Obtaining refunds for hard copy address changes
August 26, 2015
By Max Heath
NNA Postal Chair
Q. I get multiple copies of the hard-copy Address Change Notice, Form 3579, some months old, at a cost of 59 cents each. Is there any way to get my money back?
A. Yes. Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 507.1.5.2 provides in paragraph (f) that “A publisher may request a refund of the fees paid for duplicate address correction notices on Forms 3579 provided by the USPS if the customer submitted a change-of-address order and the first and duplicate notices are provided on magnetic tape by ACS (Address Change Service) or on printed copy by a Computerized Forwarding System (CFS) unit. The refund request must be supported by documentation showing the number of duplicate notices received.”
That means you can present all duplicates to the primary post office where you pay postage, and they should refund the fees for all copies except one from a designated deposit account. The postmaster does NOT have to send these elsewhere for handling, but should honor the language above. If refused, National Newspaper Association members can contact the postal hotline via email@example.com.
NNA has contacts in the Memphis Address Information Center who have assisted newspapers in getting the refunds for which they are entitled.
There is no way for a newspaper to get a Form 3579 unless it has been processed by a CFS site, other than some locally generated by post offices.
Current USPS policy discourages local offices from doing so, and requires that Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) mail be processed by a CFS site. NNA is not particularly supportive, because these sites are notoriously slow in getting through backlog of Periodicals and other mail, thus the multiple copies coming over long periods of time.
It should be noted that newspapers converting to electronic documentation and full-service Intelligent Mail barcode are eligible to receive free ACS electronically. The infrastructure for this is being perfected, but your mail presort software vendor should be able to advise and assist.
EXACT TEXT FROM DMM
DMM 507.1.5.2.f. A publisher may request a refund of the fees paid for duplicate address correction notices on Forms 3579 provided by the USPS if the customer submitted a change-of-address order and the first and duplicate notices are provided electronically via ACS or on printed copy by a Computerized Forwarding System (CFS) unit. The refund request must be supported by documentation showing the number of duplicate notices received.
The USPS does not process refunds for duplicate notices if the original and duplicate notices are not provided both by ACS or both by CFS. © Max Heath 2015
MAX HEATH, NNA postal chair, is a postal consultant for Athlon Media Group, which publishes of Parade, American Profile, Relish and Spry newspaper supplements, and also for Landmark Community Newspapers LLC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.