3 Compliance Mistakes to Avoid in Mailroom Operations

Navigate CMRA best practices with our guide on mail compliance. Uncover the top 3 mistakes commercial mail receiving agencies often make and how to rectify them for seamless operations.

Let’s face it, when it comes to the life of a mailroom operator in the US, compliance is like that obligatory guest at the party, not the colorful confetti. It’s the relative who’s always invited, more out of necessity than excitement. It’s manual, it’s tedious, and did we mention tedious? But you know what? It’s also undeniably essential – the type of responsibility you can’t just sweep under the rug.

Although we’re basing our concerns on United States Postal Service regulations, these 3 mistakes can be avoided by mailroom operators everywhere. Even if your country won’t pursue legal action against you for failing to comply, at least you know where everything is at all times. That’s a pretty solid win.

3 Compliance Mistakes to Avoid

1. Not keeping the mail in a secure, locked-away place.

You don’t need to have an entire room designated for mail. In fact, a lockable filing cabinet will do just fine, but it should be kept secure. Mail, especially in the United States, is taken quite seriously, and the rules and regulations surrounding it are STRICT. No amount of anything is worth the risk of tampering with a renter’s correspondence.

What can you do? You can start with a tiny filing cabinet and folders arranged in alphanumerical order. It’s an easy solution and at our coworking locations, it’s a tried and tested way to begin your mail journey!

2. Not keeping a trail log
Want to know what’s worse than misplacing something you own? Misplacing something that’s not even yours, yet carries the weight of the federal government behind it. It’s all fun and games until you find yourself in front of a distressed member screaming in reception because someone (and they mean you) disappeared their very important time-sensitive letter – poof! – vanished into thin air.

What can you do? Keep an updated log of everything that happens once that piece of mail is in your hands, someone else took it? Add it to the log. Did it move an inch from the place it was before? Add it to the log. Once it makes sense, optimize it! PilotoMail offers an automated mail trail log, you don’t even have to think about it. It’s done for you.

3. Not verifying renter's ID information
Scouts honor! It would be ideal if the world we live in was as seal-tight as a pinky promise, but in reality, it isn’t. Taking a moment to verify your renters’ identities is a simple step that brings you both 1) peace of mind and 2) peace of business. Unless you personally open and scan every piece of correspondence that’s being delivered to your business, you can’t know what’s inside. So in this case, it will always be better to be safe than sorry. When you make sure that the person signing up for the mailbox, is the person they say they are, you can rest a little bit easier at night knowing that the mail is in the hands of its owner.

What can you do? Make sure they sign their 1583-A Form! To comply with US Postal Service regulations, every member is now required to provide two forms of identification with the same address, so by staying on top of that, you’re already doing better than most!

When we talk about compliance and liability, and all of the mistakes being made in the postal world, we’re speaking from firsthand experience. We were the once-overwhelmed community managers trying to handle the, yes, you guessed it: the community itself, along with a never-ending list of administrative tasks. It’s not an easy position to be in, but being busy and overwhelmed should never be the reason you become liable. If your business is at risk, no precaution is ever too small. So, here’s the deal: lock up that mail, keep tabs on where it is, and, for the sake of everyone’s peace of mind, make sure you know who it belongs to!

About PilotoMail

PilotoMail is a mail management platform powering mailroom automation and virtual mailboxes for the remote workforce. By giving mailrooms a digital-first makeover, mail operators can deliver outstanding services all while managing large volumes of mail efficiently, complying with all postal regulations easily, and increasing revenue effortlessly. 

If you're interested in learning more about the Commercial Mail Receiving Agency designation, sign up for our next webinar on Compliance 101 below.