The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) issued a reminder to the mailing community regarding the upcoming increases in some Address Change Service (ACS) prices on April 17, 2011, and a notice regarding a refund process for Periodicals mailers.
ACS price increases
Along with many other postal prices, there are some ACS prices that will increase on April 17, 2011. In addition to the price increase, the fulfillment of ACS notices will change slightly. Since there is a price differential, the USPS will be fulfilling all pending ACS transactions on Monday, April 18, 2011. All transactions processed on that date will reflect pre-April 17 prices. All ACS transactions after Monday, April 18, 2011 will reflect the new April 17 prices. After this price adjustment fulfillment cycle, ACS clients will see their ACS fulfillment return to its regular cycle. See chart below for ACS price information.
ACS Refund Process for Periodicals Mailers
Periodicals mailers who took advantage of the free ACS benefit of Intelligent Mail Full-Service may be entitled to a refund (with certain exceptions) for ACS fees erroneously charged. In the announcement, the USPS stated that "Periodical mailers that received Traditional ACS notices or hardcopy PS Form 3579 for UAA publications that were properly prepared with the Intelligent Mail (IM) barcode to generate Full Service ACS may be eligible for a refund or credit for Traditional ACS and/or PS Form 3579 manual address correction fees charged between September 25, 2010 and February 24, 2011."
There are, however, some exceptions to the refund offer:
- The Periodical mailer requested that the Mailer ID (MID) be ‘disabled’ for ACS created from the IM barcode. This requested action specifically indicates that Traditional ACS notices are requested and ACS notices created from the IM barcode is not available. No adjustments to Traditional ACS charges will be provided when the MID in the IM barcode on the publication has been disabled.
- The Periodical mailer will receive adjustments for Traditional ACS notices only for those months during which Full Service qualified mailings were submitted. No adjustments to Traditional ACS charges will be provided if Full Service ACS notices were not requested or provided.
- The Periodical mailer did not properly prepare the mail piece with an IM barcode that requests Full Service ACS notices and therefore they received PS Form 3579 for UAA publications.
The USPS also laid out the process on application for the refunds. All applicable ACS transaction data will be analyzed by the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) for eligibility for the refund. Only transactions between the dates of September 25, 2010 and February 24, 2011 are eligible. "The refunded amount will equal the Traditional ACS count multiplied by 26¢," the USPS document states. As documentation for the refund, the NCSC will produce an Excel spreadsheet outlining the analysis that will show, by billing cycle, the ACS account affected, publisher name, participant ID, Mailer ID, participant ID publication title, count of traditional ACS records provided by billing cycle, a flag indicating whether eligible for Traditional ACS or PS Form 3579 refund/credit for billing cycle, and the total refund/credit amount.
For more details on the refund policy, refer to ACS refund policy document posted on the USPS RIBBS web site.
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