Mailing Community Reacts to the PRC's Decision
With yesterday's decision by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to reject a postal rate hike proposed by the U.S. Postal Service, business mailers — and the trade groups that represent them — have reason to celebrate. At least for now.
The requested rate hike would have increased postal rates by nearly 10 times the rate of inflation, requiring customers to pay an additional $3 billion annually for postage, despite the current rate of inflation remaining close to zero. The PRC decision requires the USPS to continue following the current law, which limits any postage increase to the rate of inflation.
"Today's decision is a great victory for businesses and consumers," said the Direct Marketing Association's CEO Lawrence M. Kimmel in a company press release. "The knowledge that postage rates will not rise faster than inflation is an important element for the business community already operating in an extremely challenging environment. This, however, is only a first step. USPS customers must continue to work together, and with Congress, to help the Postal Service maintain competitiveness in the marketplace.”
Echoing Kimmel's thoughts, the American Catalog Mailers Association's (ACMA) Vice President & Deputy Director Paul Miller noted that direct marketers, notably catalogers, aren't out of the woods yet.
"Catalogers need to get involved with advocates like ACMA more than ever," Miller says. "The USPS is hurting financially and in all likelihood will come back looking for more in rate increases in the future. So if catalogers become complacent and assume all's well, they'll be sadly mistaken."
For now the PRC's decision has saved thousands of jobs, said Tony Conway, Affordable Mail Alliance (AMA) spokesperson and Executive Director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers in an AMA press release.
“The Commissioners recognized that imposing an additional tax on Postal Service customers is not the way to address its financial troubles," Conway added. "Our members look forward to working with the Postal Service on the long-term restructuring needed to restore the Postal Service to competitiveness.”