Washington, DC –The Postal Regulatory Commission invites press and interested parties to a short briefing on its decision in the U.S. Postal Service Request for an above inflation, “exigent” price increase for its market-dominant products. This is the first time that the issue of what is an “exceptional or extraordinary” circumstance will be decided under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Questions from the Press will be entertained following the briefing.
What: The Commission will announce its decision on a closely watched case, the Postal Service exigent price increase request filed on July 6, 2010, seeking to increase prices by an average of 5.6 percent on its Market-Dominant products, including, but not limited to, First-Class and Standard letters and flats, Periodicals, and Standard packages.
Under the PAEA, price increases for Market-Dominant products are capped at the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The Postal Service may request Market-Dominant increases above the rate of inflation, however, due to “extraordinary or exceptional” circumstances.
Commissioners and Commission staff
11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 30, 2010
Where: Hearing Room
Postal Regulatory Commission
901 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20268
Q: Is it legal to mail utility bills on just the postcard? Or will it need to be put into an envelope?
A: We have many municipality and utility customers all over the country who use our utility postcards for their billing without enclosing them in an envelope. They are able to mail the bills for the less than the cost of a first class stamp alone!
On a letter-size piece, the recommended address placement is within the optical character reader (OCR) read area, which is a space on the address side of the mailpiece defined by these boundaries (see Exhibit 2.1, OCR Read Area):
a. Left: 1/2 inch from the left edge of the piece.
b. Right: 1/2 inch from the right edge of the piece.
c. Top: 2-3/4 inches from the bottom edge of the piece.
d. Bottom: 5/8 inch from the bottom edge of the piece.
A domestic return address must be placed in the upper left corner of the address side of the mailpiece or the upper left corner of the addressing area. If the return address is a multiple delivery address, it must show a unit designator (e.g., an apartment number).
The United States Postal Service has proposed new rates to take effect on January 2, 2011. First-Class stamps would increase 2 cents to 46 cents and postcard stamps would increase 2 cents to 30 cents. This would be the first increase in two years. Rates will remain the same in the interim.
Q: Don’t suppose you know what colors can have a postnet barcode. I know that you have to stay away from shades of red, it throws off the post office scanner.
A: I spoke with a Mailpiece Design Analyst with the USPS and she said that their only guideline is “dark ink on light background.” Dark inks could include black, dark blue, dark green, etc. Light backgrounds include white, pastels, etc. You are correct that they discourage red. Their concern is that there is good reflectance on the background.