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Your Take: Would You Miss Saturday Mail Service?

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As the United States Postal Service slips further and further into the red abyss of heavy losses, one of the ideas that has been brought up frequently is suspension of Saturday mail service. As postal workers strike to save their system, advocating pushing off a required pension payment, I don’t think it’s possible to avoid cuts entirely. Pushing off a pension payment is a short term solution to a systemic problem. The USPS has been losing billions for several years. The government solution, which consists of avoiding and delaying payments (is anyone else surprised that the USPS pension is overfunded?), doesn’t hit at the heart of the matter… the USPS’s expenses far exceed its income.

I personally would not miss Saturday mail service. Five days of mail is enough and while it’s nice to get something on the weekends, I really wouldn’t miss it. There is one argument in favor of Saturday mail service and that’s for folks who need to mail packages and can’t get off work during the week. In those cases, why not keep the post offices open but skip mail delivery? If that’s not sustainable either, close the Post Office on Saturdays and leave the automated mail kiosks open, as they always are, so people can mail packages that way.

What do you think?

{ 64 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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64 Responses to “Your Take: Would You Miss Saturday Mail Service?”

  1. Courtney says:

    Sometimes I receive packages on Saturday, which is nice if you’re waiting on something so you don’t have to wait three more days to get it on Monday. Also there’s Netflix discs, but who knows what that service will be like a year or two from now.

    I guess if I had to, I’d prefer to skip a random weekday rather than have a full 72 hours with no delivery.

    • Peter says:

      I agree. Random weekday was my first thought. Then you never lose more than 1 day at a time…

      • echidnina says:

        That’s what I think too. I agree that five days of mail service is enough, but I would hate to have a two-day gap in mail. Why not discontinue service on Wednesday instead?

  2. Courtney says:

    And the postal service pension fund is overfunded because a Republican congress mandated that it be funded to cover obligations for the next 75 years, which is ridiculous. No other public or private pension is held to that standard.

    • billsnider says:

      You obviously don’t know what you are talking about.

      • Courtney says:

        Sorry. I meant to type “health care fund”, not “pension fund.” (Though it is considered part of the pension fund). I had read the article several days ago: “The Republican-imposed pre-funding requirement, which postal unions never asked for, has proven to be less a booster shot than a kiss of death. No health plan, public or private, operates under such an extreme mandate – and no government or business program is required to be fully funded 75 years ahead of time in order to be considered solvent.”

      • freeby50 says:

        Bill that was a pretty useless thing to say. If you have something to add or error to point out then please do so, but just telling someone they don’t know what they are talking about helps nothing and is not constructive.

    • MikeZ says:

      I’ve actually seen this but I’m not real sure it a bad thing yet. Personally I predict a decline in the scope of the USPS in the future. In that case isn’t prefunding your pension/healthcare somewhat required? If your workforce/revenue in 10 years is 25% of what it is today, how do you meet those obligations without prefunding?

      Personally other than perhaps 1-2 bills a month (most are electronic nowadays) I get ZERO useful mail. I’d be perfectly happy receiving mail ONLY on Mondays.

  3. Shirley says:

    I personally would not miss Saturday mail delivery. Considering those who need to mail packages and can’t get off work during the week, perhaps a weekday closure like Wednesday, rather than Saturday, would work.

  4. RT says:

    Tuesday would be a good day to eliminate as well as that is the lowest volume mail day. Businesses would hate that, but I think they would get over it.

  5. tom says:

    I wouldn’t miss it. I, personally, wouldn’t miss Tuesday or Thursday delivery also. Frankly, the USPS just needs to reduce it’s workforce. It’s an aging force, and they need to push for some golden handshakes and buy some people out.

  6. Jason says:

    The USPS Saturday delivery is nice, but not a necessity in my opinion. The only benefit is if I receive a package on Saturday when I am home. Efficiencies can be gained for the postal service if Saturday mail delivery is no longer offered. To alleviate somoe of the service cuts, I would have the Offices open on Saturdays until 1PM so that people can bring their mail and packages in for shipment. This way, the customers can still take advantage of buying stamps and using the services on one weekend day. Anytime a business faces a deficiency, changes are made to increase productivity and to help decrease or cut the areas that are producing losses.

  7. gharkness says:

    For me personally, I almost never get anything of note on Saturday. I’d be fine with not having Saturday delivery service. Weekdays might be slightly more problematic, but like most people, I’d get over it, too, I am sure!

    There are many reasons the USPS is having problems, but ONE of them is that they no longer provide a service that cannot be replaced by another service (and competition is a good thing). Sometimes those other services are more costly, but they also try harder to please. If the USPS can’t compete with UPS and Fedex, it needs to go away.

  8. RT says:

    Of course if Congress would just allow the USPS to run themselves the way they like, we wouldnt be having this discussion. USPS asks congress permission to raise prices – Denied. They ask Congress permission to delay pension and healthcare prepayments, for which they are already way ahead of where they should be – Denied. They ask congress permission to close locations – Denied. It is the US congress that is pushing the USPS to the bring of insolvency.

    • Courtney says:

      For reals – most of the problem about the USPS’s expenses exceeding their income is because congress won’t let them alter their expenses or their income.

  9. cubiclegeoff says:

    I would rather lost a weekday of mail service. I can get to the post office any day if I really need to, but saturdays are definitely more convenient for many people.

    • echidnina says:

      I agree. I’m currently in the UK and a lot of things totally shut down on the evenings and weekends – right when people are off of work. It’s such a hassle. I would hate to see things in the US going in that direction too.

  10. lostAnnfound says:

    I wouldn’t miss delivery on Saturday. Also one day during the week would be fine. Or both. Agree with Jason to have the USPS offices open on Saturday morning for folks that cannot get there during the week to mail/receive packages, but eliminate delivery on that day.

  11. Amanda says:

    I think my customers will be bothered more than I would. As long as the P.O. had Saturday hours I would be okay. If I work through the week, I can’t pick up anything they won’t deliver.

  12. Dave says:

    I wouldn’t miss Saturday one bit. It makes more sense to eliminate delivery on one weekday, but I’m sure that would never happen…

  13. Stacey says:

    How about eliminating door to door service (or, gasp, implementing a pay for home delivery service) and setting up banks of mailboxes at every corner? That is the expense: Paying someone less than 50¢ to hand deliver a letter to your grandma’s door three states away!
    I am forced to have a post office box for my business because my hours don’t allow delivery. So I have to pay for a box that makes mail delivery more convenient for the post office employees yet they walk it to my door at home for free… doesn’t make sense, does it??

  14. Jeff says:

    The more popular option would be to cut tuesday so they still get end of the week revenue from working individuals. Cut tuesday, keep saturday.

    We have had three different carriers in within the last week to sign a petition to keep six day a week carriers.

  15. Husker Avid says:

    Within my not so terribly long lifetime I can remember twice a day delivery of the mail. I think the Saturday deletion is fine but my! the times they are changin’

  16. Jerry Mandel says:

    With so many holidays being observed on Fridays and Mondays, no mail on Saturdays could mean no mail on three straight days. No mail on Wednesdays would mean no mail on two days each week (Wed. & Sun.)and no consecutive days without mail.

  17. Stephen - NYC says:

    1. Put back the stamp-dispensing machines in post offices. It’s a real PITA to have to stand in line just to buy stamps.
    2. Tell management to stop forcing the clerks to ask us if we want this or that service. If I wanted it, I’d ask for it. All you’re doing is wasting my time (let’s face it, the clerk is already at work; I am on my lunch break). And every minute of wasting my time means the line just gets longer.
    3. Keep Saturday delivery but cut Tuesday if you really must.
    4. No matter what, ensure post offices are opened at least 8am-1pm on Saturdays.
    5. Netflix is the reason I want Saturday delivery.
    6. As to their pension funding, yeah, let them skip a few payments so that they are not so over-funded.

    • First Step says:

      You wait in line at the post office for stamps? You can buy stamps at the grocery store and drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.), probably other stores too, depending on local merchants. USPS also offers “stamps-by-mail”–you order online what you want, and they’re delivered with the rest of your mail. You can even get a subscription if you want to order a certain number of stamps per month.

    • echidnina says:

      Agree with all of the above! Except I like Saturday delivery not just for Netflix; I also do a lot of shopping online and need to receive and/or sign for packages.

      I can understand the clerks needing to ask if anything is fragile or hazardous (safety thing). But the constant attempts at upsell? This isn’t McDonalds! One has to wonder if asking every time if people need all the extra bells and whistles actually nets them enough extra money to justify the extra time it takes with every customer…

  18. Lynn says:

    Eliminate a day and welcome hundreds of thousands of USPS workers to the unemployment lines which has the domino effect, no jobs, no money, equals foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc. Giving up the Saturday market will be devastating to the USPS. Give the USPS back it’s insane yearly $5.5 billion dollar pre-payments that started in 2006 and what do you know, they emerge from the red into the black! Why isn’t any other government agency held to this ridiculous mandate? It’s all political mess that the government started.

  19. SLS says:

    I wouldn’t miss it very much – and I would be happy to give it up if it meant preserving more jobs for postal workers.

  20. RTMin STL says:

    1. Keep post offices open 6 full days.
    2. Deliver Tues-Thurs-Sat to half the addresses and Mon-Wed-Fri to the others. This would reduce carriers by about 40%.
    3. Lose the carriers through attrition.
    4. If any business needs 5 or 6 day service, let them buy a box and use a private commercial service to pick up their box deliveries.

  21. Missvegasmax says:

    Guys, bottom line..the US Postal Service is DEAD, let it die. It’s time has passed. Mail should not be home delievered unless the person as the head of the household is disabled files and request home delievery. These are the only ones who should recieve home delievery by the USPS. They have to file and prove each earh year. The rest of us will have to go to a near by location of boxes to obtain our own mail! It’s stupid to offer FREE delievery and the Charge for a PO Box! It would be like me delievering pizza for nothing! The whole system is shot, sell the entire USPO System to the union and it’s employees for a $1.00 and lets get out of the postal business! Let them run it like a real company one that has no govt protection just a company like UPS or FEDEX they are doing just fine!! Let’s do it now, it’s going to happen anyway! Let the employees decide who is going to be in charge of their pension funds and lets hand it over to them a one time deal, no bail outs!! Also let UPS< FEDEX, and other offer mail service as well. Lets get with it boys, Balls to the Wall! You know some towns in the USA have never had home delievery, did you know that? And stop and delievery on SAturday. The USPO is Govt., ran and that's the whole problem…I work for them I know!!! It's BAD!!!!!

    • mannymacho says:

      Quite a rant, but I do agree that it makes more sense to make people pick up mail than to deliver. Problem is that makes a huge infrastructure change necessary. What do you do with all the unused trucks? How are you going to pay for the construction of millions more PO boxes?

      • kowtymae says:

        Yeah, lets have each of my 700 customers drive to the post office to pick up their mail instead of just me running my one vehicle to deliver it all. Your idea sounds like a great way to waste gas and contribute to the already hazardous pollution levels eating away at the ozone layer.

    • MikeZ says:

      Seems like it would sortof the post office cutting its own throat. I agree their buisness model is screwed up right now. But I think the only thing keeping them afloat is junk mail. By cutting out home delivery I suspect you remove most of those profits. Not that this is a bad thing but I bet this would completely kill them.

  22. daenyll says:

    They could cut Tuesday and Thursday, that way there’s only really a 1day gap other than the postal holidays(often a monday/friday) and thus those that can’t make it to an office during the week can still have Saturdays to get their business done.

    I’m also somewhat in favor of downsizing small rural offices to more of a postal counter at other retailers and have the distribution/sorting done from one of the larger locations. Thus locals would still have close access to certain services, but the post would not need to maintain the smaller facility.

    Even perhaps community mail box locations rather than door to door, to save carriers time and reduce the number of carriers needed for distribution.

    • kowtymae says:

      Daenyll,

      I agree that neighborhood distributuion/collection box units (NDCBUs)are a good idea. Many apartment complexes and some sub-divisions have them and it makes for a great way to distribute and collect mail in a short period of time. What does take time though is having to deliver packages or get signatures for accountables, such as certified mail or signature confirmations for parcels. This requires door delivery which takes time and results in the same amount of time being spent on the daily route. Christmas delivery would be an absolute nightmare.

  23. beth says:

    We get along just fine without Saturday delivery here in Canada. I didn’t even know it was an option in the States until people started complaining about losing it.

    I’ve never had problems sending items, though I’m not sure how our PO hours compare versus the U.S.

  24. Guy In San Antonio says:

    I would prefer that they suspend mail delivery on a weekday, let’s say Wednesdays. That way you never have to go more than one day without delivery.

  25. Bey says:

    Double bang for the buck — stop deliveries on Mondays, that way we skip paying for nothing on those Federal holidays as well.


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