RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (August 28, 2008) Melissa Data, (www.melissadata.com), a developer of data quality and mailing solutions and a nonexclusive USPS NCOALink Full Service Provider, announced today that the USPS has proposed stiff penalties for Standard mailings that dont comply with the new Move Update requirements going into effect November 23, 2008. 


According to Business Mailers Review, the USPS will use the MERLIN verification system to check for Move Update compliance. If there are mail pieces that are deemed noncompliant, then the entire mailing is noncompliant. As a result, the mailer could be subject to a 7 cent per mail piece penalty for every mail piece across the mailing, not just on the undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) pieces.


The proposed penalties show that the USPS is serious about holding mailers to a higher standard to help reduce UAA mail, said Gary Van Roekel, Melissa Datas VP of Sales and Marketing. If a mailer delivers a 100,000 piece mailing, and the Postal Service determines that it is not Move Update compliant, the proposed penalty would be $7,000 for that noncompliant mailing.


The USPS is committed to reducing UAA mail by 50% by 2010. The biggest cause of UAA mail is consumer moves. To help reduce UAA mail and the estimated $2 billion it costs the USPS annually, the Postal Service has expanded the Move Update standard to:


  • Include all Standard Mail in addition to First-Class Mail.
  • Shorten the minimum frequency of change-of-address processing from 185 to 95 days prior to the date of mailing to be eligible for automation and presort discount rates.

Mailers need to be aware of the coming changes and make sure they adjust their processing schedules accordingly. It is especially important for mailers to consider the 95-day window as they begin planning their data processing and mailing schedules for the coming Holiday season.

Authorized methods for Standard Mail to qualify for Move Update standards include: NCOALink processing, FASTforward processing (letter mail only), and Address Change of Service (ACS).

For additional information on the new Move Update requirements and guidelines on easy-to-implement list hygiene practices that will save money and postage by reducing UAA mail, download Melissa Datas complimentary whitepaper at www.melissadata.com/stopUAA


Melissa Data is an active DMA member, as well as a member of the DMAs List & Database Council. Melissa Data is a nonexclusive NCOALink Full Service Provider Licensee of the USPS. For over 23 years, Melissa Data has been a leading provider of data quality solutions with emphasis on U.S., Canadian, and international address and phone verification, and postal software. Free trial software is available by visiting www.MelissaData.com or by calling 1-800-MELISSA (800-635-4772).


The following trademarks are owned by the United States Postal Service®: NCOALink, First-Class, Standard Mail, USPS, Postal Service, Fastforward, ACS, and United States Postal Service. The USPS neither establishes, approves, nor controls rates at which NCOALink services are offered.