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Topic: APCs and Mailing From Home

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Subject: APCs and Mailing From Home
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 78
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My understanding is that if I use an APC (Automated Postal Center) to print a number of "stamps" for $2.23 each, I can use those for my media mail, and even mail things that are heavier than 13 ounces from my home mailbox.  Correct?

I had thought that you had to take > 13 oz packages to the PO, since a mail bomber is unlikely to risk being discovered when handing a mail bomb to a postal employee.  If that's the post office's thinking, then why can a APC package be mailed in any mailbox or post office box?

Ah (light goes on) -- it's because the stamp could be traced via the credit card or debit card used at the APC machine.  Yes?

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Yes Al, that's correct, although I still fail to see how enough of a stamp would remain intact to identify you if your package blew up!  But then, I'm not a forensics person, so...

My life has been SO much easier using APC postage--not having to deal with the lines at the counter has made a world of difference.  Give it a try, you'll love it!

Date Posted: 8/23/2008 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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The APO also lets you use a prepaid Visa card. But I am sure someone intent on mailing letter bombs wouldnt know to go buy themselves a Visa gift card to buy postage with so we are safe.

I would love to know who it was that decided that 13 ounces is the danger limit. It used to be 16 ounces, has plastic explosive gotten lighter over the years?

Last Edited on: 8/23/08 4:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/24/2008 1:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Diane - I asked that question once of a postal person, receiving a vague response.  He was either pushing me off, or has faith that it's "somehow" possible. 

Cheryl - cynical people would say that it was a "political move", but I'll go no further there. Or, some bureaucrat with oodles of time on her hands came up with some highy improbable scenario, announcing "I found a threat (possibility)!"


Date Posted: 8/24/2008 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 78
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[quote]although I still fail to see how enough of a stamp would remain intact to identify you if your package blew up![/quote]

It doesn't have to blow up.  For example, a postal employee could notice a suspicious package (wires hanging out, ticking sound, plastic explosive residue), and they would trace your credit card from the stamp before the bomb squad blew up the package.  It's that possibility that would deter a Ted Kazinsky.

Date Posted: 9/2/2008 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 25,316
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As a currently employed window clerk at the PO - all I can say is "I don't get it either!"  The anthrax that caused so many problems at several PO sorting facilities was in a 1 oz. letter.  There are so many things out there that can cause problems....  I honestly have no idea why the change was made from 16 oz. packages to 13 oz. packages.  It was just one of those things that changed when the rates changed.