OK, so it's not an ax murder. But this morning I received, in the proverbial "plain brown wrapper," something with the USPS logo and the words "Member Announcement" showing. Upon opening it, I discovered that this "Member Announcement" was in fact a solicitation to purchase auto insurance.
I find this an illegitimate use of the USPS logo (and, presumably, membership list). If MetLife wants to take out an advertisement in The Ensign, offering its supposedly discounted policies, that's fine. But to present the offer as a "Member Announcement" is sailing under false colors. Granted, the distinction between a "Member Announcement" and an "announcement to members" is a subtle one, but the first implies (and is clearly intended to imply) that the contents have something to do with some official USPS information sent to "Members."
This is perhaps a small thing, but I think it cheapens the USPS "brand" and puts an organization with supposedly high standards in the same category with any other sleazy huckster. And I strenuously object to an organization to which I belong selling, renting, or otherwise sharing my membership information with some other, non-related entity. If, as the flyer states, USPS "has selected MetLife … to provide our members with superior quality and savings," I, as a member, would like to know just who made this selection, and under what authority. Also, does that mean they will pay the premiums?
What's next? Am I to receive solicitations for an "official USPS" casino, politician, or kumquat vendor? This has nothing to do with promoting boating safety and education, fellowship or any of the other objects of USPS and I hope someone will help put a stop to the practice.