How to get credit for multiple address change notices and when to barcode newspapers and when not to
February 1, 2013
By Max Heath
Frequently asked postal questions & answers
I want to pose some frequently asked questions that came to the National Newspaper Association Postal Committee recently, with answers.
QI get multiple copies of the hard-copy Address Change Notice, Form 3579, some months old, at a cost of 50 cents each. Is there any way to get my money back?
AYes. Domestic Mail Manual 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 or on printed copy by a Computerized Forwarding System 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, contact NNA.
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 mail be processed by a CFS site. NNA is not particularly supportive, because these sites are notoriously slow in getting through the backlog of Periodicals and other mail, thus the multiple copies coming over long periods of time.
QShould my six-digit USPS permit number be placed on the front page?
ANo! That location is optional only, and serves no useful purpose on Page One. Plus, it looks ugly and takes up space that could be better used. The requirements for placement of that information are outlined in DMM 707.4.12. (For complete contents see the online DMM at Postal Explorer website http://pe.usps.gov.) Details on this question are in 4.12.5(a).
The publication title and number
The publication number includes an alpha prefix and must be within parentheses immediately after or below the publication title. If an International Standard Serial Number is assigned, it must appear in the identification statement—for example, “THE WEEKLY JOURNAL” (ISSN 9876-543X). If an ISSN is not assigned, the USPS number assigned by the PCSC must appear in the identification statement within 90 days after being provided—for example, “THE CIVIC BULLETIN” (USPS 876-690). The publication number may be on the front or cover page instead of in the identification statement.
QMy postmaster says he doesn’t have the equipment to run the address barcode, so if I barcode my address labels I must take my mail to a larger post office, which will delay the mail. Is this so?
AAbsolutely not. Newspapers can and usually do enter their papers at the Delivery Unit—post office—serving the routes being mailed, including the so-called “Origin-Entry” office where their permit is, in most cases. Most newspapers provide mail sorted to the postal carrier-route. There is no value provided by either the former POSTNET barcode format or the new Intelligent Mail Barcode, mandatory Jan. 27, 2013, on carrier-route sorted mail.
Because that is true, presort software vendors should avoid printing the IMb on carrier-route sorted copies, especially those entered at the DU. It wastes ink and printing time, which is slowed by printing the more complex IMb. Ask your vendor or inkjetter to comply with logic and omit.
Secondly, copies sorted to 5-digit, 3-digit, SCF, ADC, OMX, or MADC can and should be barcoded, because some of those copies can be run on flat-sorting machines as they move throughout the postal processing network. However, even 5-digit copies entered at the DDU that qualify for automation prices still get the discount.
Copies that meet mailing standards for size and flexibility earn the “Automation Flats” piece price discount in Parts A and C of PS Form 3541, Periodicals Postage Statement. Specifically, properly-barcoded pieces can be placed on lines A6, A9, A12 and lines C1, C3, C5, C7 if they meet the standards above.
QCan I get automation barcode discounts on pieces that have been ruled “Nonmachinable?”
AYes. Please note that the price structure in Part C of PS Form 3541 provides a barcoded discount even for “Nonmachinable” pieces. Note the second group of piece prices of “Nonmachinable Flats” on lines C9-16. Although there may be no logic for it, it was in the 2008 price structure set by the Postal Regulatory Commission based on a proposal from Time Inc.
Under the 2006 postal reform bill, USPS had one final “structural” rate case in 2007 and placed in effect in 2008. There have been few changes in structure since then. © Max Heath 2013
MAX HEATH, NNA postal chair, is a postal consultant for Publishing Group of America (American Profile, Relish, & Spry) and Landmark Community Newspapers LLC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.