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Ralph Nader > Special Features > Protecting Parcel Post – A Letter to Postmaster General John Potter

November 30, 2005

Postmaster General John E. Potter
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20260

Dear Postmaster General Potter:

As you know, Parcel Post was introduced almost a century ago to better serve the American people. (Lest we forget, it was introduced because parcel delivery companies’ adherence to strictly profit generating principles was denying good service to large areas of the nation.) Regrettably, it appears that there currently may be a policy which is intended to make Parcel Post “invisible” to patrons. I was recently surprised to discover that the “2005 Holiday Shipping and Mailing Guide” gives shipping deadlines for Global Priority Mail, Global Express Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail, and Express Mail, but not Parcel Post.

It has also been brought to my attention that postal clerks are now being instructed not to mention the term “Parcel Post” to patrons. A clerk has even been suspended for making a patron aware of Parcel Post before trying to push them to use more expensive shipping options. Apparently one manager has claimed that “not offering Parcel Post will—improve customer satisfaction.” I hope this statement does not reflect the position of the Postal Service on this matter. To state the obvious: in numerous instances not offering Parcel Post constitutes bad customer service, because very often customers’ budgets and time-frames for delivery make Parcel Post the service that would best meet their needs. Can you explain what’s going on here regarding not including Parcel Post in the Mailing Guide and not mentioning it orally at customer service counters or on the telephone?

Thank you for your response.


Ralph Nader