For direct mailers and mail service providers, it is critical to understand the U.S. Postal Service’s Mailer Scorecard, and how and why fines are assessed for mail that does not meet Full Service requirements and exceeds USPS thresholds. The Mailer Scorecard is basically a report card that assesses the effectiveness of mail preparation. Mail is being assessed as it is processed – after being accepted – so no corrections can be made if there is an issue.
Assessment reports, and invoices for postage due, are sent to the eDoc submitter monthly and combine all jobs processed in the month. For mailing service providers, assessments can include discrepancies for multiple mail owners for multiple mailings so understanding where issues stem from can be tricky.
On November 11, 2016 the first assessment reports were sent to the Verification Assessment Evaluators, VAE’s, at mailers for October. Mailings that are not compliant with Full Service program requirements and reach or exceed specific threshold percentages lose their Full Service discounts ($.001 or $.003 per piece) for the mailpieces in error. Mailers have 10 days to request a review of an issue, and 3 days to pay the fines after a final decision has been made.
Payments to the USPS are made through permits. Direct mailers who own their own permits and use a mail service provider (like J&Q) to produce their mail will be notified by the USPS when assessment payments are made.
The thresholds vary by category as follows:
- Service Type ID (STID) 2% – The STID in the Intelligent Mail barcode is missing, not valid or correct for the class and service level of the mailpiece.
- Mailer ID (MID) 2% – The MID on the piece, container or handling unit was not assigned by the USPS, is invalid or cannot be found.
- Unique IMb/IMtb/IMcb 2% – A barcode is not unique within 45 days from the mail date. This can include IMb on mailpiece, container barcodes and pallet barcodes.
- Copalletization 5% – When the mail preparer and freight consolidator do not submit both of their eDocs within 14 days for copal mail.
- Entry Facility 5% – The entry facility included in the eDoc is not a valid Postal Service location.
- By/For 5% – Occurs when a mail owner (direct mailer) or a mail preparer (like J&Q) cannot be identified in the eDoc. Typical causes are invalid MID, CRID or permit.
Marketers – make sure you are working with a mailing service provider who understands the Mailer Scorecard and is constantly reviewing it. At J&Q we review our scorecard daily to monitor our mail preparation quality and insure we aren’t nearing the USPS thresholds.
For more information on the Mailer Scorecard contact us at 847.588.4800 or email@example.com. The USPS Guide to Mailer Scorecard also provides a good overview.