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Topic: Help! My PO won't accept my PBS printed postage.

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Subject: Help! My PO won't accept my PBS printed postage.
Date Posted: 10/9/2007 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
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Last week, I tried Printed Postage for the first time. I printed the labels and put the packages in my mailbox the same day. DC tells me that they were scanned and shipped promptly. Now, a week later, I receive an envelope in my mailbox for "postage due" for the entire amount of postage for my packages. I know I followed the directions exactly, and the postage has been deducted from my PBS account. So what could the problem be?

I have not been down to talk to  someone at my PO yet. This is a very small PO in a very small town. I think maybe they made a mistake (perhaps they had never dealt with this type of printed postage before). How should I handle this? I do NOT want to pay for the postage twice, but the packages are long gone, and it will be their word against mine. Does anyone have any advice?

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,231
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Don't pay it. Print out your money registry and take it with to show them that you paid the postage. I've never heard of them expecting you to pay additional postage and still send the package on, that's just weird. The only thing I can think of is something was undeliverable and has come back to you. Since media mail is one way only you'd have to pay to get the books back. Hopefully they are not sitting at the PO.

Date Posted: 10/10/2007 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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Are you sure there was enough postage? Did you weigh your packages before mailing? The weights in the PBS database are not definitive, and should always be checked - I've occasionally seen major discrepancies.

Could your packages have been returned for additional postage?

Date Posted: 10/14/2007 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I was going to suggest the same as Frank Zappa above did (that is Frank Zappa right?)-anyway: PBS isn't always right about the weight of a book. Also your packaging can add weight.  I always stick the book in the envelope I'm going to use and double check the weight. Also if you've added books to the package as part of a book deal then you need to adjust the weight accordingly. 

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
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Well, it wasn't my postal scale or my mailing skills. And it also wasn't my PO.

In a srangely coincidental twist of fate, a brand new PBS member had mailed me a book (his very first swap) using Printable Postage - label said "Media Mail", but he used a "First Class Mail" envelope. So where's the coincidence? The difference between Media Mail and First Class rate for his book was exactly equal to the sum of the postage for the two books I had mailed. Go figure.

So, false alarm. The PO was perfectly correct in this.

Note: Don't use First Class envelopes if you want something to ship Media Mail. Go figure.