As more mailers are now starting to pay closer attention to their Mailer Scorecard on PostalOne!®, a common issue that shows up on their scorecards is By/For errors. So, you ask, what the heck is “By/For” and how do mailers get these errors to go away?
For Full-Service mailings, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) requires that electronic documentation (eDoc) includes identification of the Mail Owner, the Mail Preparer, and the eDoc Submitter. This is often referred to as the “By/For” data: the Mail Preparer is the company who is preparing the mail (the “By” part) and the Mail Owner is the company responsible for the content of the mailpiece and receives the benefit of the mailing (the “For” part). Likewise, the eDoc Submitter is the company submitting the electronic documentation (“By”) for the Mail Owner (“For”). All of these entities are identified in the eDoc using their Mailer ID numbers (MIDs) or Customer Registration ID Numbers (CRIDs). For companies preparing and submitting their own mailings, all of these entities may be the same company. For companies that use Mail Service Providers, these three entities may be three different companies.
Where is the data?
The MID and CRID data used to identify the Mail Owner and Mail Preparer in the mailing is located in the Mailer Postage Account (MPA) file of the Mail.dat® file. The CRID data to identify the eDoc Submitter is located in the Header (HDR) file of the Mail.dat file. The eDoc Submitter data is also located in the Segment (SEG) file, but that is for mailing industry use; PostalOne! uses the data in the Header file.
The first thing you need to do in order to make any corrections is to verify that you have the correct MIDs and CRIDs for the participants in the mailing. If you are preparing and submitting your own mailings, this is fairly easy. However, if you are a Mail Service Provider, it can be a real challenge to obtain and/or verify the CRIDs and MIDs for all of your clients. MSP’s may obtain/validate client CRIDs and MIDs by logging on to the Business Customer Gateway. Inquiries in bulk quantities may be submitted using Excel spreadsheets. We highly recommend that you obtain both the CRID and MID data for your clients, not just one or the other. The USPS could change the requirements regarding which piece of data is necessary, so it is best to gather both pieces of data while you are collecting information anyway; then you are covered for any future changes.
Once you have the correct CRIDs and MIDs, you then need to update this information in your presort and/or post-presort software so that the correct data may be populated in the Mail.dat files. Your software providers should be able to assist you in identifying the correct parameters or views where this data should be entered or edited. As luck would have it, Window Book’s DAT-MAIL™ software offers a quick and easy way to get to the By/For data by using our Navigator view.
If you continue to receive By/For error reports after making these corrections, it may be that the USPS has multiple CRIDs or MIDs on file for your clients, in which case you will need to contact the PostalOne! Help Desk for assistance in determining which CRIDs and MIDs are valid for the mailings you are preparing or submitting.
Postage payment and statements
In addition to the By/For information, mailers submitting eDoc also need to insure that the correct postage payment method and permit data is populated in the Mail.dat files. This information is also contained in the Mailer Postage Account (MPA) record. If you are preparing and submitting your own mailings using your own postal permits for postage payment, this is again relatively easy. However, if you are a MSP, this gets a bit trickier. If your clients pay for their own postage using their own permits, you will need to make sure that you obtain updated permit information for each of your clients and update it in your presort and/or post-presort software. If you pay for your clients’ postage using your own permits, then you will need to request what are called “ghost permits” from your local post office for each of these clients. These ghost permits are for identification purposes only, and are not used for payment of postage. This ghost permit information needs to be populated in the Local Permit Number field of the MPA file, and the Local Permit Type field in these cases should be populated with a “V” for Virtual. This will insure that the correct information gets populated in the Mail Owner block on the first page of the postage statements. Please note: this is NOT the same as the Mail Owner identification required for Full-Service eligibility; that is done with the Mail Owner MID or CRID fields in the MPA file. Confusing? Absolutely! But, the USPS plans to change that in October, when the Mail Owner block of the postage statement will also be populated using the Mail Owner MID/CRID information rather than the Local Permit information.
More detailed information regarding the By/For requirements may be obtained at the USPS RIBBS® web site. A Full-Service By/For Guide is available on the RIBBS site, as is the Identifying Mail Owners In eDoc Guide. Also available are MID and CRID Acquisition Quick Step and CRID and MID Acquisition Fact Sheet.
Window Book is here to help
Window Book also offers webinars to help you understand these errors, such as Identifying Mail Owners in eDoc, Mailer’s Scorecard, and Common PostalOne! Errors.
Window Book is currently celebrating its 26th year helping clientsmanage their operations more profitably. Why should you talk to Window Book? Because we help you to: Streamline mail processes to reduce operational costs! Implement Full-Service and Seamless Acceptance to minimize the risk of downstream quality issues and be in a better position to defend your preparation processes. Grow with Emerging Technologies. Automate Your PostalOne! Submissions. Move to the Cloud to Optimize Your Operations. Use Your Data to Make More Money. Are you Keeping Up With Your Competition? Learn the KEY Shifts You Can Make… We Can Help YOU in Ways No Other Company Can! Call 1-800-524-0380 and talk with a Postal Expert Now.
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