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USPS: CONFIRM Tracking Service To Offer Market-Based Pricing Options

Press release from the issuing company

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Postal Service today announced the availability of market-based pricing for its CONFIRM tracking service. CONFIRM's technology provides customers with information about where their letters or flats are as they travel through the mail stream, and provides the Postal Service with important operations data. Customers can access their data electronically through the Internet, or have it downloaded directly to their computer systems. CONFIRM utilizes technology to add value to the mail, and offers prices to meet specific customer needs. Beginning Sept. 22, 2002, a three-tiered flexible pricing structure for flat- and letter-mail tracking will enable senders or recipients to follow mail as it passes through the automated mail stream. During its monthly meeting here today, Vice President for Product Development, Nicholas Barranca announced that the Board of Governors had accepted the Postal Rate Commission's recommendation regarding a recent mail classification and flexible pricing proposal for CONFIRM. "CONFIRM not only responds to customer demand, but it is an important element of our Transformation Plan to secure the future of affordable mail service to every American," he explained. "CONFIRM's innovative new pricing structure -- subscription service rather than per-use charges -- represents real value for the Postal Service and real value for mailers." Mailers participate in CONFIRM by affixing special barcodes above the address on the mail piece. During the normal course of mail processing, these barcodes are read, linked with time and location information, and stored in a database for 15 days. Mailers can access this information to determine where their pieces are in the mail stream, and the status of their processing. For outgoing mail, Destination CONFIRM adds considerable value and benefit to mass mailers, such as: * Providing information on when customers receive important mailings, including bills, credit cards, and other significant mail pieces that would allow mailers to then plan subsequent business activities. * Providing mailers the opportunity to synchronize telemarketing with the delivery of their solicitation to enhance response rates and/or sales. * Augmenting direct mail pieces with other advertising media. * Helping identify transport, processing and delivery trends. For incoming mail, Origin CONFIRM provides considerable value and benefit to major processors of incoming payments, orders and other reply pieces. These include: * Providing information that enables mailers to match staffing to workload at payment processing and order fulfillment centers. * Providing utility companies advanced notice of incoming late payments to avoid shutting-off services. This increases customer satisfaction and saves money. * Providing information for managing cash flow and accounts receivable more effectively. * Providing opportunities for quickly evaluating the success of ad campaigns. * Providing advanced notice so that mail orders are processed more quickly to increase customer satisfaction.

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