EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — You may notice some changes at the U.S. Postal Service.
The agency is slowing down some of its delivery times as part of the agency’s 10-year plan intended to improve service and achieve financial sustainability.
USPS says it will now take up to five days for standard first-class mail — like letters, bills, and tax documents — to reach their destinations.
It’s possible that those who pay their bills by mail will not be prepared for the change because it could lead to late fees, for example, if their checks don’t arrive on time. Others may face longer delivery times for important documents such as tax forms or passports.
USPS says the new time frame allows them to shift from airmail to ground mail, cutting costs and improving efficiency. President of the American Postal Workers Union Mark Dimondstein says this could turn away businesses.
“We oppose those things that diminish service. We think there are ways to fix the service without moving the goalposts,” Dimondstein said.
In general, the delivery changes will affect pieces of mail that have to travel further. The USPS says most mail will still arrive within the old three-day window but critics say those who live in rural areas, the disabled and the elderly, will feel the effects of the new standards.
Starting Monday and running through Christmas, certain package rates are also changing, costing anywhere from $0.25 to $5.
The postal service is also planning to increase what it charges businesses to ship packages this holiday season.