Have you checked out the new postal rates that took effect today? I can guarantee you that alternative services like United Parcel Service and American Express are going to love them. It is not so much that rates went up. After all, we expect rate increases from time to time. It is that USPS tried to change everything. In some cases, what used to be a flat rate now requires a calculation based on the size of the package. Then there’s a little discount to try to force you to use online mailing services. (I don’t know about you, but I hate to be forced into anything and I resist that type of thing). The rates for shipping overseas are incredibly higher and incredibly complicated. In addition to changing all the rates, the postal clerks are getting new scales and new “pages” on their computers with not much training in how to use them. Now, I’m sure some genius at the “big post office in the sky” in Washington is going to tell me that I’m old-fashioned and resisting progress. And maybe I am. But if you ask me, vendors in the old-car business that ship things by mail are going to hate these changes as much as I do. And if that’s a case, don’t try to complain using the USPS website. I spent a half hour writing my complaint and when I pushed the button, it vanished into the ether. Which goes to show that their customer service is as good as their new rates. I think this whole thing is a “postal fraud” and we should write our Congressmen and tell them so. After all, back in the ’70s we did get them to override that silly seat belt beeper law.