Stamp of disapproval (Part 2)

I’ve thought some more on our friends at the post office canceling Saturday delivery. The more I think about it the less I like it. I need to stop thinking.

In a recap from Part 1, I don’t like that the post office wants to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. The big companies and corporations won’t care, but small business depends on mail. No Saturday delivery means a three-day gap from Friday to Monday delaying checks, contracts and other financial mail we depend on. Throw in regular Monday holidays (and the occasional times Christmas, New Year’s and the 4th of July fall on Mondays), and you create several four-day gaps.

But you know what? It occurred to me that there is one type of business out there that is probably dancing for joy at the post office’s plans. And that’s every credit card company in existence.

Having one less day of mail delivery makes a huge increase in the number of payments that will now start arriving past their due dates, incurring a late fee. If for whatever reason your check doesn’t get to your company on a Friday, they’re not going to see that envelope at least till Monday. I can almost hear the cha-ching! of bean counters at the credit card companies now as they rack up additional thousands of dollars in new late fees.

I’m not unsympathetic to the post office. I know they need to cut back somewhere, because technology is changing the entire concept of things being sent in paper envelopes. But as I noted last time, it would be nice for once if a change like this didn’t make things harder for small business.

This time, though, it’s worse; it’s not a government change that only hurts the little guys.

This time, it’s a change that gives a huge bonus to the big guys.

A.J.

COMMENTS

  1. Ralph J Boumenot wrote:

    I hope that I’m not wrong on this, but I think it’s the post mark on the envelope that determines whether or not it’s late. So if the envelope gets there “past due” as long as the postmark is “on time”, you’re ok. If not, you’re right and the big guys win again.

  2. Michael wrote:

    I’ve got mixed feelings about cancelling Saturday delivery. On the one hand, no checks coming in to my business. On the other hand, no bills coming in to pay.

    However, I’m also one of the reasons they are cancelling Saturday delivery. I’ve stopped 95% of of my promotional business mailings over the last few years, and even pay all of my credit cards and most other bills on-line and get instant confirmation that they’ve been paid. No more worries that something is lost or delayed in the mail, and no more late fees.

    We’re both about the same age, so it’s not an age thing, it’s just a serious shift in the way lots of people are doing things now.

    Even have 2 clients who don’t own a checkbook any more. They have an on-line service where they enter some data, and the company prints and mails out the check for them. My clients say that it saves them an enormous amount of time.

    Bottom line is that the huge increases in what the Post Office charges, together with faster, safer, and much more convenient technology has led to a sharp drop in the number of pieces the Post Office processes. That, plus their rising cost structure has put them in a bad financial box that will be tough if not impossible to get out of.

    I just hope for everyone’s sake that they figure this out and don’t have to keep cutting further.

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