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Topic: A few questions....

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Subject: A few questions....
Date Posted: 7/21/2010 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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I seem to be having a continous problem with people not putting the right amount of postage on packages. At least twice a month I get these little slips in my mail box letting me know there is a package waiting at the PO for me and I owe anywhere from 17 cents to $5 on the package. (yes some never applied the postage at all).

Now if I turn around and deny these packages then I will end up having a high lost in the mail count. Which flags my account and seems a little unfair to me.

If I pay for the packages, then atleast I have the book but again unfair for when I sent my packages out for my credits I had them weighed and paid from the PO so I know there was enough postage.

If I pay for the package and RWAP the sender, it seems unfair to ask for a credit for 34 cents (the one due on todays package).

If I am continously marking RWAP I am going to flagged? correct?

So what is the solution?

Date Posted: 7/21/2010 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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This is what the Help Docs have to say about items postage due:

I received a book postage-due!

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.

  • You should mark the book received normally, and use the mini-survey portion of the "book received" page to make a note about the postage amount due.

  • The sender will get credit for sending the book automatically, 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 on the "survey" portion of the Book Received page.
  • 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  (i 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.

 

Date Posted: 7/21/2010 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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So regarding your questions:

Now if I turn around and deny these packages then I will end up having a high lost in the mail count. Which flags my account and seems a little unfair to me.

You are allowed to refuse this package as long as the mail is not forwarded. In that case, you should also contact the sender to let them know and if you are questioned by somebody in the Team, then they can see your message and will know the reason for your refusal.

If I pay for the packages, then atleast I have the book but again unfair for when I sent my packages out for my credits I had them weighed and paid from the PO so I know there was enough postage.

Definitely not fair to you...but if this is happening to you so often I'd check the postage carefully to make sure is really postage due and you don't have an overzealous USPS employee that is overcharging you. Although I know that packages postage due are not out of the norm, this is the first time I've heard of a member often getting packages postage due.

If I pay for the package and RWAP the sender, it seems unfair to ask for a credit for 34 cents (the one due on todays package).

You must not RWAP for postage due but arrange for extra compensation with the sender, although I understand is ackward to get recompense for an extra 34 cents.

If I am continously marking RWAP I am going to flagged? correct?

As you shouldn't be RWAPing for postage due, then at some point somebody may contact you about it.



Last Edited on: 7/21/10 12:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 7/21/2010 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I agree with the previous poster that you need to check the weight on your packages.  I have never had a book arrive with postage due.  This could be that my PO doesn't really care, I don't know.  But I find it suspect that you are having this problem so often.  When you go into your PO, have them weigh the package in front of you and check a rate chart to make sure there really was postage due.

As for owing $5.00, that's not really possible for a book unless the person sent the book Parcel Post.  Even the heaviest book sent Media Mail will cost no where near $5.00.

 

Date Posted: 7/21/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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If it were a case of no postage at all, or more than say $.50, I'd refuse it, and send a message to PBS, copying the sender, explaining exactly what happened. For less than $.50 (or so) I'd pay it and let the sender know you paid it this time, but (s)he might well be socked with the return Media Mail cost if another person refuses to pay. When they present you with the package at pick-up, I'd ask the clerk then and there to confirm that postage due is correct before paying.

I've never had a postage due book, and it seems rather rare, so your getting them regularly seems very wrong.



Last Edited on: 7/21/10 1:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 7/21/2010 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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It does sound like an overzealous clerk in your PO to me.  I have had books come postage due exactly once (from eBay, not here).  It had proper media postage, but they wated me to pay priority.  I refused and told them to send it back...when he saw I was serious, the clerk relented and gave it to me.

 

In another odd sceario, I did have a PBS book delivered to my door with no postage on it at all!

Date Posted: 7/21/2010 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would not have paid the $5 postage due.  I would have told them to send it back.  I have yet to have one arrive postage due. 

Date Posted: 7/21/2010 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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I think I am going to talk with the PO, it does seem strange.

The $5 book was for no postage and they did charge parcel post. It wasn't marked media mail either. I paid it and told them about it but never got a credit refund or any money back.

As for others with no stamps. Some have come to me and never been noticed. Usually this happens with ones that are eDC print from PBS but apply your own postage. For some reason everyone sees the DC but not the postage needed here area. Go figure.

I have found the others were people telling me that they guessed the weight and are usually off from the few ounces that move into the next pound.

I will go pick it tomorrow... see what happens then

Date Posted: 7/23/2010 5:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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I just wanted to up date this... after speaking with my PO I found out what the number one problem is. Since we are small town she remembers most of the packages that have come in needing postage due. She said that though there were a couple who didn't apply postage at all, the rest were people who mailed a book at the first class large envelope rate instead of just first class parcel. They seem to think that if they put the book in a large envelope it is fine to pay that rate but if the book is over 3/4 of an inch it must be moved up to first class package/ parcel which is a few cents more. Hence the price difference.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/23/2010 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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PBS recommended postage is always at the First Class Parcel rate. If you get a package that has 34 cents due, then it was probably sent as a Large Envelope. I can see people doing that if you order a lot of thin books with larger dimensions. 

Large envelopes also have to be flexible in both directions, so even if a book is less than 3/4" thick it usually doesn't qualify for the large envelope rate.

Date Posted: 7/23/2010 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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Thank you Cathy, and you hit the nail on the head... I order a lot of hardcover children's books that are between 30-50 pages so many are too large for the large envelope rate or just go over the 3/4 inch with the packaging. But it is not my fault that I am having so many. Just keep on trucking I guess.

Date Posted: 7/23/2010 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Andrea - if you remember these members, please go back and PM them with what your post office said. Many members are adamant that they are right in mailing books via the large envelope rate and won't listen to those of us (or the Help Center) that tell them differently. Some people even say that their postal clerks are telling them it is ok to send that way. Hearing that their packages are arriving postage due because of this would be good information for them to have.

Date Posted: 7/24/2010 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,627
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For a 34 cent error, I would just ask them to mail you a stamp (44 cents) and the extra dime is for your trouble!

Date Posted: 7/26/2010 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2010
Posts: 4
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I've noticed that the larger books (hardcover or softcover) seem to have an incorrect estimated postage when using the option for PBS with DC where all you have to do is ship it from home... I took my first few books to the PO just to be safe, and two of the three were off in weight (one was under and one was over). 

For those of you that select this option often, do you keep a scale at home to verify weight, or do you trust the estimated weight from PBS?  It could be that someone is trusting the estimated weight and not realizing it is charging on the receivers end.

Just a thought!  With what I found, I'm tempted to either buy a scale or take everything to the PO.

Date Posted: 7/26/2010 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I have a digital scale. And the weights listed on PBS are often off a bit. I haven't had much of a problem with heavy hardcovers, since the media mail postage only goes up per pound. The little paperbacks that should ship first class are almost always wrong, and that's a problem, sincepostage price is so sensitive to the exact weight of the package.

I bought my scale on eBay years ago and it still works like a charm. I've seen some nice ones in Walmart for 30 dollars.



Last Edited on: 7/26/10 12:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/26/2010 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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I have a kitchen scale that I use to weigh books. Every once in a while I throw something with a known weight (1 lb package of pasta, or 4 oz block of cream cheese) on there to make sure it's still accurate.

Date Posted: 7/26/2010 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I've noticed that the larger books (hardcover or softcover) seem to have an incorrect estimated postage when using the option for PBS with DC where all you have to do is ship it from home

The weight in the book details page is compiled from several databases so sometimes they are wrong/off. That's why PBS recommends to double check the weight before printing PBS postage.

In my case, I use the scale from work and I weight packages with multiple books and those books that I think could go first class. At this point, I can tell when a book is over 9 oz. but less than 1 lb. or over 1 lb. so I don't weigh most of them because it doesn't make any difference in the postage.

Date Posted: 7/26/2010 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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A lot of weights are off and a scale (or weighing at the po) is very helpful. I've noticed especially on children's books, often the book data is missing, there is often no size and no number of pages which I'm sure assists in the estimates...I've had two estimates this week for less than an ounce, and providing a price of $1.39 ... I do go back and edit that info, but there is a lot of it out there.

Date Posted: 7/27/2010 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,333
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If the weight is off, and you know you have the accurate weight of the book itself (before wrapping), you can correct it in the data base.  Click on the book's title, then on "more options" and "edit book data."  Enter the correct weight -- and please correct any other info there, since you have the book in hand.  In the "reason for edit" box up at the top, add a note to the approver that you have the book in hand.

The weight in the data base is in pounds, so if your book is 8 ounces, you would enter it as .5 (rather than 8!)  If you are not sure about how to convert ounces to pounds, there are 16 ounces in a pound, so you would take the number of ounces and divide by 16 to get the number of pounds.

Date Posted: 7/27/2010 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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So true Patty! I've found a few books with the wrong weight because the # of oz.. wasn't converted to lbs. (so a book that was 11 oz. had 11 lbs in the system instead of 0.6875 lbs)