Return to Sender…. slowly.

I am not sure if you have noticed this yet, but residents of Hartford and other rural towns are getting their United States Postal Service (USPS) First Class mail slower now.

First Class mail is generally considered to be single piece mail with postage stamps like letters, etc.

This is not the fault of the local Post Offices, but rather due to a national policy change at the USPS.

In January 2015, the USPS changed their First Class Mail Service standards.

The USPS will start closing 80 processing plants that serve small cities and rural areas through out the nation.

The USPS estimates that this will affect 16% of the total First Class mail volume. They have already targeted small cities and rural areas as the locations to take the brunt of this. This means the law of averages will make our rural reduction in service much larger than 16%.

The USPS estimates that the entire national average for First Class mail delivery is 1.8 days and it will now increase to 2.1 days. If large cities are not targeted in this new delayed service, but yet their numbers are added into the average, this will translate to a rural First Class delivery service much more like 3 to 4 days, and even worse when you add in Sundays and Holidays.

If incoming First Class mail is slowed down to Hartford, it is only logical that outgoing will also be slowed. It might be wise to mail out your First Class letters a couple of days earlier than normal.

At a time when the USPS proudly promotes Sunday delivery and same day delivery of packages in major cities, I feel that it is accomplishing it by decreasing our rural service.

I would not mind this overall decrease in service so much if it were applied equally, considering that the First Class mail volume has decreased over 50% in the last 10 years due to email, but I am not convinced the USPS has applied more appropriate inefficiencies first.

If our rural farmers can feed the cities in a timely manner, it is only fair that we can also get our mail delivered just as well as they do.

If you agree with me, please contact your Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

The USPS website with “their” info is