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April 6

April 6, 2006


Negotiated Service Agreement to Boost First-Class Mail Volume


We filed our sixth Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) request with the Postal Rate Commission on March 29. This request is for a three-year agreement with Washington Mutual Bank to encourage use of First-Class Mail for the bank's credit card solicitations. Washington Mutual is located in Seattle and provides financial services for consumers and small businesses.


An NSA is an innovative contract between us and a mailer and provides customized pricing based on the company's mail operations. As with past NSAs, Washington Mutual would get declining block rates for First-Class Mail volumes above certain thresholds.


This NSA is unique in that its economic value comes mainly from higher First-Class Mail volumes. In previous NSA filings, savings from Address Correction Service were developed as a partial tradeoff in proposing discounts. Instead, this NSA includes a new volume guarantee requiring Washington Mutual to send at least 500 million or 90 percent of its total credit card solicitations as First-Class Mail.


Besides the First-Class Mail volume requirement, we would give Washington Mutual "no fee" electronic address correction notifications at certain volume levels for First-Class pieces that are undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA). In return, they would forgo the return of UAA mail under the existing service features of First-Class Mail.


While we have already signed a contract with Washington Mutual, the changes in prices and service to implement the NSA require review and recommendation by the Postal Rate Commission and approval by the USPS Governors.


Updated Mailing Publications


Two popular publications are updated and available now on Postal Explorer (


Publication 417, Nonprofit Standard Mail Eligibility:  Nonprofit and Other Qualified Organizations provides important information to help you understand nonprofit authorization and content standards. Our update includes new resource links to Postal Explorer, new case studies, and a new nonprofit Customer Support Rulings index.


Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail can help you determine what may be mailed and how certain items must be packaged to keep the mail safe. Readers will notice minor updates throughout Publication 52, and major changes to the infectious substances and packaging information.


Both publications are fully searchable on Postal Explorer and can be viewed in HTML and PDF formats. Take a look at the new publications and all of our helpful mailing tools on Postal Explorer today.