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Topic: Is anyone else owing postage on pre-printed labels on delivery???

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Subject: Is anyone else owing postage on pre-printed labels on delivery???
Date Posted: 12/11/2008 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,543
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I have picked up three books this week that cost me $.56 each at the post office.  The sender used the preprinted DC prepaid label on the book but the postage (media mail) was not correct.   aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggg!!

Anyone else owe postage on books mailed around Nov 29th or Dec 1 or so???

Date Posted: 12/11/2008 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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No but my guess is they are not verifying that the weight of the book is correct in the PBS system. It frequently is not correct.  I had a 4.5oz book show up as weighing over 1lb the other day.  Also did the packages say media mail?  If they covered or cut out the part that says media mail the post office could be sending them first class which is higher for books over 6 or 7oz. 

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
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I have often seen weight be incorrect for books.  I have a scale so modify the weight before I print postage, but if someone doesn't have a scale, they won't know that the weight and thus the postage is wrong.

I recommend you PM'ing them to let them know

For you to have three coming from different sources tells me its a widespead problem of being "off" in postage... and I suspect that your particular post office might be cracking down whereas some don't bother to check... which is a kind of bummer for you :  (

Subject: UPDATE
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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My Post Master at our little rural PO told me Monday that she filed a complaint about the situation with the mail office in ALB.   There is actually a problem with the fees that were charged on books with DC.  She then refunded my postage already collected because by then she had 4 more books with postage off the web site with inadequate fees charged.   Apparently the USPS has a software problem, not PBS.  That is good.  I just found it interesting no one else has had the problem.



Last Edited on: 12/17/08 5:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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That's weird Pam. Glad you got your money back.  Must be an issue at a sorting facility or major PO near you that the books are all going through.

Whenever you get a book postage due,  if you have a scale please weigh it and use the Edit Book Data feature to correct the weights so that we can get the PBS system cleaned up.

Date Posted: 12/22/2008 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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I have sent several books PBS DC and have not had anyone tell me they owed money on any that were delivered.

 

I sometimes add an extra ounce or two to the weight because I can be quite liberal with the tape and packaging material, though.

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2007
Posts: 117
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I've gotten two just this week. I checked the books on my scale and they were correct for what the post office charged me, but not for the amount of postage actually printed. I think some might be that people are not changing the weight on PBS for the WRAPPED book - and just leaving it at the weight for the book itself.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 26
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I got the impression (perhaps erroneous) that PBS encourages use of preprinted DC labels as a convenience for users, so I tried using a couple the other day and decided it was quite nice not having to go to the PO. But now I'm mortified to think the recipients may have had to pay extra postage! I didn't notice any warnings about the possibility of the weight being off. Did I miss something? I assumed weights would have been adjusted to allow for average wrapping--am I wrong? I thought I'd mail this way from now on, but I don't have a scale to double check the weights. Does that mean I really shouldn't use these labels?
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2007
Posts: 117
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The weights aren't horribly off on PBS - usually they are fairly accurate. But remember, the weights listed are for the books themselves, not the packing materials which does add some weight and can take them up to the next ounce which would mean a different amount needed for postage.

Some of the weights I've noticed here are just right, some are higher weights than my wrapped book (which means I would have paid more postage) and I've only noticed a couple that were actually noted as being less than the actual weight of the book.

When you can, I would suggest getting a cheap food scale to help to verify the weights.

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
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Thanks Kathy. I'll do that.
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 5,377
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When inputting the weight, there's a little dropdown that allows you to select whether the weight is for the wrapped or unwrapped book. However, the amount added really depends on what packaging you use. If you use the PBS wrapper, it will very rarely push you to the next ounce. If you use a bubble mailer, that's a bit weightier. (Of course, if you use a bubble mailer, you can package the book before you weigh it, so it's not really a problem.)

I got a digital scale off eBay for very cheap, and it's been extremely useful! Now I only have to go to the Post Office to drop off packages that are too big or fragile for the collection box.

Subject: Is Anyone Else Owing Postage On Pre-printed Labels On Delivery?
Date Posted: 1/22/2009 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2008
Posts: 6
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I haven't had that problem so far. But I did have a book delivered that only had 21 cents worth of postage on it. One 10 cents,one 5 cents, one three cents and three one cent stamps. I don't know how it ever got to me or that I didn't have to pay the difference.

Date Posted: 1/22/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,543
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OK,  my post mistress has been weighing all my books outgoing and incoming (really small, rural post office so we have all the same services plus lots of personal attention here, very nice.)  All of the prices from the web site have been correct since I began this discussion.  Maybe it was just a burp.  I also ordered a postage scale from this web site and it is coming in very handy.  I highly recommend that is you are sending books at least every week or as in my case daily you consider getting one. 

Date Posted: 1/22/2009 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 361
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A few times, when I have gone to the post office with my PBS orders, they charge me more than the PBS label recommended  (though it is just one book, and no DC or any other extra charges.) Because of this, I don't send from home or mailbox but always go to the post office, JIC the label might be wrong regarding the weight.

We had a postal scale (a digital), but it's not working well anymore so I don't use it.

Date Posted: 1/23/2009 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I print DC and let the PO weigh and figure postage.  There was a period after the last postage increase where a number of the suggested postage amounts were wrong, but lately just the occassional one is incorrect.  some are a little more and some a little less, but not often.

Date Posted: 1/23/2009 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think sometimes the PO does 1st class automatically. I brought books in today and the label said media mail but the girl printed out 1st class postage on the 1st one.  It wasn't much more so I didn't argue over it-she had to block out the media mail.

Subject: 3 expensive postage dues in 2 weeks
Date Posted: 1/23/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2008
Posts: 12
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I have had 3 postage due slips in my box in the past 2 weeks. Are we expected to pay $2.00 and $3.00 in postage due? These were also children's books. The post mistress said they had mailed them 1st class and they were less than 3/4 inches. I would have paid under a $1.00 but this was too much! Should I have paid the high postage due?
Date Posted: 1/25/2009 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Kim - if you get a book with high postage due from a PBS member, you can either return the package unopened and let the book go lost, since technically you won't get it; OR you can accept it but ask the sender to refund your credit, assuming that the problem is obviously a sender error and not a post office error.

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would have refused them and had them sent back. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 5
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I printed the postage and took my book to the post office (I boxed it as it was a large hardcover). The clerk verified my postage for me.
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 667
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I have been pretty careful to bring them to the post office to double-check the postage in almost every case.  I had a couple that were way off, but my brain caught them early on...  A paperback weighing 1lb 14oz (for a 300 page book) is ridiculous.   And I had a hardcover reported at 3lb when it was not even 2lb...  But usually, the PBS postage is pretty accurate I've found.  And always when it was wrong (for me anyways), it's been too high, not too low.



Last Edited on: 1/31/09 6:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2009 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 123
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PBS postage allows for an additional 0.6 oz of weight with a book. That is supposed to cover packaging. At least, that was how I understood it.

Although, I got my first postage due the other day, I couldn't believe it.

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Part of the problem with weights & PBS is when a publisher uses the same ISBN for multiple bindings of the same book.  A trade paperback will weigh more than a standard paperback, and a hardcover will trump them both.  If they all have the same ISBN I don't think the PBS system can do much about it.

I bought an inexpensive digital 5 lb. postal scale and I don't even bother with the PBS weights now.  I just weigh the actual book and wrapper, round up to the next ounce, and use that number in the weight box.

The scale cost me, I think, about $12, but I've seen them for less.  Harbor Freight (if you have one near you) recently had 10 lb digital scales for under $10  If I save a few cents postage on each book, or avoid having the problem of postage due (which would embarass the heck out of me) I figure it's worth it and will pay for itself over time.

Date Posted: 2/22/2009 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2008
Posts: 13
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I've never had to pay for additional posting when I've received a book. However, I have noticed that in most cases the postage that PBS suggests is pretty darn close to actual postage.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2006
Posts: 1,826
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I caved in and bought a scale from PBS, I had a few instances recently where there's no way the book could weigh what was listed but without a scale I was flying blind.