Permit Reply Mail

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Permit Reply Mail is a class of mail service provided by the United States Postal Service. It is described in section 505 of the Domestic Mail Manual and is primarily used for reply envelopes containing optical discs.[1]


Netflix, a media rental company, uses Permit Reply Mail to send its discs to consumers. In 2007, the Postal Service estimated that the excess manual handling required for its discs cost it roughly $21 million per year.[2] The Postal Regulatory Commission ruled in 2010 that the Postal Service had given Netflix preferential treatment to competitors like GameFly or HebrewReader.[3]


  1. ^ "505 Return Services". Domestic Mail Manual. United States Postal Service. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  2. ^ Dignan, Larry (December 5, 2007). "U.S. Postal Service to Netflix: You're killing us on labor". ZDNet. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  3. ^ David M. Levy; Matthew D. Field; Alexandra Megaris; Seung-Hyun Ryu (2010). POST-HEARING BRIEF OF GAMEFLY, INC (PDF). Postal Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 3 January 2013. That the Postal Service offers substantially different terms and conditions of service to GameFly and Netflix is obvious and indisputable. As discussed above, the Postal Service diverts most of the return mailers of Netflix from automated letter processing at no extra charge, while refusing to offer comparable terms and conditions of service to GameFly and other DVD rental companies. This disparity forces GameFly to incur $0.61 extra per mailer-trip in postage (the difference between the two-ounce flats rate of $1.05 and the one-ounce letter rate of $0.44), as well as additional amounts for the cost of a larger mailer with a protective insert, to achieve the bypass of letter automation that Netflix obtains at the one-ounce letter rate with no extra charge.