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Sending Back a Rented USPS Mail Postage Machine & Meter

This is a post regarding the nuances of returning a rented mail postage machine and the meter that accompanies it.

This will not apply to every situation. You might have a different plan or plans for your mailing equipment.  I recently attempted to return a piece of postage equipment for USPS mail that we rented and it took forever to process the return.  It took a long time to return the equipment for a number of reasons. One of the reasons was poor communication between our leasing "dealership" (dealership = who 'sold' us the rental) and the leasing "agent" (agent = whose name is on the lease and/or takes possession of the USPS meter. )  The other reason was simply my ignorance in realizing all of the nuances involved with sending back this equipment.

Again, this will not apply to every situation, so please do not accept my advice for any legal questions or contractual issues you might be having with your lease or rental agreement. That said, regardless of your situation, this post might help guide you through some of the nuances and give you an idea of what to expect.

To Send back rental postage mail units:

OK, you have rented a machine that applies postage automatically to your mail. There is a piece of equipment attached to your mailing machine called a 'meter.'  The meter technically does not belong to the rental company or, in the case of the lease, the company that holds the lease.  The meter is actually owned by the United States Postal Service ( USPS ).  Typically, (and I re-emphasize that your case might be different,) you will need to return the meter to a different company than where you will return the meter.   You will typically have to return the meter first before moving the postage machine itself.

To return the 'meter' you might not be able to go through the dealership you obtained the equipment from.  You, as I did in my case, might have to go directly through the leasing company that the dealership represents.  Why the dealership can't help you with this is lost on me but this is what happened. Be sure to contact your dealership to be sure of this.  In my case, I needed to sent a letter to the leasing company that the dealership represents indicating that I wish to return the existing postage meter.  The leasing company then will send you a lengthy and detailed list of instructions.  The instructions will include a return label and how to return your meter via parcel service.  

In my case the leasing company also sends "Meter Movement Report"   You fill this out completely.

Essentially, your instructions walk you through the steps of withdrawal of your postage meter; moving unused postage meter money to your funding accounts; The procedure for getting your money if you are unable to move meter money to your  account; return label(s) and instructions for returning the meter.

OK, you have followed all of the instructions and you have successfully returned the meter to the leasing company.  Once the meter is returned things might get a little confusing.  In my case I was told by my dealer to tell the leasing company that the leasing company needs to contact  my dealer (the people telling me this) that they have the meter and it is OK to pick up the mail / postage machine.  Easy right?  Wrong!  I contacted the leasing agent and they said that my dealer should be able to pick up the unit without their consent. 

As a matter of fact, the leasing agent could not give consent. Why?   The mail machine is a RENTAL not a lease. The leasing agent does not have title to the machine anyway. The dealer owns the rental.  This is important to remember.  If you were in fact leasing the unit and returning it, this  would be a different story but since you are renting it, the machine really belongs to dealership.  Regardless of who I spoke to, leasing agent or dealership, no one could grasp that the machine was a RENTAL and not a LEASE.  The fact it was a rental made the process a bit unusual and difficult to process in the bureaucracy of mail equipment rental and leasing agents.

In essence, if your dealership is giving you a hard time about the return, remind them it is a rental.  If you are in fact leasing, again, this would be a different story but since we are just talking rental here, your dealership can pick up the machine with your consent as long as the leasing agent has successfully received the United States Postage Meter.

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