRC may see it as a quick fix, but industry analysts disagree.
According to a press release from MPA, Mary G. Berner criticizes the move as a bad idea. “This is a counterproductive decision by the PRC and it does nothing to fix USPS’s systemic problems,” says Berner. “It will drive more customers away from using the Postal Service and will have ripple effects through our economy—hurting consumers, forcing layoffs and impacting businesses.”
Oddly enough, in September of last year, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahue cautioned Congress about the business fallout that could happen from raising rates faster than the rate of inflation. So the PRC’s solution – raising prices that will naturally cause their biggest customers to cut back on mail volume – just points out the disconnect in the organization’s structure and governance.
Yes, the USPS is struggling; we’ve seen a range of stories this past year on short and long term ideas to fix it. We have to agree with the MPA and say this is not the way. Improve your service, cut unnecessary expenses, consolidate where applicable, take a look at potential waste, all good ideas.
Load your problems on the already burdened backs of the people who actually keep your whole organization afloat? That’s not the answer.