Would you rather do your mailing at:
A.) The Post Office
C.) What's mail?
If you answered B, you're in luck, because the Post Office has plans to cut lines and add more hours by offering mailing services at Staples stores. If you answered C, you are one reason why the Postal Service is losing billions of dollars every year.
The embattled U.S. Postal Service, which has been mostly unable to convince Congress to make changes to put it on a firm financial footing by offering extra services and cutting underused local offices, says the Staples deal would be a win-win for customers and employees.
While Staples stores might not be the happiest places on earth, at least they're open at time when local post offices aren't, says Dave Partenheimer, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service is betting that customers will appreciate the convenience of going to their local Staples store for products and service offered at the same prices as their local postal office.
"Today is a perfect example. It's a federal holiday so our Post Offices are closed," Partenheimer said. "But in those alternative access places customers can still buy stamps, mail packages, and take care of other postal business today. The same is true for Sundays at many of those locations."
As nice as all this might sound for customers, the postal union says this idea should be returned to sender.
On Friday, postal service union leaders delivered angry letters to Staples stores in California that are participating in a pilot program that provides mailing services in more locations for customers.
"Only U.S. Postal Service postal employees are fully accountable to the public, and sworn to uphold the sanctity of the mail," the letter said.