USPS Gives OK To Change Express Mail Classification Language

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The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors recently approved a recommend decision by the Post Rate Commission to institute new classification language to clarify that in certain circumstances Express Mail that ordinarily would be guaranteed for delivery in two days might instead be guaranteed for delivery on the "Second Delivery Day."

The PRC said that this situation generally occurs when the second day is a Sunday or Holiday and the destination post office does not deliver Express Mail on those days.

The June 30 decision was filed with the PRC on July 12. The classification changes became effective July 1.

The decision comes from a classification case the Postal Rate Commission instituted in April to clarify the term Express Mail Second Day service in response to a complaint from Douglas F. Carlson, an attorney and stamp aficionado in California, and by the U.S. Postal Service's answer to his complaint.

The case studied USPS adherence to the terms of the service under the agency's Domestic Mail Classification Schedule, the framework for classifying domestic mail categories and postal services and for setting postal rates and fees.

Douglas F. Carlson said in his Feb. 18, 2005, complaint that the agency curtailed its Sunday and holiday delivery for Express Mail Second Day and no longer provided adequate postal service on those days. He also claimed that the USPS: inappropriately reduced the delivery area for Saturday and eve of holiday acceptance of mail pieces; established a new type of Express Mail Second Day service without seeking a PRC advisory opinion; and provided misleading or inaccurate information. The USPS responded May 5, 2005, saying the complaint should be dismissed and that its actions involving Express Mail have been consistent with its statutory obligations and with the DMCS. Information provided to customers about Express Mail service is not misleading or inadequate overall, the USPS said.

On June 21, the PRC issued its recommended decision.

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