USPS, Capital One dispute remains in discovery

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An ongoing dispute between the US Post­al Service and Capital One regarding a negotiated service agreement (NSA) — a contract between the USPS and the mailer that provides customized pricing incentives — is still in the discovery phase.

A spokesperson for the Postal Regulatory Commission, which is hearing the dispute, said the PRC's general policy is to let the two parties take as long as they need to work through the discovery phase.

Capital One filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission on June 19 claiming that it was denied an NSA under the same terms as one approved to Bank of America Corp.

The case has been in the discovery phase since that point.

Terms of the Bank of America NSA, which took effect April 1, required multiple operational commitments from the company, including implementing the Intelligent Mail barcode and other auto­mated sorting tools, as well as waiving the physical return of certain First Class Mail and Standard Mail pieces.

The USPS claims Capital One's pro­posed NSA was not identical to that of Bank of America, and that the bank had not exhausted all good faith negotiations for an NSA before filing the complaint

Capital One received the first NSA, which was approved, in May 2003. The agreement granted the bank a discount rate on mail volume above an annual total of 1.225 billion pieces for a three-year term. The USPS receives between 50 and 100 requests for NSAs each year, according to a USPS spokesman

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