|POST OFFICE STATION 17||Meter Mail|
The VUMC meter mail system allows for the quick dispatch of outgoing mail
without the purchase of stamps for each item. Mail is sent through one of
Station 17's postage meters, which prints the needed (see sample meter impression at right). Meter mail can be sent by two methods: 1) by meter slip (described just below) or 2) meter token.
(In either case, meter mail complies with USPS package security guidelines, since the meter slip can be traced back to the meter that produced it.)
The most common way to send meter mail is with the Metered Mail Service
form, shown below. (This item is generally referred to as a meter mail
NOTE: This item may be ordered from the Copy Center's files and will be ordered under MC 4000, in packs of 50.
The meter slip should be fully filled out and attached to the mail piece or pieces to be sent out; the bundle may then be picked up by your
campus mail carrier or placed in the Metered Mail slots in the Post Office Station 17 lobby
or at the VCH mail room. In order for the charge to be processed correctly
and your mail to be sent without delay, there are three critical points that should be
kept in mind when using this form: (The budget/signature area is emphasized in
The meter slip should be fully filled out and attached to the mail piece or pieces to be sent out; the bundle may then be picked up by your campus mail carrier or placed in the Metered Mail slots in the Post Office Station 17 lobby or at the VCH mail room. In order for the charge to be processed correctly and your mail to be sent without delay, there are three critical points that should be kept in mind when using this form:
(The budget/signature area is emphasized inred above.)
Because all of these points affect proper charging through the Vanderbilt accounting system, meter mail bearing a slip that is not correct in any of these respects may be returned unprocessed.
After your meter order is processed, you will receive an archive copy of your slip back by campus mail showing the charges made. Proper completion of your departmental contact information (marked in green on the small illustration above) is essential for this.
Please note regarding copies of these documents:
There is no copy of the meter slip for the Post Office to file. If you need a copy later for pullsheet reconciliation
or other purposes, you will need to obtain one from the Department of Finance
Archives. Contact them at 2-2381.
From your pullsheet, provide the journal entry id, the month of the journal entry, and the meter slip number.
|Notes on Proper Parcel Preparation|
This has become a very common concern over the past few years. There are a number of USPS security rules that now exist regarding proper package mailing. Our window staff will be happy to help you with these as needed.
As a general guideline, keep in mind that there are two types of parcels that MUST be taken in by a window clerk—our carriers cannot bring them from the routes. These are:
1. Packages weighing over 1 pound;
2. ALL international packages.
A common problem is that parcels to be metered are received with shiny materials, either tape or plastic wrap, covering the upper right corner of the top, where by postal regulations we must put our meter mail impression. This prints out of our postage meter on gummed paper, which is moistened and placed on the item.
Unfortunately, the gummed paper sticks poorly to slick surfaces, and experience has shown that it can come off when the parcel is subsequently handled in the USPS mailstream. In such a case, it is commonly returned to the sender as postage-due mail.
For this reason, it is our policy not to meter such parcels. Instead we return them to the sender for removal of the slick wrapping materials. Although this may seem inconvenient, it is better than having the item delayed by being returned, which also brings the disadvantage of postage having to be paid a second time. Please keep this in mind, and educate your staff who mail packages as well.
Below is the flyer we attach to such parcels before they are returned.
This is a small, round, blue sticker (see picture at bottom) which can be purchased from the Copy Center, in sheets of 120, like any other form—the form number is MC 0200.
(For information on ordering MC forms, click here.) Each token is always priced the
same as a first-class stamp. |
When one is placed on the reverse side of an envelope, in the bottom center (as shown at left), and sent to Station 17 as meter mail, this is accepted as evidence of postage payment and the letter is metered and sent out. Tokens cannot be used on parcels or any other item that would require more than one first-class stamp to send.
Meter tokens are designed for use by departments that have security concerns about keeping actual stamps on hand. Station 17 meter tokens are not good at any other post office and so have no value except for VUMC business. If you use only small amounts of stamps and/or have a secure place to store your stamp stock, you should prefer stamps as a simpler alternative.
An important point to note:
Letters bearing this token MUST BE SENT TO STATION 17 AS METER MAIL. This means, either bundled and picked up by your campus mail carrier, or placed in the meter mail slot in the Station 17 lobby.
Such items CANNOT BE SENT DIRECTLY TO THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. If placed in any U.S. mail slot or box, they will be returned as postage-due mail. If you decide to use tokens, please be sure all your staff understand this.