The new Move Update Census Verification Method and postage price change went into effect on January 21. The postage price change should have been a nonevent except for two important factors.

  1. No Promotions were included because there is currently no Board of Governors in place to approve them.
  2. The Move Update implementation now required mailers to be more attentive to their Mailer Scorecards.

The new Move Update verification method assesses Mail Service Providers on a monthly basis starting with February data, meaning that, at the beginning of March, invoicing will be issued for any failures under the new verification method. Service providers who have not been looking at their Move Update scores should begin to do so now, so that they don’t get surprised by March assessments.

Mail owners should also examine their scores. As part of the invoicing process, the service provider now has the option to charge the mail owner for any for any portion of move update failures, or they can pay for it themselves without prior permission.

Mail owners should be prepared for this by holding evidence of Move Update essentially in escrow; if a service provider decides that mail owners have to pay for a certain portion of the assessment, then the mail owners can look at their own score to see whether they were a contributor to service provider exceeding the current threshold of .5%. An independent third party is the best option to hold this information, or at least the entity that performed Move Update. Information should be held for a minimum of seven years to cover any statute of limitations.

No Postal Promotions … For Now

Because there is no functioning board of governors in place, there are currently no promotions scheduled for 2018. When Congress approves the three existing nominations, which we hear might happen next month, the postal service will be ready to file the promotion and initiate them as soon as possible, provided the new board thinks that promotions are a good idea.

The effect of the promotions delay certainly wasn’t anticipated by most in the industry, so it’s now a big problem, since people had largely determined 2018 budgets based on the promotions. What everyone now faces is, basically, a hidden rate increase. Until the board is filled and promotions are filed, mail owners can’t get promotional discounts, which could depress mail volume.

In conclusion, pay attention to your Move Update scores, store evidence of compliance, and use industry best practices — including NCOALink prior to mailing and ACS to collect additional changes after the mailing. Also, be careful when deciding to use newly proposed options like Green & Secure Move Update Method, which is a subject for another blog…

Angelo Anagnostopoulos is GrayHair’s VP of Postal Affairs. His extensive expertise in postal affairs and software development for the mailing, parcel, and transportation industries enables GrayHair to maximize clients’ postal operations, develop compliance best practices, and provide guidance on a wide variety of postal issues and regulations.

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