Wednesday, October 7, 2015
News flash: Even procrastinators and the forgetful notify their electric company when they move. Sitting in the dark and lacking refrigeration have a way of moving that chore to the top of one’s to-do list. But those same people often forget, or purposely avoid, submitting a change-of-address notice to the U.S. Postal Service.
This all seems to be a surprise to the folks who craft and enforce postal regulations, as a federal judge pointed out last week.
Judge James E. Boasberg rejected the $7.6 million fine the U.S. Postal Service placed on Southern California Edison, in part because forcing the utility to follow USPS’s Move-Update regulations to the letter would create an “absurd consequence” that would put customers into a “Kafkaesque situation.”
“It would be an incoherent business practice for SCE to refuse to update a customer’s address at the customer’s own request simply because USPS had an outdated and conflicting address in its NCOALink [National Change of Address] database,” the judge wrote. “Yet such a practice was precisely what USPS required.”