USPS clarifies cancelled research project on potential service standard changes, says survey was seriously flawed, presented an unrealistic scenario

WASHINGTON , March 23, 2012 (press release) – The Postal Service conducted market survey research related to potential service standard changes. A questionnaire used in the fall of 2011 asked business customer respondents about a scenario that would never be implemented at the same time.

Specifically, the survey asked whether business customer respondents would lessen their use of the mail if the Postal Service immediately imposed price increases, service standard changes, altered delivery frequency, realigned its network of mail processing facilities and other actions. Any such contemplated actions, if implemented, would be done so over a phased, five-year time horizon, providing adequate time for planning.

The survey additionally failed to ask basic questions about whether businesses were planning to change their mailing behaviors in absence of any such actions by the Postal Service.

Upon review of the initial study results, the study’s design was deemed to be seriously flawed. The research project was cancelled at that time and a new survey was conducted.

The Postal Service clarified these issues as part of testimony delivered this week at the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, the Postal Service was ranked number one in overall service performance, out of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, Oxford Strategic Consulting. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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