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Topic: Another problem with the new rules about packages over 13 ounces

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Subject: Another problem with the new rules about packages over 13 ounces
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2005
Posts: 9
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I had a book that was very light-have no scale but I knew it was no more than 8 ounces (if even that much). I put on more than sufficient postage and yet it was left behind and the carrier slapped on one of those stickers that explain about stamped packages over 13 ounces must be brought to the post office. I was fuming because it was a Saturday afternoon and I had marked the book mailed. So here it is Monday and when I get to the post office the clerk began fuming! He said it weighed just a drop over 5 ounces and should never have been left behind. Said he was going to show it to the postmaster so he could give the carriers a little lecture. I have several different carriers on my route, but none had ever seemed upset to pick up my packages. Now I'm wondering if they are going to find it easier to put on the sticker than to tote outgoing mail! Don't know if anyone has had (or will have) this same experience, but its a downer to have indicated a book was mailed and then  find out you need a trip to the PO to get it on its way. Now I'm hoping no carriers get angry enough to "lose" any of my incoming mail!

 

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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how infuriating!  I remember once putting just regular mail in the mail box and the carrier didn't take it and they drive a truck!  ugh!

I hope your postmaster straightens them out

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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I think your local clerk has handeled it for you Ruth and hopefully it won't be an issue for you again.  And don't worry about your carrier "losing" your mail because he/she is upset.  For one it may have been an honest mistake and the carrier will be educated on what can be picked up and what can't and for another it would probably take more then this for a carrier to get so upset they will risk their job, retirement, and a stay in a Federal pen over it.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Ruth, you may want to give the recipient a head's up about what happened, so that they know why the book was mailed a couple of days after you marked it.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2005
Posts: 9
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Hi Kristen

I forgot to mention that yes indeed I sent a pm to the receiver. It was after I did that when I thought it was worthwhile to take the time to post about my experience in the forum as well.

Ruth

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Ruth, carriers have no idea what your package weighs. May I suggest you put a 'sticky' note on your outgoing media mail parcels with 'This only weighs  x  ounces' on it. That way your carrier will know it's ok to take it. And I'm sure he just erred on the side of caution.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,705
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You would think the carrier would have known that it wasn't even close to 13 oz when he picked it up.  As many books as I've mailed, I can tell by picking up a wrapped book in my hand if it's close to the 6 oz mark or close to the pound mark from experience.  I find it impossible to believe that he thought a 5 oz book was even getting close to 13 oz.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Carriers do not pay any attention to how much the mail weighs. The only time we concern ourselves with weight is if a package is close to that 70 lb maximum and it has to be delivered to the third floor!!  We are concerned with addresses. And that's why this change to 13 ounces distresses us so much, too. We have no idea how much a piece of mail weighs.



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 10:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2007
Posts: 23
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This just happened to me.  I just answered the door and a book I had mailed out over the weekend was sitting on my doorstep. The reason??  It weighs over 13 ounces and under the new regulations (geez, it just keeps getting worse) MUST be presented to a postal clerk.  I did what I always do: affixed the postage for media mail, taped the PBS label onto the wrapper, and dropped it in the box AT the postoffice.  Not good enough anymore. I didn't know the regulations had changed.  I don't have a scale, and really don't want to have to go out and buy one, so this is just going to be an ongoing pain in the you-know-what.

This was obviously a book.  What a load of crap this is.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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A cheap scale will save you a whole lot of time and frustration Lynn...  Use metered postage (e.g., Paypal, Stamps.com, APC postage) and you can still drop it in the box!

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,514
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At the rate the government is going, we won't be allowed to mail a letter from home pretty soon.

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 48
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I just walked down to my mailbox and my carrier Janet had left a note for me along with the new 13 oz. regulation.  Her note reads:  "I know you're in a book club and I wasn't sure if you knew about this weight thing with stamps.  I haven't noticed you sending any out, but I didn't want to inconvenience you, so I thought I'd give you this."  She is always very considerate.  Also, she hasn't picked any books in the last week because I ran a 6/1 special and had to take everything to the post office.  I have a postal scale and now I weigh EVERYTHING even though I know almost all my books are under the 13 oz. limit.

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2007
Posts: 23
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Actually today the mail carrier rang the doorbell.  She was delivering a package and, while at the door, she asked about the other package (the book) she had left by the door yesterday.  She was really nice, and offered to take it in for me.  She said as long as she knew I was the one that mailed it (as oppossed to a terrorist I suppose), she would take it in for me and save me the trip.  Very nice.

I might look into a meter.  I just don't need anything else cluttering up desk space, which is maxed out.  Will also look into stamps.com.  I know I am cranky about this, but it just doesn't have to be this hard. 

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2005
Posts: 65
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Connie said:

Carriers do not pay any attention to how much the mail weighs. The only time we concern ourselves with weight is if a package is close to that 70 lb maximum and it has to be delivered to the third floor!!  We are concerned with addresses. And that's why this change to 13 ounces distresses us so much, too. We have no idea how much a piece of mail weighs.

 

Connie...I had visions of postal carriers having to carry those fish scales on their belts and weighing every envelope/package they have to pick up.....

T. -
Date Posted: 8/15/2007 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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PayPal shipping eliminates all of this worry and frustration.

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Ssshhh, Alita!! Don't give management any ideas! They're probably working on something like this right now---and then close down a few windows at the PO because now 'the carriers can do it!' Sometimes I just scare myself!

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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Any kind of scale will do!  You can pick up a food scale (usually weighs up to 1lb) for under $5 at Target or Kmart or Walmart.  That way, you know if your package is over 13 ounces.  Also, it helps for those lighter packages to know if it's cheaper to mail via First Class than Media Mail.

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I had book weighing in at just about a pound (over 13 oz, don't remember exact amount now).  So I put my stamps on it and drove myself to the PO.  Handed it to the gal saying that the postage was correct, and it was just a book (she asked why the media mail stamp was on it).  Then she said that I could have just dropped it in a blue box since it was all wrapped up and addressed and stamped and all.  Duh!  She's talking to me  r e a l  s l o w.........., like, hello, it's addressed, wrapped and stamped, why are you in here wasting my time.

I say it's over 13 ounces and I've used my personal stamps on it so I can't leave it in the box, I have to hand it to a postal clerk.  No, she is still speaking slowly to me, I don't have to hand it to a postal clerk. 

After going back and forth a few times I put on my best smile and ask if she wouldn't be so kind and please take my package for me just this once.  Well ok she decides. 

I left just cracking up.  She probably thought I was a loon laughing on my way out.  I only wish I could be there at the moment she figures out what's what. 

Date Posted: 8/16/2007 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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Tomorrow I am testing the carrier pickup with all this 13oz brewhaha

I don't know if my regular carrier is working, though, he was off today.

My priority mail is stamped but everything else is Media Mail via PayPal.

(If it does work, it might be because she's ringing my bell to to sign for a package that is being redelivered. But I will ask her what she would have done if I just left the packages.)

Date Posted: 8/17/2007 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 62
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Connie,

I have had this happen to me.  It looks as though you are a postal carrier.  I use a digital scale to weigh my books.  Do you think the mail carrier will be okay with putting a sticky note with the weight on the book?  I hesitated to do this for fear my mail carrier would think I was being rude.

Date Posted: 8/18/2007 6:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Robin, I wouldn't think it was being rude--I'd think it would be helpful. You could always look for the carrier and hand him/her the first book you do this for, then you could explain that you've weighed them and will continue to put the weight on your books. And yes, I'm a letter carrier. I haven't come across any over 13 oz-ers yet. =)

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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My test of Carrier pick up with the new postage rules for the blue boxes was Friday. 

I never had any problems with the Carrier Pick Up before.  This time was no different.

I put out 8 packages:  1 was Priority Mail using stamps, 7 were Media Mail using PayPal. 

I asked the girl picking them up (not my regular carrier) if they could pick up the PM because it had regular stamps.  She said "absolutely!"  She was so bubbly and happy it was contageous.  We talked a little bit about the Known Customer thing and she said it basically boiled down (at least in my zip code) is as simple as leaving packages for the carrier from the same address that you use for delivery (my words, not hers).  She said that they would always take mail that way, but if you walked up to her on the street with packages she couldn't take it and just keep doing what I was doing by using the web site to request a Carrier Pick Up (her words).

 

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 8:09 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Ange, this new stamped, over 13 oz. policy is not a 'known customer' issue. What she told you about leaving packages or handing them to her on the street was the 'known customer' vs. the 'unknown' customer' policy for stamped parcels over 16 oz. (Also called  'Target' mail.) The new stamped, over 13 oz. policy calls this mail 'Anonymous' and cannot be taken by the carrier in a carrier pickup. It doesn't matter what zip code you live in, this policy change is postal wide. But I'm not surprised to see that it isn't being followed by some offices--it's been less than a month since its implementation.

Don't be surprised to find your priority package on your doorstep if it's over 13 oz. Someone may catch it as it travels to its destination, slap a sticker on it and send it back to you.

I'm glad you had a happy postal experience, though.

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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Hey thebookcrosser, I agree!  I can understand not being able to mail the heavier books from my home mailbox, but I dropped one in the box AT the post office Saturday and it was returned to me today.  So I guess this means I have to take time to stand in line just to hand an already stamped book directly into the mail person's happy little hands?  I guess I can skip my lunch break tomorrow to do this.  I pick up a lot of books at garage sales and from the discard cart at the library but I guess I'll limit myself to paperbacks from now on, no hardbacks 'cuz they require a trip to the post office!

"Maybe it's a bomb!"  <rolling my eyes> 

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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Alisa: they have to be 'trackable', meaning they have to either be able to trace it back to your credit card, or to a moment when you stood at a counter in front of one of their cameras. It has nothing to do with what box you put them in.

So you either need to buy APC postage, buy postage from one of the online resellers (paypal, endicia, stamps.com, etc), or go to a counter so they can print you a zero strip.

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