Changes introduced to Canada PostÔÇÖs electronic statement of mailing program (esom) have lead to a host of difficulties for community newspapers across Canada.
Changes to the esom on May 27, 2002 force clients using the system to use preset quantities for mailing areas. This means that community newspapers mailing using the esom cannot choose how many copies to send out to a specific area, but instead are forced to use a Canada Post generated number. Some newspaper owners are being forced to send out many more copies (and therefore pay much more) than they wish.
Other community owners are running foul of a glitch in the system dealing with the ConsumersÔÇÖ Choice program. The ConsumersÔÇÖ Choice program allows the person receiving the mail the opportunity to opt out of Unaddressed Admail deliveries. The only exemptions from the ConsumersÔÇÖ Choice program are materials from Elections Canada and provincial Chief Electoral Officers, House of Commons mailings, municipal electoral mailings and community newspapers.
Instead of allowing a community newspaper owner using the esom the chance to send his or her newspapers to the Total Points of Call (all the addresses in the area), the system subtracts the consumers who have taken advantage of the ConsumersÔÇÖ Choice program, ignoring the fact that community newspapers are exempt from this program. Even local postmasters are unable to override the system.
The only solution to the problem so far seems to be to switch back to paper esom forms. Unfortunately, this takes more time and is extremely inconvenient for some members.
But Canada Post representative Josee Bergeron said there is a way for users of both the online and desktop versions of the esom to fix both issues. She said users can go back to the mailing plan section of the software and designate which areas they do not wish to cover in their mailing, allowing for mailings of less than the Total Points of Call. She said the option also exists to use either numbers that include or do not include the ConsumersÔÇÖ Choice data.
CCNA is looking into the problem(s) and will verify if BergeronÔÇÖs proposed solutions are viable. More information will be available in future Bulletins, online at www.communitynews.ca and in the Publisher.
The problem with the esom is only the latest in a series of problems having to do with Canada PostÔÇÖs move to improve its mailing program. The last problem saw only users of Internet Explorer able to use the online version of the esom. That problem has still not been fully addressed by Canada Post. More information on that problem can be found at www.ccna.ca/news/details.asp?contentID=295 .