I usually don’t link over to The Consumerist because I figure everyone that reads my site already reads theirs, but I’m probably wrong about that. Therefore I wanted to point out an article where they learned from “an insider” that postal employees were ordered to stop offering First-Class mail. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t ship first-class. It just means they’re pushing higher-priced offerings first, and only offer first-class if you ask for it specifically (or ask “how can I ship a cheaper way?”.
Why do this? Because the USPS has lost over a billion dollars recently thanks to a number of factors. I, for one, would like to say I’m contributing to their loss in two ways:
1. I use online billpay. While some of the bills are sent via the mail if the recipient doesn’t accept eBills, it’s still significantly reduced the amount of postage I was paying each year.
2. I use media mail to ship books. I spend a fraction of regular shipping costs to send books this way compared to even first-class, but as I say in the linked article, there are restrictions and the book can take longer to arrive. In my experience of mailing books for my contests here, however, the books arrive in at most 4 days. Sometimes it takes only 1-2 days.
So USPS, I’m sorry I’m cheating you out of money. I just hope you don’t take it out on my mail. It didn’t do anything wrong so please make sure it gets in my mailbox safely!