No wonder USPS is losing money

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  #1  
Old 07-11-15, 04:33 PM
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No wonder USPS is losing money

I had a notice I had to send in my city to someone and via certified mail and you would think it would go right from my post office to the party in question right? Wrong it went to two different sorting facilities before being sent to the party in question. It is no wonder the postal service is going bankrupt.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 04:40 PM
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I have been expecting an XLR to 1/4" adapter so I could use it Sunday on the sound board. Checked tracking. Arrived in Atlanta sort facility Jul 7. It's the 11th. Made it from California to Atlanta the same day, but the last hundred miles....noooooo!!!
 
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Old 07-11-15, 04:58 PM
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It's cheaper to send it to a regional sorting area, where it's machine sorted, than someone sorting it locally. At one time there were two boxes..... in and out of town. Those are gone.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 05:15 PM
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Richard, I have often heard the "It is no wonder the postal service is going bankrupt" statement but was shocked by this article.
Cutting back Postal Service hits Bangor, everywhere else — Opinion — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

To quote from the above: "In 2006, a lame-duck Congress mandated that the Postal Service prefund future retiree health benefits. No other entity has to prefund for even one year; the Postal Service must prefund 75 years into the future and pay for it all over a decade. That $5.6 billion annual charge is the red ink."

Now, maybe the need to tighten the belt beyond reasonable levels is adding to their problems. For the record, I drive to the next town to mail anything just to cut 2 days off of the already slow service and I use UPS 99% of the time for packages.

Bud
 
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Old 07-11-15, 07:47 PM
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I don't doubt the article I do know the postal service isn't managed as well as UPS or FEDEX both of which are more expensive to ship with due to their package size rules. I just hope they eventually get their act together and get things to people faster. I personally prefer e-mail now but some things you just can't send via e-mail. Several years ago I actually praised the postal service here but I don't now.
 
  #6  
Old 07-11-15, 08:26 PM
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Good and bad.
I get a call from a tenet asking if I'm going to be in the area to pick up the rent check so it will not be late, I tell them to just mail it.
I go to the mail box the same day and get the check.
The bad is the unions have control of the PO.
EG: One town away from me has at least 5 PO offices, some are only 1 mile apart.
There's only about 5000 people in the whole county.
The main one down town was condemed because of mold issues.
A develper had built a new complex with the idea of the post office renting space.
It was twice the square footage and the old PO, it had 3 loading docks.
They offered to pay for the move and charge the same rent as they had been paying for 5 years.
Instead they rented 4 double wide office trailers, paid to have decking built for handicap access, rented a lot to put it on.
Then they spent two years to build a new PO with the same sq. footage as they already had that was to small and had no loading docks.
They went through three contractors because they quit because of the screwed up building plans.
Example, they specked 6' of of crushed stone under it.
They had a double front door with a the roof that was suppost to over it 7' over to the left of it covering nothing but grass.
My uncle used to deliver the mail to street side PO boxes and got written up because he handed some one there mail instead of putting it in the mail box.
The mail was addressed to the person and he had known him for over 30 years, and he was standing next to the box waiting for his mail.
No real business could stay running the way they do things.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 09:34 PM
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I agree no real business could stay in business the way they run things. Supposedly they want stores to be able to accept packages and do other things that a post office does but they seem to tie that business hands. They also seem to stick with really poor mail carriers and punish those who do a good job. One carrier we had was drunk on the job yet they still kept the carrier and only fired him after he kept mail in his personal vehicle. I agree about their building practices too it took over 6 months to build a post office in the next town.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 09:56 PM
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I agree with Bud 100%. The whole problem is the retirement/healthcare thing. It's one of the only branches of government ( though it really isn't) that could make money if the politicians had kept their greedy, lobbyist money taking fingers out of it.

I think the USPS does a great job 99.9% of the time, but sometimes the bureaucrats are idiots (sometimes?). We have a contract PO that has been in operation here for almost 50 yrs. The USPS said they were not going to renew the contract. Major uproar as this place serves people that don't have house delivery and have no transportation. They actually returned almost $100K per year back to USPS in the collected fees. Every elected official in the area including our Senator had to intervene to tell them how stupid they were being. Contract renewed.

As to the sorting stuff...do you realize thats exactly what FedEx and UPS does? I remember a documentary a while back that traced an overnight package that was to be delivered within the same city (SanFran?). It went to Atlanta or Charlotte and back. It's all about efficiency.

You might want to see how much other countries charge to send a letter 2000 miles. We pay, what, $.49?

BTW...did you know that FedEx (I think) does most of the long distance hauling for USPS?
 
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Old 07-11-15, 09:57 PM
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We have a mail carrier that sent out a notice that they would not deliver because the road was to bumpy.
Fixed that issue then they complained because we installed speed bumps.
Then they sent out notices because some of the mail boxes where to low.
Picture 5 mail boxes all together in a row, one was 1-1/2 lower then the rest.
Added a 2 X 4 under it and it passed.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 10:30 PM
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I agree with you Vic when I last posted I also meant to mention Canada's postal service but I had a senior moment and forgot. I remember a few years ago I was thinking of buying something on e-bay and they were warning customers that due to the Canadian postal service strike that things coming from Canada would cost more. It turns out that the Canadian postal service is run totally by a private company with absolutely no government involvement. So which system is better well I guess ours but it certainly needs improvement in many ways.
 
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Old 07-12-15, 03:35 AM
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Locally our mail carriers can be very different. There are 2 that share the route I live on, one doesn't think twice about delivering a package to my porch while the other always leaves a notice requiring you to go to the post office to pick it up. My youngest son's carrier will deliver mail to a box that is dangling on the post while the carrier for one of my stepson's will leave a note stating service will be discontinued because the door doesn't shut properly or if there is rust on the box.

They closed down our local sorting office so all our mail has to go to Knoxville [100+ miles one way] even if it's going across the street. While most of the mail gets delivered timely, we do get a good amount of expired junk mail.
 
  #12  
Old 07-12-15, 03:48 AM
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This comes at a good time for me to vent a little:

I'm currently rebuilding a Lawnmower Transmission originally manufactured by a Company that's no longer in business (Tecumseh/Peerless/Lauson); so the gears are somewhat hard to get.

I found several of the parts I need on eBay and ordered them last week-end from a concern in Monroe, Washington. They shipped them to me here in Vermont, immediately on July 3rd.

Since then, I've watched (using the tracking service for USPS on eBay) that package bounce around from Monroe to Kent to Seattle to Tacoma and then back to Kent and then to Seattle again . . . . all still within western Washington (like a giant pin-ball machine).

It almost seems like some kind of labor action is in progress to slow things down. This all costs money . . . . and the Postage won't be any more than what was originally paid.

I think (and hope) that FedEx will take over to get my package from Washington back here to Vermont . . . . but will it ever be transferred to FedEx ?

I'm glad I'm not waiting for an organ transplant !
 
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Old 07-12-15, 04:38 AM
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Vermont, I buy a lot of junk over the Internet and I often find the USPS tracking to be nothing but a joke. I have seen the tracking progress change from day to day and I have seen it where it arrives in one location before leaving a previous location. Other than the "last mile" so to speak, i.e. the delivery from the regional distribution center to the local carrier office and then to the actual delivery address, that USPS tracking is little more than a guess.

However, as far as the day-to-day operations are concerned I find the USPS to be a very well managed operation that utilizes many cost-cutting procedures. Yes, there ARE the occasional screw-ups but when one considers the huge volume of packages and mail handled each and every day it is a wonder that any mail gets through on a timely basis. And ALL for very reasonable charges.

Lastly, the USPS cannot totally run as a private business because it it mandated to not turn a profit, only charge the actual operating costs. This is why the cost of a first class stamp will generally only rise one penny at a time rather than a more reasonable five cent step progression. Further, contrary to popular opinion, the USPS does not have any government subsidies but must operate from the income derived from the postage fees charged to consumers. And yes, if it were not for that insane mandate to pre-fund pensions for the next 75 years the USPS would be operating in the black.
 
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Old 07-12-15, 06:38 AM
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I'd like to chime in here also. The whole USPS is a political boondoggle. You won't change this or the strong union associated with it. So lets take another track.
My take on this is let the private companies take over the postal service with regulations that will make them give a minimal service standard to those less active routes. Cut down service to 5 day delivery (maybe even 4). Do we really need Saturday delivery? I mean really? Make nearly all home delivery into rural type drop off (boxes at the street). And/or allow the USPS to handle e-mail with verification as a bonafide and legal method of mail delivery and charge a fee for such. Double or triple junk mail rates in an effort to eliminate such. I know that brings in a lot of money, but elimination will force better methods. I'm a strong supporter of privatization of government run bureaucracies that no longer preform. This same strategy can also be used in public transportation in urban areas. And taxi service is not one of them.
 
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Old 07-12-15, 12:46 PM
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My take on this is let the private companies take over the postal service with regulations that will make them give a minimal service standard to those less active routes.
Why when the answer is right in front of your face?

And yes, if it were not for that insane mandate to pre-fund pensions for the next 75 years the USPS would be operating in the black.

This makes my blood boil every time I hear something about the postal service. If congress passed this thing why can't they change it back? I just don't understand that at all.


The whole problem is the retirement/healthcare thing. It's one of the only branches of government ( though it really isn't) that could make money if the politicians had kept their greedy, lobbyist money taking fingers out of it.

Wrong! This is nothing more than the never ending quest by a few in Washington to break those evil, lazy, corrupt unions, and a big one at that. Anyone with a brain knows unions will bring this country to its knees and send us all to the poor house. LOL

I don't know why this hasn't been taken care of in all these years, mind boggling to me for sure.


Short article for your reading pleasure:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/op...ions.html?_r=0
 
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Old 07-12-15, 01:06 PM
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Here are a few links to dispel the notion that it is "the union" that is the cause of all, or even part, of the problems at the USPS.

The U.S. Postal Service | Need to Know | PBS

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/201.../usps-j05.html

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/03/post-m03.html

How many people would be ‘out of work’ if USPS eliminates Saturday delivery? - The Washington Post

Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service | Downsizing the Federal Government

IF "the union" was as powerful as most anti-union people think then why have they lost so many jobs in just the last ten years?

I do agree that the USPS is a political entity and much of the fault for the USPS to move forward is a direct result of CONGRESS refusing to allow them to close small offices and eliminate the Saturday delivery along with the requirement of pre-funding the retirement of employees not even born at this time.
 
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Old 07-12-15, 01:47 PM
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I agree that I don't believe their union/contract agreements/whatever is the problem. These people as a rule do a damn good job IMO. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while, but that's human. How would most people like doing their job is freezing rain or 110 degree heat?

In my experience with the Government unions (VA excepted...no contact there) it actually seems to work, except when people get entrenched and develop a GOB network. Bonuses for just performing your job at an acceptable level? That's just wrong. Transfer them around once in a while like the military does and see how the system changes.

In contrast, when I worked at HD there was an older woman (60's) who worked the phone center (when they had phone centers) and after 10 yrs they gave her a $.10 raise at her review. Wow...a whole $4 a week! She went above and beyond and was the most helpful/kindest person in the store, but because thats all she did (no sales, no service desk) she didn't generate income and was considered low on the pole. No consideration for her performance and loyalty.
 
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Old 07-12-15, 10:44 PM
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I read all of the articles that everyone contributed and I found them to be quite informative. My opinion now of how they could improve things is to make everyone working for the post office a contractor. Some of the same benefits like medical and other things but everyone would be very responsible for their routes and if you goofed off you were no longer a contractor. Also semi-privatize the post office with still some government oversight like the postal inspectors office being kept.

A proper merit pay system too if you do real good you get more pay and if you don't you get canned. I also have no bad feelings towards unions but in my opinion the postal union from what I have read really has way too much power and it should be dissolved by congress. I agree too about the pension plan no business is required to pay for 75 years of pensioners who are not even born yet and that practice has to stop. If they do that then I think eventually postal rates may even go down and we will have better service too.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 04:45 AM
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I have no way to verify this but will throw it out to see if others have heard or read anything along this line.
Our brown delivery truck man once said they could deliver packages for far less but were required to hold their prices higher so as to not undercut the USPS. This was probably 10 years ago. I'm not sure if he was talking nickles or dollars per package, but that type of intervention just doesn't sound right. Remember, not verified.

Anyone hear of such?

Bud
 
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Old 07-13-15, 05:22 AM
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It would not surprise me if it were true. Just suppose someone like a Donald Trump or Bill Gates decided to start their own national mail service. Do you really think they would be allowed to go head to head with the USPS? I think not. (Side note: similar to Tesla motors not being able to sell cars directly to consumers.)

I like what what "hedge" had to say and what I said earlier. I also am not anti-union, but every organization has it's limits. My opinion of today's unions is that they have become their own "company" with-in a company or industry and are really no better than a company without a union. Only now members have two masters to serve. My opinion is that a union must not just protect and serve its membership but must also protect and preserve the industry they represent. The current USPS is like the snake eating it's own tail. Any government run organization is very inefficient. The only government sectioned organization that seem to have their stuff together is NASA in spite of political and government intervention and budget cuts.

The USPS is outdated and needs to be totally overhauled with private business practices and electronic updating. Since the chances of the postal service ever going private any time soon is very remote (going out of business is more likely), I'll repeat my call for the USPS to be able to sanction e-mail as a legal document that can be used in all courts and charge an appropriate fee for doing so.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 05:29 AM
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Of course, the UPS Driver wasn't charged with making many of the strategic economic pricing decisions at the Corporate level unless they've become a more democratic organization than when they were owned privately.

My package of transmission gears is still bouncing around Puget Sound . . . . ricocheting from PO to PO like a hot potato !
 
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Old 07-13-15, 05:32 AM
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On the other hand, an Amazon package via USPS, that was due to arrive the week of 7-16 to 7-22 will be delivered today.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 05:34 AM
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My package of transmission gears is still bouncing around Puget Sound . . . . ricocheting from PO to PO like a hot potato
so are you saying the parts you bought were hot [ie:stolen]
 
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Old 07-13-15, 10:12 AM
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One big difference between USPS and FedEx/UPS...

USPS stops at every single house some days, some driving routes, some walking. The others drive 2 miles, stop, run up to the door, leave, drive 2 miles, stop, run up to the door, leave.

The main issue with the USPS is not how it's run or managed, they've adopted many of the private business practices, the problem as that they have the damn government oversight. If the government did the same thing to HD or Lowes, 2x4 studs would cost $3 each.

I'm guessing I've probably dealt with other countries postal services more than most people, and I have to say, no where else in the world can you mail a letter or package as cheaply and have it delivered as quickly as the US.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 12:23 PM
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Union or not.....bankrupt or solvent...my package is still rattling around in Atlanta sort facility. Has been since 7/7/15.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 02:43 PM
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Vic, you're right, our mail system is still 2nd to none. But that won't last long and that's no excuse. I'm willing to deal with a little less service for a little less cost.

Larry, only since 7-7? You've got another week to go yet!
 
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Old 07-13-15, 03:09 PM
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Considering the volume of mail handled each and every day I am surprised that the USPS has as little problem as they do. I disagree with the statement that all government programs are inefficient, the USPS does very well with what they have as do Medicare and Social Security. All three of these agencies have very good records when it comes to efficient operation.

That does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that I don't think that USPS couldn't do better, in some cases a whole lot better. One area where they are sorely lacking is in the tracking of packages. Whether it is Larry's packages lost in Atlanta, Vermont's gears in my back yard or my electrical terminals being promised to be delivered last Saturday yet only today being cleared through the local post office the tracking is a huge joke. What's worse, is if they discover that the tracking is wrong they simply change it in its entirety to make it look like the previous promises/entries never took place.

Another thing that really grates my cheese is on the rare occasion that I actually go to a USPS station I mostly see a facility that has anywhere from six to fifteen customer stations and yet only three of them actually manned while the line of customers runs out the door. My favorite station (and one that really should be on the short list to be closed) has only two customer stations and any time there are more than three people in line BOTH stations are manned.

I honestly DO think that many "managers" at the local level and all the way to the top are oblivious to the problems seen by the customers and having known a few letter carriers on a personal level, I also know that many of these "managers" absolutely refuse to listen to the rank and file employees. We need to get the politicians, both elected and appointed, out of the picture and let the people that really know how to provide a service run it in a manner that makes the most sense for both the customers and the company.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 03:17 PM
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The hilarity about congress forcing the USPS fund their pension for 75 years out is that the Federal employee pensions have 0 funding. They are to be paid out directly from taxpayer funds.

The USPS is not the only government institution that could make money. The IRS and the Federal Reserve turn a profit for the government. There are also other departments like the SEC that fund themselves without taxpayers funds. So when the government shuts down, the SEC still runs because it doesn't need Congress to give them money.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 03:41 PM
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anywhere from six to fifteen customer stations and yet only three of them actually manned while the line of customers runs out the door.
Same thing with most banks now. 6 teller stations and only 2 people, with the supervisor puttering around in the back. I attribute that to so much online banking and the corporation cutting personnel, but in this town full of old retired people, they don't play well with smart phones and computers. I know a girl who quit her job as a teller to work at a local convenience store because she got better pay and better hours. How crazy is that?

If a grocery store can open another line if it gets too busy, why can't a bank or the PO? Heck, even HD used to do it in the past.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 04:44 PM
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I know a girl who quit her job as a teller to work at a local convenience store because she got better pay and better hours.
Me, too! It was a Savings and Loan and I suspected a training facility because they had such a high turnover in tellers. The young woman (this was about forty years ago) was a real looker but otherwise about as smart as a fence post. After a few months she was no longer working there and it was about this time that my wife and I were looking to buy a home. We talked with the branch manager about a loan and in the course of the conversation we brought up the high turnover in tellers and wondered if this branch was a training facility. The manager flatly denied that suspicion.

So, many months later we were in this convenience store late one night and lo and behold the same young woman was working there. The wife starts talking with her and then asks if she had once worked in a bank and sure enough it WAS the same woman. She said the very same thing, that she made more money working in the convenience store than she ever made as a bank teller. She also assured us that the S&L branch where she worked (and we banked) was indeed a training center.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 05:05 PM
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And we go too far the other way. If three people are in line we open another lane. Even if the 3 people have one item are will be moved through by the time another cashier get there.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 05:24 PM
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Oh yeah Norm, our store doesn't do it for the speed line, just when they have people with full carts. I'm always soooo lucky. I get a short line and then it turns out the person has 50 coupons or has to try 3 different cards or they have an unlabeled item that has to have a manager approval.
 
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Old 07-13-15, 10:24 PM
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Another postal story I forgot to mention that happened on Sunday of all days. I had bought some peanuts and wash cloths from Amazon.com because the deal wasn't too bad, although certain things were only available for prime members but that is for another day, and the package arrived on Sunday. I ordered my nuts and wash rags on Friday and they arrived from Baltimore and then went to Hyattsville and then to College Park. I just wonder why the package only went to one sorting facility and the letter to two it just doesn't make any sense.

By the way the party in question apparently wasn't home according to tracking so it was sent back to the post office for redelivery. So I wait some more for a response but I can wait.
 
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