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Topic: Book arrived postage due $3.17

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Subject: Book arrived postage due $3.17
Date Posted: 2/27/2014 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 279
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I don't know if this was just a mistake or if they were trying to cheat the system.  I ordered 3 books which arrived in two separate packages, Unfortunately, the sender used a copy of the postage printed label to wrap the second package and I had to pay $3.17 for the book which was marked postage due.  Also, the book marked postage due weighed less than one pound, so I don't understand why the postage due was $3.17 which is the rate for books weighing one pound and over. Is it because it was the amount on the copied label?

I haven't marked the books received yet because I don't know what PBS does about members who make copies of postage printed labels. So what is the procedure in this case?

Date Posted: 2/27/2014 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,337
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I'm not sure the answer to your question, but I'm curious as to why it was $3.17 also since the last package I mailed was over 1 pound & that was the amount for postage on it.  Seems like the package you received shouldn't have been that much, but either way, I'd definitely contact PBS. I'm not sure if there's anything in the rules about this issue. I've never dealt with it before.

Date Posted: 2/27/2014 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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Well, PBS doesn't do anything. Contact the other member, explain what they did, and ask for a credit back to compensate you for the postage. Also, it may be a new member who doesn't know how to properly work multiple book orders, so if that's the case, you may want to help educate them. You need to mark one of the packages RWAP for insufficient postage, and the other package received normally.

Last Edited on: 2/27/14 8:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/28/2014 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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Also, this the the only instance (receiving a book postage due) when you have the option of refusing the package.

Here's a help doc on your situation:

I received a book postage due!

I'd recommend contacting her.

As for the postage cost -- one possibility is that the postage was calculated for a bulk order.  She didn't realize she should mail them together -- or couldn't figure out how to wrap a multiple book shipment -- and instead reprinted the wrapper.  It may not have occurred to her that using the same wrapper (with postage) twice wouldn't be legal.



Last Edited on: 2/28/14 1:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/28/2014 2:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 279
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The one book was heavy, over 1 pound. So $3.17 just to mail it. Together though the books weigh over 2 pounds so it would have been $3.65 to mail them in one package. Makes me think this person knew what they were doing.

Date Posted: 2/28/2014 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,292
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In the past week I've had the PO overcharge me twice for books I mailed out-- both went first class and since they were less than media mail would have been, I didn't pay attention--and one trip I had a long line of customers behind me.  The other overcharge was caught by the book's recipient-- yep, she weighed the book upon arrival cause she was suspicious about the cost of postage. She has emailed me a scan of the postage and I will go to PO tomorrow to ask about it.

Date Posted: 2/28/2014 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,503
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In this case, I would also contact TPTB, just in case she's making a habit of it on purpose.  I think they'd want to be aware.

Date Posted: 3/2/2014 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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The first question that comes to my mind when situations like this arise is: Did the sender use a USPS Priority Mail envelope or box?  In those cases, the USPS gives credit for the amount of the label, then adds the additional cost for use of the PM packaging.  Used to happen all the time at the other swap site I worked for, and I imagine it sometimes happens here, as well.

Date Posted: 3/2/2014 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2009
Posts: 28
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Gayle, It kind of sounds like the person knew what they were doing (sort of). Since the price for the single, heavier book was paid.  If they had paid the postage for the combined weight and duplicated the label then I would think they just had no clue that they were doing something wrong. You would be surprised by how many people I get that have no clue how to mail something.  I've seen situations similar to yours a few times in my office. It's a luck of the draw for which one gets marked postage due. The 1st one scanned is allowed to go thru. When the 2nd one was attempted to be scanned it showed up as a duplicate label. Your post office most likely just saw that $3.17 was the amount on the label and charged that for the post due rather than weighing it to see what the correct postage should have been. Had they scanned the lighter one first it would have gone thru with the label and the heavier one would have been postage due and $3.17 would be the correct postage for it. As far as the post office is concerned the 2nd package did not have valid postage, the same as if it didn't have postage at all. I would definitely mark it as a problem swap due to insufficient postage. In the comments box make a note that it was a duplicate label.  Up to you if you want to notify PBS separately about it.