Priority Mail:

Advertised 2-Day Service Is Not Guaranteed

GGD-93-122: Published: Jul 16, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) advertising for priority mail delivery, focusing on: (1) whether USPS has guaranteed 2-day delivery of priority mail in its advertisements; (2) priority mail customers' recent delivery experiences; and (3) USPS changes in its advertisement and delivery of priority mail.

GAO found that: (1) the USPS advertising campaign for priority mail delivery promoted guaranteed two-day service; (2) USPS has stopped priority mail advertisements and is revising its advertising campaign to avoid misleading customers about priority mail delivery; (3) USPS measures delivery times from the date of postmark to the date mail is available to mail carriers for delivery; (4) USPS has delivered priority mail within 2 days 77 to 87 percent of the time; (5) the Postal Inspection Service has concluded that priority mail cannot be delivered within 2 days to all destinations due to airline transportation limitations; (6) USPS is considering publishing a list of destinations that are exceptions to the 2-day standard in order to clarify customers' expectations for priority mail delivery; and (7) USPS is eliminating internal problems to improve priority mail delivery service.

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