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U.S. Postal Service customers shrug off Saturday delivery cut

February 6, 2013 |  9:46 am

"For me, it's no big deal," Shawn Williams said.

The 30-year-old downtown Los Angeles resident dropped a letter into a box outside a U.S. post office Wednesday, but he has largely abandoned paper and stamps to pay bills or correspond with friends and relatives.

"I don't really use the U.S. Postal Service," Williams said. "I drop something in the mail maybe every three months. Nothing more."

The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays, beginning this summer. The decision, which had been expected, comes in response to massive financial losses and tough competition as more people turn to email and services such as FedEx.

Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the agency to reduce costs, according to material prepared for a Wednesday news conference by Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.

Even the most ardent lovers of traditional mail service said they can't really complain.

William Fisher, a 63-year-old firebrand who spent weeks protesting with the Occupy L.A. movement, said the Postal Service's decision would deeply affect the lives of some, but he sees no alternative.

"For folks over 60 who maybe don't use email, this is a very important thing. They are sitting at home on Saturdays waiting for that letter from their aunt or message from Afghanistan," said Fisher, who himself has two grandchildren fighting in Afghanistan. 

The expected Saturday cut would not affect packages. The move could save $2 billion annually.

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-- Garrett Therolf

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