Phone Script/Talking Points

Responding to Customer Questions

Please explain why postage prices increase.

The cost of doing business — things like fuel, transpor­tation, utilities, labor, and health care benefits — has con­tinued to increase. In addition, we are adding 1.6 million new delivery addresses each year. You might be surprised to know that Postal Service™ operations are not sub­sidized by tax dollars. We rely on the sale of postal prod­ucts and services to cover our operating costs.

Tell me about the new prices.

First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail® rate changes are designed to encourage more-efficient mail preparation. Customers can save postage by reconfiguring material intended for large envelopes into letter-size envelopes, and packages into large envelopes.

The single-piece First-Class Mail 1-ounce letter price is going up 2 cents to 41 cents.

The single-piece First-Class Mail letter price for each additional ounce decreases 7 cents to 17 cents.

The First-Class Mail postcard rate is going up 2 cents to 26 cents.

Priority Mail

The major change to Priority Mail® is the addition of dimensional-weight pricing used to account for transporta­tion costs, which are based on how much space an item occupies in air transportation. Dimensional-weight pricing applies only to Priority Mail items larger than 1 cubic foot capacity and traveling to destinations in Zones 5–8.

The current “balloon” (minimum) rate will remain for local and Zones 1–4, but no longer applies to Zones 5–8. The minimum price for balloon-rate items will be the appro­priate 20-pound price.

The price for Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelopes continues to be the same as the 1-pound price, $4.60.

The price for Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes will be $9.15.

Express Mail

The price for the Express Mail® Flat-Rate Envelope continues to be the same as the 1/2-pound price. There will be a new 1-pound price of $19.50. The Post Office to Addressee price is $16.25.

When will the new prices take effect?

The price increases will go into effect Monday, May 14.

Can I purchase new stamps early and avoid long lines at the Post Office?

New 41-cent First-Class Mail stamps will be available starting May 14. You can now purchase 1-cent and 2-cent stamps to add to 39-cent stamps to make up the new 41–cent First-Class Mail 1-ounce letter rate.

The Postal Service is issuing two nondenominated stamps, the Forever Stamp™ and the American Flag stamp, to reduce the inconvenience of consumers having to acquire new-price postage or “make-up” stamps (1-cent and 2-cent stamps) prior to the implementation of new prices. The Forever Stamp will initially be sold at the new First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter rate, 41 cents, but its “value” will always be the First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter rate that is in effect on the day of use (mailing), unaffected by any future price changes.

Additional postage will need to be affixed to letters weighing in excess of 1 ounce, letters subject to the non­machinable surcharge, or mailpieces subject to another postage price (e.g., large envelopes or packages).

The Forever Stamp will be available April 12 in booklets of 20 for $8.20. It will also be available beginning May 14 from our Automated Postal Centers® (APCs®) and at select automated teller machines (ATMs) in sheetlets of 18 for $7.38.

Customers still need to prepare for the May 14 change, just as they have for previous price adjustments.

Buy stamps as early as possible. There are many con­venient options to purchase stamps — at, by phone at 1-800-STAMP24, by mail, and at Post Offices through retail lobby vending equipment.

Can the Forever Stamp be used on international mail?

Any nondenominated stamps (except those that bear unique markings, such as First-Class Presort, Nonprofit Organization) may be affixed to items that are sent to for­eign countries. The postage value of such stamps is linked to its appropriate domestic rate (e.g., the Lady Liberty and U.S. Flag stamp has a postage value of 39 cents). The post­age value of the Forever Stamp is always the domestic First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter rate that is in effect on the day of use (mailing). Since the international postage rates are always higher than the comparable domestic rates, additional postage would have to be affixed.

Can I exchange my 39-cent postage stamps for new 41cent stamps?

No. Unless mistakes were made when originally purchased, or stamps were defective when purchased, adhesive stamps are not exchangeable or refundable. You can use 1–cent and 2-cent stamps to make up the difference.

Will the fees for Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) change?

The enrollment (application) fee will remain $10, but the weekly shipment fee will increase to $11.95 each week. The new weekly fee applies only to customers initially enrolling (or extending) and paying on or after Monday, May 14.

What are the changes for Extra Services?

There are several changes to Extra Services, including:

Will international mail services change?

Yes. The entire international product line will be stream­lined to more closely align our international products with their domestic counterparts. Effective with the domestic changes Monday, May 14, the eight current international products will be merged into four by combining products with overlapping service standards and prices.

Some of the highlights of this realignment include:

Product enhancements of this realignment include the use of domestic packaging supplies, the popular flat-rate envelope option in Express Mail International, the addition of flat-rate box options and flat-rate envelope options to Priority Mail International. Also, we will offer more-specific delivery time and tracking information to major destinations.

In general terms, the prices for international products will increase an average of 13 percent.

For additional information about the pricing changes, please visit