Incoming mail ‑ Before noon, or as soon as mail arrives, separate mail. Open envelopes, payments go to ______________to be logged in computer. Also keep x‑rays returned from insurance companies or other dentists and file in the x‑rays folders in patients’ charts. Letters from specialists regarding a specific patient ‑ pull chart and paper clip to outside of folder and put on the doctor’s desk. Put remainder of mail in Dr.’s office on his or her desk.
Outgoing mail ‑ Placed in basket and delivered and picked up daily. Use mail scale. Check the accuracy of the scale by weighing nine pennies. They should weigh exactly one ounce. Rates ‑ Check the chart on the wall by the scale for correct postage. Statements that we send monthly are first class. If the computer produces 2 statements for the same person, because of the amount of treatment provided, open all envelopes and put in one envelope. Here are some tips:
- size ‑ envelopes must be rectangular
- no smaller than 3 1/2″ x 5″
- no larger than 6 1/8″ x 11 1/2″
- don’t seal envelope with staples
- don’t put paper clips or other lumpy items in the envelope
- window envelopes ‑ at least 1/8″ of white space all around address
- don’t use punctuation marks
- don’t put a comma between city and state
- always use the two letter state abbreviation
- Keep a uniform left margin
- don’t put any information below the address area
Practical postal alternatives to registered mail
Registered mail is frequently used incorrectly. The Postal Service offers four other special services that are not as costly and often serve the businessman’s purpose even better than registered mail. The Postal Service supplies special security for this mail and includes insurance up to $25,000. (Higher coverage costs more.) All costs mentioned in the alternatives below are in addition to regular postage and other fees.
- Certificate of mailing. For a fee + postage the sender receives a document that states his letter was mailed from a particular post office on a specified date.
- Certified mail. The postman gets a signature so that the Postal Service has proof the mail was delivered. Cost: $___ + postage
- Return receipt. The sender gets the record that the letter was delivered, with date of delivery and signature of recipient. Prepaid, this costs $____
- Restricted delivery. The sender pays an extra $____ and the mail will be delivered only to the person to whom it is addressed or to that person’s legally authorized representative.
Special delivery gives sender no legal protection. It just provides that mail will be delivered outside regular delivery hours. Special handling and insured mail are for protection of third and fourth-class mail exclusively.
Don’t forget to redeem all spoiled meter mail through our post office.
Here are some ideas to help save money and speed delivery
- Post the rates for different classes and sizes next to the postage meter.
- Make sure every address label is printed dark enough that it is easy to read.
- Separate metered and stamped mail. Metered mail skips the cancellation step and will be on it’s way quicker. If it’s mixed in with stamped mail, it will slow all of your mail down.
- Each additional ounce of 1st class mail costs less than the first ounce.
- If a metered mail piece is ruined, return it to the post office. They will refund 90% of the value.
- Zip code every piece of mail
- The post office stocks some free supplies. Contact them to see of there’s anything we can use.
- Put “Address correction requested” on all mail going to clients. It costs us 30 cents to get the new address.
- The date on the postage meter will automatically change each day after the mail has been delivered. If you or someone forgets and stamps an envelope in the meter with the date of 2/25, and it won’t be going out until 2/26, here is what you do:
- Clear the money amount to zero in the meter
- Change the date to the correct date
- Turn the envelope over and stamp in the bottom corner, so it shows the correct date, and zeros as the amount.
How about some tips?
- Colorless nail polish will hold an envelope flap down.
- An ice cube is a good way to moisten envelopes. It saves your tongue!
- If postage stamps get stuck together, put them in the refrigerator overnight.
There are many companies that deliver packages. We can save quite a bit of money if the package doesn’t have to arrive overnight. Evaluate these steps.
- size and weight ‑ heavy and odd sizes cost more
- geography ‑ some small companies are very cheap, but don’t deliver nationally.
- speed ‑ avoid next day delivery if possible
- pickup ‑ often free
- check on refunds and damage claims
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