The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the EDDM retail promotion that gives EDDM retail mail pieces entered between August 1 and September 30, 2020 a 10% reduction off the current permanent rate of $.191 per piece. (This is still a rate higher than EDDM commercial that is drop shipped.)
In approving the Postal Service’s promotion, the PRC noted that its role was simply to find whether or not the filing was lawful. It approved the filing because it was lawful.
The PRC did note that SMC, PostCom, and the American Catalog Mailers, had all criticized the USPS filing as not broadly helping other marketing mailers> The PRC quoted concerns we had expressed that by lowering the price of the retail piece “closer to a level where it could potentially compete with existing offerings of saturation mailers, the Postal Service should be wary of cannibalizing this volume.”
Although the PRC approved the promotion, it is worth noting that the PRC highlighted the concern of SMC and the other two commenters that the industry needs a broader promotion or discount for other products including saturation mail. The PRC stated, “The Commission encourages the Postal Service to give consideration to these concerns and suggestions, and the Commission stands ready to expeditiously review any further initiatives proposed by the Postal Service.”
I continue to hear from many individual SMC members about your struggles and the disappointing need to cut back on frequency, geography, and frustration that the Postal Service has “done nothing.”
SMC and many of our members have been engaged in direct efforts to speak to Postal Service representatives in sales, marketing, pricing, and product, to discuss problems.
I have written and made verbal statements until I am blue in the face. I am encouraging my members to also reach out directly to the Postal Service with specifics on existing or planned cuts in your mailing programs.
It is my belief that people in Postal Service management have tried to do something and want to do something, but they have had a tough sell with a new board of governors, the fact that the Postal Service has done better financially than initially projected—package volumes have steadily been up from 65-90% throughout the pandemic – and with the uncertainty of working for a new PMG.
The Commission’s comments that it will act quickly and that perhaps the Postal Service “should start listening to its customers and start doing something” will hopefully be a nudge in the right direction.