Thoughts pt's post How Makers, Hackers, and Entrepreneurs Can Save USPS, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Wendy and I depend on the post office for e-businesses. We ship daily and are happy with USPS's performance. There are barriers to entry that the post office could repair with only minor changes. Here are my gripes. What would you like to see?
Treat volume customers as special. It is time for the post office to consider the usual silver/gold/platinum type program for volume customers. Right now they have no incentive programs for customers that spend tens of thousands dollars a year. Consider airlines and frequent flyer mile programs, or credit card companies that give a percentage back. Even UPS and FedEx have business accounts and deals.
I find it ridiculous that the international tracking is unaffordable. First-Class International and Priority Mail have minimal beyond the US. International mail is so high priced that few makers would use the service. Makers need protection too, this comes through tracking and keeps international customers from demanding refunds on packages that are soon to arrive.
I'd like to see penalties for using the Post Office in person since it demands salaries and the costs to operate buildings. Today there is a small fee for going to the post office. The fee could be based on the length a transaction takes. Eg. Filling out a international first-class mail slip for a package to Prague costs employee time. Let the uninformed customer pay for the time they need while being pointed towards information about printing labels on-line.
USPS should have an all platform system. They run on a terrible Windows only application. Currently the USPS website does not offer all the USPS services. A shipper can not choose Parcel Select for first-class international packages on the USPS site. A mac user I have to keep a account with stamps.com to print Parcel Select and First-Class International postage.
Outlaw junkmail. Nobody wants it, it has a cost on the environment and companies have plenty of other ways to broadcast to customers, enough already.
It is easy geeks who ship daily to envision a thriving USPS. When individual households are spending thousands of dollars a year on domestic and international postage how can mail volumes continue to shrink? It might just be that micro businesses manufacturing and reselling goods though venues like Ebay can produce the volume the Post Office needs to thrive.