on Jan 10th, 2011 in Finances: Cost & Revenue | 7 comments
 
Postage Meters are printing machines or systems for home or office that print postage directly onto mailpieces, or onto an approved label, for mailing. Customers can request refunds on meter mail for a variety of reasons. For example, customers can request refunds when meter mail postage is printed for the wrong denomination, mail is damaged before it is delivered to the Postal Service, or postage is printed but not mailed. For customers to receive a refund, they must take their unused meter mail postage along with the Postal Service Form 3533, (Application for Refund of Fees, Products and Withdrawal of Customer Accounts),to their local post office to request the refund. Once postal employees receive a refund request, they process the request manually by counting each piece of metered postage in question to verify the refund amount. The Postal Service charges a 10 percent fee (up to $350) for each refund processed. If the 10 percent fee is greater than $350, the Postal Service charges the customer a flat fee of $35 an hour to process the refund. Once the local postal employee verifies the refund amount, the post office either issues a no-fee money order (if the refund is less than $500) or forwards the supporting documentation to a disbursement center for refund payment. In Fiscal Year 2010, the Postal Service refunded customers more than $21 million for spoiled and unused meter mail postage. If all associated mailpieces were metered at the First-ClassTM 44-cent stamp rate that would mean postal employees manually counted 47.7 million mailpieces to verify meter mail refunds. The topic is hosted by the Office of Audit Field Financial – West team.

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Of course accounts should be credited with the refund and not given money orders or disbursement checks. That is just ripe for fraud from office workers in need of cash fast. Postage meters print money....let's not forget that money is money!! That is the problem I see with at home click and ship...people can print money at home!

Good suggestion. Should there be a limit as to the amount of the refund? For example, credit all refunds, regardless or the amount, or just refunds over $100.

The 3533 form should come with a simpler version for things like PO Box key returns and Express mail failures. Have a seperate form for meter refunds and that stuff. When you hand a customer one of these forms, they look at you like the form was written in some other language. And I don't blame them for it either.

Just a thought, different versions of the 3533 similar to what IRS has for the 1040 form. As an example, key refunds 3533-K; meter refunds 3533-M; and service refunds 3533-R.

Exactly.

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How old the meter have to be to do a refund or if there is a limits?.