USPS Grants Small Extension for 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.

Mailers are strongly encouraged to implement the new postage statements as soon as possible as it is very costly for the USPS to support both old and new postage statements.