Postal service says it will end Saturday deliveryPublished 11:52pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The U.S. Postal Service says its market research has revealed almost seven in 10 Americans support not receiving mail on Saturdays to help the institution survive, but that math didn’t add up outside the North Main Street post office Wednesday.
On the day the Postal Service announced it will stop delivering on Saturdays beginning Aug. 5, an informal survey found local customers mostly peeved by the cost-cutting measure.
“I don’t think that’s right,” 23-year-old Michelle Sutton said. “To me, Sunday’s the only day people should take off, because some people have their religious beliefs. Saturday should be like a regular work day, when people receive regular mail. How are we benefiting from the money being saved? Are they saying they are taking it away to save money? I don’t think that’s right.”
Experts say the sending and receiving of mail is sharply declining during an era in which many people click their mouse a few times to pay a bill, rather than writing a check, licking an envelope and affixing a stamp.
A news release announcing the new schedule said the Postal Service Board of Governors, in the face of “ongoing financial challenges,” mandated the five-day schedule “to strengthen postal service finances.”
The controversial move, which has not been approved by Congress, is expected to save about $2 billion a year by reassigning some postal workers and not replacing others when they leave.
“I think it’s bad, because the government has all the money and we can’t have everything that America needs,” said Timothy Eaton, 53. “When it comes to providing to the citizens, we get slighted.”
Eaton said he’s too old-fashioned to pay bills online. “It’s going to affect me somewhat,” he said.
But another 53-year-old Suffolkian took a different view. “Just one click instead of a stamp,” Leonard Najacque said of Internet banking and emailing. “You don’t have to worry about your letter being lost. Everything’s delivered on time. Really, (it’s) more quick, anyway.”
Heather McPherson, 44, a Canadian national living in Suffolk, said she relies on the USPS package delivery service — which will not be affected by the new schedule — and does most other things online.
“I don’t think it will really make a big difference to me,” she said. “I’m used to living in places where we get mail five days a week, so the sixth day was sort of a bonus.”
But also joining the ranks of the unimpressed was Dolores Rosario, 62.
“Well that sucks,” she said, “because, for one thing, I get paychecks every other Friday, and sometimes they come Saturday, and that means I won’t get paid until Monday, and I can’t always wait until Monday to get paid.
“They keep raising the rates and the service goes down.”
Shannon Lambert, 33, branded ditching Saturday deliveries “a dumb idea. I believe mail should run seven days a week. It might save money, but I’m pretty sure it would affect a lot of people.”
The Postal Service gets no tax dollars for operating expenses, relying instead on sales of postage, products and services.
According to the release, it will continue seeking support from Washington lawmakers for “greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue.”