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Chapter 1 Compliance with Statutory Policies
8. Stamped Stationery Classification: Docket No. MC2006-7
On August 24, 2006, the PRC instituted Docket No. MC2006-7 to receive and consider a request from the Postal Service to establish a classification and fee schedule for stamped stationery. In an accompanying order, in Docket No. C2004-3 (discussed below), the PRC held that all stamped stationery is a postal service and, therefore, must be defined in the DMCS with classifications and fees recommended by the PRC and approved by the Governors. Previously, the Postal Service treated certain types of stamped stationery as a nonpostal service with fees established independent of PRC purview. The PRC has established February 26, 2007, as the date the Postal Service must file its request.
9. Bookspan Corporation Negotiated Service Agreement: Docket No. MC2005-3
On July 14, 2005, the Postal Service filed a request for a PRC recommendation on rate and classification changes needed to implement a baseline NSA that the Postal Service had entered into with Bookspan. The NSA allows discounted rates for letters soliciting book club membership if Bookspan increases its volumes of such letters significantly. The Commission issued an Opinion and Recommended Decision on May 10, 2006, which the Governors approved on May 31, with implementation of the NSA on June 1.
10. Rate and Service Changes to Implement Functionally Equivalent Negotiated Service Agreement With Bank One Corporation: Docket No. MC2004-3
On June 21, 2004, the Postal Service filed a request with the PRC seeking a recommendation on rate and classification changes designed to implement a 3-year NSA between the Postal Service and Bank One Corporation (Bank One). The PRC considered the Bank One NSA request under its rules for NSAs which are functionally equivalent (structured similarly to that of an existing NSA). The Bank One NSA was proposed as functionally equivalent to the baseline NSA with Capital One. The PRC issued an Opinion and Recommended Decision on December 17, 2004, which recommended changes to implement the NSA with Bank One, but placed a “stop-loss” cap on discounts available under the agreement, similar to the cap recommended for the Capital One NSA. On February 16, 2005, the Governors allowed the recommended rate and fee changes under protest, and returned the Opinion and Recommended Decision to the PRC for reconsideration, specifically to address the need for a cap on discounts. Implementation of the NSA, as recommended by the PRC, occurred on April 1, 2005.
On May 16, 2005, the Postal Service filed a Memorandum on Reconsideration which included three declarations discussing pertinent factual issues. On August 23, 2005, the PRC issued Order No. 1443 in which it declined to reopen the record to consider the declarations and requested comments on reconsideration based upon the existing record. On September 14, 2005, JP Morgan Chase & Co., a successor company to Bank One, petitioned the PRC to reopen the record. In Order No. 1450 (January 6, 2006), the PRC again declined to reopen the record.
Subsequently, the Postal Service and JP Morgan filed comments on reconsideration.
On April 21, 2006, the PRC issued its Opinion and Further Recommended Decision against changing the Bank One NSA classification, finding that the record supported imposition of a stop-loss cap on discounts. The PRC also responded to the Governors’ request for explicit guidance on several topics, including the conditions and proof necessary for the PRC to recommend a NSA incorporating declining-block discounts to stimulate new volume without a cap. The PRC also outlined a financial model for developing and analyzing such NSAs that relies on the demand characteristics of the type of mail eligible for the proposed discounts, rather than estimates provided by the mailer.
11. Denial of General Delivery Service Complaint: Docket No. C2006-1
On April 24, 2006, the PRC accepted for filing as a complaint (Docket No. C2006-1) the petition of a private individual, who claimed to have no permanent address and accordingly asserted a right to indefinite general delivery service. The complaint closely tracked a previous complaint case, Docket No. C99-2. Postal regulations provide that general delivery service is intended primarily as a temporary option. As late as the early 1990s, general delivery service in city delivery offices was expressly limited to 30 days. More recently, however, the Postal Service has provided indefinite delivery service for homeless customers, who often are unable to afford a Post Office box and do not have a residence that qualifies for carrier delivery service. Upon investigating the complainant’s situation, it appeared that some Post Offices had provided him indefinite general delivery service, while others had not. The Postal Service does occasionally terminate general delivery service when it becomes aware that a customer is eligible for or obtaining free delivery by some other method, such as carrier delivery or through a Post Office box. Since the Postal Service was unable to identify any other free delivery option available to the complainant, arrangements were made to provide him indefinite general delivery service at the Post Office of his choice. On this basis, the Postal Service moved for dismissal of the complaint, which the Commission granted in Order No. 1471, on July 11, 2006.
12. Complaint on Express Mail: Docket No. C2005-1
On February 18, 2005, a complaint was filed alleging that the Postal Service’s provision of Express Mail service violated the Postal Reorganization Act in several ways. Most of the complainant’s grounds revolved around the provision of Express Mail service on Sundays and holidays, and on the days preceding Sundays and holidays. The complainant also alleged that the Postal Service provided misleading information to the public concerning its Express Mail service, and that it uses unfair and inefficient acceptance practices. The Postal Service denied the complainant’s allegations that its provision of Express Mail service violated the act. On April 18, 2006, the PRC issued an order dismissing the complaint, though in a concurrent order the Commission initiated Docket No. MC2006-4 (discussed above) for the limited purpose of clarifying the DMCS language pertaining to the provision of Express Mail second-day service.