Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BIG's Blog: Frustrations with USPS

Mike Browne’s recent blog spoke about the USPS financial situation. This blog led me to write about a client’s recent experience with the post office.

The organization had recently gone through a name change, and knew a form had to be submitted to the postal service to continue mailing. This should have been an easy request. Instead, it began a grueling process of calls and emails with no response.

To speed up the process, I suggested we go to the post office to obtain the proper paperwork. Upon arrival, a postal security guard tried to contact numerous offices to obtain information without success. No one was at their desks. Fortunately, the security guard eventually found someone who informed us what form to submit.

After returning to the office, the proper paperwork was retrieved via the Internet and forwarded to the proper department. A few days later, via telephone, the organization was informed that authorization to mail under the new name was granted.

Shortly after receiving approval, someone else called and said additional information was required. The postal service (after back and forth communications) finally approved the name change. Of course, the mailing was now late. A process that should have taken a few hours to resolve took weeks.

Congress is trying to take away nonprofit discounts for mailing. Will that mean service will improve? Probably not! Can they ensure that our mail will get delivered on time? Who knows? But, many of us won’t be around to find out. Our budgets won’t be able to withstand mailing at a higher rate. If the discounts go away then volume of mail will be cut significantly.

Now is the time for nonprofit leadership to be looking for other alternatives to direct mail!

So my question is, “What do you think this bill will cost the nonprofit and the USPS in dollars?” You be the judge.


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