The U.S. Postal Service published Domestic Mail Manual standards for its Premium Forwarding Service experiment in yesterday's Postal Bulletin.
The USPS is conducting this nationwide, two-year experiment starting Aug. 7 to measure interest in a new service that ships mail to residential customers who are away from their main address for at least two weeks and up to one year, such as those who own seasonal residences.
PFS provides a shipment of a customer's mail every Wednesday from their main address to their temporary address by Priority Mail service.
The service differs from two services USPS currently offers: Temporary Forwarding, which forwards certain types of mail to a temporary address on a piece-by-piece basis; and Hold Mail, under which all mail for an entire household can be held at the post office for up to 30 days.
For PFS, customers pay an initial enrollment fee of $10 plus a weekly per-shipment charge of $10.
Express Mail and Priority Mail packages that are too large to fit inside the weekly PFS package are immediately and separately rerouted at no additional charge. Package Services parcels that are too large to fit inside the PFS package are rerouted with postage due. All mail requiring a delivery scan or a signature also is separately rerouted.
Customers cannot have a temporary or permanent forwarding order active with enrollment in PFS.
Customers who wish to participate must submit an application to the post office responsible for delivery to their main address and pay the enrollment fee and shipment charges for the time they will be away. Customers who wish to cancel PFS early may request a refund for any unused weekly shipment charges from the post office serving their main address.
The USPS Board of Governors approved the PFS experiment May 10.
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