Package promotions were supported by a revised program with new “Rethink Your Shipping” television and print materials that featured new pricing incentives and noted that postal shipping services contain no surcharges. The Postal Service effectively promoted expedited shipping solutions for holiday shipping by emphasizing the value and convenience of extra delivery days during the holidays that include weekend delivery.
The Postal Service also established a dedicated sales team to handle a growing international mail market. This team provides customers with up-to-date support on all aspects of international mail and collaborates with these customers to help them expand their overseas business through mail.
Privacy and Security
For the fourth year in a row, consumers ranked the Postal Service as the most trusted government agency for privacy, according to an annual survey by the Ponemon Institute. Over 86 percent of those surveyed ranked the Postal Service first among federal agencies when it comes to protecting their personal information. The Postal Service’s score also increased for the fourth consecutive year.
The Postal Service continued to upgrade existing privacy and data security protections by updating information security requirements and data management procedures. Mandatory privacy training increased employee awareness of privacy policies and employee responsibilities for protecting sensitive information. IT security upgrades included improved system access controls, full-disk encryption for laptops and applications containing sensitive data, and increased security for automatic and business-to-business file transfers.
The Postal Service continued to take a national leadership role in protecting consumers and fighting fraud. The marketing industry recognized the Postal Inspection Service’s 2SMRT 4U campaign with a Silver Effie award for encouraging teens to practice safe online habits. The campaign was created with the help the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Teen Vogue, and the advertising agency Campbell-Ewald.
During National Consumer Protection Week, the Postal Service joined with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to warn Americans about fraudulent financial schemes and identity theft. The Postal Service, financial institutions, and consumer advocacy groups, formed the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness, to combat check scams through the mail. The Postal Service produced a comprehensive brochure on identity theft, providing consumers with essential tips for safeguarding their identity and recommendations for what to do if they have been victimized. The brochure noted that according to a recent FTC study, when the source of the crime was known to the victim, only 2 percent of reported identity thefts were connected to stolen mail. The Postal Service also worked closely with law enforcement to promote use of the national Financial Crimes database to increase the effectiveness of prosecution of identity theft and identity fraud crimes.
In February 2008, every household in America received a letter from the Postmaster General providing advice for protecting against identity theft. The FTC’s comprehensive brochure, “Fighting Back Against Identity Theft,” was included in the mailing.
Postal Service products are offered through a domestic network of more than 36,000 Post Offices, stations, branches, and contract postal units, and delivered to every address in the United States and worldwide through the networks of foreign postal administrations.
The Postal Act of 2006 divided postal products and services into two distinct categories — market dominant (referred to as mailing services) and competitive (referred to as shipping services). Different rules for each category allow the Postal Service to bring new products and services to market more quickly, with greater pricing flexibility. The Postal Act results in annual price changes for the mailing services products.
Price changes for mailing services require at least a 45-day notice, and the Postal Service has committed to providing a 90-day notice. Price changes on average for any class of mail within mailing services may not exceed the rate of inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for the previous 12 months. Price changes for shipping services require at least a 15-day notice for individual customer prices and a 30-day notice for market-wide prices for which the Postal Service has committed to providing a 60-day notice. Price changes for shipping services must produce sufficient revenue above a price floor that covers attributable costs and, for shipping services as a whole, an appropriate share of institutional costs.
Mailing services represent about 89 percent of all revenue. These services include First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Standard Mail, single-piece Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, Library Mail, single-piece International Mail, and Special Services such as Delivery Confirmation, Certified Mail, and Post Office Box service. Mailing services price changes took effect May 12.