USPS is slowing down first-class mail on Oct. 1. What delays and price hikes mean for you (

If you’re like me, sending a letter or package across the country through the US Postal Service feels like a game of chance. Will it get there in a week — or two? During the first quarter of this year, around 20% of first-class mail across the US was delivered late. And now snail mail is about to get slower for some of the 160 million residences and businesses that rely on the Postal Service.

Starting Oct. 1, the USPS will implement new service standards for its first-class mail and packages, lengthening delivery time for about 30% of its volume. That means some letters, parcels and magazine subscriptions traveling longer distances could take up to five days to arrive, instead of two or three days. The changes are part of a 10-year plan called Delivering for America to overhaul the agency and try to tackle its $160 billion debt. The plan would also reduce post office hours and raise prices for customers, and there’ll be even more postage hikes during the peak holiday season.
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