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Topic: APC machines being removed

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Subject: APC machines being removed
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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An acquaintance informs me that his local PO's are removing APCs. Not sure on what scale, whether one or two or all, or what, in his medium-small city in the south.

Please tell me that USPS hasn't changed their minds about these wonderful labor-saving devices! :-P

Seriously, if USPS is trying to get people to use the APC's (cheap) instead of their employees labor (expensive), then why remove them?

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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There was a HUGE scandal where a bunch of crooks stole thousands of dollars from an APC.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I hope they don't remove mine...that is such a great time saver!!!

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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At mine, they've had a P.O. employee sitting nearby watching the transactions.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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seejack wrote

>there was a HUGE scandal where a bunch of crooks stole thousands of dollars from an APC

can anyone tell us more I couldn't find any thing on the web about any scandal dealing with the APC

how could they steal anything since the APC doesnt take cash in the first place?

 

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
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Here you go ...

seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003831638_stampscam11m.html

 

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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I don't think USPS has changed their mind about them - at least not much (the local ones have recently sprouted signs saying they are limited to either 1 or 3 sheets of stamps; if you want to buy more go to the retail counter [which is usually closed, naturally!])

I do know that they get pulled out of stations where they aren't used enough (my local branch had one, but it was pulled for that reason, but the ones in the bigger offices remain).

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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That's an interesting article, John, although the reporter's use of the buzz-words du jour was kind of funny (this was credit fraut, NOT a case of identity theft). Really, what's new about anyone using stolen credit card info? In this case the only novel element was the APC, and I can't imagine why USPS management would be surprised that anyone would try to steal from them... I mean it's not like it's a gas kiosk, or.. uh wait a minute...

;-) 

Seriously though, it'd really be sad if APCs were removed due to security concerns or vandalism, etc, wouldn't it?



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 3:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,636
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I have yet to even see one.....sigh.  I went online to look them up, and the closest one to me is like 20-25 minutes away.  I'm better off using the local post office and getting in line.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I have yet to even see one.....sigh.  I went online to look them up, and the closest one to me is like 20-25 minutes away.  I'm better off using the local post office and getting in line.

If you are ever by the other post office you could go to the APC and stock up on some postage.  you can buy stamps in the denominations you need ($2.13 or whatever) and then you can just drop the book in a blue box no matter the weight

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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thanks for the posting,

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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In theory - you're supposed to use APC postage only in the zip code in which it was purchased (for finanacial control, not security, reasons).

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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That would be fine, Seajack, if every zip had an APC, but if we're going to avoid standing in line for ages, we have to commute to an APC, stock up, and mail from nearer where we live. No way to get around it, so far as I know.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Actually, I was going to suggest that folks who don't live near an APC m ight consider a "trial" drop with a sticker near their regular mailbox. The "drop" zip has every incentive to shut up and put through the package as they get the "credit" for doing so - in other words, they get the "long" end of the finanacial stick. If that were done on a large scale, it might cause the APC P.O. to consider removing it (although a stern sign advising that customers MUST DEPOSIT PACKAGES *HERE*! would proably work).

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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I don't understand what you're saying, Seajack. Sticker? Trial? You lost me.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I don't understand why you have to mail a package in the zip code where you bought the postage from the APC machine.  to me it is a stamp just of a specified amount vs regular postage stamps for letters.

of course the APC is at my post office and my packages are normally mailed from there, but it still doesn't make sense.  If it was an issue or it had to be done they need to post signs.  granted most people would be mailing a package at the same time, but not always a guarantee

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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"to me it is a stamp just of a specified amount vs regular postage stamps for letters."

------

Unfortunately, to them, it's a piece of postage with a built-in way of tracking which PO's need/get more financial support (doing more business), so it does have a purpose - just not one that's immediately obvious to others.



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 12:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Eloise: I use "sticker" to mean APC postage; to me "stamps" are the ones with pictues n stuff on  them - the kind that upset them with large packages, but they use that term for both PC and "regular" ones."Trial" meant a trial/test drop of one book with APC postage from another zip code to see whether it gets returned or not.

Leslie: I understand that the way it works, for P.O. internal records, is that the P.O. that "sells" the APC stamp/sticker gets that money charged against it as "outgoing" and the one where the APC-stickered package gets actually mailed from gets "credited"(?) for the package; if the two things are not in the same P.O. it throws off the numbers (so to speak). I nearly flunked accounting in school so that's the best I can do.

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 4
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So I'm only supposed to use the APC if I'm sending the book to the same zip code as me?

That doesn't seem helpful. My P.O. always has a huge line and only two workers. I really like the APC. I've only used it once, but I think in the time it took me to fill everything out and pay for it, the workers had only helped one person. I didn't read anywhere that it said to mail to the same zip code. Of course, I flew by a few long winded pages. :) HA and I call myself a reader... HAHA

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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Nicole: the APC-and-zipcode thing is that, if you don't mail the book from the same zipcode the *APC* is in (meaning, the blue box and APC are in the same zip), (a) the post office whose box you do mail it in has to do work without getting revenue for it, which causes internal accounting problems if you do it a lot, and (b) sometimes the zip you send it from's people don't understand the rules for APC postage, and might return it to you or do something else silly.

That said, i do it all the time, if it makes the difference between mailing a book today and mailing it at the end of the week ...

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I've found that mailing books with APC postage tends to result in their being treated the same as First Class - arrival within a week, often less. Media Mail is so rare in those bins that it seems the staff can't really be bothered (if they notice) to set the packages aside into the "penalty box".

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I've noticed that too....most of my books are there within a week using APC postage, even if the wrapper says media mail

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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I find my media mail packages get there within a week no matter whether they have stamps or APC postage on them -- maybe because I live about four miles from our regional bulk-mail-handling facility (and that's almost always where my first DC scan happens; they must have scan-everything automatic sorting machines). A week to a week and a half is the most common trip time; every once in a while one takes closer to a month, but usually it's because it's going to Alaska or an FPO or something. :->

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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I would be someone who would absolutely be mailing in a zip code other than the one where the APC was purchased.

I rarely go to my own zip's branch because all they do is sell stamps & take packages.  They hold mail & pacakges in a different building about a mile from the branch.

It's much easier for me to go to the PO that is a different zip but is actually closer than my zip.

BTW, PayPal asks about this, too, but gives you the option to say you are mailing from the return addy's zip or a different one.

Date Posted: 8/18/2007 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2007
Posts: 445
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The closest (well, really only) APC near me is in a neighboring town.  I usually just send from there since I have my packages with my when I print the postage, but last time I bought an extra one.  I am going to mail it from my town and see what happens... Hopefully the book gets there and is not returned to me....  I think it's a little silly to think that to not be able to mail from a different zip.

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