Mailing Industry News and Changes for 2011
There are a number of recent developments affecting the mailing industry, particularly with regard to USPS® changes scheduled to be effective in January, 2011.
Delay of Intelligent Mail Full-Service eDoc Postage Corrections
The USPS had planned to initiate postage corrections for non-compliant Intelligent Mail® Full-Service mailings, effective January 2, 2011. However, the USPS announced that it will delay the implementation of these postage assessments to allow more time for the USPS and the mailing industry to prepare for this change. Below is an excerpt of a message to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) from USPS Senior VP Steve Kearney:
“We are delaying Full-Service eDoc postage corrections, which we had planned to deploy on Jan. 2, 2011, to give mailers more time to use information from a new report to help correct errors in their electronic documentation.
The new publication — PostalOne!® Full-Service Error report — allows eDoc submitters to review the quality of submissions, identify jobs with errors, and calculate the correct postage. This report also allows the eDoc submitter to request reconciliation of identified errors.
We encourage mailers to take advantage of the reconciliation process and use the feedback to correct Full-Service eDoc issues. In addition, enhancements to the MicroStrategy Mail Data Quality reports provide detailed information on piece counts and postage amounts for pieces that are not compliant with Full-Service requirements.
Mailers have begun using these two reports — MicroStrategy Mail Data Quality and Full-Service Error — to assess the quality of their eDoc. We are continuing to work through the MTAC 137 group to address mailers’ concerns.
Please be sure to utilize the MicroStrategy Mail Data Quality reports and the PostalOne! Full-Service Error reports. Also, tell us about any issues you have with the PostalOne! help desk, 800-522-9085.”
No new date has been announced for the implementation of these assessments.
Extension Granted for USPS Postage Statements
Along with the announced price changes for the USPS competitive products (e.g. Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, etc.), the USPS is also offering several pricing initiatives (Reply Rides Free and Saturation and High Density Standard Mail), all of which result in format changes to many postage statements. These postage statement changes are effective with the implementation of the new rates on January 2, 2011. However, since the information regarding the format of the revised postage statements was not published until just recently, the USPS has communicated plans to provide extensions until January 28, 2011 for mailers not able to produce the new format postage statements by January 2. This information was communicated in a notice published to members of the Major Mailers Association, the text of which is shown below:
The headquarters Business Mail Acceptance has developed the following plan for customers who will not be able to present the new postage statement on January 2, 2011:
- The field BMEUs will be notified to continue accepting the old postage statement from customers that cannot make the change by Jan 2nd, and continue to do so until Jan 28, 2011 if necessary. No exception request will be needed for customers who expect to be capable of producing the new postage statements by Jan 28th.
- The old postage statement covers existing products only and does not include new package products such as Critical Mail and Regional Rate Boxes. Any customer using products that are not included on the old postage statement must complete a hardcopy postage statement for those products until they are capable of producing the new mailing statement.
- The BMEU staff will maintain a questionnaire for each of the customers that continue to use the old statement with the primary purpose of ascertaining when the customer will be able to comply and produce the new postage statements.
- Customers that do not anticipate meeting the Jan 28th cutoff date for accepting the old postage statements will need to request an exception through the normal exception process and the local BMEU will assist with that process.
- No postage statement is created for eVS manifest mailers consequently no process change will be required unless an existing eVS customer is using a new product. Any eVS customer mailing one of the new products available after Jan 2 that cannot complete the new postage statement should work one on one with their Strategic Account Manager or Business Alliance Manager to ensure a seamless acceptance process.
Due to the short time frame, it is not expected that the USPS will publish this as an “official notice” so mailers should work with their local Business Mail Acceptance offices if they need to take advantage of the extension. However, mailers are strongly encouraged to implement the new format statements as soon as possible as it is very costly for the USPS to support both old and new postage statements.
Postal Service Withdraws 75% Move Update Tolerance Increase for January 2, 2011
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) ruled that the USPS proposal to raise the Move Update tolerance level to 75% would count as an inferred price increase, which would count against the CPI-based price increase for 2011. As a result, the USPS has withdrawn this planned increase. The text of the notice, also available on the PRC web site, is shown below:
On December 10, 2010, the Commission issued an Order approving of the market dominant classification and price changes that the Postal Service filed notice of on November 2, 2010 in this docket. Order No. 606. The Commission indicated, however, that implementing the Move Update change that was included in the November 2 Notice would reduce the maximum allowable size of the next price increase by more than 0.6 percentage points. Id. at 3. The Postal Service therefore is withdrawing its notice of the Move Update change, and will not implement that change absent a subsequent filing with the Commission. The Postal Service does continue to plan implementation of the pricing incentives for First-Class Mail Automation Letters (Reply Rides Free) and Saturation and High Density Standard Mail, effective January 2, 2011.
Thanks for reading our e-Tips throughout 2010. We look forward to many more in 2011.
Happy New Year to all of you from all of us at Window Book!