DMA, Postcom Rip Higher Increase for Media Mail

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The Direct Marketing Association and the Association for Postal Commerce urged the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors last week to reconsider the Postal Rate Commission's Media Mail rate recommendation as part of the current rate case.

The governors meet in closed session Nov. 16 in Washington to discuss the postal rate recommendation. The PRC approved a 5.4 percent across-the-board postage rate increase Nov. 1, but with some exceptions. The board likely will approve it Nov. 16 and choose a Jan. 16 implementation date.

The DMA and Postcom sent letters to board chairman James Miller on Nov. 10 stating that the PRC rejected the across-the-board settlement rates and instead recommended a 12.7 percent increase for Media Mail.

Postcom said this increase has dire consequences for the USPS as well as Postcom members who use Media Services to deliver educational and instructional products to consumers and educational institutions.

"We do not ask that the case be remanded to the commission; we recognize that other considerations make this outcome impractical," Postcom's letter said. "We do believe that it is both necessary and proper for the governors to accept the proposed increase under protest in order to make clear that something is seriously amiss with the commission's decision."

The board can approve the PRC recommendations, allow them under protest, or reject them.

Postcom also said that the "governors must also recognize that responsibility for this disproportionate and irrational rate increase does not entirely lie with the [PRC]: For more than 30 years, the USPS has simply ignored the needs and concerns of [Media Mail] mailers and has made no effort to modernize this service. That indifference to a small but important subclass cannot be permitted to continue."

The DMA's letter said that though it supports the PRC's recommended decision, the decision includes some rate recommendations that are inconsistent with the USPS request.

"In particular, the commission has recommended an increase for Media Mail in the amount of 12.7 percent -- more than twice the increase sought by the [USPS] and more than twice the increase recommended by the PRC for First Class or Standard Mail. The DMA respectfully requests that the [governors] not accept this recommendation and that they request reconsideration of the recommended rate for Media Mail."

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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