USPS Rule on First-Class, Standard-Mail Rates Leaves More Questions
Postal officials agreed with our concerns and modified the final rule, which now states: “The exclusive reason for inclusion of all the personal information is to support the advertising or solicitation in the mail piece.”
In response to comments from 350 nonprofit groups, the USPS said: “[We] are willing to provide mailers with advance rulings, during planning or pre-production stages of their mailings so customers will have certainty regarding the prices they will be asked to pay at the acceptance dock. This guidance is generally already available to mailers on an informal, local basis, and some mailers on an informal, local basis, and some mailers routinely take advantage of this opportunity. The Postal Service plans to expand the availability of these types of rulings.”
The agency also said it will centralize its Rates and Classification Centers, as well as its Nonprofit Service Center in New York, in a new office: the Pricing and Classification Service Center. This new hub -- set to open Nov. 27 -- would make advance rulings possible, although we fear that this will be very difficult to implement.
We do not have specific details yet but will keep you informed of this important change.
To summarize, beginning this June, your mailpiece must meet the following criteria to qualify for the standard-mail rate:
* The appeal must contain explicit advertising for a product or service for sale or lease, or an explicit solicitation for donation.
* All of the personal information must be directly related to the advertising or solicitation.
* The exclusive reason for inclusion of all the personal information is to support the advertising or solicitation in the mail piece.
Clearly, we have some unanswered questions about the new rule, and we will be meeting with the USPS to obtain further clarity.
Senny Boone is executive director of the DMA Nonprofit Federation. For questions and comments about the new rule, call Senny at 202.861.2498, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.nonprofitfederation.org.