Postage up; lines are long
The U.S. Postal Service has upped the ante for postage. And at the Yuba City Post Office, long lines Monday upped the time spent waiting for the new stamps.
First class postage was increased from 37 cents to 39 cents beginning Sunday. Customers faced long lines Monday to get the stamps at the Plumas Street office.
Just before noon, the line had grown to 27 people in Yuba City, including some who were waiting for stamps. A machine that dispensed 2-cent stamps was out of service Monday morning and also had no 39 cent stamps stocked in it - despite a poster in the post office's entryway touting the self-service availability of the new stamps.
Though the poster said, “No Waiting!,” Kathy Stapleton of Yuba City left without buying 2-cent stamps to add to her old 37-cent stamps because the machine was not working, and she did not want to wait in the long line.
“I walked in the door, and there was a line like it was Christmas,” Stapleton said.
She planned to try the Mailbox Plus store.
“It's just absurd,” Stapleton said.
Another customer, who would not give her name, said she tried to buy stamps at a supermarket, but they did not have the new ones. She ended up waiting in line at the Yuba City Post Office.
Gus Ruiz, spokesman for the Sacramento postal district, said Monday afternoon that problems with Yuba City's machines were fixed. Ruiz said the machine may have run out of stamps, though there were no empty dispensers visible Monday morning.
Ruiz said long lines were unusual, a one-day anomaly caused by demand for new stamps.
“That's uncommon, but it's kind of what we're facing today,” Ruiz said.
An Appeal-Democrat reporter queued up Monday morning when lines stretched more than 20 people at
the Yuba City Post Office and found that buying proper postage required a 14-minute wait.
Yuba City Postmaster John Batch could not be reached for comment regarding the lines.
At Marysville, the automated machine was working but was sold out of 2-cent and 37-cent stamps. It did have 39-cent stamps for sale.
The lines at Marysville appeared to be shorter - 11 people at 12:40 p.m. Monday and seven people earlier that morning.
Marysville Postmaster Christopher Tracey could not be reached for comment.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.