Bad Data, Penalties as a Revenue Stream, and the USPS One Way Street

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Full Service Invoicing, Seamless Acceptance penalties, Move Update penalties – send “bad” data to the USPS, and you will be paying the price. But what happens when the USPS pushes bad data out to mailers and mail owners? How does industry recoup their losses and additional costs for bad data being provided by USPS?

They don’t. USPS penalties are a one way street (much like deadlines – mailers, miss a deadline, get fined. USPS miss a deadline, miss a deadline, miss a deadline – reschedule the deadline). The myth of USPS efforts to provide “lowest combined costs” is just that – a myth.

One example (there are more) – USPS Label List data. USPS recently pushed forward with monthly label list updates, which they require in order to be nimble and save on their costs. Industry cautioned the USPS that although the mailers can handle the changes, the USPS was not going to be able to do the same.

And now, as predicted, the USPS can’t seem to get their act together and provide good Label List data, much less correct their data errors in a timely fashion. Mailers are left to patch together mixed sets of bad data to try and get a good set, with minimal direction, and spotty communications. So far the monthly label list updates have been an epic fail. And rather than being responsive to their customers, pulling back on monthly updates, as the USPS clearly can’t handle them yet, fixing the issues PRIOR to dumping on the field – the USPS just plods along, sticking to the plan that isn’t working.

If USPS wants mailers to be nimble, quick, and reactive, they need to walk the walk, in addition to talking the talk.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

July 17th, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Posted in USPS

2 Responses to 'Bad Data, Penalties as a Revenue Stream, and the USPS One Way Street'

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  1. Mail increases are extortion. Small and medium sized mailers are victims of the fraudulent data that was put into the mail processing equipment.Automation was completed in 2006, that meant that mail that was not able to be processed by the machines became available for inclusion in the regular mail processing stream. Independent mail processors, who were created at the beginning of automation to assist in processing until enough employees were hired, have now become partners.The contracts that are circulated between the independent mail processors, large mass mailers, mail processing equipment manufacturers, and the postal managers are tax free no-bid contracts that have never been audited and are not monitored, according to testimony given to the Committee on Homeland Security in 08 by senator Susan Collins of Main. Small business is the target. Mail that is processed by small businesses in not monitored for delivery. Postal employees are going to be eliminated. The independent mail processors, who were created by the post office will take the equipment from the mail processing plants that employ postal workers. These companies will continue to process the mail on the same equipment at 35,000 pieces per hour, 24/7/365. Postal rates will continue to increase, they are tied to the cost of living. The only postal employees will be managers. Their only function will be to negotiate the no-bid, tax free contracts that are circulated. The $5 billion per year that goes to the retirement fund will be use for executive bonuses, moving and travel expenses.Small and medium sized businesses will be hostages. Read my e-book on Amazon. GOING POSTAL,THE STORY BEHIND THE FOREVER STAMP.

    Allen Sanford

    18 Jul 14 at 9:50 pm

  2. You are correct Lisa that the USPS mandates the hell out of her customers but seldom delivers any credible returns. I helped saved mailers millions of dollars by developing state of the art address hygiene platforms specifically addressing the conflict of so called “clean” data from the USPS. There is no clear cut way to eliminate bad addresses in the system because this country is so transient and internal USPS updates can take 90 days. My suggestion is to incorporate best practices in maintaining data and caution you to scrutinize any data point within an organization. When you start mixing different vendors information especially in customer facing units (ie. UPS shipping data vs USPS, or Fed Ex)you jeopardize integrity of the USPS systems. One example is that UPS delivers to street addresses, some towns have all USPS PO Box delivery which can cause a conflict. At the end of the day every end user needs to develop a very concise and collaborative data storage and update program because every data point (customer) you lose contact with equates into lost revenue for that business.

    Mr Zip Retired

    21 Jul 14 at 1:29 pm

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