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Fri Sept 13 2019 19:50:35

Postage Stamp Rate Hike to 55 Cents Ruled Unlawful

By: Ina Steiner

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One determined person can make an impact. Douglas Carlson, a self-professed postal watchdog, challenged the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)'s approval of a 10% increase in the cost of a Forever postage stamp that took effect in January. On Friday, he found vindication.

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the five-cent price increase to 55 cents did not
meet the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) requirements for reasoned decision-making.

Carlson had filed a petition in December for review of the PRC's order approving the USPS plans to raise the cost of a one-ounce, stamped, First-Class letter from 50 cents to 55 cents. 

In a January post on the website, Carlson explained:

"The Postal Service's assertions defy logic and common sense and insult the intelligence of the American public. The Consumer Price Index rose 2.4 percent. Rounding up, a two-cent rate hike might have been in order. However, apparently a two-cent increase would have been too complex for average customers to understand. Not only will customers more easily grasp the concept of a five-cent increase, so the argument goes, but they also supposedly will prefer to pay 55 cents instead of 52 cents."

The Court wrote in Friday's ruling, "We agree with Carlson that the stamp price hike did not meet the APA's requirements for reasoned decision-making. The Commission failed to provide an adequate explanation of the increase and, relatedly, failed to respond to public comments challenging the increase under relevant statutory factors and objectives included in the Commission's organic statute, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA)."

Government Executive said of Friday's ruling, "The immediate fallout of the decision was not immediately clear, as the Postal Service said it is "considering our legal options.""

According to Postcom, the decision will have no immediate impact. "The Department of Justice has 45 days to request reconsideration and we fully expect them to do so," it wrote.

It's unclear how the ruling might impact 2020 rates. The USPS had already begun preparing next year's postage rate increase, according to the Official Mail Guide (OMG), which had said it expected the agency to file its request with the PRC in October.

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Perminate Link for Postage Stamp Rate Hike to 55 Cents Ruled Unlawful   Postage Stamp Rate Hike to 55 Cents Ruled Unlawful

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 18 06:16:02 2019

The $29 - $50 domestic flight cost example used to illustrate a 'too high' ship cost was cute, but neglects to consider the cost of the box and duff, transportation from the originating point, and transportation from the arrival airport to the specific destnation, plus any labor/time cost (of the 'carrier(s)) involved in that point to point delivery - which unlike delivery carrier transport, only applies to first and last mile 'accompanying carrier' need since they don't 'escort' the pacel the whole trip.  Or travel 'home' empty handed.

It also only applies to specific origin/destination combinations.  You know of a flight from NYC to LA for $50 for example, chances are that applies to the luggage charge alone.  And fares tend to be even higher (comparitively) for less 'well known' destinations, particularly in more rural areas, which may be a couple hours drive away from the nearest commercial airport.

Delivery across town?  Sure, one could probably do a (virtually unlimited weight) 12 cube box cheaper than the free box with tracking and $50 insurance included flat rate priority the PO would charge you $13.90 tax free for - except for the labor time part.  Perhaps you'll have an uncommitted afternoon to devote to it.  KYO.  But don't drop it - unless you too provide 'free' insurance.

Of course, that covers one specified parcel going to one place.  One, unless you want to pack a suitcase full - maybe you can cram a dozen - assuming the same destination applies.  That would reduce your 'per piece' cost to about 8% each - if total weight doesn't exceed the 75 lbs or so allowable before additional charges might apply.  

But for the tens of thousands daily (read the post - daily; the ''millions'' apply to a year), then logistics is the right word.  Lookitup.  And ya can't do that for the cost of a discount airfare.  Or tens of thousands of them.  

Incidentally, it should be the buyer who's paying for that ticket, right?  Unless you found some way to fly for 'free'.

Perminate Link for Postage Stamp Rate Hike to 55 Cents Ruled Unlawful   Postage Stamp Rate Hike to 55 Cents Ruled Unlawful

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 18 07:30:48 2019

I don't know why peeps keep trying to elaborate on a simple example. The mere fact that an airline ticket ALONE can cover the cost of a body and a box on a plane is all we need to know.

Nobody said anything about extra luggage that anyone else has to handle (that doesn't apply when shipping a single box). We're talking a carry on box and a butt on a seat...period. LOL It doesn't matter what happens outside of that because the ticket covered that box and butt.

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