21 May 2012

The USPS - monthly bills like any other utility

Recently, the US Postal Service cancelled plans to cancel service to hundreds of rural areas throughout the US. The problem remains, though. Their costs are greater than their revenues.

It seems to me that one simple innovation could increase revenues enough to cover most any kind of operating costs.

Why does the USPS simply collect the mail and capture data, billing households and businesses at the end of each month based on usage, like other utility companies, like water or gas and electric companies? This would make it easier for customers to "buy" postal service and - I'd argue - make it easier for the USPS to earn money. You just leave mail in the outgoing box and it is billed to you, whether personal letter or bulky package.

Just think. No trips to the post office to wait in line to weigh packages and pay. No need to order stamps or get stuck without stamps when you need to put a bill in the mail.

It's certainly too late to recapture a great deal of the business that has already shifted to online, from emails to bill paying. But that, it seems to me, is all the more reason to make it easier to use their services.

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