Hall of Shame #3: Do As I Say And Not As I Do

I recently bought postage stamps from the USPS website.  Shipping and handling cost me a buck but it was very convenient, and I know the USPS can use the cash.  The USPS could have put my 2 oz. stamps in a nice 6×9 envelope as a 2 oz. letter for $.61 in postage and made a nice $0.39 profit.  It didn’t.

Defying its own shape-based rates, the USPS put my 4×5 inch packet of stamps in a 9×12 envelope making it a flat, and included a heavy cardboard backer that pushed it up an ounce as well (to help it run through the flat-sorting equipment???).  Grand total in postage?  $1.22.  So after collecting my dollar in S&H, the post office sold me stamps at a $0.22 loss.

Granted, the USPS probably doesn’t charge itself what it charges you and me to send that 9×12 envelope, though perhaps it should.  And I’m sure there’s a very good reason why the USPS chose a mailing solution that that contradicts its own shape-based mandate and puts its image as a role model for the rest of us at risk.  Um, right?

– Sari McConnell at smcconnell@conformer.com

About Sari McConnell

Sari oversees strategic partnership opportunities and heads up Conformer’s San Francisco office. Sari was formerly the managing director of a venture-backed music and multimedia agency in San Francisco and New York. She began her career in brand management at Hallmark Cards, Clorox, and LeapFrog. Sari is an appointed member of the Bay Area Regional Council of Northwestern University and is an active volunteer at her children’s schools. She received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and her B.A. from Northwestern University as well.
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