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Amazon Opposes Plan To End Saturday Mail Delivery

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the wee-bit-of-self-interest dept.

Businesses 504

theodp writes "Online retailer giant Amazon.com has come out against a US Postal Service proposal to end Saturday service, part of efforts to address the USPS budget deficit. 'Amazon's customers have come to appreciate and expect Saturday delivery,' explained Amazon VP Paul Misener. 'If the five-day delivery proposal is not withdrawn,' he added, 'we ask that Congress ensure that Saturday delivery be maintained.' In the past, Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence." The article adds, "Interestingly, online DVD service Netflix is backing the plan to end Saturday mail delivery, arguing that a 'well functioning' Postal Service is more important than 'maintaining current delivery frequency.'"

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The difference between Amazon and Netflix (5, Insightful)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689550)

The difference between Amazon and Netflix is that Netflix product fits comfortably in a mailbox.

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689608)

And, for Netflix, it benefits them by slowing down the rate that they receive videos (though it means Monday's will be heavier than they were before).

For Amazon, people want Saturday delivery without paying for it. For Netflix, people certainly want it, but if the USPS doesn't do it, then people will understand. So, Netflix can stop staffing the delivery portion of Saturday's if that goes through, while Amazon still has to do everything as normal and they lose the ability to cheaply send packages that can potentially arrive on Saturday.

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (5, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689674)

Plus, netflix sells you a plan that is limited only by how often you can get mail. If you can't get mail on Saturday, that's one less DVD they have to send you. Amazon, on the other hand, gets paid for every package they send you.

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (4, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689676)

That's 17% fewer movies sent and received by Netflix every week. I would expect them to also want more public holidays in a year as well

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689988)

It's only 17% for customers who turn their DVDs around ASAP. My wife and I mostly subscribe for the online content, and often have a couple of DVDs sitting around for a few days before we get around to watching them. Obviously, high volume customers will get less value from their subscription. But I think it's a mistake to extrapolate a 17% overall savings from this.

Also, this will tend to cause more of a surge on Mondays outgoing mail / Tuesday and Wednesday's incoming at Netflix. This will also tend to reduce the positive effect for Netflix. Most companies prefer to have a constant workload across all of their shifts and days, rather than dealing with surges. Like a power company, or a tax consultant, they have to size their capital investment to deal with surges, even though that is not fully utilized most of the time.

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690112)

We're one of those quick turnaround people. With a 6-day week, we can get a DVD on Wednesday, stick it in the mail Thursday, and get the next on on Saturday. This gives us the weekend to watch that movie and we put it in the mail on Monday, which then gives us another DVD on Wednesday. It's a great routine -- exactly 2 DVD's a week on the same days and one of them to watch every weekend. Taking out Saturday would certainly change things.

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690264)

It's not the customers I am talking about, if you can't send mail on a Saturday, then they will receive less mail on Monday. Will they really be running around to all the drop boxes or even people's mail boxes to pickup outgoing mail on Saturdays if the delivery trucks aren't going out?

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690030)

Only if they are morons. They should be trying to make each disc sent profitable and trying to maximize the number of paying customers that they have, not trying to manipulate the apparent value of the service they provide.

They don't need to. (5, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690046)

That's 17% fewer movies sent and received by Netflix every week. I would expect them to also want more public holidays in a year as well

They don't need to. From their current Terms and Conditions:

We reserve the right to process orders and otherwise allocate and ship DVDs among our members in any manner that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine. In addition, we will, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine the quantity of DVDs we purchase for any particular movie, their location within our distribution network and the level of staffing and number of shipments to be processed at each distribution center.

Every new Terms and Conditions, they're putting things in their agreement that allows them not to give you "unlimited" whatever ....

There's verbiage in it that limits your "unlimited" online viewing too now.

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689700)

I thought Netflix was moving more and more of their delivery to a series of tubes instead of old boxes?

Re:The difference between Amazon and Netflix (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689918)

Most of the products I buy from Amazon COULD fit comfortably in a mailbox, but they come in a box about three times bigger than it needs to be. I ordered a map update for my Magellan GPS, it was on an SD card. It came in a SD card caddy, in an envelope, in a big fucking cardboard box. You know, kind of like getting software licenses from HP. And it's a $50 product, it's not like it deserves a big box based on value.

Jack up the price? (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689556)

Why not just have a increased rate for Saturday delivery like Fedex and UPS? I don't see a reason for something to run on a loss. If Amazon's customers appreciate or expect it, either they or Amazon can pay extra for it.

Re:Jack up the price? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689740)

You must be some kind of pinko, to suggest a market-based solution instead of a (lightly) veiled corporate subsidy.

In all seriousness, though, while there is a compelling public interest argument to be made in favor of the post office doing some un-economic things(and about the best chain of precedent you'll find for any US federal function, outside of war), like providing postal service to podunk towns that would have nothing otherwise; there seems to be no reason why they need to subsidize merely convenient services that have plenty of viable substitutes. If Saturday delivery costs more, offer it at a premium(or not at all, if you don't think you can make money at the new price point). People can either suck it up and wait till monday, or suck it up and pay Fedex/UPS.

Re:Jack up the price? (1, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689898)

You must be some kind of pinko, to suggest a market-based solution instead of a (lightly) veiled corporate subsidy.

Why do people like you always have to come in and try to polarize an issue along political lines?

Re:Jack up the price? (1)

swabeui (1291044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690106)

I doubt that would work for a few reasons. The USPS doesn't offer guaranteed delivery on Saturday now (for standard mail), so people would only be paying more for the 'chance' of making it on Saturday. They would still need to maintain a Saturday fleet that wouldn't be much smaller than the current one but would carry far less mail. As you said, Fedex and UPS offer these services now, so if price isn't an issue the demand is covered.

USPS isn't a State Function (4, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689574)

In the past, Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence.

I'm having trouble seeing exactly why this is relevant, other than innuendo. State taxes don't pay for mail delivery, that's a federal function. Amazon's stance is consistent. (Whether it's morally right or wrong is a separate issue, mind you.)

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (4, Informative)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689698)

I think that's referring to Amazon defending its exemption from sales taxes (as cross-state sales typically are, at least in practice), the argument being that it's not bearing its share of e.g. road upkeep costs for the products its delivering.

Of course, I disagree with that argument, since taxes are normally completely decoupled from provision of the government service they fund, but I'm just trying to clarify what (I think) it's referring to.

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689758)

I think that's referring to Amazon defending its exemption from sales taxes (as cross-state sales typically are, at least in practice), the argument being that it's not bearing its share of e.g. road upkeep costs for the products its delivering.

Most of those roads are being maintained by federal money not sales taxes. So that would be a rather stupid argument to make.

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689882)

my understanding of the Amazon argument is that they are talking out of both sides of their mouth , depending on which side benefits them most.
However the USPS is not a govt agency, govt funded maybe but not direct govt.

Let Amazon strike good deals with FedEx & UPS for shipping sh*t on Saturdays

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (2, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690216)

... However the USPS is not a govt agency, govt funded maybe but not direct govt.

Interesting that on USA.gov where they list all the government agencies they list the postal service. http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/P.shtml [usa.gov]

Also my two BIL's that work for the post office are in the government retirement plan and don't get social security.

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689894)

State and local gasoline taxes are more than enough to upkeep roads in most cases. They also usually fund things that have nothing to do with roads. That's how it should be.

States always want more money. Once Amazon is taxed, that means all the small internet businesses have to be taxed as well. There are so many small municipalities, especially in CA, demanding their special rate of sale's tax, that it would be hard for a small merchant to file it all.

Of course, I'm for the apt tax replacing all this bullshit anyway, no loopholes.
http://www.apttax.com/ [apttax.com]

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (1)

RotsiserMho (918539) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690154)

At first glance this seems like a ridiculously good idea. What's the catch?

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689848)

Also the salient point is "in which it has no physical presence." Where they do have a physical presence they support public services.

Amazon is not alone in the position. So let's stop pretending that it's only Amazon that does not what to pay an Internet tax, which is what we are talking about.

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (2, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689914)

In the past, Amazon has argued that it should not have to help support public services in states in which it has no physical presence.

I'm having trouble seeing exactly why this is relevant, other than innuendo.

Another reason it's irrelevant: corporations don't pay taxes, they just pass them on to consumers and investors.

Re:USPS isn't a State Function (5, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689952)

I'll add for you that Amazon is paying the USPS for delivery. In that respect, they are paying to support services. Why should Amazon pay for police or firefighters in states where they don't have a business presence?

It helps Netflix to end Saturday delivery (5, Insightful)

h2oliu (38090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689602)

If there are fewer delivery days in a month, then you get fewer movies per month if you turn them around every other day. This would help Netflix's bottom line to cut delivery down to 5 days a week.

Re:It helps Netflix to end Saturday delivery (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689812)

If there are fewer delivery days in a month, then you get fewer movies per month if you turn them around every other day. This would help Netflix's bottom line to cut delivery down to 5 days a week.

It's interestingly like using monthly transit passes that come at a flat rate: you can use them for 31 days in a month without paying "extra," but those smaller months of 30 and 29 days come at no return to the buyer.

Shouldn't we feel somewhat cheated on leap years? Anyway, companies always milk the system (both our millenary date-wise system and the law system) to increase margins thanks to reduced work loads for them.

Re:It helps Netflix to end Saturday delivery (1)

EMR (13768) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690024)

Very interesting observation.. I was trying to figure out what Netfix's catch was on supporting 5 day delivery, and this makes perfect sense.. Although, what percentage of their user base does that, surely it can't be that high to really affect their bottom line much at all. I'm sure many users keep movies for a LONG time and end up spending a months subscription on 1 or 2 movies.

Re:It helps Netflix to end Saturday delivery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690238)

There's another angle here. If people are left waiting for discs that would have arrived on a Saturday, they might just fire up Netflix online and start watching more movies that way. Netflix would really rather just pay bandwidth costs rather than maintain multiple physical distribution centers, replaced broken/scratched discs, and employ people to sort the outgoing and incoming shipments.

Re:It helps Netflix to end Saturday delivery (0, Offtopic)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690052)

13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit 5 to those who ask him?" 14

Re:It helps Netflix to end Saturday delivery (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690126)

Short sighted.

It also means they are a slightly less attractive option to new customers.
Hey, maybe they just mean what they said?

I need saturday mail pickup (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689610)

Monday through Friday, I leave for work before our local Post Office opens and leave from work after it closes.

and I need sunday pickup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689672)

Same reason, except that I work for 6 days a week.

Or I guess I could settle with stocking up stamp (or printing it online) and droping it in the USPS drop boxes.

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689692)

So you can't shove your letters in the slot after hours?

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (2, Insightful)

apparently (756613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690070)

So you can't shove your letters in the slot after hours?

Yeah, that works really well for sending international mail or larger domestic packages.

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (1)

wesborgmandvm (893569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689752)

1st Netflix makes an agreement with Warner Studio's to delay the rental release of New Titles http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2010/03/blockbuster-gets-deal-that-netflix-redbox-couldnt.ars [arstechnica.com] now they want to save a few bucks and blame the USPS.

If the USPS has to cut a day of the week why not mid week (wed or thursday)?

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (2, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689912)

Because all the overpaid postal workers won't get a two day weekend, duh.

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690026)

Won't somebody think of the Newman [wikipedia.org] !

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689892)

Doesn't your office have outgoing mail? I don't know the practice in the USA but in the UK most places where I have worked have allowed employees to put private stamped letters in the company mail. Some also allow parcels if you take them to the post room.

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689896)

I agree. The USPS should work around my schedule.

Re:I need saturday mail pickup (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690174)

Move to Canada - many postal outlets open 7 days a week.

Cushy job they got (1)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690182)

Yeah! That shows how hard those postal people work! What, working bankers hours with good salary, bennies and only high school diploma! Priceless!

Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (5, Insightful)

enigma32 (128601) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689628)

Netflix benefits from less frequent mail delivery. (Lower costs for them)
Amazon loses big from less frequent delivery (I frequently choose them because I can have a package here before I'd have time to go get the item in Manhattan myself).

As for the postal service, I frequently find myself waiting in 20 minute lines, at any time of day, to pickup a package that they were incapable of delivering correctly to my residence. I'd love to see someone that has a clue about business run the postal service rather than it being run with the competence level of the DMV.

Keep the Saturday delivery or go the way of the dodo, guys. (add Sunday delivery and be super-cool)

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689788)

If the national post office was eliminated, we would have more private competition and a pretty decent chance of getting Sunday delivery. The newspaper comes on Sundays, why not the mail? They would also be more efficient while doing it. The level of service at the post office compared to UPS and Fedex is shockingly bad. Whenever I go into a UPS store there is little to no line.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (4, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689850)

Eliminating the national post office would require a Constitutional amendment. Delivering the mail is in the U.S. Constitution.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (4, Informative)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689946)

It would be a great first step if they simply removed the federal monopoly on first class mail. That certainly wouldn't require changing the Constitution.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690002)

Eliminating the national post office would require a Constitutional amendment. Delivering the mail is in the U.S. Constitution.

No, Congress is empowered to establish a post office, and post roads, but they are not obligated to do so. The USPS could be eliminated without an amendment, but I hope it wouldn't be.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689996)

I would love to see UPS try to do what the postal service is able to do for 43 cents.

And I would *much* rather see the price of a stamp increase by 16% than lose 16% of my mail service.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (3, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690086)

The level of service at the post office compared to UPS and Fedex is shockingly bad. Whenever I go into a UPS store there is little to no line.

I disagree. Any time I've ever had to use UPS I've gotten nothing but terrible service. Anywhere from boxes that look like someone was using them as punching bags (and the stuff inside being broken or damaged in some way), to packages being lost and delayed and the fact that they are too incompetent to just hold a package at the office so you can pick it up.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (4, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690096)

UPS isn't going to come to your house on a rural route in the backwoods of Kentucky and pick up a piece of shit you wrote, and put it on an airplane to Wyoming for $.44 . (credit to Jon Stewart for that quote). A properly functioning, reliable service that serves 100% of all residents everywhere is vital to a modern economy. Our post office is so good that the legal system considers proof of mailing (not delivery) as proof of service. Live in italy or mexico for 6 months, and you'll get some perspective.

Re:Neflix != Amazon, and postal service == bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689790)

Your argument is that people will leave Amazon for a different source. But to a degree, Netflix faces the same problem. Come Saturday, if I want a movie and don't have one, I have to go to another source. Get stuck paying twice enough times, I'm just going to drop Netflix.

How does this affect me again? (1)

microcars (708223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689630)

I cannot recall ever getting anything from AMAZON via USPS, it is always UPS.
what do they ship via USPS?

Re:How does this affect me again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689658)

I've always had the free super saver shipping come via USPS. Most everything else was UPS, esp if you are 'Prime' member. (oh I love thee free trials)

Re:How does this affect me again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689704)

I they use USPS for books, CDs, and DVDs. The rates for USPS media mail are considerably cheaper than for using UPS.

Re:How does this affect me again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689720)

Ever choose FREE Shipping? That always comes by USPS.
But I have never had a parcel from amazon, or any mail order delivered via USPS on Saturday. I thought they didn't do parcel delivery on saturdays.

Re:How does this affect me again? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689722)

Everything I have gotten the last 2 years is USPS. I usually get stuff with "free" super-saver shipping, often faster than UPS ground. USPS is great at small to medium boxes (large boxes seem to be more domain of UPS and FEDEX and we're talking 2ftx2ftx2ft at least). USPS also offers a special rate on books, DVDs, CDs, etcetera called Media Mail and the rate can't be beat - for example: a 2lb package across the country at Parcel Post is $8.09 and with Media Mail it's $2.77. Library Mail is even cheaper but restricted to institutions...

You also have to figure that on many products there are 3rd party vendors on Amazon and that they ship however they prefer with the shipping stipend Amazon gives them and they don't have the same UPS/Fedex deals Amazon has, so the USPS will be often the cheapest option to them by far.

Skip Wednesday instead (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689634)

It's generally their junk mail drop with just flyers and other non-addressed answers.

Re:Skip Wednesday instead (2, Insightful)

RotsiserMho (918539) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690120)

That stuff only comes on Wednesday because the backlog of mail from over the weekend has finally subsided by Wednesday. If they got rid of Wednesday delivery, you'd just get the same crap on Thursday.

A better solution (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689644)

Abolish the postal service completely. It is being subsidized by it's competitors FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Why should anyone have to subsidize there own competition? Oh, that's right the dumbocrats and rethuglicans prefer a large, communist style government rather than a constitutional government.

Re:A better solution (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689670)

In a communist State (there's never really been one that actually met the standard to be called that) there wouldn't BE a FedEx, UPS or DHL. Your point is moot.

Re:A better solution (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689806)

Thats what the dumbocrats and rethuglicans want you dipshit. So you're point is moot.

Re:A better solution (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689828)

The US Constitution, motherfucker! have you read it?

"Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads

; To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

Re:A better solution (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689886)

Delivery of mail is defined as a function of the Federal government in the U.S. Constitution.

Re:A better solution (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690060)

Abolish the postal service completely.

I don't think that's necessarily the way to go. However, as I understand it, Federal law is currently structured to give the USPS a monopoly [wikipedia.org] on letter delivery. The Congress has the power to change the law authorizing non-government entities from directly competing with the USPS in that area. If it did so, then the USPS would have to compete on its own merits and it would either fail or succeed on those merits. Either way, we win.

It is being subsidized by it's competitors FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Why should anyone have to subsidize there own competition?

I agree in principle, but I think you've got your facts mixed up. While we all subsidize the USPS whenever we buy postage stamps and the like, and if Congress authorizes additional subsidies to prop it up, FedEx et al are all in the same boat, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here

Oh, that's right the dumbocrats and rethuglicans prefer a large, communist style government rather than a constitutional government.

Except that same Constitution to which you are referring gives Congress the explicit authority to establish a Postal service. I agree the way it currently exists is braindead, but they have the authority to do it. Oh, and I thought Dumbo was an elephant.

I would make it even more drastic (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689648)

And just have alternating days. That way one postal worker can take care of two routes. Let's face it, mail is only going to decrease. So let them do M-W-F on Route 1 and T-Th-Sa on Route 2, and flip that the next week. Express mail can be an exception. Priority mail not so much, depending on logistics.

The USPS has been good to me and my internet business, so I'd prefer them to do well in return. IMO, this is the only way to really future proof the service. People will bitch but the rest of society just has to adapt, imo.

Re:I would make it even more drastic (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689906)

The less they deliver, the less I'm going to choose USPS Priority Mail as a shipping option. When I order something online I usually want it as soon as possible because its not something I can buy locally (otherwise I would have bought locally). I understand people look for bargains online and are willing to wait. However, I'm one of the individuals who uses online ordering out of convenience coupled with necessity. I'll just choose Fed Ex or UPS which will cause the USPS to lose even more business as I'm sure I won't be the only one.

Priority == First Class (1)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690072)

Remember, Priority Mail is just a marketing name for first class mail. There's no extra priority on it. It's just a marketing push to get people to send packages first class instead of 4th class.

Re:Priority == First Class (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690160)

".. send packages first class instead of 4th class."

Apparently there is an extra priority.

Did you even read what you wrote?

Re:Priority == First Class (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690214)

Priority Mail is NOT First Class. Priority Mail has a guaranteed 3-day delivery time in the continental US. First Class has no such guarantee. Trust me, you'll be quoted a different price for Priority vs First class.

As to 4th class - was that a joke?. It typically just goes from Priority, to First Class, Parcel Post, and then down to Letter Rate or Media Mail for items that qualify.

Re:I would make it even more drastic (2, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689908)

This makes the most sense to me, but I would add another exception - any mail that requires a signature, regardless of class, should be attempted on the next Saturday before requiring you to pick it up at the nearest post office. If it increases the cost of that particular service, that is fine with me.

That said I don't think it is necessary to go so far right now, but if they are going to drop a day, it should be any day but Saturday.

Beginning of the end (1)

immovable_object (569797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689652)

If the USPS stops saturday delivery, what's next? Monday?

Cutting back on the service is just the first step towards elimination of the service.

Rather than cutting service, I think it makes more sense to focus on the costs of USPS.

Perhaps consolidate mailboxes to centralized locations rather than individual delivery?

Re:Beginning of the end (-1, Flamebait)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689938)

If the USPS stops saturday delivery, what's next? Monday?

Cutting back on the service is just the first step towards elimination of the service.

Now we are getting somewhere.

Who runs this country? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689660)

Which corporation is going to win this battle?

Why not a weekday? (4, Interesting)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689668)

I would prefer to see them drop say Thursday deliveries and deliver Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat.

Re:Why not a weekday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689934)

Seconded. Or just drop Monday deliveries.

Re:Why not a weekday? (1)

Jaxim (858185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689944)

Agreed. I'd rather have them deliver the mail when I'm actually home in case I need to sign for the package.

Re:Why not a weekday? (1)

yakovlev (210738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689966)

I agree. I would much rather have two 1-day gaps in delivery than one 2-day gap.

Businesses might be the opposite, so it might make sense to deliver to businesses M-F and residential M-W, F-Sa.

BP to pay for Saturday delivery, loss in postcards (5, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689684)

USPS filed suit against BP last Saturday in an attempt to get BP to pay for USPS Saturday delivery. The reasoning proposed is with the decrease in tourism in the gulf states fewer vacationers are sending postcards north. BREAKING NEWS: Consortium of postcard manufacturers expresses interest in joining suit.

Re:BP to pay for Saturday delivery, loss in postca (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689744)

I just made a reservation for a campsite on a beach in Maryland. Your friendly neighbors from the north of the Potomac River would like to thank BP for all they're doing for helping you discover our beautiful state.

Just cut... (1)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689694)

the days bills come.

Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (0, Troll)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689718)

I love it... They demand access to an external service that directly profits them, but they then turn around and say they shouldn't have to support that service.

This cliche corporate attitude would be comical if it wasn't so harmful.

Do they think important services like the post are run by magical fairy slaves or something?

Re:Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689858)

Huh? I thought the cake was a lie?!

Re:Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689910)

How do you get the idea that Amazon does not pay postage (support the service that the post office provides them)?

Re:Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690094)

How do you get the idea that Amazon does not pay postage (support the service that the post office provides them)?

Which raises the question... why aren't they just going to raise postal rates for Saturday delivery? I mean... they *are* a business.

Re:Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (4, Insightful)

garyok (218493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690018)

Yes, because it's free to put things in the post.

Oh, wait... The Postal Service don't do it from the grace in their fairy slave hearts, they expect to get paid to deliver the goods, even on a Saturday?! Unless they pay the staff extra on a Saturday, then I can't see what USPS's problem is.

Dunno about the US, but in the UK about 40% (so I hear) of people are single and don't have anyone waiting in all week for a big parcel to arrive. Saturday's about the only day I can get a parcel delivered to my house. Any other day, and I have to wait a couple of days before collecting it from the depot a couple of miles away.

Re:Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (0)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690020)

What nitwit made this insightful?

Amazon is paying the USPS for delivery. As a customer, Amazon has every right to request that they not cancel Saturday delivery.

Re:Amazon wants their cake and eat it too... (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690110)

They pay for delivery (which also pays for gas) and they pay federal taxes. And on the other hand, they don't have buildings or employees in those states.

Bullshit. (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690230)

That remark in the summary was completely irrelevant to the story. The USPS is entirely self funding - it gets all its money from postage and none from taxes, including all the money spent to support sparse rural areas as mandated by law. Since postage is paid on every item Amazon ships they pay their fair share of it's operating costs just like everyone else who uses it.

Furthermore, I am paying taxes that pay for roads in my local state, Amazon is paying taxes that pay for roads where their warehouses are located, and gasoline taxes along the way are used to fund federal highway system. They are paying taxes on all the resources they use.

You can criticize me for not paying sales taxes I owe but tell me again why a company on the opposite side of the country should fund our local parks and schools?

Canada doesn't have any saturday deliveries (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689730)

Not Canada Post, not FedEx, not UPS, not DHL, not Purolator. Nobody delivers on saturday except pizzerias.

Who asked Amazon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32689786)

No one, James No One

Private Industry (4, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#32689792)

If Amazon wants Saturday delivery for its clients then it can continue to offer it using third parties like FedEx. That is what happens in the UK - you get letters six days a week but only parcels five days a week; if you want parcels on a Saturday then you have to pay a private company to do the delivery which Amazon EU/UK offers.

Amend Constitution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32690012)

Amend the Constitution with a clause that interstate transactions must be taxed! It is absolutely crazy that there is still no tax on these things. I'm pretty sure that the founding fathers didn't intend for people to order iPod's by catalog/phone/internet to avoid paying tax.

The extra tax income would fix sooo many problems in this country.

Be careful what you ask for? (-1, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690064)

It is funny, Amazon did actually propose this as a way to cut spending and now they are against it.

It's the entire dichotomy of the brains:
Q. American people, do you want to reduce the deficit?
A. Sure, we want to reduce the deficit, do it!
Q. American people, should we cut spending to do that?
A. Sure, cut spending, do it!
Q. American people, what should we cut out of the spending?
A. NOOOOTHING!!!!!

It's funny if it weren't so tragic. Deficit needs to be cut and debts needs to be reduced and repaid. But it will not be done, instead the country will be bankrupted and the USD will be destroyed via hyper-inflation. Same thing can happen to Euro, we'll see.

The government is always running as a huge pyramid scheme, the people who came in early, they paid the least into social security in absolute terms and in proportion to their salaries, and those people got to enjoy really hugely from the rest paying for them. People who came in late are facing much greater payments into the system in both, absolute and relative terms and will probably get very very little back out of the system and they will be forced to wait longer.

After all, people are living longer and the government didn't imagine that could happen. [firedoglake.com] -that's senator Alan Simpson saying exactly that.

So you see, government runs pyramid schemes EVEN if the money that is paid actually can be turned around to make profit, then the government just takes it out of that pot and uses it for whatever and then later says: tough shit.

This is of-course ludicrous, and a very good reason to privatize the Social Security so that the government couldn't do this to that pot, turn it into INSURANCE instead, but something that is not allowed to gamble with money. Something that can make money and not be used for anything other than its original purpose.

--

Now, it seems that my post is of-topic, but it isn't, sometimes it is necessary to provide a backdrop for a comment, something of a context.

Amazon wants something for nothing, it built a business based on Government Subsidies! Think about it for a moment. Government subsidizes the US post office, the Government makes it illegal for private companies to compete with the post office in certain ways, for example it is illegal for anybody to compete with the USPS in delivering the First Class Mail. So government created a monopoly, gives it subsidies and then some businesses figure out how to use these monopolies to their advantage. Then the businesses (Amazon in this case), decide that they don't want to carry some of the tax burden in certain states and they propose cuts in subsidies to the monopoly that helped them to become the business that it is. Then, when these cuts are proposed, Amazon all of a sudden is completely against them, because those cuts would eat into Amazon's profits just as well!

This entire situation is possible because Government got into economy, set up monopolies and then helped certain parasitic businesses that take advantage of the system to succeed. Then, because the government is still failing in economy (obviously), it ends up cutting the services and ends up hurting the bottom line of the business that rely on those monopolies to do what they do.

And the funny (from the outside) thing is how this business behaves itself, just like the rest of the American people:

Q. Amazon, can you pay some taxes here?
A. No way, we don't want to operate this way.
Q. Amazon, what should be we do about the spending problem and the deficit?
A. Cut your services.
Q. Amazon, we are going to cut the services, happy?
A. NOOOOOO!

--

The entire problem is that people and businesses want something for nothing. The governments figured this out and they run things accordingly and it helps them with elections/reelections/basically with their positions of power in the short term.

In the long term this cannot work, it becomes a pyramid and economy suffers, but people are so used to living this way, they can't imagine losing any of the quality of life they have enjoyed, this MUST be made someone else's problem, people/businesses don't want to pay for themselves.

This is called moral hazard, it gets ingrained into the psyche of people and this is the result of governments getting into economy and changing everyone's expectations but of-course failing at the end, because this is not an economically viable approach in the long term.

We are all guilty of complacency with the way things are, many cannot imagine that things can be done differently, this is called stagnation. Changes are imminent now, that this entire problem is unraveling. That's a huge part of the economic collapse that's still coming.

End mail delivery on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (4, Insightful)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690074)

Many USicans only have Saturdays free to run errands. Ending services on Saturday is a burden to them. Ending delivery on any other day of the week would be preferable.

Re:End mail delivery on Monday, Wednesday, or Frid (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690190)

I don't see how being free to ruin errands correlates to Saturday delivery.

It is so simple to solve this, but they will not. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690176)

I find it interesting that the USPS is SOOO slow in innovative thinking.

First off, the bulk of their costs is in the cities. Why? Because so many of the routes are door to door. Simply have that changed to large postal boxes.

Likewise, I found out that the majority of postal routes are about 25 miles. This is the IDEAL situation for companies that want to offer electric cars. Create a CJ type vehicle that gets about 40-50 miles on a charge (radio, heater, ac).

It is really sad how little thought goes into solutions here.

Saturday Delivery = Washington Monument Strategy (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690246)

The USPS has been periodically proposing to cancel Saturday delivery for years. It means they want something -- some subsidy, an increase in rates, whatever. In order to get what they want, they claim that as an alternative to getting it, they'll eliminate something highly visible and desired; Saturday delivery in this case. This ensures they'll get what they want.

This is called the Washington Monument strategy after the (possibly apocryphal) story of the National Park Service claiming that if it didn't get a certain budget increase it would have to cut costs by closing the Washington Monument.

Competition (1)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32690262)

I don't get it. If they are not satisfied with shipping company offer, they should just switch to another shipping company. Vote with wallet.

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