The Postal Rate Commission set an Oct. 17 deadline to register for participation in discussions on the U.S. Postal Service's request for a negotiated service agreement with Capital One Services Inc.
The next step after the that deadline is a pre-hearing conference Oct. 23. As of press time, five parties said they plan to submit comments.
The USPS filed the request last month. It would be the first NSA between the postal service and one of its customers. NSAs are special rate and service arrangements negotiated between the agency and a mailer or group of mailers. The postal service says that NSAs will provide pricing incentives that encourage greater mail volume and rewards for its largest customers. Capital One is the largest producer of First-Class mail.
If the NSA is approved by the PRC and the Board of Governors, the postal service would like to implement it by Feb. 1.
Many expect United Parcel Service to oppose the request because it previously said in congressional testimony that the USPS should not be allowed to grant NSAs or volume-based discounts. The PRC's Office of Consumer Advocate and the American Postal Workers Union also might oppose the filing, saying that it unfairly grants discounts to large-volume mailers at the expense of the general mailing public.