Vendors of CASS-certified address correction software were notified by the U.S. Postal Service that mail pieces will receive CASS-related discounts only when the agency's delivery point validation process confirms the primary number of the address.
Currently an option, the DPV requirement takes effect in summer 2007. Vendors were notified in February so they could start making changes to their software now.
The USPS would offer no comment on the issue.
CASS, or Coding Accuracy Support System, lets the USPS evaluate the accuracy of address-matching software in three areas: ZIP+4 delivery point coding, carrier route coding and five-digit coding. It lets vendors/mailers test their address verification software packages and, after achieving a certain percentage of compliance, receive CASS certification from the USPS.
The DPV system helps mailers obtain accurate delivery address information and facilitates identification of erroneous addresses contained in mailer address files. For example, ZIP+4 codes typically represent a range of 100 or fewer house numbers on a given street. While 13300-13399 Maple St. may be assigned to ZIP+4 code 33556-5629, not all of those house numbers represent actual delivery points. DPV identifies those addresses that may be in a valid ZIP+4 range but are not valid addresses, thus allowing mail to be delivered in a delivery point sequence.
The USPS told software vendors at a Feb. 1 meeting that if the primary street number of an address cannot be confirmed with DPV, then no ZIP+4 code would be assigned to the mail. Without a ZIP+4 code, the mail ceases to qualify for postal discounts.
Most software vendors consider this an important requirement.
“It's not efficient for mail processing equipment to have to contend with incomplete or inaccurate addresses,” said Bill McGlynn, sales and marketing manager for Time Customer Service, Tampa, FL. “As a result of the new requirement, the non-validated addresses will be eliminated from the automation-qualified mail and potentially subject to non-discounted rates.”
Time Customer Service, part of Time Warner, is a full-service National Change of Address Link provider.
“The USPS' Strategic Transformation Plan 2006-2010 makes it clear that the postal service must continue to reduce operating costs in order to maintain universal service in the face of an ever-growing delivery network,” Mr. McGlynn said, “and this can only be achieved through the further implementation of the automation of mail processing and the reduction of undeliverable as addressed mail.”
Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters