SURVEY SAYS: Would You Miss Saturday Mail?

March 4, 2010 ( - The U.S. Post Office is, once again, talking about no mail delivery on Saturdays.

I asked readers how they felt about that move.  Now, as it turns out, just 15% said they cared, while just over twice that number (30.7%) said they didn’t care, and another 31.3% said they didn’t care much.

Now, just under 4% said they hadn’t given it any thought – and the remaining (roughly) one-in-five opted for “other.”

Three Groups

This turned out to be an interesting category, breaking down into three discernable groups. The first was a group that cared about the decision – but were in favor of it:

If this is what it takes to balance the books, then it should be done.  The service delivery model needs to adjust and scale to the changes introduced by technology and online access.

I hope this happens and spreads to the rest of the week – the Post Office makes the DMV look efficient, and I’d rather my taxes go to something I believe in:  back in my pocket.  The private sector should take over and charge anyone who wants postal service for it.

I always felt sorry for mailmen who had to work on Saturdays.  I think it’s a good solution to reduce costs.

I wish they WOULD stop mail delivery on Saturdays.  Usually it’s nothing but a bunch of junk anyway.

Sounds like a prudent business decision.  I can still purchase stamps via my mailbox and I only go to the post office about twice a year.

Yes I care and it worries me a little for bill paying and the like but I also recognize the need to economize to reflect the impact of the internet.  I am part of the problem for them because I do a great deal of my business on the internet these days.

Don’t Care Much, But…

A second group was probably in the “don’t care much” category, but seemed to lean toward wanting it to happen:

Since my mail (actually my wife's) is overwhelmingly of the junk variety, it won't have much impact on my life.

I think it's inevitable. After all, we have a 5-day work week. Why shouldn't they?

Don't care as it seems we normally pick up our Saturday delivery when we take Monday's mail out to be picked up.

Of all the post offices that are in my city, only a few are open on Saturday anyway...and those are only open until noon.  Not sure how much money that will save since the lobby’s are usually filled on Sat am with people who can't make it in during the week.

All that will mean for me is the junk mail and bills I usually receive on Saturday can be ignored until Monday.

I don't see any urgent need for Saturday mail delivery. The bills I still receive via mail will wait until Monday.

Most of the mail is just bills anyway. I don't need to get those on Saturday.

It Depends…

And the third group either cared – or didn’t – based on what the final decision actually looked like when implemented:

I don't care about Saturday delivery as long as the Post Office is open for purchase of stamps, etc.

It depends on if it is just no mail delivery or all mail services closed.  Working my usual 7am to after 5pm, the Post Office is closed on my off hours other than Saturday.

I don't particularly care about omitting a Saturday delivery. My concern would be if that will lead to a slippery slope of declining deliveries, i.e., 6 to 5 days/wk. deliveries, then 5 to 4 days/Wk., etc.

I like Sat mail but if it means them keeping employees I'm fine with giving up Sat delivery.

No, because except for junk mail, I get very little mail any more.  I have never understood why USPS doesn't raise the cost of junk mail to a rate that cuts down on the junk.

I suppose it would be one less day of bills! I'm not sure what I think of it though.  I can understand the expense reduction need for the post office, but I like getting mail and I would want to be able to post mail on Saturdays.  I suppose it might be one more reason for me to do business electronically.

It's a reality. I appreciate that they are trying to reduce their debt. I wish our government would try that.

Alternative Considerations

There were also some interesting alternatives/considerations:

Suppose that means the post office wouldn't be open on Saturday either?! They make it hard to use their services when they keep restricting things. If I could get to the post office when they are open, I'd use the post office more!

I would rather see them eliminate the day that has the least amount of mail. Seems to me that that may be Tuesday.

Although it could be a concern for those plan participants who mail order for their prescription refills.

No I don't care if I lose mail delivery on Saturdays, and to keep costs down, why not deliver mail only every other day? Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

They would be better off not delivering on a weekday (like Wednesday), so that there isn't a two day period where there is no delivery.

I think it would make more sense to change residential delivery to every other day - anything that I get that is time sensitive I get online.

If they are going to give up a day, I'd rather it be mid-week.

I don't care about Saturday delivery as long as the Post Office is open for purchase of stamps, etc.

It depends on if it is just no mail delivery or all mail services closed.  Working my usual 7am to after 5pm, the Post Office is closed on my off hours other than Saturday.

Not much as long as they keep the P.O. open until lunch time.  It's the only time some of us have to mail packages, etc.

Delivery, no. Post office open yes. I always think of Saturday mail drops like a weekend bank drop I know it is safe but not really going anywhere until Monday.

I can see cutting out a day but why Saturday?  Why not Wednesday?

There will be more mail to be delivered on Monday which means we'll get our delivery later than normal that day.

One of the comments made about the cut-backs was based on on-line sales. I would actually think that if the USPS did it right, on-line sales (e.g. shipping of the merchandise) would actually be a boon for them - not a reason to cut-back. What am I missing?  

Some of my favorite comments

There's still something wonderfully old-fashioned and delightful about walking out to my mailbox in anticipation of what the day's mail will bring.  That feeling quickly evaporates once I open my mailbox to find the usual collection of coupon inserts, refinancing offers, and credit card statements!

I mailed my dad a birthday card on Feb 8th. He received it on Feb 23rd. He lives 60 miles away!! I could have crawled there on my hands and knees faster than that!!

I'd rather skip Saturday delivery than pay more for postage.  And while they're at it, can they stop the junk mail that clogs up the box?

Only to the extent that I'll have to find something else to do than sort junk mail on the weekend. I know!! A trip to the recycling center with the junk mail from the previous 5 days.

I am hereby starting a campaign to "Save the Mail." Here's all you need to do to participate: Write a letter or send a card to someone every day for a week. You'll brighten someone's day and could improve the quality of your own mailbox's contents. History will remember us from our TV shows, movies and magazines, after all -- is that what we really want to be judged by? Write a letter and share your thoughts about what's happening in the world today.

There's just something about receiving "stuff" in the mail and meandering through it during the week over coffee in the early morning hours or on the sun porch on a Saturday afternoon when you need time away from the noise of today's super speedy society.

All this means is that my local post office will now have to mis-deliver all my mail in 5 days instead of 6. And I'm not kidding - we've met neighbors several streets away to exchange mail often.

Would miss it but could live without it.

As long as it does not delay my Netflix DVD's, I am good with it.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who noted, “"I don't care, but employees that are waiting for checks or forms from the retirement plan will care.  They already don't get the Sunday and Holiday thing."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!