USPS Requests May 31 Rate Hike
The U.S. Postal Service may raise postage rates by as much as 2 percent on May 31. First, though, the Postal Regulatory Commission needs to approve the request USPS submitted at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday (opens as a PDF).
"This adjustment includes the prices previously approved by the commission … for First Class mail and Special Services," reads Thursday's USPS response, "as well as the proposed prices for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services … The only exception relates to the Earned Value Reply Mail promotion, which will start as scheduled on May 1, 2015."
USPS tells Target Marketing on Friday the promotion starts on May 1 because registration began on March 15 and ends on April 30.
"This promotion allows mailers to earn postage credits based on receipt of First Class mail reply pieces," USPS says on Friday. "The postage credit can be redeemed later this year on First Class mail and Standard Mail mailings."
It's only delaying one promotion—the Advanced and Emerging Technology Promotion, which moves up a month to run from June 1 to Nov. 30.
In an email blast to its members on Thursday, the American Catalog Mailers Association adds one more comment about May 31.
"All competitive and previously approved market dominant prices would be implemented at the same time," the ACMA says in the email.
This PRC request is happening now because USPS isn't raising rates on April 26 due to the PRC having issues with some of its requests. PRC asked twice that the postal service fix the problems. On March 27, USPS told Target Marketing it wasn't raising any rates because it didn't want to confuse customers by raising some rates and not others.
In response to Target Marketing's request for comment on Friday, USPS sent a statement saying "today," as in Friday, it filed the newest PRC request. (The filed document is dated Thursday.) Asked if the date was a mistake, USPS says this is its official statement.
"The postal service today filed a response to Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Order No. 2398, in which the Commission remanded proposed rates for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services," Friday's statement reads. "The postal service's response contains adjusted pricing and further explanation consistent with the commission's order."
USPS states that "pricing-implementation webinars" and updates through an Industry Alert will keep mailers informed.
The USPS response requests:
- "The commission expeditiously approve the proposed rates for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services."
- A nearly 2 percent price increase for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services (the information about the latter is in the document "Package Services Workpapers for Second Remand—Proxy Version").
- Forwarding-and-Return Service fees to change "from $0.43 to $0.435 for letters, and from $1.39 to $1.395 for flats. After the exigent surcharges are applied, the final fees will be $0.45 and $1.40 for letters and flats, respectively."
What will direct mailers and e-commerce marketers do about this possible price increase?
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Related story: USPS Delays Price Increase