USPS Commissions Brain Research on Direct Mail – Direct Marketing News

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The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service is in the process of reviewing neuroscience researchers to investigate the different ways the human brain responds to physical and digital media. Specifically, it would like to unearth scientific evidence of the role direct mail plays in consumer engagement and buying decisions.

OIG believes such a study could add a physiological research component to the growing body of analysis of consumer interaction across multiple marketing channels. Small- and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford such research could benefit from access to it through the Postal Service’s “concierge services,” stated the OIG in a Request for Information it issued last month.

via USPS Commissions Brain Research on Direct Mail – Direct Marketing News.

Focus on delivery.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 15th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Posted in USPS

Spencer bans curbside mailboxes in historic district

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Town Attorney Rivers Lawther recommended going through the Planning Board and Historic Preservation Commission to show that mailboxes on the curb are incompatible with the town’s historic district.

Aldermen asked both those boards to review the issue in light of safety and traffic concerns, citizen complaints, aesthetics and historical inappropriateness, Smith said this week. Both boards recommended adopting the ban.

via Spencer bans curbside mailboxes in historic district | Salisbury Post.

Interesting conundrum, if USPS tells you to move your box and town tells you not to move your box….

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 15th, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Posted in USPS

A Parable – What Happened to the (Fictional) Corner Grocery?

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Let’s say you do your grocery shopping at Corner Grocery. You have a Corner Grocery card that you signed up for, and they gave you a Guide to Shopping at Corner Grocery. After shopping at Corner Grocery for a couple of months, 4 or 5 times a month, you get a bill in your email box.   Apparently you owe Corner Grocery some money, because you didn’t follow some of the rules outlined when you signed up for your card. They provide you with an online portal to review your charges via reports.

You go try to access the reports, and struggle to navigate and understand them. Then when you do think you have a handle on it, you realize that most all of the items in question have been eaten already. Some items were items you purchased for your next door neighbor as a favor. Some of the items were donated to a soup kitchen. Digging further, there seems to be some errors in the reports themselves, so you are left scratching your head.

Now you try to dispute some of the charges where you suspect there is a data issue. Evidence supporting your claims need to be provided by you. It’s time consuming trying to back-track everything. You have current stuff that needs your attention and is biting at your heels.

Then, you suddenly realize that you have already spent more hours of your time trying to figure this out than it is worth, and you just pay the bill. Some or all of whatever was wrong is unable to be corrected for the next shopping trip, because you aren’t sure what is going on. The complexity and lack of value-add to you as a consumer, leaves you with little choice that a follow up decision is necessary.

You stop shopping at Corner Grocery.

The end.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 12th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Posted in USPS

Commemorating the Battle at Fort McHenry on Forever stamps

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 12th, 2014 at 10:03 am

Posted in USPS

‘Where’s my stuff?’ ‘Where’s my stuff?’ Avoiding ‘No attempt/No delivery’ complaints

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The Postal Service sometimes receives complaints from customers asking, “Where’s my stuff?” This usually happens after undelivered mailpieces have been mistakenly scanned “delivered” or “attempted.”

Where’s my stuff? — officially known as “No attempt/No delivery” — is one of the top three customer complaints received by the Postal Service. Fifty-eight percent of complaints received fall into this category.

Here are some reminders to avoid No delivery/No attempt complaints:

If a mail piece won’t fit in the compartment or the box is too full and no parcel lockers are provided, a delivery attempt must be made to the customer’s residence.

Completing a PS Form 3849, Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt, and leaving it for the customer without an attempt is not the level of service customers expect, nor is it the service the customer has paid for.

All items requiring a signature also must be attempted at the residence. Don’t scan these items as “delivered” or “attempted” and place them in the mailbox.

“Scan events also must be accurate if the Postal Service wants to keep growing the package business,” says Consumer Advocate and Customer Relations Manager John Budzynski. “Every scan counts to our customers.

via USPS News Link Story – ‘Where’s my stuff?’.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 12th, 2014 at 12:46 am

Posted in USPS

APWU Faux-Pas

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See previous post, where the APWU quotes the 21st Century Postal Coalition from 2010, knocking them for wanting to right-size the postal network.  Whoever wrote the article needs to get in 2014, as here is a more current look –

http://postalemployeenetwork.com/news/2014/09/postal-unions-and-21st-century-coalition-send-joint-letter-to-key-senate-appropriators/

“On September 9, 2014, the NPMHU and its sister unions (APWU, NALC and NRLCA), along with a business coalition that employs over 7.5 million American workers in the mailing industry, wrote a joint letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that the Committee place language in the appropriations bill freezing for one year the USPS plan (January 2015) to consolidate or close 82 mail processing plants.

Doh!

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 11th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Posted in USPS

Privatizing by Incentivizing ? Now, Everybody Do the Propaganda

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Privatizing by Incentivizing | APWU.

Interesting that the most recent quote attributed to industry cited in this piece is from 2010, and the USPS quote is from 2006.  Last time I checked we were in 2014.  Additionally, the quote cited as proof of mailer evilness could alternatively be interpreted as common sense.

“The Coalition supports closing underutilized post offices and other dedicated postal facilities, yet making access to postal products and services more ubiquitous by offering them in supermarkets and other outlets more convenient to more Americans. Similarly, we support streamlining processing networks and facilities to match the needs of projected volumes.” – See more at: http://www.apwu.org/news/deptdiv-news-article/privatizing-incentivizing#sthash.mcqpQ15S.dpuf
“The Coalition supports closing underutilized post offices and other dedicated postal facilities, yet making access to postal products and services more ubiquitous by offering them in supermarkets and other outlets more convenient to more Americans. Similarly, we support streamlining processing networks and facilities to match the needs of projected volumes.” – See more at: http://www.apwu.org/news/deptdiv-news-article/privatizing-incentivizing#sthash.mcqpQ15S.dpuf

“The Coalition supports closing underutilized post offices and other dedicated postal facilities, yet making access to postal products and services more ubiquitous by offering them in supermarkets and other outlets more convenient to more Americans. Similarly, we support streamlining processing networks and facilities to match the needs of projected volumes.” – See more at: http://www.apwu.org/news/deptdiv-news-article/privatizing-incentivizing#sthash.mcqpQ15S.dpuf
“The Coalition supports closing underutilized post offices and other dedicated postal facilities, yet making access to postal products and services more ubiquitous by offering them in supermarkets and other outlets more convenient to more Americans. Similarly, we support streamlining processing networks and facilities to match the needs of projected volumes.” – See more at: http://www.apwu.org/news/deptdiv-news-article/privatizing-incentivizing#sthash.mcqpQ15S.dpuf”

Other items conspicuously twisted here:  discounts are for work done to save the USPS time, money, and steps.  If these evil corporate entities started dumping all this mail in blue collection boxes (if they are able to find any) the system would crash.   The incentives are for doing a great deal of work in preparing the mail to USPS specifications.

And yes, if you are wondering, I worked for RR Donnelley many years ago, it was my first job in my 30 year mailing career, I started as a material handler and worked my way up the ranks.  I was one of the first female bindery stitcher operators, earning a journeyman’s card in my craft.  My father was a 30 year RRD employee before me.

The amount of free consulting, testing, advertising, and sales the USPS benefits from via these large mailers is also not mentioned.  Corporate success goes hand in hand with USPS success.

The mailing industry is not your enemy.  They are some of your best customers.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 11th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Posted in USPS

IG: Cloud management missteps costing Postal Service $33.5M

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IG: Cloud management missteps costing Postal Service $33.5M | Federal Times | federaltimes.com.

…lack of organization and potentially significant gaps in security…

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 11th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Posted in USPS

Postal Problems in Bluffton

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Months without mail and now business owners in Bluffton have had enough. “Midnight Baker,” Robert Plantadis says he’s not receiving important notices for his business.

“For like two months plus now, created me late fees and a bunch of other problems now, and I feel isolated and i feel its wrong,” Plantadis said.

Wrong and frustrating since he says mail delivery shouldn’t be a problem. Plantadis actually has a mailbox which is less than 20 feet from his front door and says he used to receive mail there. But for the past couple of months not a bill, not a flyer, not even an advertisement.

Other businesses tell us they aren’t getting mail either for plantadis–he says he was never given a reason why– the mail just stopped— harming his business.

“Being interrupted for our mail service is a problem.”

So he called NEWS 3 to investigate.

“I am still old school, I dont use the social media, I write letters, I’m hoping to get letters back to me, and I dont get them. I just dont get it.”

According to Postmaster, Matthew Celona, the town and post office began installing cluster boxes for businesses in the busy Promenade and until those are installed, mail is being held at the Post Office.

Plantadis says his problem is the lack of communication.

” I was not aware that my mail was held by post office, i was never told about anything.”

via Postal Problems in Bluffton – Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side.

They probably sent him a letter notifying him of the change….and then held it at the post office.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 11th, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Posted in USPS

Northrop Escapes FCA Suit Over Botched $874M USPS Order – Law360

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A Virginia federal judge has agreed to dismiss a False Claims Act suit accusing Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. of misleading the U.S. Postal Service and failing to meet benchmarks in delivering mail-sorting machines worth $874 million.

U.S. Judge T. S. Ellis III agreed with Northrop’s memorandum that no evidence exists that the company made false statements or omitted material facts, had any intention to mislead the federal government or caused the USPS to pay improper or false invoices.

via Northrop Escapes FCA Suit Over Botched $874M USPS Order – Law360.

Ratepayer dollars wasted on bad decisions…and bad litigation.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 11th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Posted in USPS

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