SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY -- As you may know, postal rates are increasing this coming Monday (May 14th). Among other postal rate hikes, the price to mail a first-class letter is increasing from 39 cents to 41 cents.
For the first time, the United States Postal Service is offering a new "forever stamp" which is priced at 41 cents, but is valid indefinitely, immune from future postage rate increases.
Early last week, I stopped by my local post office to purchase 500 (25 books) of "forever stamps", but I was told that they were sold out. The next day, I stopped by a post office near where I work in Manhattan, but I was told by the clerk that they didn't receive their allotment of "forever stamps" yet. She claimed that there was a "national shortage" of these stamps.
When I got home, I decided to see if I could order the stamps I wanted online at the USPS's online Postal Store. I placed my order and received the package containing my stamps last Thursday (May 3rd) afternoon. After counting my order, I discovered that they had shorted me by two books.
I tried calling their customer service number, but it was busy all afternoon. I tried again on Friday, but again, I couldn't get through. Last Saturday, I wrote an email notifying them that they has only sent me 23 books instead of the 25 which I had ordered and paid for.
It has been six days since I sent that email, but I still haven't received either a response to, or even an acknowledgement of the receipt of, my email.
Now I know that the USPS is probably very busy due to the impending postal rate increase and all, but that doesn't excuse them for providing such lousy service to their online customers!
By the way, I heard that people are going into post offices to buy the new "forever stamp" only to be sold the regular non-denominational American flag stamp. Please be advised that the "forever stamp" has a picture of the Liberty Bell on it. All other non-denominational stamps currently sold by the USPS are worth 41 cents, and are not the "forever stamp"!