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The DMA Supports USPS s Endorsement Of Recommended Rate Settlement
Applauds USPS Commitment to Hold Off on Next Rate Increases Until 2004,
NEW YORK, April 9, 2002 - The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today supported the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors’ approval of the rate case settlement between the United States Postal Service and the mailing community. It also applauded Postmaster General John Potter’s reiterated commitment to avoid any new rate increases until 2004.
"While we are never pleased when rates increase, we are gratified that the mailing community, the Postal Service, and the Postal Rate Commission could work together to reach this settlement agreement," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA.
The rate increases in the settlement agreement are set to be implemented on June 30, 2002. This will be the third round of increases in 18 months. Increases were implemented in January and July 2001.
"It is also my hope that this round of increases – coupled with the PMG’s commitment to hold off the next rate hikes until 2004 – will buy us time to achieve needed legislative reforms," said Wientzen.
"We are also optimistic about the Postal Service's ‘Transformation Plan,’ which was submitted to Congress last week. But even under a best-case scenario, the plan can only push the edge of a 30-year-old legislative envelope," added Wientzen.
"A permanent fix to the Postal Service’s problems through legislative reform is still critical to the long-term viability of the Postal Service. Otherwise, continual price increases will lead to continual declines in mail volume, and the Postal Service will likely price itself out of business," said Wientzen.
"It is our hope that today’s decision will help to provide some financial stability to the Postal Service and that future postal rate increases, which would impede economic recovery, can be avoided for as long as possible," said Wientzen.
The USPS Board of Governors today also moved to seek a supplemental $779.8 million appropriation for fiscal year 2003 from Congress. The additional monies would be spent on homeland security and bio-hazard detection and protection.
"It is unfortunate that the ramifications of the events of September 11th have the potential to still affect the Postal Service’s bottom line, however, Congress needs to support the Postal Service’s efforts to provide a safe and reliable delivery service to the American people. The cost associated with this effort should not be borne solely by the postage ratepayers," said Wientzen.
Lastly, the USPS Board of Governors also reported that Standard A mail volume for the second quarter is down by one billion pieces compared the same period one year ago.
"Although the upcoming June 30 rate increases may continue to have a negative impact on the volume of all mail, we expect that volume could pick up with a rebound in the economy and the Postmaster General’s pledge to avoid new rate increase," said Wientzen.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.86 trillion in 2001, including $118 billion in catalog sales and $30 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.
CHARTS SHOWING DETAILED PERCENTAGE CHANGES IN VARIOUS CLASSES OF POSTAGE RATES ARE AVAILABLE. TO VIEW THESE CHARTS, GO TO:
First Class Comparison:
Standard Rate Comparison: