Thank the ACMA for PC Exigent Rate Case Ruling

Why did the Postal Regulatory Commission reject the U.S. Postal Service’s request for an exigent rate hike on Sept. 30? The USPS had a pretty high bar when the law required it to show “exigent circumstances.” For one thing, it was required to use economic analysis to back up its request, yet the USPS didn’t provide any economic analysis to justify the increase. The American Catalog Mailers Association, as well as the other lobbying organizations, used the arguments that:

  • The recession needed to be linked to the Postal Service’s losses. Actually, bulk mail volume is rebounding and increasing, so the recession argument was weak.

  • The recession was not the only reason for the decline in volume, and the USPS had ignored the other two macroeconomic factors of the Internet and the Postal Service’s own price increases. The USPS was not able to show even the most basic analysis of the changes in volume, revenue and profitability from the past two increases in bulk mail costs.

It’s hard to parse out why the PRC denied the Postal Service’s request, but the track record of the ACMA has been pretty good. First the group successfully lobbied for two consecutive “Summer Sales” for catalogers. Now a real landmark has occurred with the denial of the postage increase.

Not to knock the DMA or other groups, but the PRC used the arguments put forth by the ACMA in its decision to deny the request for a postage increase. It’s true that “victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan,” but I think the catalog industry owes a big thank you — and some future support — to the ACMA.


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