Mailers Ask Court to Deny USPS Motion

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A group of direct mail stakeholders submitted a document to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today stating its opposition to the U.S. Postal Service's motion to have a court stay its first scheduled report on the effects of exigency.

In its December decision approving the 4.3% exigent rate hike, the PRC qualified that the increase should stay in effect only until losses the Postal Service suffered due to the Great Recession were recovered, a period it estimated at about two years. In that regard, it required USPS to report incremental revenue generated by the special increase 30 days after each quarter. The first report is due on Wednesday. A further proposal for the eventual removal of the exigent increase is due from USPS on Thursday.

Noting that the Postal Service's motion to the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. does not satisfy any of four criteria for such a stay set down by settled law, the mailers' group further took issue with the timing of the request.

“The Postal Service was on notice four months ago that the compliance reports at issue would be due on April 30 and May 1,” reads the mailers' submission. “The Postal Service knew from the outset the nature of the purported data limitations that it now asserts as a purported justification for its motion. Yet the Postal Service chose to withhold its stay motion until one week before the filing deadlines—too late for the Commission to give reasoned consideration to the motion.”

The opposition letter was filed by a coalition of 16 private companies and industry associations including The American Catalog Mailers Association, the Association of Marketing Service Providers, the Direct Marketing Association, RR Donnelley, and Valpak.

“The Commission is charged with regulating the Postal Service, and the Postal Service must understand that it cannot pick and choose which of the Commission's orders it will comply with,” continued the doctument. “The Commission should take this opportunity to reassert its regulatory authority.”

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