The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors (BOG) won’t vote this week on the recommendations of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding the pending rate case, tentatively set for implementation on May 6. USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer says the vote willlikely occur next week, but he is unsure of the exact date.
On Feb. 26 the PRC released its 700-page recommendation, and the BOG had to wait at least 10 days before taking action. During the past 10 days, catalogers and other mailers have bombarded the USPS with letters, faxes, and e-mails protesting the recommendations. Initial response from mailers to the PRC’s recommendations had lukewarm, due in part to the massive amount of information to comprehend. But after trade groups and suppliers managed to wade through the complete recommendation, they realized that, as Direct Marketing Association president/CEO John Greco Jr. said in a release, “this is a case where the devil really did prove to be in the details.”
The PRC’s price recommendations for flats, for example–the category affecting most catalogers–is appreciably higher than the increase originally proposed by the Postal Service, according to the DMA. For flats weighing less than 3.3 oz., the PRC is recommending an increase of roughly 20%, instead of the originally proposed 9%-12%.
Partenheimer doesn’t know exactly how many letters the BOG received. “We have received over 1,000 correspondences during the comment period,” he says. “Some are duplicates sent by multiple channels. This number is typical for a rate case comment period.”
The governors will tally all the correspondence received next week, prior to its vote. That means there’s still time for mailers to fax and e-mail letters protesting the increase. You can fax letters to:
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Chairman, Board of Governors
United States Postal Service
The Honorable Dan G. Blair
Chairman, Postal Regulatory Commission
You can also e-mail copies to:
Postal Chairman Miller’s secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Postmaster General Jack Potter at email@example.com.
For a template letter, click here.
MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT produced two Webinars that look at the effects of the pending postal changes on mailers. You can access those Webinars for free, on demand, at multichannelmerchant.com/events/webinars/rate_update/ and multichannelmerchant.com/events/webinars/rate_case_2006/.
Marketing agency Marketsmith has created a postal calculator to help direct marketers in calculating their postal costs should the rate case be approved. You can access it at www.marketsmithinc.com/postal_calculator.php.