June 18, 2020
In a ten-page order issued June 16, the Postal Regulatory Commission took no action to stop USPS from ending its Customized Postage program. As the Postal Service tightened the rules governing allowable content in recent years, the demand for custom stamps dropped, licensed providers dropped out, and lawsuits filed by those not allowed to print their topics grew. It’s the classic example of the USPS as self-regulator putting its own innovative product out of business. USPS needs to be creative to engage people and organizations in mail.
The Alliance filed comments supporting the Stamps.com point of view that nonprofit mailers can benefit from using custom stamps to increase response rates and extend their brand recognition. An earlier regulatory change by USPS had essentially ruled out nonprofit content.
Commissioner Mark Acton expressed his support for Customized Postage and his hope that they be revived as Forever Stamps in the future:
As an ardent PhotoStamp consumer, I continue to believe there is a vital marketplace for this product. Indeed, my latest PhotoStamp purchase was met with word that “due to overwhelming demand, some orders may be delayed.” It is my hope that one day soon, perhaps when the Postal Service is at last returned to a level of fiscal health, USPS management may revive the Customized Postage program –and as Forever stamps.