Postal Changes

No mail on Saturday? No problem.

At least that seems to be the general consensus in Warren when it comes to the United States Postal Service’s proposed cut of Saturday mail delivery. The proposed cut stands to save the USPS around $2 billion a year and would take effect starting in August. USPS market research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day mail.

Despite the fact that most mail will likely take two days longer to be delivered as well as two days longer to receive, if mailed on a Thursday or Friday, residents in Warren County don’t seem to mind at all.

“I just receive residential mail,” said Terry Pearson of Warren, “I have a Post Office Box and a lot of the time I don’t even come down on Saturdays to check my mail anyways.”

Sherry Curry still pays her bills in the mail using a check, yet doesn’t have any concerns that the added time for delivery will negatively affect her. “It’s not a problem. I just send my payment out on the day I receive the bill,” Curry said of the estimated two day delay in receiving and sending mail. “I don’t even pick up my mail everyday and usually never on a Saturday.”

For residents who aren’t as timely with their bills or are concerned that the two-day delay will affect their ability to mail a letter or parcel on a deadline, the Postal Service has options.

“Obviously, you’re adding on two days to delivery since there will be no Saturday or Sunday mail,” said Tad Kelley of the USPS. “However, first-class parcels and packages will still be delivered on Saturday. In addition to that, express mail is still delivered seven days a week. If you need something delivered there are still opportunities to do that.”

This response has further relieved residents who had any qualms with the new proposed system of mail delivery.

“I was under the assumption that the Post Office would be closed completely on Saturday,” Katie Walker explained. “I was only concerned because of the sporadic hours at the Russell branch, which is closed for two hours from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. If the Post Office is still open (on Saturday), just not delivering mail, I can still go in and get my mail out of my P.O. Box.”

While some people in the country have voiced their displeasure due to subscriptions to online services such as the Netflix DVD program, residents in Warren County don’t seem to share that concern.

“I just use the online streaming version of Netflix,” explained Sarah Harris, who is able to play the popular service through her Xbox. “It’s more convenient and I don’t have to wait for the mail.” Harris also takes advantage of online bill payments that draw directly from her account rather than sending a payment in the mail.

According to a 2011 study by the research firm Fiserv, online payments have risen from 13% in 2002 to 50% in 2011 while check payments sent via mail have decreased from 61% in 2002 to just 23% in 2011. This change indicates that far less people will be affected by the switch to five day mail than in 2002.