What You May Not Know About Postage and Your Mail Machine

By Paul Johnson, President CMS – Complete Mailing Solutions

If you have a mailing system, you know that postage must be added to your meter as needed.  Typically, postage is funded in one of three ways:

  1. Through an ACH debit (direct funding from your bank account)
  2. Sending in a check to the Postal Service (via a specified lockbox operated by the USPS)
  3. Automatic downloads with billing at a later date (much like a credit card)
small mail machine

No matter which funding method used, you may have assumed that once funds are loaded onto your postage meter, that money still belongs to you and that your manufacturer is holding the funds for you.

Not true!

Once funds have been downloaded onto a postage meter, those funds immediately become the property of the US Postal Service. The USPS authorizes the manufacturer to rent or lease the meter thru a licensing agreement, but the postage meter can never be owned by an individual or company. (Beware of EBay scams selling meters!)

What happens when you no longer need your mailing system or change systems and postage meters?

If you are changing or upgrading to a new system with the SAME manufacturer, your postage money will be transferred to the new postage meter.  However, if you are cancelling/returning the meter and not replacing it with a new one, the US Postal Service will be refunding your money.  Your meter must first be deactivated and returned to the manufacturer for processing. A request will then be made by the manufacturer to the USPS and a check issued to you. This refund process may take up to 6-8 weeks. *

When Will Your Postage Funds NOT Be returned to you?

Be aware that if there is less than $25.00 on your postage meter, the USPS will not refund your money (pursuant to Federal Reg. Section 604.9.3.1 set on 11/06/2008).

Have questions?  At CMS, we are here to help.  Call us at 303-761-0681.

*Non-Neopost or Hasler equipment manufacturers may have a different process.

Can A Turtle Become A Gazelle?

By Paul Johnson, President Complete Mailing Solutions

Today’s companies are in transition. Mailroom processes have reached a tipping point between old school “turtle” thinking entrenched in “business as usual” and progressive “gazelle“ thinking that is focused on flexibility, speed, responsiveness and efficiency.

With increased labor and processing costs, strict legal requirements concerning customer privacy (e.g., HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley), steep penalties for non-compliance, and customers expecting responsiveness, companies can no longer afford to fall back on old school thinking by hiding in their shells.

How To Become a Gazelle

State-of-the-art mailroom Process Integrity Solutions (PIS) provide the ability to combine hardware and software technologies to ensure mail preparation is secure, content is correct, visibility is instantaneous and costs are reduced. Consider these additional benefits:barcode-with-push-pin

  • Increased efficiency – eliminates slow, manual processes that lead to errors, mismatched documents, privacy breaches, and high handling costs.
  • Visibility and tracking – barcode technology groups documents by customer and reports the status of individual mail pieces.
  • Cost Savings – combines multiple communications into one mailing based on the individual, which saves significant postage costs.
  • Security – automated processes ensures accuracy and eliminates the risk of private information being exposed.


Process Integrity Solutions increase operational efficiency, eliminates error-prone manual processes and ensure a superior customer experience.

What are some of the components of a Process Integrity Solutions suite?

  • Software that:
    • Centralizes the creation and management of communications
    • Ensures the right documents are delivered to the right customer in accordance with their preferences (mail, email, web portal, etc.)
    • Provides addresses accuracy and correct formatting
    • Provides visibility and trackability in the mail stream
    • Turns standard communications into marketing opportunities
  • Equipment designed to interface with software to eliminate manual processes and provide greater responsiveness

Working in tandem, PIS can dramatically transform your mail center and improve financial performance as well. A turtle can become a gazelle.


Want an overview of other ways you can improve your mail center? Read this white paper on How Your Mail Center Can Improve Your Financial Performance. You’ll learn more about the various areas of a mail center that can improve your company’s flexibility, speed, responsiveness and efficiency.