2007-06-28 13:40 in /random
A couple of my letters got returned to me this week, marked as insufficient postage. The first obnoxious thing about this is that my stamps have no denomination on them at all. The stamps and the packet simply say “First Class Mail”. Now I’m not a lawyer or anything, but it seems to me that a stamp sold as “First Class” postage should continue to be valid even if the rates increase. By analogy, if I buy a 10-pass at a gym or yoga studio or similar establishment, they have to honor those passes even if they increased their rates in the interim. Moreover, apparently the post office expects me to memorize which non-denominated stamps are worth a certain amount.
The second obnoxious thing about this is that someone had to pick out this piece of mail and mark it “Insufficient Postage”, my mailman had to return it to my house, I had to drive to the post office and take up my time and a USPS employee’s time, all over a total of 12 cents of postage (including enough additional stamps to go with the rest of the booklet I have at home). It’s hard to be precise, but the total cost was probably between $5 and $10 to collect $0.12. This is not a sensible way to run a business, and I can’t believe that if the USPS didn’t have a government-granted monopoly that they would be behaving this way.