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Topic: extra postage?

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Subject: extra postage?
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2009
Posts: 133
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I mailed a book today and put it in a bubble mailer and mailed it media mail.  The postman asked if there was any letters inside and i was confused and said no, there is a 3x5 card with my name and a reference number but no letter. He then told me that was considered a letter and had to charge me $0.44 to mail it along with the package and i thought he was kidding i've never heard of that before.  i explained it isn't a letter it is part of the package. then he said well if it gets inspected you will be charged priority mail and will be billed for it. so i was charged media mail plus $0.44 for mailing a letter.

Any one experience this before? Anyway around it or should i just never include a reference number slip in there again?

I do realize it is only $0.44 but if i have to pay that everytime it adds up.

 

P.S. would have shipped with the printed wrapper but the book was too big to do it that way.



Last Edited on: 1/4/10 3:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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You shouldn't have been charged the extra money.  Your enclosure would fall under "Incidental First Class" if anything and they are allowed.

The reference in the DMM is DMM 173.4.5 and is located here: http://pe.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/173.pdf

Maybe print it out and show it to him/her.

Also, if there was a letter enclosed and it was inspected it would not go on postage due for Priority Mail, it would go on postage due for .44.

I'm not sure if by "Postman" you mean a carrier or a window clerk.  Carriers have no training in retail and is no doubt repeating what he was told about first class enclosures.  A window clerk should know better.

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2009
Posts: 133
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it was a windowclerk and one that i know has worked with the PO for a very long time since i was a little girl.

plus he kept trying to upgrade my purchases so idk if they get incentive for getting more money out of people?

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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No incentive per say.  They are to offer upgrades and additional services which is only good business sense.  Kind of like asking if you want fries with your double cheeseburger or if you want to supersize it.

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,718
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Amanda, here is the HC doc that has the reg in it: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=92

Here is the portion that address enclosures:

A note with a simple accompanying message,

  • such as "Happy Birthday!" or "Hope you enjoy it!"

An invoice or notification of the shipment

  • The second page of the PBS Wrapper falls into this category.
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2009
Posts: 133
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so my hand written invoice that has the same info on it as the pbs invoice is considered a letter, whereas the pbs is not?  or would they both be considered invoices?

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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From now on, consider such an enclosure a permitted "invoice".

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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Your hand written invoice is fine.

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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As already suggested, your enclosure is most accurately considered a packing slip, invoice, or emergency address.  None of those enclosures invalidates Media Mail rate, but your USPS clerk (like many others) is unknowledgable regarding the details of their own regulations.

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,953
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Denise said, "but your USPS clerk (like many others) is unknowledgable regarding the details of their own regulations".

Denise is so... correct in her statement regarding uninformed USPS clerks. I had my bouts with Cranky Pants at our PO. I still don't understand why there are so many misinformed USPS employees out there.



Last Edited on: 1/5/10 3:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Their own manuals will clearly show your clerk he is wrong. This is the part that excludes it:

4.3 Written Enclosures

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class Mail prices. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class Mail postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling. (page 2 of the PBS Wrapper qualifies here)

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents. (page 2 of the PBS Wrapper qualifies here)

c. Words or phrases such as "Do Not Open Until Christmas" and "Happy Birthday, Mother." 

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed. (page 2 of the PBS Wrapper qualifies here)



Last Edited on: 1/5/10 1:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Denise is so... correct in her statement regarding uninformed USPS clerks. I had my bouts with Cranky Pants at our PO. I still don't understand why there are so many misinformed USPS employees out there.

I'm not sure that they are really misinformed.  I think that some postal clerks get off on the "power" they think they have over the customers.  There's a clerk at my local post office who has twice now misinformed me and both times I asked to speak to her supervisor.  I now avoid that particular clerk if at all possible. 

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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In part it's due to just how much a clerk is required to know.  A few years ago I posted a photo on here of just the basic manuals stacked up and a page count.  Most people who work for the PO have no idea of what is required of a window clerk, let alone customers. 

After going through training (which because of financial considerations the PO keeps cutting back on) a good deal of what a clerk will retain will be based on experience and location they work at.  If you don't use it you lose it.  Sometimes clerks do things a certain way because their un-trained supervisor requires them to do it that way in spite of what the manuals say.  I've seen this many times.

Having said that, Media Mail is part of the basics and with the push to keep people from abusing it every clerk should be familiar with it.

And unfortunately I've also worked with clerks, although rare, who fit Kate's description and seem to be on a power trip.  I was amazed the first time I saw it.  As I said, it is rare IMHO but it does exist.