Letter: Forcing Mailers Into First Class Won't Benefit the Postal Service

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Though there is no legal or generally accepted definition of spam, I think the average consumer would agree that unsolicited e-mails sent to people with whom you have no prior relationship and who have not indicated an interest in your product or given you permission to solicit them by e-mail fall into that category.

Given that, how can the U.S. Postal Service say that home equity loans, pre-approved loans and pre-approved credit offers mailed to consumers who have no existing relationship with the soliciting company are personal mail? Does laser toner on paper confer a personal relationship unlike phone and Internet transmissions?

When the company is mailing existing customers and particularly if you are referencing their existing account(s), the USPS would have a basis for requiring First-Class rates. When soliciting new business from prospective customers, companies are trying to gain a personal relationship. Claiming that a company has a personal relationship with a prospective customer has no basis in fact and is completely inconsistent with USPS procedures and practices over the past 15 years.

The only ethical issue here is on USPS' side of the table. Deciding to force mailers to First Class instead of selling it on its merits will not benefit them in the long run. Maybe they should reread the fable about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Marcia Grau, Manager, account services, Chapman Data Services Inc.


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