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Topic: COD

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Subject: COD
Date Posted: 2/21/2015 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2009
Posts: 6
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I have a situation and I was wondering what I should do. I just received a delivery slip in that says when I go to pick up my item I need to pay $1.45, or something like that. The only thing I have ordered recently is some books from PBS. Now $1.45 is not a lot of money, but it makes me very upset because I just paid for a membership to the website an I paid to send out the book for which I received credit, therefore, I should be receiving the book without paying anything else. I don't know what I should do, should I let the book sit in the post office and be sent back to the mailer, or should I go pay the COD? I'm really upset about the situation, and I don't know what is the right thing to do. I  really don't think I should have to pay for a COD. This has never happened to me before in all the years I've been with PBS. 

Kathy (kss) -
Date Posted: 2/21/2015 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2006
Posts: 6,732
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Can you go to the PO and look at it? Tell them you have no idea what the package is and you can then decide to not take it if you want. If it is a book that got sent with postage due I would refuse it. 

Date Posted: 2/21/2015 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 602
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From the help docs.


I received a book postage-due!

If you receive a book postage-due, the first step is to assess whether or not this was a USPS error. Information that can be helpful to figure this out is:

  • Is the address on the package your current mailing address?
    • If NO, then the package was forwarded to you, and you are responsible for the postage due (see below for more about this).
    • if YES, then continue with the other questions
  • Is there any postage on the package?
    • If NO, then this is the sender's error (unless the postage was applied and fell off - this is rare but it has happened)
    • if YES, then continue with the other questions
  • If there is postage on the package, then is the postage sufficient for a Media mail package of that package weight?
    • if YES, then ask the PO why there is postage due:
      • perhaps the sender hand-wrote the label and did not write MEDIA MAIL on the package
      • perhaps the sender printed out a First Class label but applied Media Mail postage
      • perhaps the sender used Priority Materials to mail (these may be used only for Priority packages)

If you receive a book postage-due that bears your current address on it (it was not forwarded), and you have accepted the package from the mail carrier already, you should contact the sender to discuss this.  Please be polite: this was probably a simple mistake.

  • The sender will get credit for sending the book, but she or he should compensate you for the missing postage.

    • You can contact the sender during the process of marking the book received - or afterward using the PM button on the completed transaction for the book in your Transaction Archive
    • Be sure to note the postage due amount in the note you write while marking the  book received.
  • You can arrange any solution that you like (the sender can give the credit back, or send you postage, or another book for no credits...whatever you agree on).

If you receive a postage-due book addressed to your previous address (if you moved since you requested it), you are responsible for the additional postage.

  • Media Mail postal rate does not include forwarding (or return) service.
  • You can read more about this in What if I move or change my email address?.
  • If the book was mailed to you very late, this was the sender's fault.  This is the only case in which postage-due for mail forwarding from the address you provided is not the requestor's responsibility.

If you receive a book postage-due that bears your current address on it (it was not forwarded) but you have NOT accepted the package yet, you may refuse it.  It will be returned to sender.   You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.

  • In this case, you should not mark the book received.

    • This is the only time that it is appropriate not to mark a book received  (= if you have refused it for postage-due, and are not in possession of the book.)
    • This is the only time that it is appropriate to refuse a package from PBS (if there is postage due)
  • When the book is declared "lost in the Mail" at PBS, you will get your credit back.

  • You should contact the sender in this case also, to ensure that he or she is aware of the proper cost of mailing a book.
    • You can contact the sender using the PM button on the En Route Transaction for the book on your En Route to Me tab in My Account.

If the package has proper MediaMail postage on it,  you should ask the PO why extra postage is being charged.

  • This may happen if the sender does not mark the package MEDIA MAIL
  • This may happen if the package contained non-Media material and it was inspected
  • This may happen (rarely) if USPS makes an error and wants First Class postage for a package marked MEDIA MAIL.
  • This may happen if the item has the wrong estimated weight in the database, and the sender did not correct the weight estimate when she or he printed the wrapper to send the book.
  • This may happen if the sender used Priority Mail materials to mail the book - even Priority Mail tape can cause this.  Note that it's not OK to re-use a Priority Mail box for a Media Mail package - and turning a Priority Mail box inside out is considered a more serious offense since it implies knowledge of the wrongdoing.
Date Posted: 2/21/2015 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2009
Posts: 6
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Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it. I will contact the sender and try to figure out what happened.

Date Posted: 2/21/2015 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,452
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I'd refuse a book postage due as well.

Date Posted: 2/22/2015 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What they said yes

If you determine the book was mailed COD, it is in violation of PBS terms of use.

It's possible postage fell off enroute (or was mistakenly mailed without postage)...this happens occasionally.  If the sender mailed it without, they may choose to reimburse your credit to cover the COD.

Address issues are also common, have you moved or experienced postal problems recently? 

Check with USPS or the sender regarding the exact address.  If it's incorrect somehow, USPS may have charged forwarding postage (as this is not included in the Media Mail rate).

Last Edited on: 2/22/15 12:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2015 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2008
Posts: 12
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I have gotten one postage due before.  Sometimes, when you buy postage from PBS, their book weight and actual book weight are off quite a bit so I weigh my books when I print postage.  This could also be your problem. 

Date Posted: 2/22/2015 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,886
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Also, around Christmas time when tons of packages were going thru USPS I received an item where the stamp had come off.

Date Posted: 2/23/2015 2:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I around thanksgiving I had an irate member pm me letting me know one of my books arrived with postage due and she was going to rwap me.  I think she did before I could even get the pm back to her to find out why, it didn't really matter to me especially if I was in the wrong.  Anyway what we figured out was that her po charged her extra for the po tracking even though I'd already paid for the package at the po and it included the amount for the pbs dc.  I ended up emailing her a picture of my receipt and the post office rules about tracking and she went and got her money back.  So I'd ask before you send it back.  If its only 1.43 it doesn't seem like it would be COD, more like a miscalculation of weight, or stamps fell off, maybe a postal error.

Date Posted: 2/23/2015 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 754
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I once received a book from pbs without any postage at all.  It was a heavy book, and I wanted it.  It cost me around $4.35, I emailed the member and asked her to send me two credits to cover, since I don't think it was intentional.  She did so without question.  Sometimes it's just an error.   

Date Posted: 2/23/2015 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,008
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Also might not be a book. I once had a large envelope arrive postage due--DH's alma mater sent him some (unsolicited) catalogs and such in a large manila envelope and only put once first class stamp on it. We were friendly with out mailman (he was totally awesome), and to save us a trip to the PO he paid the postage due for us and asked to be reimbursed. So I paid him the 90 cents. Had I seen what it was first I would've refused the item, but I know the mailman was really trying to be awesome, and for everything else I would've accepted it postage due, so I totally understand it. I did call DH's alma mater and ripped them a new one. Asked for reimbursement. Of course it never came.

Date Posted: 2/24/2015 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2009
Posts: 6
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Yeah, it's not a huge amount of money, but I was still shocked, because it has never happened before. I will contact the sender to see if we can come to a good resolution.