Thursday, August 27, 2009

Post Office to Not Deliver Junk Mail for a Fee

Plagued by slumping revenue, the U.S. Postal Service will soon be testing out a new service: not delivering junk mail.

The financially troubled agency has struggled to maintain its market share against competitors such as Fed Ex and UPS. But it's the increasing use of e-mail that has taken the biggest chunk of revenue over the last decade.

The marketing of the new service even echoes the vocabulary used for e-mail. "Tired of junk mail? Have enough credit cards? Tired of being addressed as "John Smith or resident of 215 Maple Drive?" For just $15 per month the Post Office will filter your mail and send it to the trash without it even getting to your mailbox."

The Post Office has also contemplated other cost cutting measures such as eliminating Saturday delivery, but the reaction was mostly negative.

Of course, there is the risk that companies that send junk mail may choose to not do so if their mail never reaches the intended recipient. But the Post Office is hoping that the money from the subscribers will more than offset any decrease in junk mail revenue. Although they will not be releasing figures on how many people sign up for the program, a consultant hired by agency said that they were hoping it could raise $200 million annually.

As with e-mail, the postal service will retain the junk mail for a limited period of time -- probably around two months -- and customers can request that it be delivered or pick it up.

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