I rely on the USPS for almost all of my mail order business. More and more though, the service has gone downhill.

It takes about 4-6 weeks before mail is returned to me when someone moves. I can understand a week or two to travel to the customer and come back to me. I recently had one returned pricelist that took 3 months until I received it back.

I also recently had a customer mail me an order on April 8. I didnít receive it until May 27. It wasnít damaged. There were no other postal markings on it. My guess is that it was stuck inside a supposedly ďemptyĒ mail bin, someone finally found it, and sent it on its way.

I sometimes mail things to my brother in Somerset, PA. Mail used to get there within one day, two at the most. Now, two days is the norm and it has gone as long as five days. Somerset is only about 65 miles from Murrysville.

I understand that mail volume is dropping and the USPS needs to reduce costs. Between the reduced hours at some post offices and the consolidation of mail processing facilities, service has slowed quite a bit.

As delivery times and service continues to degrade, itís only going to drive more customers away from the USPS. For packages, mailers will turn to FedEx or UPS. For other forms of communication, businesses are going to move more into the electronic world (web sites, emails, etc.) and reduce their dependence on the USPS.