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Topic: APCs being pulled?

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Subject: APCs being pulled?
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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Within the last few months the APCs (automated postal center) have been removed from several of the post offices that I go to regularly. As a frequent mailer, this is a real blow to me because I could mail books before and after the post office opened, not to mention during the day when the lines at the post office can be long. I was told at each post office that they were removed because not enough people were using them. I am wondering if other PBS members are starting to see this happen or is it just in my area?

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2005
Posts: 390
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Thank goodness mine is still at the PO. It would be very inconvenient if they took it out.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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mine was still there last night.  I know that a worker told me that if too many people used it then they would lose employees.  the line is always long when I go which is why I like the APC machine and if they would have more people working at peak times I wouldn't have been frustrated with them and use the APC machine. 

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 9,898
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All of the one's in my area - Parkersburg, WV are gone !  My PO told me that the USPS is doing away with all of them but didn't have a time table as to when.  They said they want people to come up to the window so they can better inspect packages, letters, etc.

J
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2007
Posts: 2,910
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Its still there at the PO I go to, but with a sign that it is going to be removed soon do to lack of people using it. This was about a month ago that I noticed the sign, but it is still there so far.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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It might be good to take this question to the postal forum...I haven't heard anything about my machine being removed and haven't seen any signs.  boy I hope that isn't the case, will make shipping books harder!

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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I'm going to be very annoyed if they do that.  At my post office, they took out all the other machines in order to get everyone to use the APC.  You can't buy a stamp from a machine there, only a book of the through the APC.  If they take that out, will they put the machines back in?  Or just expect everyone to be able to make it during the hours they are open?

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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Well, it certainly sounds as though we are going to have to get used to standing in line again...or using printable postage. Darn it, APCs made the Christmas season at the post office reasonable, not to mention April 15th, when the line was out the door and I just scooted in and used the APC!

Thanks for the suggestion to try the postal forum, I will do that!

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I hope not, I really like my APC at the Post Office.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 516
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I mainly now use the printable postage.  Before it was availible, I loved the APC and the ability to mail a package at 6:00 in the morning.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 90
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I really depend on the APC and I see it used regularly by others as well.  I sure hope they don't do away with them - I hate to stand in line (and there is always a line!)

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,089
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 They are taking out the one in my PO,  because it's not getting any use.  It's such a small PO, that honestly I was surprised that they had one in there.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I use the printed postage on anything over 13oz so I can just put it in the blue box. I buy stamps everytime I have to go to the PO to mail something non-pbs or a bulk order that won't fit in the blue box.  I buy some $1, some .25, .05, .01 and some forever stamps.  I weigh the book at home and make sure it's right on PBS and print out the label.  This way I don't have to pay the printed postage fees on every book.  I end up at the PO about once a month for something else anyway and I just stock up on whatever denomination I'm I need. 

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,539
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Last time I took something into the PO to drop it in the APM, it was gone!  I was hoping it was temporary but maybe not.  I liked the APM because I could drop packages there that won't fit in the other lobby drop slot.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2006
Posts: 725
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I asked at my PO and was told that they have to meet certain counter sales goals to keep the machine. I live in a small town and she said she thought that they would have to do over 60,000 a month. Not going to happen here.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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??  Didn't they just start putting them in everywhere?  Mine finally got one but the line is always longer there than at the counter so I've never used it.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Last time I took something into the PO to drop it in the APM, it was gone!  I was hoping it was temporary but maybe not.  I liked the APM because I could drop packages there that won't fit in the other lobby drop slot.

APC machines don't have drop slots so I'm not sure what you ar referring to....there is a larger drop slot at my PO next to the smaller ones that will fit certain size boxes but it has always been there.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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I've never even seen an APC, much less used one.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,550
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You're lucky you had access to them. I live in a big city and have never seen any at any of the post offices I frequent.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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They put one into two POs around here. One had someone sitting next to it encouraging folks to use it (I decline because I had media & international, and it handled both poorly).

I don't go there anymore but I noticed the APM wasn't at the bigger branch anymore. It didnt' seem to have lasted very long.  When I quit doing international & discovered you could print postage at an amount you set I tried to use it--but it was gone!

They seemed to want people to use them rather than the counter, so taking them out because people weren't using the counter is silly.  Maybe they only want it used during off hours or something.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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Because the APC is so convenient, DH will actually mail books for me after work.  I hope it stays.  It's a lot easier for DH to mail them than for me to drag 2 kids into the PO.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Kayote, why wouldn't you use the APC for media mail?  all you have to do is buy a stamp based on the weight ($2.13, $2.47, $2.81, etc) and put it on there.  No there is not a media mail option but it is just as easy to buy a stamp in the denomination you need.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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If the APC had been set up so that you could do any and all types of mailing from it, it would have gone over better. It's really not intuitive as to how to purchase a certain amount of postage at ours. Why not give the Media Mail options? Why not allow electronic completion of international forms right there on the machine? Do more inspections if people abuse the system, but they gave us an automated system that doesn't help us to do exactly what we want. It was incomplete. As a result, they're not used, and then removed.  :P

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Aargh, I don't know if I can keep swapping without the APC! They will remove it from our PO over my dead body! ;-)

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Leslie: When I asked if it could do media the person who was encouraging use of it said no.

It wasn't until later I found out I could print postage myself. And by that point it was missing from that PO.  When I switched to the other (because I moved) it was easier to go in line because of some of the boxes I had to mail, and then the APC was gone from there, too.

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