Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: how to explain DC to USPS

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: how to explain DC to USPS
Date Posted: 10/25/2012 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 16
Back To Top

I've been using the DC for several years with no problem. The USPS clerk would scan and I would pay the postage plus the .19. I moved last month and am now in a very rural community. The USPS clerk is so confused by the .19 and insists that I have to pay the full DC. Is there something I can print out for her? I suggested that she scan the bar code and see if that helps, but she says it doesn't. I don't want to make an enemy at the post office by being difficult, especially as this is such a small community and I'm so new.

Thanks for any help.

Sharon in boonies-ville

Date Posted: 10/25/2012 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
Back To Top

I have been running into this problem too!

Last time, the advice was just to have them weigh the package, then purchase an additional 19 cents in stamps and add it myself. However, they won't take it like this either.  :(

Date Posted: 10/25/2012 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
Back To Top

This is apparently a common problem, because there's a whole page about it in the Help Center.

Go to the Help Center and type in Can't Use PBS-DC to get to the link.

The page includes a link to the post office rules that you can print out and take with you.


Last Edited on: 10/25/12 9:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/26/2012 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
Back To Top

The first link on that Help page doesn't work any more.

Date Posted: 10/26/2012 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,648
Back To Top

My PO says that I can't use PBS-DC! How can I prove that I can?

If your PO is saying that your package doesn't qualify for DC because of its dimensions, read about the required dimensions to use DC to send a package in Are there any requirements to use Delivery Confirmation?

If your PO is arguing that you can't use electronic DC (e-DC) but have to purchase DC at the PO instead to send your PBS package, this misunderstanding happens occasionally.  Some POs are not as informed about electronic DC (e-DC) as they should be, considering that it is rather commonplace nowadays. 

Below is the information from USPS's own website that you can print out and show to your postmaster/PO employees if necessary.  This shouldn't be necessary, of course, but you would be doing them (and yourself, of course) a service to help them out here:

  • Here is the URL location of the USPS guidelines regarding using Delivery Confirmation on First Class mail and on Media Mail.

the link is  http://www.usps.com/shipping/deliveryconfirm.htm

You do not have to use online postage in order to use electronic DC.   PBS does receive electronic information on all DC printed through the site.   Also, anyone who requests it is capable of receiving electronic files by simply entering the tracking number and requesting that USPS email you the tracking results.

  • Here also is a link to the Domestic Mail Manual on the usps.com website - go to the section marked "Delivery Confirmation"

the link is   http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm300/503.htm

The information on this page includes (the following is the relevant information for Media Mail, which is a Package Service) the fee and the eligibility of postal classes for DC.

It is clear from the above information taken from the Domestic Mail Manual published by USPS that

  • Delivery Confirmation is available for use with package services (Media Mail is a package service)
  • The fee for electronic Delivery Confirmation used with Media Mail (a package service) is currently $0.19
  • The fee may be paid with postage stamps or meter stamps (the meter strip you obtain at the Post office counter)
  • The electronic Delivery Confirmation fee does NOT need to be paid online
  • The postage does not need to be paid online in order to use electronic Delivery Confirmation

Please print out this information (if you can, print out the unedited page from the second link above), and show it to your postal employees if necessary.

Date Posted: 10/26/2012 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

What Sarah posted...the PBS information to assist you with untrained USPS staff.

Also, you might use the USPS online complaint form...just let them know additional training is required (and the zip code or branch address).  Seriously, electronic mail isn't at all unusual these days, those postal branches need to drag themselves into the current century.

Last Edited on: 10/27/12 2:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2012 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
Back To Top

One thing that might help is to stress that you are buying electronic-DC NOT retail-DC.

Date Posted: 10/27/2012 2:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Another thought, does your new (rural) post office use the normal online computer/register?  If so, they only need to enter and scan and the software figures the postage.  I've had clerks try to tell me different, but I politely asked them to just finish the transaction and at the end their own computer confirmed exactly what I had told them.  The clerk was surprised, but completed the transaction gracefully.

Some clerks attempt to short-circuit their computer *sigh*, sure that the information screen is somehow wrong...that rarely ends well.

Some smaller postal units don't have the usual online register/computer.  Which makes it doubly frustrating if the don't know what they are doing, and have no computer to tell them differently.

Subject: Can't use DC
Date Posted: 10/28/2012 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,442
Back To Top

THAT is one reason i use the pre paid postage with the DC. Just print the wrapper, wrap the book and toss it in the blue box..job done.....which reminds me I have to get a book wrapped tonight.

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

We can also contact PBS if the printouts from the manual don't help.   The mailing service that we use has a customer rep that travels to post offices, training them.   PBS can report the location to them. 

Date Posted: 10/31/2012 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,353
Back To Top

I had just the opposite at a rural office.  She thought I'd already paid the postage and DC when she accepted the package.  I nicely told her that no, she needed to do the weighing, etc., and also to scan the bar code and charge me $.19.  It worked well, and now when I'm traveling and visit her she knows what to do.  Good luck.  Pat