WASHINGTON — Attendees to the usually orderly Mailers Technical Advisory Committee reception here at the National Postal Museum were greeted last night with a banner that, among other things, included a drawing of a postal official using a vacuum to suck money out of a man's wallet.
Bewildered postal officials and major mailers entering the event also given T-shirts and postcards using similar imagery by representatives from a law firm representing CIGI/Consumer Insurance Group Inc., a small insurance company in Colorado.
The company created the Web site postalserviceabuse.com and sent a postcard mailing about the site earlier this year and is suing the USPS over its revenue assurance program. Or, as the postcard calls the program, the “USPS Patented Revenue Generator.” (DM News covered the story in its Feb. 18 issue.)
The postcard and T-shirt features a drawing of a postal official holding a man down and using a vacuum sweeper to suck money out of his wallet. The official says, “Heh, Heh, Love it when my postal service makes mistakes. Customers pay and pay and pay and …” The Web site's address is written in red ink across the bottom, and on the vacuum are the words “Postal Exec. Bonus.”
CIGI was a regular user of Standard mail for years, sending marketing information about life insurance and other services to insurance agents. In 1997, postal officials told the company it had underpaid for bulk mailings from 1994 to 1997. In addition, the USPS tacked on additional penalties and fees.
Representatives from the Nonprofit Service Group, Roslyn, VA, were handing out the merchandise to attendees, and most attendees took the T-shirts unaware of what CIGI was promoting. Upon looking at shirts at the cocktail party, many mailers were shocked and several did not keep them, as there were many lining the hall of the museum on the way out. Others were amused and intrigued, especially since a small company had the gumption to take on the postal service.
“Many people were just smirking when they saw the sign,” an NSG representative said.
The quarterly MTAC meeting concludes this afternoon.
Representatives from the Nonprofit Service Group in Roslyn, VA, were handing out the merchandise to attendees, and most attendees took the T-shirts unaware of what CIGI was promoting. Once opening up the T-shirts at the cocktail party, many mailers were shocked. Some did not even take the T-shirts with them. There were many lining the hall of the museum on the way out. Others were amused and interested, especially since a small company had the gumption to take on the postal service.
An NSG representative also said, “many people were just smirking when they saw the sign” and some didn't even take the T-shirts.