Why do Postal Service officials sing the praises of the Intelligent Mail barcode and then not use it on their own mailings?
An alert reader sent me this scan from her recently received copy of USA Philatelic, a quarterly catalog that the U.S. Postal Service sends to stamp collectors. She says it's the second time she's noticed that the catalog used an old-fashioned Postnet barcode rather than an Intelligent Mail barcode for her address.
An Intelligent Mail barcode (also known as a FUBAR code) has four types of bars that enable it to contain more information than "unintelligent" barcodes that have only two types of bars. In theory, an IMb can uniquely identify each piece of mail. Next year, mailers will be forced to use IMbs to obtain automation discounts.
Perhaps the folks at the Postal Service who are in charge of the catalog decided that using Postnet codes was the base way to get the copies delivered correctly.
For more information about problems with the Intelligent Mail program, please see: