Delayed Renewal Notices Hitting Mailboxes

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If the amount of phone calls we’ve received over the past week is any indication, many of you are upset that you have received a membership renewal notice after you have already renewed. Even after some of you have received your membership cards, the notice comes in the mail days or weeks later. However, we believe we have found the problem: the U.S.P.S, or more accurately, one of its distribution centers.

This has been an on ongoing problem but over the last few months it has escalated to new levels. Three months before your expiration, USPA mails the first renewal notice, followed two months later by a second mailed notice. We also try to process as many applications as possible before the renewals are printed to minimize the possibility of submitting a notice after you have renewed. Incredibly, we’re hearing of six-week delays in delivery of U.S. mail that goes through our local distribution center.

When we first learned of the postal delay, we altered our schedule of generating these notices and coordinated with our third-party mailer to get them to our members in a timely fashion, yet the complaints continued to increase.

What we discovered comes from an audit report dated September 13, 2011 from the Office of Inspector General United States Postal Service showing that our regional distribution office ranked first in delayed mail. Over the last two years, the average distribution center decreased delays by nearly 2% while our regional center’s delayed mail trend increased by 139% – the worst in the country.

The delays are unfortunate, but for now, rest assured that we have heard each of your suggestions and are proactively working to resolve this issue anyway we can.

You can view the Inspector’s report here.

Clint Vincent
Director of Membership Services

4 Responses to “Delayed Renewal Notices Hitting Mailboxes”

  1. John Chiasson Says:

    All the more reason to allow fully electronic renewal. My PADI, NAUI, and SDI instructor ratings are all electronic, and they certainly have plenty to process. Electronic signature info:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Signatures_in_Global_and_National_Commerce_Act

  2. John Chiasson Says:

    Clint,

    I’ve commented before that USPA could save money by issuing permanent cards and allowing expiration checks online. This is how my scuba instructor cards and expirations are handled. This would save all the repeated mailings both directions. USPA could handle the required signatures electronically as well:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=electronic+signature+online

    Has USPA considered these solutions?

    Thanks,
    John Chiasson
    D19685

  3. Ryan Says:

    I agree with John. It seems you are using our funds to elongate this issue instead of getting with the times and updating to electronic verification. The mail system as we know it is history.

  4. Doug Garr Says:

    We definitely need to upgrade to a more efficient system, allowing electronic verification and signatures. The convenience itself and lessening of the work load on the USPA staff is enough of an incentive, let alone the cost savings. My membership expires on 4/30 and I haven’t even rec’d a single renewal notice yet.

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