By Jeff Cole – January 15, 2015
PHILADELPHIA – A small business owner is trying to hang on. He’s had to cut an employee’s hours and is now hustling for every dime after an attempt to boost his business fails miserably.
He says the U.S. Postal Service let him down. FOX 29 Investigates’ Jeff Cole has been working the story.
Jerrell Love is proud of the heating oil and HVAC company he has built from the ground up. The hands-on owner employs three drivers, a service tech and an office manager.
Asked what he likes about the work, Love said, “I just, I like helping people, especially when oil prices are so high. We try to keep our prices down.”
As the cold weather approached, Love wanted to drum up some new business.
Rather than hire people to walk door-to-door, like he used to do with strong results, Jerrell aimed for wider reach by showing some love to the U. S. Postal Service.
A friend suggested trying Every Door Direct Mail, a service that the struggling postal service – now billions of dollars in debt – started in 2011 to fight off competitors.
“Find the customers who matter most” the Every Door Direct Mail website says, adding that it’s “designed to reach every home, every address, every time.” Just sign in, pick exact mail routes, drop off times and they’ll “take care of the rest.”
Love was hoping for a big jump in business.
“Did that happen?” Cole asked.
“No, it did not,” Love answered. “We have not had one phone call from that direct mailer.
That’s right! Not one call from a new customer!
Even though Love targeted parts of suburban Abington and Philly’s Germantown section. He did it in-part because he knew a long-time heating oil company had gone out of business.
Love nearly cleaned out his advertising budget on the postcards. The 7,000 to be distributed in Germantown cost a grand to print plus $1,200 to deliver.