Postal Service:

Postage Charges in Two Geographic Areas Were Accurate Most of the Time

GGD-86-127: Published: Sep 30, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1986.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO conducted a statistical survey of the Washington, D.C., and the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio area to determine the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) error rate in computing postage on individual letters and parcels that were weighed, specifically: (1) the nature and extent of postage errors; and (2) whether scale maintenance procedures affected the accuracy of postage paid.

GAO found that: (1) postage calculations were accurate most of the time; (2) of the 3,001 pieces of mail sampled in Washington, D.C., 3.4 percent had incorrect postage charges; (3) of the 2,924 pieces of mail sampled in the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio area, 1.9 percent had incorrect charges; (4) postal employees' use of incorrect rate information and inaccurate scales, as well as misread scales, resulted in overcharges and undercharges; (5) customers caused some postage errors by affixing too much postage to their mail before submitting it to the postal clerk; (6) 13 percent of the scales were inaccurate; (7) USPS is installing electronic scales to ensure greater accuracy in postage rates; and (8) as of May 1986, USPS had distributed certified test weights to 90 percent of the retail offices to test scales daily for accuracy.

Sep 10, 2020

Sep 8, 2020

Aug 31, 2020

Aug 27, 2020

Aug 19, 2020

Jul 9, 2020

Jul 1, 2020

Jun 25, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here