The U.S. Postal Service is ending standalone support for its Click-N-Ship for Business App (CNSB), formerly called Shipping Assistant, which launched in 2003. USPS spokesperson Darleen Reid confirmed that the organization had sent an email blast to customers this week telling them it was transitioning to a meter label solution. “Customers mailing a few packages a day should use regular Click-N-Ship,” she recommended.
The official message to shippers stated:
At USPS, we want to ensure that we are providing current and relevant applications, products, and services that our customers rely on to grow their business. To meet the needs of our business customers, in late April 2015 the Click-N-Ship for Business (R) application will be transitioning to a USPS(R) meter label solution. This meter label solution application will inherit most of the current capabilities and features from the Click-N-Ship for Business (R) application, but will no longer support creating labels unless an approved meter, permit, and/or eVS(R) account payment method has been identified within the application.
To minimize the impact on the daily operations for our customers, transitioning to the USPS(R) meter label solution will be a seamless process, requiring a minimal effort by the customer. In the upcoming weeks we will provide additional information about the transition process, as well as the application’s features, functionalities.
But meter, permit or eVS options are not viable options for everyone because they’re targeted at high-volume shippers. And regular Click-N-Ship requires shippers to provide a credit card or PayPal, and some don’t feel comfortable with doing that online.
One seller said he uses the app to print labels with tracking and is charged 21 cents for tracking on Media Mail packages instead of $1.05. “I can take my packages to the P.O. and pay with a check, cash or credit/debit card. I do not have to give the P.O. my credit card through the computer.”
An Amazon seller said the change meant that those who had used the software to print labels and then put stamps on their packages would now have to get in line at the post office if they wanted tracking on those packages.
Reid said the USPS made the decision to transition users to a USPS meter label solution based on an OIG recommendation that said CNSB could be associated with higher fraud. With meters, the USPS can track shippers. And, for example, if someone consistently uses wrong packaging, it’s easier for the Postal Service to identify and fix the issue.
The USPS Office of Inspector General issued an audit report in 2013, available here in 2013.
The good news, Reid said, is that those who switch from Click-N-Ship for Business without meter to regular Click-N-Ship will receive Commercial Base pricing, which is cheaper than retail rates.
For now it sounds like old-school shippers will have to either give in and provide credit card or PayPal to USPS; use a third-party shipping solution; or spend more at the post office window.