Thursday, January 24, 2008

I knew it ...

Remember my experience at the Post Office a few weeks ago? It turns out I'm not some crazy conspiracy nut. (Well, I am, but not about this.)

An article in the last Sunday's paper confirms that the postal service is trying to rip people off, only here's how they describe it:

"It's more up-selling than leaving out information," said Carl Walton, spokesman for the Postal Service in Greensboro, N.C.
"The purpose is to offer the best and fastest service possible. If that service is $27, we are going to quote that first," the spokesman said.

Perhaps Mr. Walton is confused. Upselling is persuading a customer to buy a more expensive item. Persuasion works best when a customer has all the information. As for the offering the best service, I would submit that leaving out information doesn't qualify as good customer service.

Here's the sticky part: the postal service isn't a federal agency and doesn't receive federal money, but is federally mandated to provide mail service to all U.S. residents. They need to make money to survive and must survive even in rural areas where they make little to no money. The agency also has to deal with (oh the horror!) competition. Normally, competition helps to lower prices and improve service. However, the postal service is more beholden to a federal mandate than to serving captives, I mean, customers.

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