Mailers Appeal Exigent Rate Hike

A group of bulk mail stakeholders, including the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today to seek relief from the Postal Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) approval of a 4.3% rate increase set to go into effect on January 27. The filing asks for an expedited decision that would be delivered within six months.

“The Commission’s decision, unless overturned by the court, will gut the only real protection that mailers have,” said Peggy Hudson, SVP of government affairs at DMA. “It is a lose-lose proposition. It will simply drive mail from the system, which harms the financial viability of both the Postal Service and its business customers.”

ACMA President and Executive Director Hamilton Davison’s assessment of the increase was similarly grim. “Some of our members will be facing job losses. Others may go out of business due to this,” he said after the filing of the appeal. “So we have to use every means at our disposal to fight this outrageous increase that is crippling to the future of mail.”

The mailers’ coalition contends that the grounds upon which the PRC granted the exigent increase are faulty and self contradictory and that it neglected to figure in the effects of electronic diversion of business communications in assessing a $2.8 billion loss for the Postal Service assigned to the Great Recession.

Postal insiders expect another appeal to be filed by the Postal Service this week seeking to remove the $2.8 billion limit on funds to be collected by the exigent increase. USPS did not respond to queries about their appeal at presstime.

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