Test item supply
- You will receive a test item supply every week with items that need to be franked. These test items are addressed and have to be franked by a postal operator of your local post office.
- The supply contains the test items to be sent for the next week. It might occur that you receive some items that include transponders. The procedures explained in our instructions are always the same, no matter if these items include transponders or not.
- As we do not want you to take on any franking costs during the measurement, you will receive all expenses (approx. 10-30 € on a monthly basis) for the franking upfront. There will be no additional costs at all for you.
Please note: It is important that you stick to the franking method that is mentioned in our cover letter. Please do not use any other method.
Sending of test items
- Please note that it is very important for the survey that you send the test items always on the planned date. For general documentation it will be helpful to note down the actual posting date on your posting plan.
- As already mentioned, your test letters have to be franked before posting them, therefore please always bring them to the counter at your post office.
Please note: It is important that you stick to the induction method that is mentioned in your cover letter. Please do not use any other method. (For further information about the induction method, you can also check our FAQ section.)
YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNT (PANEL ZONE)
Please log in to your online account: https://nu-mms.ipc.be/mmu-panel-zone/login/login.htm
Once you have successfully logged in to your account with your Panellist ID and password set by you, the following Welcome Page will be available. It will give you an overview of all important features.
Data entry Posting
After having sent the test items, please confirm the actual sending date in your online account. For the progress of the study it is very important that you enter the data on the same day as you send the items.
You will send 3 – 5 test letters per week. By clicking on ‘POSTING PLAN’, you will see your planned postings including the exact number and planned dates in chronological order. For entering posting information, please click ‘Send’.
A new page will open. Please select the ‘Actual Send Date’, enter the ‘Exact Send Time’ and select your ‘Sending Location’ and then click ‘Submit’.
To avoid mistakes, please enter the sending date only after having sent the test items.
Please note: If you were not able to send a test item on the planned date, it is possible to adjust the send date. In this case, please follow up with sending it on the same weekday of the following week and fill in this date as the actual sending date.
Data entry Receiving
You will receive 3 – 5 test letters per week. You can see the exact number and from which country they are in your online account under ‘RECEIVING PLAN’.
For the correctness of the collected data it is very important that you empty your mail box on a daily basis in the evening. Furthermore, it is essential that you enter the data the same day as you receive the items.
Please make sure to always note the receipt date and weekday on the item when you received a test letter. Additionally, please keep all test letters for 3 months. Within the retention period of three months and in individual cases we may ask you questions concerning a specific test letter.
The test letters are of three different formats – small (C6) and big letters (C5 and C4).
After you have received the test items, please confirm the receipt date in your online account.
Please click on ‘REGISTER RECEIVED ITEM’, enter the Control ID / Identification Code which you can find on the document inside the test item and click on ‘Search’.
Now please enter the correct receipt date. If you cannot remember the exact receipt date, please click ‘unsure’.
Transponders are small electronic and harmless devices tracking the transit times of a test letter at certain gates within the postal systems. Please note the transponder will not track or ping or submit any data or information from your home or company. There are three different types of transponders:
- Passive transponders -> a label with a barcode already affixed to the test letter document
- Active transponders -> a separate item inserted in the test letter
- Dual transponders -> a combination of 1. and 2.: a label affixed to the separate item inserted in the test letter
Depending on your country, you might receive test letters with one to three different transponder types. If you will receive an active or dual transponder (please see picture below), please make sure to return these to our production unit by simply using a return envelope provided by us. Please insert only one transponder into the return envelope (please note no franking of these envelopes is needed, as these already are Pre Paid!). It is very important that you will be returning all received active and dual transponders on a regular basis – latest a week after this transponder has been received. Passive transponders do not have to be returned.
After having entered a sent or receipt date of a letter, you might receive an item query, if the data entered differs from the planned send or receipt date or if any other data related queries occur. This will be shown directly at the home page of your online profile at the upper part of the page (please see picture below).
Please click on ‘Resolve Item Queries’ and fill in the outstanding data. Usually you will only have to confirm the sent and/or receipt data.
IMPORTANT FEATURES FOR YOUR ROLE AS A SENDER & RECEIVER
Not available to Send/Receive
Ideally you are available during the entire duration of the survey or you can delegate the task to another person in case of your absence or illness. Please inform us immediately about any period in which you won’t be able to send test items (e.g. change of address, absence, holidays…).
Please click on the button ‘NOT AVAILABLE TO SEND/RECEIVE’ and thereupon on ‘+Add’.
Now fill in the start and end date as well as the reason.
If you have a cover who can perform the tasks when you are not able to, please select the box ‘Covered by someone else’. A cover helps us to meet our target of sending a certain number of test items from your postcode area during the year in order to make our findings statistically valid.
The section ‘Person who will cover me’ opens. Please fill in the required information – Name, Phone Number and Email – and click on ‘Save’.
If you wish to add another period where you are not able to send test items, simply repeat the above mentioned procedure.
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can cover you as long as they can perform the tasks exactly as you do: receive the sending supply, sent out test items and enter data online. A family member, your house mate or neighbor, or someone who will feed your cat may cover you. They will need access to your house to receive the test item supply and will need to send items from the same postcode area as you do. If you are a business sender, a colleague may cover you.
It is important that they are able to receive the test item supply and they will need to send items from the same postcode area as you do. Please instruct them in detail and make sure they understand how to carry out your UNEX tasks before you go.
If you do not have a cover, please make sure to inform us about your absence at least six weeks in advance. In this way we can adjust the production of test letters and you will not receive any test item supply when you are away.
Sending location Registration
When activating your online account, you have already entered your sending location. In case your sending location changes or you want to add another one, please add the new sending location here.
You can do this by clicking on ‘SENDING LOCATION REGISTRATION’ and thereupon on ‘+Add’.
Please fill in the information of the sending point you will use to post your test items – you can add several sending locations for the option Post Office, but please make sure to always stick to the induction method as specified in our cover letter. Simply fill in the description field (e.g. ‘Mailbox at the corner’; ‘Post Office near Metro Station’ or ‘Pick up by national postal service provider’) and indicate the respective post code (if you are not sure about the post code, please use your postal operators website to research).
Please also indicate the last collection time of your sending location. Usually, these times are displayed on the Mailbox or in the Post Office (please also check the ‘Possible Questions’ section below). If on a certain day (e.g. Sunday) there is no collection at all, please select the respective box. Once completed, please click on ‘Save’.
If you wish to add another sending location, simply repeat the above mentioned procedure.
If you are moving, please let us know at least six weeks in advance, so that we don’t continue sending test item supplies to your old address. It is easy to let us know by clicking on ‘CHANGE ADDRESS’ and choose if you either stay within the same country or move abroad.
In case you are moving abroad, you will need to contact us directly. If you stay within the same country, please follow the next steps. Enter the date when the new address will be valid and your new postcode and click ‘Next’.
Please enter your new address according to the sample address on the right and click ‘Submit’. It is not necessary to enter the country name.
Please check if the new address has been entered correctly. If so, please click on ‘Confirm’. Otherwise, please click ‘Back’ and correct the new address. (If you are a business sender, this only applies in case your company is moving.)
Please note: As a sender, you may need to set up a new sending location, in case your postcode changes.
Your participation in this survey is very much appreciated and in order to thank you, we offer you a monthly reward. However, at the moment you will not be able to check your incentives in your Panel Zone as the feature ‘My Incentives’ is not yet fully developed. We will inform you as soon as this changes.
Should you have any additional questions, have a look at our Help Section or check our FAQ section.
You may also simply contact us via ‘My Messages’. ‘My Messages’ is a communication tool to get in touch with the panel management if you have any questions. In order to contact us via message, simply click on this feature and type a message. Once completed, please click on ‘SEND’.
Any new messages in your inbox, i.e. a reply from us, will be indicated by flashing of this feature and a number – of new messages – in the right upper corner of the ‘My Messages’ feature.
You can also get in touch with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to help! When contacting us via email, please make sure to indicate your country and your Panelist ID in the subject line. In this way your request or query can be solved and replied to more promptly.
Last but not least, have a look at the official IPC Recommendation Letter:
Now you are ready to start participating in our postal survey! We hope you will enjoy it!