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Topic: How to report PM packaging abuse?

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Subject: How to report PM packaging abuse?
Date Posted: 12/25/2012 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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For Christmas, my mom ordered some jars of pasta sauce from a third party seller on Amazon. They shipped it via FedEx using the following:

One LFRB on the outside

Next layer was a MFRB cut down to a smaller size, with cut up pieces of other PM boxes as filler.

Inside the MFRB, each jar of sauce was encircled by cardboard from another cut up PM box.

All of it was brand new packaging, it wasn't like the seller was recycling something that had been sent to him.

This seller has thousands of transactions on Amazon, and from the feedback it sounds like many of them ship FedEx or UPS, and at least one other review mentioned PM packaging.

I'm guessing that Amazon wouldn't care about a seller abusing the free PM packaging, but I think USPS would. I'm guessing this guy goes through a LOT of packaging. While USPS probably can't penalize him for a shipment made via FedEx, I would think they might at least try to make sure they're not sending him boxes or something.

So what should I do... call USPIS? I mean I personally don't care much if someone is recyclig used PM packaging inside a box, or if a private individual occasionally did something like ship FedEx in a PM box, but this is a business that's probably abusing the system on a major scale.

And two of the three bottles arrived with the safety seal popped, one was leaking!

Date Posted: 12/26/2012 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I would suggest contacting your local post office about this.  Personally, I think the system USPS has of just handing out Priority packaging and telling people not to use it for anything else is a wretched one, not least of all because it encourages waste by not allowing the *re*-use of materials.  However, as long as they have it, letting people (and especially businesses) get away with abusing it just means they'll raise the rates for everyone.

Date Posted: 12/26/2012 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I received something like this a year or so ago, and reported it directly to my local post office.  A brand new PM box (not reused/recycled) in a outer plastic bag, I took all the packaging to the PO including the sellers return address on shipping label.  They kept it and said they would investigate.

I'd advise printing out the Amazon comments (if possible), include it with the packaging and shipping label, and take it all to her PO.  In these instances, the sender is basically stealing packing materials from USPS to use free for their personal gain.  This contributes to financial losses for the US Postal service, and higher prices for all USPS customers.

ETA - Wouldn't hurt to contact Amazon, and I'd definately leave a customer comment on the vender's feedback page.

ETA - Like the OP, I wouldn't have commented or reported if the PM packaging I received was reused or recycled.  But it was brand new, stolen from a PO somewhere near the sender.



Last Edited on: 12/26/12 1:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/26/2012 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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Uggh no I am not interested in taking it to my local PO, they don't like me there and it didn't involve them in any way.

I ended up calling the 1800 USPS number. They took down my contact info and are going to have someone call me within the next few days who will gather information or whatever. 

Date Posted: 12/28/2012 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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Still waiting for someone to get back to me. My husband thought I was being ridiculous, but when I explained that the PM packaging is free, and how MUCH of it they used for one package that was shipped FedEx, he's starting to get it. 

Now that raises the question... if he thought PM boxes cost money, how much money does he think I spent on PM boxes lately? I recently stocked up, we have a room with a massive stack of them in a wide variety of sizes... :)

Date Posted: 12/31/2012 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2007
Posts: 6,559
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If the packaging was cut-up how can you tell it was new and never used?  Some of the PM boxes I receive in the mail look new; and some look new even after I remove the label.

Date Posted: 12/31/2012 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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There were two unused whole boxes in addition to the cut up boxes used for padding. I can't say 100% for sure that the cut up boxes were brand new, but they were crisp and completely clean, which is in my experience is fairly rare by the time a box has gone through multiple sorting stations. 

If it had only been the cut up boxes, I would give them the benefit of the doubt and wouldn't go to the trouble of reporting it. 

Speaking of which, no one has called me back yet... hmm...

Date Posted: 12/31/2012 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2007
Posts: 6,559
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I didn't realize there were 2 whole PM boxes that were used.  I should have asked for clarification re: LFRB and MFRB.  I thought they meant Large FedEx Reused Box and Medium FedEx Reused Box.  LOL<<laughing at myself

Date Posted: 1/4/2013 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2006
Posts: 6
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I *STILL* don't know what LFRB & MFRB stands for.

Date Posted: 1/4/2013 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,807
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I think LFRB means Large Flat Rate Box and MFRB means Medium Flat Rate Box, both priority boxes given free at the post office.  They must be used for priority only; any other use is not allowed.



Last Edited on: 1/5/13 12:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2013 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"...both priority boxes given free at the post office.  They must be used for priority only; any other use is not allowed."  Not free, it's my understanding that the cost of the boxes is included in the flat rate postage.  So using them (new) for something else is actually stealing.

Date Posted: 1/5/2013 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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No one ever called me :( I will have to dig up the case number they gave me and call again next week. 

I agree that it's stealing to use them (new) for something else, and it upsets me to see a company profiting off of stealing USPS postage materials en masse. 

Date Posted: 1/6/2013 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"...and it upsets me to see a company profiting off of stealing USPS postage materials en masse.yes

Jeremy H. - ,
Subject: Postal Inspectors
Date Posted: 1/8/2013 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 6
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Contact the USPIS US Postal Inspection Service

https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

the above is the webaddress and there are a number of ways to contact them through the site, by phone, by letter.

Date Posted: 1/9/2013 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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Well I never gota phone call, but yesterday there was a letter in my PO Box from the regional USPS people asking me to email them pictures, so I did! 

I'm guessing nothing will ever come of it, but if everyone filed complaints against businesses who eggregiously abuse the packaging, they might be able to do something about the worst offenders. 

I wish there was a website where I could post the pictures and do the public shame thing, but I suspect that most Americans really don't care if people steal PM packaging. I wouldn't want to give people ideas on how to cheat the system. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2013 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Do what you can Becca, and don't stress the rest.