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Topic: 1st class PARCEL, not large envelope!

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Subject: 1st class PARCEL, not large envelope!
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 285
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As a window clerk at an post office with one of the busiest APC machines in the Southeast, I've seen this problem over and over again, several times a day. Customers using the APC ignore the question the machine asks about the size and thickness of their package and try to send it at the 1st Class Large Envelope Rate when they should be sending it 1st Class Parcel Rate. I catch as many of these in the mail slot as I can and return them to the sender for additional postage.

Today I received a PBS.com book postage due because the sender ignored the APC question and sent the darn thing large envelope rate. Now, I grant that 34 cents is not that big a deal in my life, but having to drive 4 miles to my post office on my day off to pay it so that I can receive my book kinda burns my butt.

If you use the APC, please use it properly. Any book you ship is going to qualify as a parcel, not a large envelope.

Thank you for this opportunity to vent.

Date Posted: 7/13/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
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That suck's Richard. You could always refuse delivery, that is the one case PBS allows denial of delivery, postage due. I hope you PM'd that person about the issue.

Life would be easier for all of us, including the confused ;) if they just added media mail to the APC wouldn't it.

Date Posted: 7/13/2008 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 526
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... or had 1/4" and 3/4" slots/guages build into the machine to measure the envelopes with.  The rulers are fine for height and width, but it is hard to accurately judge the thickness of a padded envelope.

Any book you ship is going to qualify as a parcel, not a large envelope.

Not entirely true.  A number of thin children's books, such as the magic treehouse series, nancy drew notebooks, step into reading, etc. are still under 1/4" in a manila envelope.


Last Edited on: 7/13/08 7:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 285
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Actually, thickness is not the only qualification. If it is rigid (like most books), it can't bend it's way thru the flat-sorting machine properly. Therefore, it qualifies as a parcel.

The reason they don't have media mail on the APCs is that some folks aren't clear on the limitations of media mail, or they just plain don't care. I had a customer last week who had sent 14 large boxes from California to Alabama via Media Mail. When they arrived in our office, a clerk noticed that one of them made a clanking sound when moved. Since we're allowed to open an inspect media mail to verify proper content, we opened a few boxes and determined that they contained household goods. The customer had misrepresented the contents when mailing. I weighed that parcels and adjusted the price for Parcel Post. The young lady ended up paying well over $200 in postage due to get her packages.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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I'd also post this in the other boards too, they're read by more people.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Bret, just turn the package, envelope on its side and measure the thickness that way