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Concerns Regarding Postal Inspection Services Initiative for Move Update

Complexities Associated with Compliance with the Move Update Process

November 13, 2009 By Mary Ann Bennett
My firm provides mailing training and consulting and we represent clients who have had some dealings with the Postal Inspectors from the U. S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG). We are well versed in the details of what they have experienced with postal inspectors and what is discussed in this article is a common thread. It has happened to more than one. These companies are very, very large First-class Permit Imprint mailers.

According to the OIG, “The Postal Service derives much of its revenue—nearly 50 percent—from Permit Imprint mail.” These folks are following postal regulations and are sending their invoices or statements, etc. as First class mail. And, being very large mailers—mailing millions per year or per month, they also want to take every step they possibly can to claim maximized postal discounts. Move update has applied to them since 1997.

All of these companies have a vested interest in making sure they have the absolute most current address data on file for their customers. They are sending their customers invoices and need to be paid for services rendered. For decades, they have had in place extraordinarily detailed and extensive processes to assure they have the most current move/address information for their customers.

For all these years they have assumed they have been move update compliant by anyone’s standards simply because of the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars they have spent in making sure they have call centers place; processing departments to handle any mail that is returned to them as part of mailing at First class rates. It gets returned and new address information is quickly and efficiently processed using procedures that are continually monitored and refined.

In their minds, there has never been a question that they have been attempting to defraud the Postal Service or claim discounts they are not entitled to claim because address quality issues (not just postage) have always been a major line item on their financial statements.

These very large mailers have been under the impression that they have been doing a very good job and not because they believe themselves to be legends in their own minds. Since they began mailing, their local Post Office, and I don’t care what city you are in, the message is the same, they hear from their local Post Offices about what a great customer they are of the United States Postal Service—what a great partner they are! They hear this numerous times throughout the year from all of their local postal officials.


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