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State officials ask regulators to stop Postal Service slowdown

The attorneys general have filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission

USPS mail delivery van and mailman
Photo (c) MattGush - Getty Images
The attorneys general of 20 states have filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission that seeks to overturn changes to United States Postal Service (USPS) delivery standards that allow for slower mail delivery. The changes took effect on Oct. 1.

The new standards, designed to save money, expand the delivery window for some first-class mail from one to three days to one to five days. The USPS has said the slower standard would only affect 39% of first-class mail.

The 20 state officials contend that the changes are not minor. Their complaint to the agency that oversees USPS operations claims that the new standards “will transform virtually every aspect of the Postal Service, rework how the Postal Service transports mail and other products, and overhaul its processing and logistics network.”

Officials claim service has already declined

The changes are part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan to transform the mail delivery service, but Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh says consumers, businesses, and local governments have already been negatively impacted.

“Americans missed medications, pay and benefit checks, and more,” Frosh said. “Now Mr. DeJoy wants to swing his wrecking ball 10 years into the future.” 

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says areas of his state are already experiencing declines in service because of the new delivery standards. 

“Virginians depend on the postal service for so many things – paying bills and other payments, life-saving prescriptions, and other necessary goods – and it’s imperative that any changes made to USPS do not disrupt or delay service,” Herring said.

A consumer’s complaint

Some consumers seem to agree. Rose, of Courtlandt Manor, N.Y., expressed frustration earlier this month after she mailed a parcel to a friend in Alabama.

“Made a pair of slacks for a friend. Mailed them from Mohegan Lake NY. They went to Stamford CT, Jersey City NJ, Albany NY, and are currently in Western Rochester NY,” she wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “By the time the pants arrive in Alabama, they will be worn out. Next time I will use UPS or take Amtrak and deliver them myself.”

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says the changes enacted by the USPS not only raise rates but “dramatically” reduce customer service. He and his colleagues say the Postal Regulatory Commission must thoroughly review the new policy.

The commission said it has received the state officials’ complaint, established a docket for the matter, “and will take it under advisement.”

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