Mailers: Don’t Lose $Millions for Small Violations

Ignorance is no defense against the law or USPS.
“The U.S. Postal Service assessed Southern California Edison $7.6 million in penalties for not keeping its address lists up to date and Sears $1.1 million for allegedly violating the rules governing how folded self-mailers should be sealed, according to the lawsuits,” reads a June 30 blog post in Dead Tree Edition.

Poor data hygiene cost SCE its $7.6 million discount for preparing 82 million pieces of presorted First-Class mail sent between May 14, 2007, and November 26, 2008, according to the post. Part of the USPS case was SCE overrode the postal service’s address corrections based on information SCE got from its customers.

Sears lost $1.1 million in a dispute over the inadequacy of its seal “on 6.3 million folded Standard Class self-mailers it sent for two 2009 promotions,” according to Dead Tree Edition. Sears needed an extra adhesive tab on its “fletters” and the company improperly sealed some of its promotions with glue, literally gumming up USPS letter-sorting equipment.

Sears contended it improperly lost its discount, because USPS later approved the Sears fletter design, says Dead Tree Edition.

What similar stories are out there? What were the consequences?

Integrated Print Center details 10 “Mailing Mistakes to Avoid,” including: Mailing a job as a flat when it could have mailed it as a letter, designing an unusually shaped piece without understanding the postage ramifications and failing to check the piece’s weight.

Please share stories and thoughts in the comment section below.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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