Bipartisan Delegation Wants USPS to Preserve Door Deliveries
WASHINGTON — A House resolution urging the United States Postal Service to ensure the continuation of door delivery for all business and residential customers has received bipartisan support from a total of 118 cosponsors.
The resolution, authored by Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., was written in response to past efforts to cut door delivery service in some neighborhoods by creating cluster boxes that would serve multiple addresses. Research data indicates that more than 36 million USPS customers receive mail directly to their door, and over 99% of customers prefer door delivery to cluster boxes.
“In communities around the country, door delivery has become a staple of American life. During this pandemic, many families have come to rely on the U.S. Postal Service for grocery and medication delivery, and voting information,” Murphy said in a written statement. “We should be making it easier for Americans — especially seniors and the disabled — to receive these critical items directly, rather than creating barriers that will prevent them from accessing them.”
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General developed a survey in tandem with Gallup to determine consumers’ preferences regarding different methods of mail delivery. The OIG/Gallup survey found that consumers and businesses alike place a relatively high value on parcel delivery to the door compared to cluster boxes or parcel lockers.
Even when presented with the highest parcel price in the survey, the majority of consumers still prefer door delivery over paying lower prices. Willingness to pay for door delivery of parcels was particularly high among consumers and businesses and the survey demonstrated that both these groups value the option to access postal services at a Post Office.
“The U.S. Postal Service has an important role to play during this pandemic, with many Americans and small businesses relying on its services to receive essential goods, get critical medications, pay bills, and serve customers,” Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, one of the resolution’s cosponsors, said in a written statement. “With the pandemic already impacting timely mail delivery across the country, we must preserve door delivery for the individuals and businesses who expect and rely on it.”
Respondents to the survey indicated they are less willing to accept having kiosks as retail access points. Sixty-one percent of consumers and 73% of businesses, respectively, prefer higher postage to using kiosks.
USPS previously indicated it may need to reduce door-to-door deliveries and begin centralized or curbside delivery to millions of homes and businesses, the text of the resolution notes, requiring those who wish to retain door service to pay a delivery tax.
The resolution compels USPS to maintain its current level of service because “reduced levels of service will have an immediate impact on current year revenue” and the reduction of door delivery services would “serve as a hindrance for the elderly and disabled,” according to its text.
“Consumers and businesses place a high value on maintaining delivery to the door and/or curb rather than delivery to cluster boxes or parcel lockers,” the executive summary of the survey read.
“This is especially true for parcels and even more so for consumers that currently receive mail via cluster box. Both consumers and businesses place value on human interaction with a Postal Service employee at a post office rather than alternative access options such as postal counters in non-postal retail stores and self-service kiosks. However, respondents seemed to find more limited hours of operation acceptable.”
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