Why Pressing the Refill Button on Your Meter Can Be Dangerous

We find that many businesses do not keep good tabs of their postage meter balances, which can lead to lost funds or dormant/inactive accounts.  So far this year we have found over $1,000,000 for our clients and we want to give you the background on why this happens and what you can do to eliminate it for the future.

First off, let’s start with how companies fund their meters.  You can either prepay like a checking account, or borrow money like a credit card and pay the balance at the end of the month.  Regardless, the moment you press the refill button on the meter, the funds are deposited in the device.  Many companies consider the postage they just sent in an expense when in truth it is an asset until the funds are used and should be managed accordingly.

Here are the main reasons that we see these funds getting lost:

  1. When the meter gets turned in no one requests the balance sitting in the meter as well as the corresponding postage account.
  2. Companies do not realize that they have different numbers for their prepaid and advance accounts, both of which could have money sitting idle.
  3. Funding is done to the advance account with money sitting idle in the prepaid (Or vice versa).
  4. Money may be managed at the headquarters or the main mail room but what about other field locations?
  5. There are mergers, acquisitions, closures and consolidations that make it difficult to keep track of the balances inside all of the meters.

Here are the steps to eliminate this from happening in the future:

  1. Know all of your postage account numbers for all of your sites – both prepaid and advance.
  2. Log these into your vendor’s online billing system to keep track of balances.
  3. Decide on one postage payment method – prepaid or advance and stick to it.
  4. Consolidate multiple locations into single billing accounts for ease of payment and tracking.
  5. Review your data every quarter to make sure you are managing all of your funds effectively.

If you do find lost postage, here are the steps to redeem your money.

  1. Find account numbers of your current and past meters.
  2. Enter these account numbers to the vendor’s website to see if any data is available.
  3. Contact your meter vendor to validate funds.
  4. Fill in the vendor forms to request a refund.
  5. Check the unclaimed funds databases to see if funds were turned in.

I hope this article gives you the tools to eliminate any loss for the future.  But if funds do get misplaced, at least there are ways to get the money back.  Plus who doesn’t like found money!

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