Archive for June, 2013

USPS News Link Story – Big opportunity

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Donahoe begins by noting how the Postal Service is responding to customer feedback. He points to survey results showing the two factors customers say would convince them to do more business with the Postal Service — greater clarity on delivery times and increased tracking visibility.

via USPS News Link Story – Big opportunity.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 28th, 2013 at 11:18 am

Posted in USPS

PostalOne! Outage Scheduled

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From the DMM Advisory:

PostalOne!®  Release 35.0.0 Deployment — scheduled for July 14, 2013, will require an extended maintenance window to complete all software updates. There will be a PostalOne! outage from 12 midnight through 9 a.m. CT, Sunday, July 14, 2013. Also, the July 14, FAST Release 25.0.0 will require an outage from 4 a.m. CT to 8 a.m. CT to 5 p.m. CT.   The Program Registration Release 8.0.0 on July 14 will require an outage from 11:00 a.m. CT to 5 p.m. CT.

A mandatory Mail.dat® client download will be available immediately following the software update. Release notes for PostalOne! Release 35.0 can be found on RIBBS by clicking on Major/Minor Release Schedule/ 2013 Releases in the left-hand navigation bar or by going directly to Full Service 2013 Releases.

The Business Customer Gateway/eAdmin Release 5.0— will be deployed on Sunday, July 14 between 4:00 a.m.to 8:00 a.m. CT.  No PostalOne! outage is anticipated.  This release will include additional enhancements in the BCG application. Release Notes for the Business Customer Gateway/eAdmin will be provided prior to deployment.

 

PostalOne! Release 35.0 Deployment to Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) — will occur on Monday, July 15, 2013, and PostalOne! TEM will be unavailable from 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. CT.

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 28th, 2013 at 11:03 am

Posted in USPS

Network Rationalization Mail Moves and Labeling List Changes Webinar

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From an Industry Alert:

Network Rationalization Mail Moves and Labeling List Changes
Monday, July 1, 2013     2:00 PM (EDT)

Please join us on Monday, July 1st from 2:00 to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) for a webinar on Network Rationalization Mail Moves and Labeling List Changes presented by Shibani Gambhir, USPS Manager, Network Development & Support. This webinar will address the 2013 Network Consolidation Activities and how to use available information sources such as the Network Rationalization Mail Move File, Labeling Lists, and Drop Ship Product Files to help align your mail preparation and entry with the USPS mail processing network.

–Consumer & Industry Affairs

 PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH OTHER INTERESTED STAKEHOLDERS!

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EVENT INFORMATION:
Topic: Network Rationalization Mail Moves & Labeling List Changes
Date and Time:
July 1, 2013-2:00 PM, Eastern Daylight Time (New York)
Event number: 996 497 698
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To join the online event
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1. Click here to join the online event.
Or copy and paste the following link to a browser:

https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=996497698

2. Click “Join Now”.
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To join the teleconference only
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To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1-877-668-4493
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208
Toll-free dialing restrictions: http://www.webex.com/pdf/tollfree_restrictions.pdf
Access code: 996 497 698

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 26th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Posted in USPS

National Postal Worker Day July 1

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This is an interesting post from last year’s National Postal Workers Day, which takes place next on July 1, 2013.

National Postal Worker Day | Smithsonian Libraries Blog.

My ancestors in pre-Civil War South Carolina owned a store that was the only source of store-bought goods in the Laurens County area until 1830.  Located in this store was the post office, “Holland’s Post Office at Holland’s Store.”  (Holland=family surname)  This post office listed on maps dated as late as 1843 and 1855.

All of us have some USPS tie.

Postal workers have touched each and every one of our lives in some meaningful way, at some point.  Take a moment out on July 1 to thank your carrier, your clerk, your United States Postal Service connections!  They really do deliver for us all.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 26th, 2013 at 8:45 am

Posted in USPS

Watch out for change of address website that uses deceptive tactics

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Internet complaint boards such as Rip-off Report and Scambook are filled with reports from hundreds of consumers with similar stories. It seems that using a Google search to locate the legitimate U.S. Postal Service website also turns up “USPS-change-address.com.”Try Googling “USPS Change my address” and you will be taken to the website of the company that charges people $19.95.

The postal service’s official website is usps.com

Miramar-based U.S. Postal Inspector Blad Rojo said people just need to make sure they are on the postal service’s website. The postal service does not use other companies. Anything to do with your mail should be done only on its website.

via Protecting Your Pocket » Blog Archive » Watch out for change of address website that uses deceptive tactics.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 26th, 2013 at 8:27 am

Posted in USPS

USPS Dumps Tech Credit

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From the DMM Advisory:

Technical Credit Promotion Statement

The Postal Service had proposed the Technology Credit Promotion as a way to help mailers defray some of the initial costs associated with converting to full-service.

However, in light of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s June 10 decision regarding the price cap treatment of the Technology Credit Promotion, and the Postal Service’s present financial condition, we have determined not to proceed with the promotion.

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Was  this was all about the money, and not about Full Service adoption?  The USPS said they would reap untold savings and benefits from early Full Service adoption, did those benefits all go away?

This was a classic bait and switch operation – presented as a “Credit”, and then filed as a “Promotion”.  This is not the PRCs fault, the USPS is trying to divert attention away from the real culprit in this failed endeavor.

It is a shame how much time, effort, energy, programming – and MONEY – was wasted here.  And you can’t put a price on the harm done to the mail owner community perception of the USPS.  Many customers counted on these chickens, well before they hatched.   And they will be wary about getting fooled again in the future – that is how they will look at this latest development.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 24th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Posted in USPS

Business Customer Gateway and PostalOne!

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I had a commenter yesterday regarding the Business Customer Gateway outage this week, and the planned outage for the weekend.  I was in New York City yesterday for the Northeast Area Focus Group Meeting, so I didn’t post about the outage.  Here is the notice from USPS:

“The Business Customer Gateway is not available to external customers at this time. A problem (Remedy # 672772) with internet name resolution is preventing customers from accessing the USPS site. The problem began at approximately 9:15 PM CT and the USPS technical teams are working this issue. An update will be provided once the problem has been resolved.”

with an update (8 hours later)

“The Business Customer Gateway is not available to external customers at this time. A problem (Remedy # 672772) with internet name resolution is preventing customers from accessing the USPS site. The problem began at approximately 9:15 PM CT and the USPS technical teams are working this issue. An update will be provided once the problem has been resolved.”

Here is the comment:

“What procedures are in place for the contingency where we “external users” cannot access the PostalOne! system?? Why isn’t that considered a system outage? Are we supposed to sit on our mail until the USPS can figure out how to let us provide the required electronic documentation? Do people show up at the PO with thumb drives and upload stuff directly from the BMEU employee’s login?”  See full comment at this post about the BCG patch release

This is from an email notification that came out around Storm Sandy, detailing the PostalOne contingency plan.  (I could not find a copy on USPS sites, will keep looking):

Attention Postal One! Users:  Contingency Plans for Acceptance of Mailings Affected by Hurricane Sandy. Contingency plans for acceptance of mailings are available for mailers who may be affected by Hurricane Sandy. If PostalOne!® is unavailable in hurricane-impacted areas, or mailers are unable to produce/submit their electronic mailing documentation or postage statements, the BMEU, DMU or Post Office will operate under the PostalOne! Contingency Plan. Please consult with your local Manager of Business Mail Entry for possible alternate acceptance locations if the office at which your mailings are normally submitted is closed due to the storm. Below is a brief summary of the PostalOne! Contingency Plan, which will allow mailings to continue to be accepted with as little impact on the mailer as possible:

  • Acceptance units will move to a manual process when necessary to record mailings presented if the PostalOne! system is unavailable.
  • Acceptance units will complete A Record of Mailings log for each permit holder that presents a mailing if the PostalOne! system is unavailable.
  • Mailers who normally submit their postage statements electronically, either through the Postal Wizard or through Mail.dat® or Mail.XML®, may submit hardcopy postage statements or provide a hardcopy log with pertinent mailing information (sample attached).
  • The log must include, at a minimum, the following elements: Mailer Name, Permit Holder Name, Permit Number/Type, Processing Category, Class, Total pieces, Total Full Service pieces and Total Postage.
  • If a mailer is unable to upload files and PostalOne! is operational, the Full-Service discount will be allowed pending outcome of the problem.
  • Mailers will need to submit their Full-Service electronic documentation once the systems are restored.

Mailers who are entering Plant Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) mailings and cannot reach the intended destinating facility may deposit the mailing at the nearest open Postal Service facility that can accommodate the mailing. Mailers will be required to submit the appropriate PS Form 8125 with the mailing to show postage has been paid. Mailers may review the Mail Services Update on usps.com at http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/welcome.htm for the latest list of affected postal facilities and redirections. If you have any questions please call the USPS PostalOne! Help Desk at 800-522-9085.”

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Basically, what this boils down to is — mailers have to maintain TWO SYSTEMS – paper and electronic – simultaneously, and must be able to switch from electronic to paper whenever PostalOne! is down or inaccessible.  Which can happen at any moment, with no idea how long an outage will extend.

Also – since the USPS self-reports on downtime, and controls the definition of “outage”, I’m sure it reports out as rarely out of commission.  Mailers would probably have a different view of things.

 

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 21st, 2013 at 8:50 am

Posted in USPS

IG: Postal Service should consider cutting off Accenture work

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The U.S. Postal Service should consider suspending or debarring one of its largest contractors, information technology firm Accenture, from future work because of the risk of fraud, the agency’s inspector general said in a newly released audit.

Accenture “has demonstrated an absence of business ethics, a lack of transparency and insufficient internal controls in its business dealings with the Postal Service,” according to the audit, which also cited Accenture’s $64 million settlement two years ago with the Justice Department to resolve kickback allegations stemming from its hardware and software recommendations to other agencies. Besides potentially cutting off future business to Accenture, the Postal Service should consider ending existing contracts, the IG said.

The audit comes six months after the inspector general concluded in a separate review that Accenture wasn’t attempting to fix its system for monitoring actual contract costs in comparison with estimated costs and hadn’t fully addressed an earlier recommendation to periodically review its estimating system.

via IG: Postal Service should consider cutting off Accenture work | Federal Times | federaltimes.com.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 19th, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Posted in USPS

Message from PRC Chairman

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Chairman’s Message

On June 18th, the Postal Regulatory Commission published a decision changing the analytical principle defining the benchmark used for calculating worksharing discounts for certain types of First-Class Mail. This particular rulemaking docket is noteworthy because it was prompted by a Petition for Rulemaking submitted by a mailer.

Petitions for rulemaking provide opportunities for interested persons to bring thoughtful, well-supported proposals before the Commission for review in a public docket. I encourage all interested persons to continue to share their constructive proposals with the Commission in this manner.

Ruth Y. Goldway
Chairman

via Postal Regulatory Commission: Home.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 19th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Posted in USPS

“gopost” gets seal of disapproval in San Francisco

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“gopost” gets seal of disapproval in San Francisco – postalnews blog.

The most telling line is about how USPS officials were “suprised” by the San Fransisco reaction.  Perhaps they should talk to people, and when they do, listen more often.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 18th, 2013 at 11:05 am

Posted in USPS