Frequent Questions about Postage $aver Products

Here are answers to some common questions about Postage $aver products and about bulk mail in general.

Installation and Registration Questions:

My computer crashed. How do I replace my copy of Postage $aver?

As long as your registration is current, you may download a replacement copy of Postage $aver at no extra charge. Please see our reinstallation instructions page.

The software keeps telling me I have the wrong update code.

Each new update gets a new update code. If you are looking at the information you received when you first bought Postage $aver, chances are the update code has changed since then.

We include the new update code in the email we send you to notify you of a new update, and we also include it in your acknowledgement email when you renew your registration. If you do not have the latest update notice, you can have it automatically resent by going to our Resend Codes page.

If you know that you have the latest update code, but you still are getting the error that your update code is wrong, then you may not have actually ever updated your software to the current version. You can find information on our current version, and links for downloading, on our Current Update page.

I think the software did something wrong
(or, USPS says the software did something wrong).

I'm sending a tray of letters to Durham 06422, but the tray tag printed by Postage $aver says Branford 06405. What's wrong?

Even local postmasters are confused by this one. When you prepare presorted mail, some zip codes are combined into "5-digit schemes", meaning that several zips are sorted into the same 5-digit tray. The confusion is that USPS specifies which zip code and post office name appears on the tray tag, and that post office may be nowhere near where the mail in the tray is actually going. So your mail to Durham may be in a tray tagged to Branford.

But the tray does not actually GO to Branford. That's just how USPS designates the machine that sorts the mail in the regional sorting center. So it's not an error, but it looks like it is.

This rule has existed for quite a while, but in January, 2014, USPS put many more zips into schemes, and many local USPS folks didn't get the word that they'd been "schemed". And, it didn't help that USPS made last minute changes to the scheme list just before the changes were to take effect.

Postage $aver told me to create two trays with exactly the same label, but neither is full, and USPS says I must fill one tray entirely before starting a second tray.

Or, Postage $aver told me to put more pieces in the tray than I can fit.

Every mail piece has a different thickness, so it takes a different number of pieces to fill a tray. Postage $aver determines thickness from the number you put in the "Count the pieces in a 5-inch stack" question on the first screen of the preparation wizard. For each mailing you prepare, you must stack up 5 inches worth and count the number of pieces in that stack. (Squash the pieces as tight as they would be if they were actually in the tray.) Postage $aver will determine the correct number of pieces in 1-foot and 2-foot trays, or bundles, from there.

USPS says I should be using form 3602-NZ (or 3602-RZ) but Postage Saver is printing the 3602-N (or 3602-R). How do I make it print the 3602-NZ?

The "Z" versions of the forms are the "short forms", which are convenient for mailers filling out forms by hand but are not required. Postage $aver prints out the longer form, which does not have the "Z" at the end, but is always acceptable.

Postage $aver tells me to create one or more trays with fewer than 150 pieces, and then says those trays get the "AADC" rate. USPS says no way - that to get the AADC rate they must have at least 150 pieces. (Or, they say that these trays must be combined into a single tray.) What's the deal?

Sorry, but your USPS person is probably wrong about this.

For 3-digit or AADC areas in your home sorting region (SCF), the rules sometimes allow, and sometime require, trays or sacks to be made for each 3-digit or AADC with no minimum number of pieces. That way, the local pieces don't have to go all the way to the AADC location, which can quite a distance, just to come back to your area. Such trays or sacks are called "3-digit origin trays/sacks" or "AADC origin trays/sacks".

3-digit origin trays/sacks and AADC origin trays/sacks get the AADC rate even without meeting the AADC minimum. Also, sometimes the rules say these trays should be prepared separately for each 3-digit area, even if it would seem to make more sense to combine them. The exception to this is if the 3-digit areas are part of an official 3-digit "scheme", where USPS has designated that several 3-digit areas should be put together for the type of mail you are sending. (Postage $aver automatically combines 3-digit areas, as required, when there are schemes.)

For some reason, USPS personnel often do not know about origin trays and sacks. If you have this problem, you might suggest, respectfully, that they look at the Domestic Mail Manual rule for the type of mail you are doing, and pay attention to the section on 3-digit or AADC origin preparation. If a polite reminder does not solve the problem, we can provide specific rule numbers if you tell us the type of mailing you are doing.

Alternately, Postage $aver provides a way for you to turn those trays off when they are optional (allowed but not required). To turn these trays off, go to the Settings menu in Postage $aver, choose Preferences, then look for the "Create optional local 3-digit or AADC trays" checkbox. Uncheck the box to prevent these trays from being created.

My USPS person tells me I have to use "Optional Endorsement Lines" (OELs). Postage $aver says these are optional. What's the deal?

OELs are generally not required, but they are preferred by USPS.

For mail that must be prepared in specific rubber-banded bundles (which includes all flat-sized mail, for example), a mailer must label the bundle either by placing a colored sticker (like the ones below) on the top piece in the bundle, or by adding an endorsement line (like ***** 5D 77036) on each piece above the address.

3-Digit mail sticker  Mixed mail sticker

For mail that is not prepared in specific bundles, there is no bundle to label, so there is no purpose in adding an OEL or sticker, so neither is required. Letter-sized mail prepared in trays is generally not bundled, so there are no OELs provided for most letter-sized mail. (Banding to prevent letters from flopping around in a tray is not considered to be a bundle for these purposes. Bundling only refers to when specific pieces have to be kept together for sorting purposes.)

If you choose to use OELs instead of colored stickers, they must be placed above the first line of the address. If the barcode is located above the address, the barcode goes above the OEL. The OEL must be in the same typeface as the address.

CASS/NCOA Questions:

USPS wants to know where my CASS form (form 3553) is. I can't find how to print that with the software.

CASS is the process by which you get your certified zip+4 codes and your delivery point codes, which are required for barcoding if you are claiming barcoded rates. Postage $aver and Postal Barcoder Max are not what you are using to get your zip+4 and delivery point codes, so they can't print your CASS form (form 3553).

If you purchased your mailing list from a list vendor, they probably provided a CASS-certified list and they can tell you where in their file to find the form. If you used a service bureau to get your zip+4s, the CASS form would come from the service bureau.

If you are barcoding but you never got certified zip+4 codes, you have a problem. If you are not barcoding, then you do not need certified zip+4 codes to get bulk rates, as long as you do not claim barcoded rates.

For a full explanation of CASS and barcoding, and links to ways of getting this done, please see our CASS Certification help page.

Do your products do CASS or NCOA (National Change of Address)?

No. For most small mailers, CASS software is far too expensive to be worth buying and maintaining in house, and the NCOA data files are not available to small mailers for privacy reasons. Instead, most of our customers who have enough volume to need CASS, or who wish to use NCOA, find it far less expensive to send their mailing lists out to a list processing company for these services. Once your list has been certified, our software will do the rest. Please see our help pages on CASS and move update for your options and for links to companies that provide these services.