• Report: #806899

Complaint Review: USPS

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  • Submitted: Thu, December 08, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, December 10, 2011

  • Reported By: Ronin — Bedford Virginia U.S.A.
USPS
500 E Main St Bedford, Virginia United States of America

USPS Refusal to sell Christmas stamps in quantities less than 20 Bedford, Virginia

*Consumer Comment: Curious.

*Consumer Comment: A little bit of reality

*Consumer Comment: The amount may be "petty", but the principle here is sound

*Consumer Comment: Christmas Stamps

*Consumer Comment: Silly

*Consumer Comment: How petty...and just plain stupid.

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I went to my local USPS office today to purchase 10 Christmas stamps to mail out my holiday cards.  the window clerk refused to sell me only 10 stamps saying selling less than 20 was prohibited.  Huh? when did that come about?  I refused... politely told the clerk I would not buy any if I could not buy any what I needed... she was adamant and said take or leave it.. I politely said no, I will not buy any and left.  I share this anecdote as a complaint to make others aware of such sales tactics.. ones that drive away customers and no wonder many offices cannot sustain revenue streams that will keep them open as viable point of sale operations.   Perhaps all USPS need re-education in our economic theology.. free market stuff... any economic text will do... and all USPS staff need to understand the no one principle of free market theory:  "the customer remains sovereign in purchase decisions, not the seller"  thus, the only way we can retain our sovereignty is refuse to buy... I did just that... walking away without any stamps.  The clerk looked shocked at my refusal to buy 20 stamps.. as I left. 

 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/08/2011 07:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/USPS/Bedford-Virginia-24523/USPS-Refusal-to-sell-Christmas-stamps-in-quantities-less-than-20-Bedford-Virginia-806899. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
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#1 Consumer Comment

Curious.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

"I went to my local USPS office today to purchase 10 Christmas stamps to mail out my holiday cards. "

    I'm assuming that you're not going to send your holiday cards via FedEx.   How are your holiday cards going to get to their destinations?  Are you not going to send them and just eat the cost of the cards?   I really don't see the point of your actions.   This is probably the clearest example of that old saying about cutting off your nose to spite your face.  It is best defined as a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem.
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#2 Consumer Comment

A little bit of reality

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

First of all we are talking about Christmas STAMPS.  These are stamps that you can use to mail a First Class Letter.   Unless anyone here knows something that the rest of us don't know, Christmas Stamps DO NOT expire on December 26th.  In fact the ones I bought are "Forever" Stamps that means that when the USPS raises rates again(and they will) I can still use these and not have to pay any additional postage.   If someone truly has to decide between gas and an extra $4.40 for stamps, perhaps they shouldn't be buying Christmas Stamps in the first place and use regular stamps where they can buy exactly how many they need.

The post office is NOT "going under" because they refuse to sell Christmas stamps in multiples of 10(or even singles).  They are going under because technology has caused the demand for their services to dwindle.  With e-mail, "paperless statements", on-line payments, and even things like "e-cards" the need to send mail has been reduced.  Is everyone doing this..NO.  But even if it is only 25%, how many businesses can survive a 25% hit.

As to the "suggestions" listed above.

1. Split the rates on First Class Mail letter rate to encourage higher volume, such as make the first 1/2 oz only .15 to .25 instead of .44.  Then do the majority of the increase over the ounce or over 2 ounces, etc. Encourage people to use the mail, instead of just expecting them
to. Common sense here.

- That is NOT going to happen.  Why would I pay $0.15 or even $0.01 when I can send a payment electronically for FREE.   But let's expand this.  Say I run a business and need to send out 10000 invoices.  So I can send them out through the mail and are now only charged $1500, that's great that it now saves me $2900.  But as a business owner I can send e-statements out and not pay any postage.  Ummm $1500 a month or nothing you tell me as a business owner which one should I choose? 

2. The USPS could have started an ISP to get some of that revenue back, and at the same time, integrated several mailing features and tools etc into that service, etc. Offer web hosting, email, ISP, etc. Why not? It's revenue all tied to written communications, ie: mail.

-  I don't think that people would really want to have the "government" hosting their e-mail and web sites.  Talk about Conspiracy Theories...wow

3. Extend days and hours to make the use of the postal service more accessible to those who actually have jobs! Again, common sense. If you don't make your business accessible, and easy to use, a customer will look for another alternative. ie: online bill pay, online shipping via
UPS, etc.

- This is actually the only suggestion I agree with you on.  However, no number of hours that they are open will beat me being able to make an on-line payment to a company from my house at 2am in the morning.  Also not forgetting that most Post Offices have Automated Postal Stations and you can still drop off letters 24 hours a day in any mail box.  In fact the I will go use these Automated Postal stations late at night to avoid any lines at all.

4. And, standardize the location hours so people can count on the availability. In this area we have some locations that open at 8:30, some at 9 and some close at 4:30, and some at 5. Then Sat hours are totally unpredictable.
- I don't go "Post Office" shopping.  I may go to 1 or 2 and would be aware of any hours.  I have the same major "Big Box" retail stores that have different hours do you suggest that EVERY store have the same hours for all of it's locations?

While they probably do need to start thinking "out of the box".  While sad, "trimming" some off the fat in terms of staff or services may be the way they need to be "lean and mean" in order to survive. 

But keep this in mind that the original post was over Christmas Stamps...
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#3 Consumer Comment

The amount may be "petty", but the principle here is sound

AUTHOR: Southern Chemical and Equipment LLC - (USA)

I can see the principle here even though the amount of difference is less than 5 bucks.

The USPS is for sure missing the boat on the simple economic principal of supply and demand, and that is exactly why they are not making it financially and cutting thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of locations after the new year starts.

The USPS is poorly managed, and definately out of touch with what the consumer wants, and expects.

It is a business, and a business is all about revenue.

Nothing unreasonable about a 10 pack of stamps.

Think about it.

Would you rather sell ,asy, 50 books of 10 or 20 books of 20? Or only 10 books of 20 as opposed to that 50 books of 10. Simple math here, and the consumer is absolutely in charge and businesses who do not realize this, FAIL.

I am a business owner and I break boxes, cases, etc. to sell individual items all the time. It increases sales overall. It's how I survive.

In this economy, millions of people unemployed, and many millions more underemployed could surely use that extra $4.40 to buy food or gas, etc with, instead of 10 extra Christmas stamps they don't need.

People are hurting right now, and every penny counts for many millions of people right now.

The USPS has certainly missed the boat here and can only be identified as the most incompetently run big business in history. They basically have a monopoly on the First Class Mail market, and still can't make it.

No competition at all, and you still fail!

That is the definition of incompetence.

With the ever gowing surge of online bill pay and email, etc. the USPS should have had young, fresh, "out of the box" thinking management in place to change with the times instead of being left behind.

The USPS could have done several things to survive, but chose not to through arrogance, and incompetence and the "that's the way we have always done it" mentality.

Food for thought:

1. Split the rates on First Class Mail letter rate to encourage higher volume, such as make the first 1/2 oz only .15 to .25 instead of .44. Then do the majority of the increase over the ounce or over 2 ounces, etc. Encourage people to use the mail, instead of just expecting them to. Common sense here.

2. The USPS could have started an ISP to get some of that revenue back, and at the same time, integrated several mailing features and tools etc into that service, etc. Offer web hosting, email, ISP, etc. Why not? It's revenue all tied to written communications, ie: mail.

3. Extend days and hours to make the use of the postal service more accessible to those who actually have jobs! Again, common sense. If you don't make your business accessible, and easy to use, a customer will look for another alternative. ie: online bill pay, online shipping via UPS, etc.

4. And, standardize the location hours so people can count on the availability. In this area we have some locations that open at 8:30, some at 9 and some close at 4:30, and some at 5. Then Sat hours are totally unpredictable.

Get the point?

The USPS needs to lose that "take it or leave it" attitude, as MOST people are LEAVING IT!

In order to survive in any business, you must think outside the box, and offer the customer what is considered some sort of value, or you don't have that customer.

Common sense.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Christmas Stamps

AUTHOR: Brian - (United States of America)

I went to the USPS website and it appears that this year Christmas stamps are only being issued in books of 20.  If that's the case, then the clerks probably aren't authorized to break up books.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Silly

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

Boy, you got even with her, now you don't have any stamps. They come in little books of 20.

Ridiculous.  You made a fool of yourself.
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#6 Consumer Comment

How petty...and just plain stupid.

AUTHOR: seeworthy - (USA)

"the customer remains sovereign in purchase decisions"? To exercise simplistic concrete thought to that statement defines an economics flunky. That definition defines how business should adapt to general market desires or requirements to efficiently generate maximum revenue. Minimum size product packaging (a book of stamps in this case) was already determined to suit the most cost effective market demands. For USPS to hand out fewer than 16 stamps (the minimum book size available at some locations in kiosk machines), then absorb a credit card payment with it's associated fee, is not cost effective.

This universal USPS protocol has absolutely nothing to do with the current reasons why USPS "cannot sustain revenue streams". USPS is a private corporation (similar to UPS and FedEx), but regulated by the federal goverment. The federal government dictates the allowable rate USPS may increase postage. That factor (which is not synonomous with the cost of fuel oil), online correspondence erroding stamp sales and, of course, the status of the economy, are the reasons the post office is taking drastic measures to avoid bancruptcy.
 
Isn't it amazing how an individual makes it so obvious that they are completely void of the mental capacity to own or operate a business, yet they demand to make the rules as to how other's should conduct their business? It's no coincidence that same individual would have a tizzy over this response.

But hey, next time you're at the grocery store and only want half that bag of chips, rip it open and tell the clerk of your sovereignty.
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