Postal Watchdog Files Complaint Over USPS Elimination of Bound Printed Matter Rate

Douglas F. Carlson, an attorney and self-professed postal watchdog has filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) alleging that the Postal Service after May 14, 2007 eliminated single-piece Bound Printed Matter rate as a mailing option for customers. 

Carlson’s complaint alleges that “When a customer presents items for mailing at a retail window and asks for the least-expensive shipping method and the window clerk knows or should know that the item would qualify for a Bound Printed Matter rate, Postal Service policy prohibits the window clerk from offering or suggesting Bound Printed Matter service to the customer, even if Bound Printed Matter service might or would fulfill the customer’s shipping needs at the lowest price of any service.”

Carlson’s complaint cites several incidents :


On May 14, 2007, the Postal Service ceased to offer single-piece Bound Printed Matter service at retail windows.

Prior to May 14, 2007, the Postage Rate Calculator at provided rates for Bound Printed Matter. Since May 14, 2007, the Postage Rate Calculator has not provided rates for Bound Printed Matter or mentioned the existence or availability of this service.

Automated Postal Center kiosks in post offices do not offer Bound Printed Matter or Media Mail or advise customers that these less-expensive alternatives may exist to the services that the APC’s do offer, such as Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, and Parcel Post.

Although the decision of the Postal Service Governors in Docket No. R2006-1 asserted on page 19 that Postal Service window clerks “will continue to provide customers with information regarding Bound Printed Matter,” postal clerks do not provide accurate information to customers seeking to mail items that qualify as Bound Printed Matter.

The Postal Service’s decision not to offer Bound Printed Matter at retail windows unduly and unreasonably discriminates against individual and smallbusiness mailers, in a manner not specifically authorized by title 39. Compared to large mailers, individual and small-business mailers are less likely to know about services that window clerks do not offer, that Automated Postal Centers do not offer, and that the Postage Rate Calculator at does not mention.

Carlson Requests that “the Commission order the Postal Service to offer Bound Printed Matter service to customers at retail windows.”

click here to read the full complaint