SOURCE: American Consumer Institute

American Consumer Institute

November 17, 2011 08:38 ET

Consumers Oppose Post Office Closings, According to ACI Survey

82% of Consumers Say Post Office Closings Would Be Inconvenient; 76% Say They Would Pay More to Prevent Planned Cuts

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Nov 17, 2011) - A national consumer survey conducted by the American Consumer Institute (ACI) finds that the vast majority of consumers do not support the United States Post Office's planned closing of 4,000 post offices. According to the survey of 1,500 consumers, 82% of consumers say that it would be inconvenient if their local post office closed, with only 17% saying that it would not be inconvenient. While the survey of 1,500 consumers found 68% live within three miles to the nearest post office, nearly half indicated that they would have to travel more than seven miles to the next nearest post office, and 48% saying that this would take "a lot more time." Overall, 72% are opposed to the planned closing of 4,000 post offices across the country, including over half (54%) being strongly opposed to the closures.

The survey found that most consumers visit post offices frequently. For example, 83% of consumers go to the post office at least one time per month, with the average person visiting their post office more than four times per month. In the course of a year, these visits include purchasing stamps (83%), mailing letters (83%), sending packages (68%), sending priority or express mail (53%), and weighing packages or envelopes (50%), as well as other purposes specified in the survey.

The survey found substantial opposition to cutting delivery from 6 to 5 days per week, though less opposition when compared to closing post offices. According to the survey, 53% said it would be inconvenient to lose a delivery day. However, 59% said it would not make them think twice about having time sensitive materials sent to their home. Overall, when asked if they favored or opposed the cutbacks in mail delivery, a majority (52%) are opposed versus 40% who support delivery cutbacks.

Would consumers pay more to prevent postal cutbacks? According to the survey, 76% saying they would support a small price increase in postage, if it meant keeping post offices open and maintaining delivery. In fact, over half (51%) strongly support a price increase.

The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research is a 501c3 educational and research institute. For more information about ACI or the survey's details, please visit the Institute's website at www.theamericanconsumer.org.