Franking machines - frequently asked questions and answers
General information on franking machines
- What is the difference between franking machines and Frankit?
FRANKIT is a special, new procedure for franking machines. A FRANKIT machine is therefore still a franking machine.
The difference compared to the traditional franking technology is the franking impression (Fig. 1). It contains a matrix code which simplifies the quick processing of the franked items by machine. The matrix code contains information on each item. Thus every franking mark is unique. Advantages of Frankit machines.
Traditional franking machines without a matrix code are also referred to as franking machines. Here, the franking impression (Fig. 2) consists of a price stamp, a date stamp and an advertising imprint.
For more information on traditional franking machines, see here.
Fig. 1 Fig. 2
- Since January 1, 2009, only the new franking wave may be used for Infopost items. Must my franking machine now be re-fitted?
No, with franking machines of the old type, if there is a mark at all, it will say "Postage paid". Alternatively the name of the product, e.g., Infopost, can continue to be displayed above the address. With FRANKIT machines, franking will automatically produce the name of the product in the franking mark.
- I don't have a Frankit machine, just a traditional franking machine. Can I continue to use my existing franking machine?
Yes, franking machines which have a signed, valid agreement with Deutsche Post can continue to be used.
- Is it true that Deutsche Post will soon only be registering Frankit machines, because the franking impressions must contain a matrix code?
No. All traditional franking machines which have a signed, valid agreement with Deutsche Post can continue to be used.
- What are peripheral devices for franking machines?
Peripheral devices are devices which can be additionally attached or used alongside the franking machine; in this case, examples include feeder units, scales, folding machines, enveloping machines etc.
Special questions on Frankit and Frankit machines
- What does the Frankit matrix code contain?
It contains encrypted information on the franking type, date, the type of item selected and the charge. The demands of data protection are taken into account. All the elements of the matrix code must be presented in a way so that they are machine-readable.
- Why will franking with a Frankit machine be easier?
It will be easier to use because you will no longer have to keep an eye on the large number of different posting rates for the different services, postal products and special services, or else look them up.
With FRANKIT machines you just select the postal product to be franked. The franking machine then automatically sets the correct postage charge. In addition, FRANKIT machines show all the information clearly in the display and thus are particularly easy, quick and convenient to use.
- Can I still continue printing my advertising logo with Frankit machines?
A modern FRANKIT machine lets you design your individual advertising logos in an even more variable way than before, and print them on your items. Thus for example you can also integrate seasonal or campaign-related information into the franking impression very easily. In this way your letter can be used as a far more effective and flexible medium than in the past.
- Can you leave out the date with the Frankit impression?
No, it's not technically possible to leave the date out. The date is part of the encrypted information contained in the matrix code. This information ensures the validity and authenticity of the matrix code.
- Why can't I adjust any postage rates with a Frankit machine?
The FRANKIT technology means that the machine automatically sets the correct value for the postal product or type of item. The work in the mail-room becomes much more efficient as a result. Thus the procedure not only becomes quicker, but also more secure for the customer.
- I have always topped up my machine at the counter up to now. Is that still possible with Frankit?
No, FRANKIT machines are topped up by modem only. So you won't have to visit our retail outlet.
- How is the postage topped up with Frankit?
Topping up postage is performed via the telephone line, using a modem. For precise handling details, please note the manufacturer's instructions.
- When Deutsche Post changes its rates, how will the Frankit machine be given the new charges?
Online transfer of the currently correct rate can be done via modem, depending on the manufacturer. Thus you will not need to worry about entering changes in postage rates in future.
- Where can I post items?
Items may be posted at all authorized acceptance offices of Deutsche Post (e. g., retail outlets, agencies etc.). The number or size of items to be posted may be limited by Deutsche Post in line with the space capacity available.
You can find your nearest retail outlet at www.deutschepost.de/standortsuche.
- What needs to be observed when posting in a public mailbox?
Mail items without special services and letter items with the "COD" special service can be posted using a public mailbox if the average daily quantity does not exceed 30 items. Several individual items must be posted together in a sealed red envelope or in a bundle tied firmly together. Deutsche Post reserves the right to restrict or prohibit posting via mailbox in the event of operational and/or organizational changes.
- Do the items have to be sorted?
The items should be sorted so that the addresses are all at the same level. Standard and compact items should be separated from large and maxi-items.
Purchasing postage and billing
- Why has the charge for franking packages shipped within Germany using franking machines been increased with effect from July 1, 2011?
In order to benefit from the more cost-effective national package charge of EUR 3.90 packages must in future have an individual identcode as well as the franking mark. For packages shipped within Germany, which do not include an identcode upon delivery, the price will be increased to EUR 4.10 with effect from July 1, 2011. Package identcode imprints are not currently supported by franking machines.
- If I purchase postage for franking machines, do I get a discount on the charges?
Yes, for franking machines Deutsche Post gives customers 1% discount on a minimum revenue of EUR 200 per postage top-up and franking machine.
- How is the postage billed?
For FRANKIT machines and machines with a remote resetting functionality, the topped up postage amount will normally be debited from your account by Deutsche Post using direct debit. From a postage top-up of EUR 200, the customer will receive a 1% discount. Users of machines to be reset at the counter (counter machines) pay straight away in the retail outlet once the amount has been set in the machine.
- I've selected the wrong product for franking. How can I get my money back?
If you have franked a mail item with the wrong amount, or if the franking amount has been printed wrongly, please fill in an "application for repayment of amounts paid for franking". Send us this form along with the corresponding envelopes or franking strips. Our address can be found on the application form.
Registering, re-registering or canceling the registration of franking machines
- How do I become a customer?
You buy, rent or lease the desired franking machine from the manufacturer of your choice and also receive from him all the order documents for using this franking machine. The manufacturer sends your completed and signed form, Order for use of a franking machine direct to Deutsche Post.
- I'd like to buy a second-hand franking machine. Are there any problems registering this with Deutsche Post?
Not all franking machines which can be bought second-hand can be registered with Deutsche Post. We therefore provide an overview of franking machine models, indicating the latest possible registration date
- How do I cancel the registration of my franking machine?
Normally you can just inform the manufacturer of the franking machine. He will arrange cancelation with Deutsche Post AG. But you are also welcome to get in touch with us directly. Contact Deutsche Post.
During the cancelation process, any remaining credits will be calculated and transferred to your specified account.
- My contact data has changed. What do I need to do?
If there are changes to your existing agreement, e.g., in the company name, the address or the banking details, please use the change form.
The ink/alternative ink
- Why is the quality of the ink so important?
The quality and fulfillment of the postal requirements of the franking marks created by the FRANKIT machine or by traditional machines is regarded as proof that the customer has paid the postage. Thus readability of the matrix code, which guarantees the validity and authenticity of the franking mark, recognition of the product and the special services which may be associated with it (e.g., registered items) is ensured.
If the print quality is so bad that the franking mark including the special service cannot be read properly by the sorting machines at Deutsche Post, for example because an alternative ink has been used, then the special service cannot be provided.
In general the acceptance of items may be refused on suspicion that a print component of insufficient quality has been used for the franking mark and this might lead to operating problems.
- Why does Deutsche Post have a certification procedure for alternative types of ink?
The certification procedure for so-called "alternative" ink or "ink supplied by third parties" was introduced to ensure high print quality. Thus readability of the matrix code, which guarantees the validity and authenticity of the franking mark, recognition of the product and the special services which may be associated with it (e.g., registered items) is ensured. Certification is performed on a voluntary basis.
- Will the original ink offered by the manufacturer of the franking machine also be certified?
Yes, certification of the print quality is part of the authorization procedure for new franking machines.
- When I use my franking machine, must I only use ink from third parties if they have been certified by Deutsche Post, or original ink from the manufacturers of the franking machines?
No, it is up to the customer to select the ink. However, the print quality demanded in the GT&C must be ensured.
- How can I recognize whether the print quality of a particular ink or print cartridge has been certified by Deutsche Post?
Ink suppliers have received an appropriate certificate as part of the certification procedure. The certificate always relates to a particular franking model. In addition, the suppliers may attach a label to the ink cartridge containing the note "Certified print quality", the post-horn symbol, its validity and a registration number.
- How long is the certificate valid for, and what does the registration number mean?
The certificate is issued for a five-year period and can be renewed. The registration number is used for internal purposes at Deutsche Post.
- Is there a summary list of ink suppliers whose print quality has been tested as part of the certification procedure?
Yes, at Ink partners you can find a list of the relevant suppliers.
- Can I omit my sender address from the item if I don't use an advertising logo?
No, if no advertising is placed in the franking mark, the sender's details must be provided on the item in line with the brochure on "machinable letter items ".
The same applies if the sender's name is not clear from the advertising logo.
- Can I print the advertising logo and additional services in the franking mark at the same time?
Advertising in the franking mark is optional. Within the franking zone, postal notes, e.g., for additional services take priority over the advertising impression. The details of the requirements can be seen in the brochure on "machinable letter items".
- Can I offset the CO2 exemption charge for the items with the postage purchased?
Since the amount of the CO2 exemption charge flows climate protection projects irrespective of the postage purchased, offsetting is not possible.
- Which colors can the franking machine use to print the GoGreen label?
For the franking impression of franking machines, the only color permissible is blue. This also applies to the GoGreen label.