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Topic: Advice needed re: inaccurate requestor condtions.

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Subject: Advice needed re: inaccurate requestor condtions.
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 74
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I agreed to send to a book to  an out of the USA  military member who stated in the conditons that if the book weighed over one pound, a form would have to be filled out at the PO. Since I am housebound, someone kindly takes my books to be mailed to the PO for me, thus has no idea of what is in the packages.

I weighed the book, it was under a pound, I pm'd the requestor stating my intention to mail soon, and that no form was needed.

Got a return pm saying form is needed for ALL books sent. Not wanting to incomvenience the person who mails my books, I am not willing to ask them to fill out a form, which involves getting in line twice. I pm'd the person asking what info. was needed on the form, and said they should have provided all requirements, including form is always needed.

Would undeclared requestor conditons be sufficient reason to cancel the order?

 

 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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The form that's needed to send to an APO address is online.  It's really very simple.  Basically fillinf out your name and address and the package contents, the receivers name and address and the weight and value. 

If you don't want to do it online and the person who mails for you is willing to fill the form the PO has them at the desk - no need to go to the clerk, out of line, fill the form and then back in line.

That RC is from PBS letting you know that if you're sending to an APO you must do this.  If not the book will not be delivered!

You could contact Bernhard about sending the book - he sends many overseas.  If you're reluctant to contact him - send the book to me (PM and I'll give you my addy) and I'll do it for you.  I'm sure you'll find others on the site that would be more than willing to help you send a book to someone in the military.  I'm not being snarky, just offering help in this situation.

Geri

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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You don't really need a reason to cancel the order--I would let the requestor know that the reason you're doing so is that you are not willing to fill out customs forms for every package mailed and suggest politely that if this is the case for all packages they should make that notation somewhere.

To be honest though, I'm not sure that IS the case--I've sent books to APO/FPO addressess before and did NOT need a customs form of any kind. Maybe you could ask in the forum about USPS regulations and see what the reality is. My huband is British and I have a lot of friends over there so know about customs forms for regular overseas packages, but as far as I can remember, I've never filled one out for sending a book to an APO address from here.

Geri wrote: That RC is from PBS letting you know that if you're sending to an APO you must do this.  If not the book will not be delivered!

Hmmm...interesting. Is it new? I sent one a few months ago, there was no RC and no form....and the book arrived just fine, although it did take about 5 weeks.

Cheryl



Last Edited on: 7/22/09 9:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I'm thinking that unless you have the only copy of this book in the system or the book is a WL book, that you should simply cancel the order, and allow the order to move on to the next person ASAP. When you cancel, just send a polite PM that you are homebound and that you feel you cannot inconvenience your friend by asking her to do the extra legwork. I'm sure the person will understand, and will appreciate a prompt cancellation so that the order can move along to the next sender.

ETA: When I sent a book to the APO, I completed the form for it. The RC, IIRC, said that it must have the form with it.

OK, I just looked it up. It states that packages under one pound are sometimes not delivered without the customs form, even though it is not required. So the recommendation in the RC is to complete the form.



Last Edited on: 7/22/09 9:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Added info..this is getting interesting.
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 74
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The requestor used the language suggested by PBS, That language says a form MAY be needed, depending on weight.

But requestor, in e-mail reply, says form is always needed.

At our PO, if there is someone in line behind you, they always  make you take the form, get out of line, fill out form, then stand in line to wait your turn  again to return form. Sometimes this can take awhile. They will not let you fill out form while clerk waits for you to do it. Thus the inconvenience factor for the person is doing me the favor of taking books to PO.

I looked at the online forms, best as they could be seen on screen, and they are not complicated. But it should be clear that form is always needed, not  "maybe" needed.

 I will send book, this time.

Appreciate everyone's feedback. It is hard for me to ask people to do my errands for me, that is part of the frustration I am feeling.Thank god for PBS making a steady stream of books available to read !!

 

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 108
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PBS requires people who have an APO address to use that RC, which was written by PBS not the requestor.  If you found it confusing, it would be helpful if you contacted TPTB and let them know. There was a thread about this not long ago with a copy of the RC in it and I must say between it and the USPS website I was confused myself, and I send a lot of packages overseas.

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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According to the conversation in this thread If you are shipping to an APO or FPO, even though the postal system may not require the customs form on the smaller packages, the military does so APO/FPO packages must have them on there all the time even though smaller general international mail does not.

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
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As a member of PBS with an APO address YOU HAVE TO FILL OUT THE CUSTOM FORM, please.  If you do not, there is a big chance we shall never get the package.

Oh, and for the op, I would never expect you to mail it if you have a physical hardship and cannot get to the post office.  I would be more than happy if you had to cancel, and just stated that due to physical hardship,or you don't drive, or etc, etc, etc, that you are unable to mail the book.  I had somone turn down a book request from me, the reason they gave me, too much work arrgggh, thanks!  Those are the comments that upset me.  I was the one who came here I while back and vented after that happened.

Ok, off my soapbox.

Leigh

Subject: Thank you, all.
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 74
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You have helped me see that there is indeed some confusion about the PO vs. military requirements, and y'all have also helped  me give myself permission to not send the book. I am going to explain to requestor that since I am housebound ( I have severe shingles and cannot dress properly for public) the sweet 80 y/o neighbor who occasionally goes to PO for me really should not be asked to do extra. Just moving around outside in this heat is taxing.

I feel better about how to handle this. Much appreciated.

 

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Please send feedback to PBS about this. If they insist on overseas military people using this RC, the language in it should be correct!
Kisha -
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 767
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Just wanted to add, you are allowed to take some of the customs forms home, so next time your neighbor goes to P.O. for you, you can just ask her to bring 1 or 2 home for you, then you already have some JIC you happen to get another APO request, then you can just fill it out and send with your neighbor.

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2009
Posts: 63
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You should be able to request some of the forms from your mail carrier.  I feel that it never hurts to fill out a form, even if you end up not needing it.  HTH

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,244
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My PO people have the forms right there and help you fill them out.  They're quite simple, and in fact, you can take them home and fill them out before you even get to the PO.  You basically have to put your name and address, their name and address, what's in the package and whethere it's a gift or not.  Pat

Subject: mailing to an APO/overseas military
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2009
Posts: 286
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Military spouse here.  My husband is currently deployed to Iraq.  I will gladly, as some also have offered, to mail any book overseas to a military member.  Custom forms are not that difficult.  As someone who has lived overseas herself on an overseas installation, it is nice to receive American things not available overseas, including books.  I currently live on an air force base and I have to put a customs label on about anything that is not a postcard or letter.  You're dealing with a foreign country and you need to add a customs label.  Not that difficult.  I will do it.  PM me or others.  Thank you.

 

Thank you to all of you who are willing to send items overseas to the military.

 

Jennifer

 
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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So just to be clear--when a book is requested by an APO/FPO address, there is now a PBS-generated RC that lets the sender know so that they have the option right then of declining the request--and it's treated like an RC so they don't lose their place in FIFO line, etc? Because a few months ago when I had that request, there wasn't any such RC/pop-up informing me of such.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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To the OP...  Please PM me and let me know what book and where it needs to be sent.  I'll request it directly from your bookshelf and mail it Priority mail to the service member when it gets to me.

 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Yes, I should have mentioned that you can get the forms at the PO ahead of time.  There's what's called a big white one and a little green one.  When I recently sent a book to Leigh (above) my PO clerk said since it's going to a military base I should use the big white one.  He also said if it's going to a military base if you don't have the form it might not get delivered. 

To be clear the big white one has the same information as the little green one except it also asks for a telephone number.  

The big white one is the one that I saw on the USPS site and what a pain that was.  I just went and picked up the form, brought it home and then went back and mailed the book.  It was under a pound.  

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Cheryl,

I recently sent a book to Leigh S, above.  This huge RC popped up.  I thought it'was a bit complicated.  Leigh had a thread about people turning her down because it was too much work to fill out the form.

Thankfully I had read Leigh's thread and actually PM'd her and she told me what was needed.

Then my PO clerk said if I was sending to a military base I needed to do the big white form.  The book was under a pound.  He wieghed it, had to fill out a part of the form and then attached it to the book.  I have read about but haven't looked at the form online.  Someone had posted that when it prints out there are five copies.  Easier to get it at the PO and press hard when filling it out. 

The best thing is it took less time for the book to get from Michigan to Italy than from California to Michigan...lol.

Bernhard, I'll have to remember that.  About requesting the book and then mailing it on.  I have no problem doing that. 

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Wow...they really want the big white customs form for a 5 oz mass market paperback?? I'm not even sure it would FIT on the package--those forms are huge!

So it would have to be taken to a PO then, right? Hmmm...I don't want to be a poophead or anything, but if that is the case, I will most likely decline those requests in the future simply because I can only get to the PO to mail packages one day a week due to my work schedule and I use strictly the PBS printable postage for that reason.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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M PBS D. - I just wanted to say that I am sorry you are dealing with such a nasty illness. You should not worry at all about cancelling the request. The great thing about books and PBS is that there is most always another copy that will come along from someone who is out and about and can mail it to the APO/FPOs.

Once you have cancelled the request, the book will be removed from your shelf so you will need to repost it.

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,315
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Then my PO clerk said if I was sending to a military base I needed to do the big white form.  The book was under a pound.  He wieghed it, had to fill out a part of the form and then attached it to the book. 

It seems that the policy varies depending on your PO.  At both of the POs I frequent, the multi-page white form is used for anything weighing over a pound.  The short green form is used for anything weighing under a pound. I've never had to supply a telephone number on the white form for APO/FPO addresses.



Last Edited on: 7/22/09 8:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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From reading various posts here and elsewhere, I thought it boils down to: up to one pound = small green form and over one pound = larger white one?

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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up to one pound = small green form and over one pound = larger white one

This is correct.  It's not unusual for the postal employees not to know the correct procedure when it's not something they deal with every day.  I've found it best to look everything up on the USPS website first, and then go in and confidently tell the counter employee what the rule is. 



Last Edited on: 7/22/09 10:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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That is true for any package going overseas via regular mail, John...but apparently it's the MILITARY that is imposing the more stringent requirement for the larger white form for anything going to APO/FPO. Your post office might accept it with the green form or even without a form at all if it's under 1 lb, but it may not be delivered properly once it gets to destination.?? At least that's the info I'm patching together from all these different responses.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 7/22/2009 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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I've sent small packages with the green forms and they've gotten there okay.  Maybe one of our military members knows?

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