TODAY | January 26, 2014
>>> mailing a letter just got more expensive. with stamp prices going up three cents today, luke russert has more on why the postal service is raising prices again.
>> reporter: pour the sixth time in seven years the postal service is raising the price of mailing a first class letter from 46 cents to 49 cents. it's the largest single hike in more than a decade and will stay in place until 2016 .
>> that's a 6% increase. inflation is one or two percent. that seems to me like a very extreme increase.
>> reporter: why the higher costs? the postal service has lost money for seven straight years, including $5 billion in the last fiscal year, while more potential customers turn to sending mail electronically and online giant amazon flirts with the idea of delivery drones.
>> what you see with big companies that have had this infrastructure in place for a long time, they're slow to mv and slow to change. this temporary raise of rates is really a band-aid on a very big problem.
>> reporter: the changes are eliciting mixed reactions from consumers?
>> not too worried. it's three cents, ki make that happen.
>> it's almost 50 cents . doesn't bother me.
>> it seems high but because so many people use e-mail, they have to raise the funds somehow.
>> reporter: for "today," luke russert , nbc news, washington.