I was standing in line at the Post Office today, and the man in front of me asked the postal clerk for a book of stamps. The postal clerk asked if the man wanted the old stamps or the new? The man said, "What do the new stamps look like?" "As of January 8, 2006, the cost of a stamp goes up from $.37 to $.39," the clerk said to the man. I heard someone a few weeks ago say something about the Post Office wanting to raise the cost of stamps, but I don't remember reading or hearing anything more about it. But, sure enough, as of January 8, 2006, the cost of a first class stamp is going up to $.39. The United States Postal Service, it appears is raising its rates 5.5%, so it's not only first class stamps but all postal services. And if you think you'll save by using other mail delivery services, they're going to be following suit. FedEx and UPS will be also raising their rates as of January 2, 2006, and DHL will surely follow soon thereafter. The reason for the rate increase with the United Postal Service is to help pay for the cost of retirees benefits. Before I knew that, I must say, I was pissed! But, I guess I can't complain too much about the rate increase if it is going to be used for retirees. After all, look at what the major car manufacturers did to their retirees; cut their health benefits!
Even though I won't complain about the USPS rate increase, I will complain about its service, or lack thereof. It's one thing to have an increase in something if it means better service, but the USPS service just seems to get worse and worse! A few days before Christmas I needed a four stamps. So off to the local Post Office I went. The line, as I suspected, was long. So, I went to the handy-dandy stamp dispensing machine, which rarely works right anyway, and I know it. But it seemed functional. So I put in a buck for 2 stamps: total of $.74. I received my stamps, but no change. The machine's message read, "Credit for refund can be obtained from clerk." Well, that's nice; I used the machine because I didn't want to wait in line, so I'm not going to do so now for my $.26 change. So, needing two more stamps, I put in another dollar and lost another $.26. So, the USPS got an additional $.52 from me that day.
The Friday before Christmas, a package arrived for me. Since I was not at home during the time of delivery, the postman, or postwoman, left the package right in front of my apartment door. Damn good thing I was coming home! I cannot believe the package was just left there! Not that I really wanted to go to the Post Office to pick it up, but how did the mailman know I was even home. That package could have sat there for God only knows how long. And my friend informed the other day that his mailman had a package to be delivered for him. The mailman quickly rang the doorbell, tapped on the door, then left, all within a matter of a minute or so, before my friend could even answer the door. So he had to go to the Post Office to get his package.
No, I don't mind paying a little extra for postal service. But please, Mr. Postman! Give me a little better service for my little bit of extra $$$. I will continue to try to do as much over the internet such as bill paying to avoid adding too much revenue to the USPS.