Poll: Do You Still Use the Post Office?

Mailing a letter just got more expensive, due to a USPS price increase on stamps and certain services to offset financial woes. Do you still use the post office? Take the poll.

On a recent afternoon, a few of people milled around inside the Elmwood post office, waiting their turn to approach the single cashier — who was bundled up in a coat and hat behind the counter. One customer asked why the heating wasn't on. Another marveled at how quiet it was for a post office at lunchtime. A third said he couldn't remember the last time he mailed anything — other than an email.

The dwindling popularity of the United States Postal Service (USPS) has led to a number of cutbacks and branch closures in recent years. Now, for the first time in two-and-a-half years, USPS has increased the cost of stamps to help generate much-needed revenue.

“The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” said USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in a press release.

The price changes went into effect Sunday, Jan.22. The new costs include:

  • Letters (1 oz.): 1-cent increase to 45 cents
  • Postcards: 3-cent increase to 32 cents
  • Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 oz.): 5-cent increase to 85 cents.
  • Letters to other international destinations: 7-cent increase to $1.05

Prices will also change for other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services, according to the USPS. Express and Priority Mail prices won't be affected, according to a news release. More information on the new USPS pricing can be found here.

The agency is facing a projected $238-billion deficit over the next decade, and is considering closing more post offices as well as cutting Saturday and over-night mail delivery. In 2011, USPS saw a 21 percent decline in mail compared to 2007 and lost more than $5 billion in revenue, according to the agency's financial report.

Do you still use the post office? If so, what for? If not, why not? Take the poll and let us know in the comments how your habits and needs have changed.

Lou Judson January 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Still the cheapest way to send anything, I send CDs to clients (I'm an audio producer) regularly. Letters, not so much.
Colleen Cowles January 23, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I use our post office at least 1-2 times a month. Sometimes to pick up pretty stamps fpr mailing letters to give a certain look to the item I am mailing, and sometimes because I want to send an item certified. I enjoy going into our post office because it gives me a snapshot look at the who the residents and business people are in my town. Since the post office is located right in the coffee shops and local small businesses here on Solano, I combine the trip with other stops. Also speaking for my dad and other elders I know, the post office seems to be used more frequently than the younger friends because they don't access computers (and sometimes ATMs) to buy stamps, and the mailing of a letter verseses emailing a letter is still their lifestyle. I know my dad still goes to their local postoffice to bump into neighbors and catch up on the local (unprinted) news. PS-tax day I have a lot of last minute company at the post office.
Constance Wiggins January 23, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I use the post office regularly to buy stamps, mail packages, pick up packages. It is in the constitution that the US should have a post office and I think tax payers should pay for the convenience and reliability. I still enjoy getting letters and cards from just about anybody and like to see my postman whenever I can. Why would we want to do away with all those jobs? Plus, I like stamps.
Anne January 23, 2012 at 06:37 PM
With now-grown "kids" and grandchildren living all over the world, sending cards, letters, and gifts by USPS is THE best and least expensive way ! E'mail is wonderful, BUT it's hard to post an e'mail on your mirror or take an e'mail to school to share with classmates !
Pat Shechter January 23, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I still use the post office / postal service regularly to mail packages to my sister who lives in Seattle,as well as to mail books & cds to people in online "swap" groups. The postal service is still less expensive than either UPS or FedEx, & is still just as convenient.
Shelby Sampson January 23, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I can see how it wouldn't be necessary any more, but, at 72, I have a post office habit in place, and hope the PO stays around so I can continue to use it. I should add that I am a daily email, social network user -- it often seems like that is replacing the telephone.
Leilah January 23, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I use the PO on probably a bi-monthly basis, for stamps, mailing heavier than one-stamp envelopes and boxes, overnight deliveries and the occasional money order. It would be devastating to lose the local PO and, particularly, the USPS.
Mona Reeva January 27, 2012 at 05:17 PM
While I find a number of postal workers irritable in their non service oriented attitudes, perhaps overwork, lack of adequate staff, etc, I still find the postal rates the least expensive and the delivery, quite reliable. I will definitely continue to use this service. I just learned that the US postal service must reimburse Congress (the budget) in millions of dollars which might explain their continued lack of resources. Most governments underwrite their postal service since it continues to be central to communication between people, even with all other forms of communication. Only in the US are we unwilling to do so.
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