CINCINNATI (WXIX) –The United States Postal Service has been seeing a decline in customers after recent mail thefts and postage increases have occurred over the years, according to Director for the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers Stephen Kearney.
Kearney, who worked for USPS for over 30 years, says people used to never worry about their mail making it to its final destination, but the increase in mail thefts and postage prices has made residents reduce their mail usage.
In March 2022, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office investigated more than 50 mail thefts. Deputies say thieves target the dropboxes because they look for mail with checks in them so the thieves can wipe out the ink and rewrite the check for a different amount for what it was originally intended.
In addition to mail thieves, the cost of the Forever Stamp has increased 32% since 2019. On July 9, the cost of the stamp increased for first-class mail from 63 cents to 66 cents, Kearney said.
“It’s making it more and more difficult for the postal service to convince people that the mail is safe, and you combine that with rate increases we’ve had, it’s really a lot of headwind that the postal service is facing right now,” Kearney said.
Kearney says the postal service is being too aggressive in raising the rates too rapidly.
Kearney adds that even nonprofits, who normally spend millions of dollars on postage, cannot afford the increase.
“Even in the short run, there are really negative impacts from these rates, but in the long run, the postal service needs volume,” Kearney said. “It needs volume to support a very large network, including the post offices that people don’t want closed in their neighborhood.”