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Topic: APC question for postal workers

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Subject: APC question for postal workers
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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In another forum someone was told that the USPS will be removing APC machines from all of the post offices (no time table on it at this time) so that people would have to go to the counter so they could inspect packages.

another said that their APC machine was removed because not enough people were using it.

any knowledge about the first statement?  I will be very sad if they remove my machine...I use it all the time and there have been times when it must have been out of the stamps for different postage amounts because I couldn't use the machine.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I did a search of the forums for "APC" and realized that vast numbers of us here at PBS use the APCs regularly (usually daily, in my case) and it is going to have a huge impact if they are all removed on my (and I'm sure, others too) being able to mail books in a timely manner.

This, if true, will impact me more than the postage going up!

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2006
Posts: 1,826
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Last Edited on: 2/9/09 8:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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I highly doubt they would.  If anything, I think that they would remove some counter workers.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
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i have not heard antthing about them getting rid of them only time they remove them is when they don't make enough money.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 6:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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USPS announced in October, 2006 that it would begin removing stamp vending machines from service by 2010.  Don't confuse these machines with the Automated Postal Center (APC).

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,632
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My PO still has a stamp vending machine in the lobby.  It's the APM that's gone now.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 10
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I love the APC!  They did remove the stamp machine from the lobby, but I never used it anyway -- I have stamps delivered to my home. 

However, the APC I use does not seem to allow media mail shipment.  Am I not using it correctly?  I have gone ahead and mailed single paperbacks via First Class Mail, since it was not that much more expensive and would probably arrive a little quicker than media mail. 

Anyone else use the APC for media mail? 

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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I had to ask a postal worker how to do that myself.  Go to "Buy Stamps".  Then go to "Buy Different Value of Stamp".  Then you're prompted to type in what value of stamp you want.  You do need to know how much your package weighs (I weigh mine at home 'cause it's faster but I guess you could use the scale at the APC but that will require more steps)  So then you just type in 2.13 or 2.47 or 2.81 etc. depending on the weight of your package.  The machine will churn out up to 5 stamps of your custom amount at a time.  Of course you can also get just 1 stamp :-)  It works great!

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I know they are removing under performing APC's. I will have to ask around and see if they are going further than that.

The following is copied from a recent news article about the stamp machines:

 Today, Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns (NY-10) announced his co-sponsorship of H.R. 5548, the “Postal Service Access Assurance Act of 2008”. This legislation would serve to ensure the continued availability of automated stamp vending machines by the United States Postal Service for underserved communities.

USPS announced in October 2006 that it would phase out stamp vending machines by 2010.  Approximately 5,900 vending machines would be removed each year until nearly 23,000 machines – now in service – have been withdrawn. USPS points to reasons such as aging equipment, lack of repair parts, and the high costs of maintenance.

Subject: apc machines
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 127
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At one large post office i go to there is a "concierge" in the lobby that asks people on line if they are paying with credit cards. if they are he asks if he could show them how to use the APC machine. About the half the line goes with him to the machine to learn how to use it.

Subject: The silly thing is
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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my lobby had one that sold 1-cent stamps -- why did they remove it just before the increase instead of, say, a month or two afterwards?

It is possible to buy 1-cent stamps via APC after completing a $1.00+ transaction for something else. I noticed that when I needed both a 2.13 and a 2.47 a while back, and the denomination choice for the second "buy stamp" choice magically lowered to $.01 from the initial $1.00 minimum. In other words, you can piggyback some .01's onto sending books.


Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 3,205
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The stamp vending machines have disappeared from my local PO but I'm quite certain that they have no intention of removing the APC...It gets a lot of traffic.

However, a sign or notice in the lobby would be nice for those poor folks who come in to mail one or two items and wind up looking a bit lost when they realize there is no stamp vending machine.  I actually had a fellow buy a 41 cent stamp off me for 45 cents (he insisted) because he didn't want to buy a whole book...and I'm not sure he a credit/debit card to do so.

While I understand the thought process behind it, it is still very frustrating for those who don't use plastic (my MIL for one) or find the APC to be overwhelming.

Date Posted: 4/30/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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The stamp vending machines in the post offices I go to are always out of stamps, broken, or don't give me back my change.  I certainly don't mind them removing it if the APC machines can dispense stamps for less than $1.  I've noticed the stand alone postage scales have been removed so if you want to weight anything, you have to go to the APC.  I use my APC a lot, especially for larger requests such as BOB, and absolutely love them. 

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 3:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 285
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The stamp machine in our lobby was either broken 50% of the time or cheated people out of money 50% of the time. I had to do several refunds a week for it. They finally took it out last week and replaced it with one that only sells single stamps. This one works.

Our APC is vital to our operation. It's the most profitable in the state of Alabama. It's not going anywhere.


Date Posted: 5/1/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
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Now I feel like I have to go out and campaign to get people to use the APC machines, so they don't take them away!  I stopped in to a PO on the way home from work to use one today, in and out in 5 minutes, such a pleasure!  I'll be so upset if they disappear.

Date Posted: 5/2/2008 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I just read there is a new advertising campaign starting for the APC's.

Date Posted: 5/5/2008 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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I think they are just removing the stamp machines not the APCs

(as they do help out a lot and where else can you get a stamp for exact amount you need?

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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Is an APC something that weighs your package for you and gives you the correct postage? I've never heard of them before. I guess it's not surprising though, since my local post office is too small to have anything like that.