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Cutting hours part of postal service's cost-savings plan

Posted January 6, 2011

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— Rain, hail, sleet and snow can't stop mail service, but money issues can, and at post offices in Raleigh, they have.

Carl Walton, a spokesman for the United States Postal Service, said Thursday that many offices in the Raleigh area and across the country are cutting hours of operation by an hour in an effort to reduce operating costs.

Last year, the postal service lost $8.5 billion. Although he did not have an actual estimate, Walton said that closing branches for about an hour each day will help save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The move was based on a two-year study that found there were periods throughout the day where customer traffic was drastically low.

Some post offices may open an hour later or close an hour earlier. Others might close in the middle of the business day.

The Cameron Village Post Office, for example, is closed from noon to 1 p.m.

For many postal customers, the cost-saving measure poses a huge inconvenience.

“It’s the reality of the world we’re living in,” customer Ann Sayers said. “It’s very frustrating, but it also makes me really sad.”

Walton said the postal service does have plans to re-evaluate some of the closings to determine if they are effective.

“We understand the customer wants the option to be able to go to an office,” Walton said. “We still want to be able to have an office for them to go to.”

Walton added that the postal service has added a new post office in Raleigh at 8710 Glenwood Ave., Suite 102. It will be open weekedays from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 

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  • superman Jan 7, 2011

    Have you ever worked at a place where they open during lunch and you have to rotate? Short staff for two hours and long waits and customers are angry. Post your lunch hour closing and let the public adjust to the hours. If you know they closed then you know not to go. If you work at a place you have a good idea of when things are slow. Closing at off-peak times is an excellent idea. They need to figure ways to cut costs and that is a good idea. You have one better? Increace postage, close one day or afternoon a week, close on saturday and no saturday mail. People want it all and want it cheap. That is why the American people have forced so many companies to have their goods manufactured in foreign countries. We all want the best and buy it cheap. Very few people are willing to pay more for an item made in the USA.

  • lite2 Jan 7, 2011

    How smart is that? "Let's close during one of the busiest times of the day!" "Wonder why we aren't making any money?" Lunchtime is the only time lots of people can get to the post office. I've got a friend who owns a body shop and he takes lunch from 11 to 12 because the traditional lunchtime (12-1) is the most convenient time for people to come to his business to drop off, pick up or get repair estimates. Why is it so hard for the gov't to have a simple business plan?

  • Iworkforaliving Jan 7, 2011

    Don't worry, may take a decade but you will have to deliver your own mail and still pay them for the privilege.

  • slaughterjim Jan 7, 2011

    Ya think you could rotate lunch hrs and have one person at the counter. If their study says its not that many people I would assume 1 worker could handle it.

  • As if .... Jan 7, 2011

    There are Post offices where you least expect them, like Gas stations, A.. hardware and they are open on Sundays . Who are they kidding.

  • lamour2jor Jan 7, 2011

    FutureAlumni...the Saxapahaw Post Office has had the same hours for decades. The two hour lunch is the only way to stay open all day and still adhere to the logistics of getting the mail delivered in the morning and dispatched in the evening. All businesses have hours of operation, and many things must be considered in order to set those hours.

  • sorrowchaser Jan 7, 2011

    Who needs the post office right now anyway? Thanks to email, facebook, and FedEx, we have plenty of alternatives. Yet the Post Office has done nothing to to make itself more competitive. We're still expected to stand in line between 10 other people, wait an hour for the 2 clerks to process everyone, and try to be polite with a "public servant" who treats you like a piece on an assembly line.

    Unfortunately, it can't impose a leaner operation structure because of so many obligations for healthcare benefits, pensions, etc. We're not paying 40 cents a stamp all because of transport cost - they just need to extract the same amount of money out of dwindling customers.

    As for comments here that postal workers have a stressful job... everyone is living through stress right now. Cashiers, waiters, nurses, IT contractors, insurance administrators with their heads on the chopping block - everyone is watched and everyone is threatened with layoffs.

  • RMC10 Jan 7, 2011

    Okay so closing the post offices from 12-1 is not good. When can most working people get to a post office - ON THEIR LUNCH HOUR (12-1). That's really poor, poor customer service. Does that mean those workers don't get paid for that hour of work - is that where the savings are going to come from. Go ahead and close those post offices, people will be glad to take their business to UPS and Fed X there is a UPS or a Pack N Ship store on every corner that can give you anything the post office can (stamps, envelopes, mailing boxes) and have much more customer friendly hours than US Post Offices- it's not like there's much costs savings between any of those three providers anymore.

  • ohmygosh Jan 7, 2011

    The post office here closes at 11pm to 12pm. This seems like a reasonable compromise. They are still open for lunch hour biz.

    Overlooked is one hour per day will eventually translate into fewer employees. That's where the savings will be.

    As far as "everybody pays their bills online". That is an unsupported, false statement. In fact billions of checks are still used to pay bills. This isn't going to disappear. Some people are just not interested in having their banking account numbers et al online, ever. Besides physically paying ones bills adds more reality to the process. One isn't just playing online games with poker chips.

  • LoveMyLab Jan 7, 2011

    I can tell you another thing that is racking up their costs - Overtime. They cut back on carriers so the ones that are left are sitting in their trucks for the better part of the day, reading papers, drinking coffeee, talking on their cell phones. Then when the day is close to an end, they fire up the truck and do their routes, taking their time. They get maybe 1-2 hours in per day that way. That's what the one on my route does anyway. And I get these feeble postcards saying that they make every attempt to deliver before 5pm daily. Joke.

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