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The Post Office Can't Read Upside Down

It's amazing how a simple detail can mean a big difference in expenses. The US Postal Service is a great place to find these little, but expensive details.

When I took a sample newsletter down to the post office, to check for any potential problems, I discovered something that really surprised me. On a mailing with a fold on one side, and open pages on the other, the orientation of the mailing address can add extra charges. If the mailing address is oriented so that the bottom of the type is toward the fold, everything is fine. But if the bottom of the type is toward the open pages, you have to pay a special fee of $0.13. Why? Because, the item has to pass through the machine fold-first, and if the address doesn't face the fold, it's not machine readable. The fee is a charge for "hand sorting".

What really surprised me was that there isn't any kind of software compensation for the orientation of the text, so that it can be machine read upside-down.

Ahhh, the joys of the brick-and-morter world :-)