Consumers all across Kentucky are about to be penalized by the United States Postal Service. Why? Because the USPS has already implemented plans that will soon close every major automated mail-processing facility in the state!
And despite what postal officials put on their briefing charts to Congress, here in the real world, when processing facilities close, it takes longer for your mail to be delivered.
Not that long ago, the US Post Office moved our local SCF bulk mail-processing center from London to Knoxville. Mail processing times locally went from 1 day to 2- 3 days officially. But what really happened? “Hundreds of area customers have called and canceled their subscription. I have multiple customers complaining it takes them a week to get their mail now,” said Mollie Hale, circulation manager at the Mountain Advocate in Barbourville.
Sadly, it’s not just newspapers that are impacted. The local utility company tells me they also have seen the number of customers paying late increase dramatically since the processing center moved to Knoxville.
Longer mail processing times hurt everyone. They can cause your credit card payment, utility bill, or other mailed payment to be late. And we all know how expensive late fees, late charges and interest penalties are, especially to folks on a fixed income and who can’t afford or have no access to broadband Internet service. Legal clients and their attorneys also are at risk if mail is not delivered promptly.
Still, the USPS has already stripped automated mail processing equipment from a lot of other cities besides London. Bowling Green, Glasgow and others have been closed. My newspaper colleagues there say they saw similar results.
Now the plan is to completely “gut” Kentucky of any processing centers. Lexington’s functions will go to Cincinnati, Ohio. Louisville mail will ship to Evansville in Indiana for processing.
That’s why I and several other Kentucky Press Associate leaders traveled to Washington, DC last week. We explained this to staff members in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office, Congressman Hal Rodgers and his staff, and to staff for Congressman Ed Whitfield exactly how this will hurt Kentucky.
They asked us to get “specific examples.”
So, I am asking for your help. Can you send me a “specific example” of when your mail was delivered multiple days after the postmark? Has late delivery cost you money? Is timely mail service important? What do you think?