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June 25th, 2002

Another Rate Hike

Here’s a reminder for you folks: starting next week, the USPS rate hike goes into effect. A regular letter will increase almost 9% from 34 cents to 37 cents. Even with this pretty significant increase and that “the rise in rates will likely generate in excess of $4 billion in revenue annually”, the postal service “is still not expected to run profitably in the near term.” Wow.

The previous increase, from 33 cents to 34 cents, was the shortest period between rate increases (12 months) . The current 34 cent letter rate has been in effect for almost three-and-a-half years and the next change will not come until at least January 2004. At least they’re no longer considering stopping Saturday delivery.

Is raising prices without really offering any increased service a good move? Or does it spell the beginning of the end for the USPS as we know it?

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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