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Topic: Must mail MM packages ON the date printed on the label?

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Subject: Must mail MM packages ON the date printed on the label?
Date Posted: 2/3/2009 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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I received a notice today to call the local post office.

I was informed that preprinted mail (such as the labels I print off PBS as that is all I have been sending out) MUST be mailed on the date printed.

Last week I had two books requested whereby I found the requests after the mail carrier had delivered.  I printed the labels that day, prepared the books for shipping and they went out the next day in the mail. 

I don't believe we have the option of selecting the mailing date on our labels, yes/no?  If so, does this mean I must now wait to print my label until the day I mail it in order to get the correct date to show on the postage?

I checked, every book I have sent out, if I printed it the day before ALWAYS shipped out the next postal mailing date.  It isn't like I held the package for a few days and then mailed it....

Near as I can find, she is quoting from this:

 

4.5.2 Mailing Date Accuracy and Mailing Periods

The date or period when mailers may deposit or present metered mail for mailing is controlled by the mailing date in the indicia under the following conditions. (NOTE: is PC postage considered Metered mail?)

a. Complete Date. Mailpieces bearing a complete date in the indicia must be deposited or presented on that date, except that pieces entered after the day's last scheduled collection from the Post Office or collection box may bear the actual date of entry or the date of the next scheduled collection from the Post Office or collection box. When authorized by USPS, presort mail accepted after midnight may bear the previous day's date. If the mailer knows that the mail is not to be deposited or presented on the date in the indicia, the mailer must use a date correction indicium under 4.4.1.

Month and Year. Mailpieces bearing only the month and year in the indicia may be deposited or presented for mailing on any day during the month shown in the indicia and through the third day of the following month.

c. No Date. Mailpieces bearing no date in the indicia may be deposited or presented for mailing on any date.

4.5.3 Deposit of Mail

Mailers must deposit or enter mailpieces with metered or PC Postage indicia according to the following conditions.

a. Mailers may deposit Express Mail, flat-rate Priority Mail, Priority Mail weighing one pound or less, single-piece price First-Class Mail, single-piece price Media Mail, and single-piece price Library Mail items with a metered or PC Postage indicia at any postal facility, preferably within the area of the customer's local Post Office. Mailers may also deposit zone-priced Priority Mail pieces at any postal facility, provided the postage affixed to each mailpiece is calculated to include the amount due as specified in 4.3.1, taking into account the weight, shape, and the zone from the ZIP Code of the office where the mailpiece is deposited to the ZIP Code of the destination address.

 

How do we get the actual date  we will be mailing to print on our labels if we try to prepare a package on a date other than the actual mailing date?

In addition, while I realize it is possible to deposit it into a box the same day it is printed, the purpose of printing the postage is to prevent the trip to the PO to begin with, so forcing someone to drive to mail the same day negates that benefit.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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You can adjust the date when you print postage here at PBS, probably for this very reason.

But, as far as I can tell, you met the regulations anyway if it was placed in your box after the fays collection.  I've never had a problem with this myself.

I'm surprised that any PO would even bother contacting you over this unless the date was off by more than two collection days.

 

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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I verified.  I print my labels to PDF when I print them, reprinting, tracking,etc is easier with the label referenced on my computer.  The two most recent books I mailed last week were mailed the day after printing.  The third was mailed the same day it was printed.

I even explained to the lady at the post office over the phone that these were printed out in the evening (which they were) and I packaged them for shipping the next day.  She didn't seem sympathetic, stated they MUST be mailed ON the date indicated to comply with regulations.

I never have seen an option when printing to select the mailing date, guess I have to check that closer for the next one.

 

I live between two small towns (population 280 something or so each, I believe).  I normally mail directly from one post office because it is on my way to "town" where I shop.  The other (in the opposite direction) is the one that delivers to my home.

I have no problems with the one I deal directly with, this is the first time I have heard anything from the other one. 

 

I will check closer to be able to change this date in the future.  I never noticed the option before.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Gee chief, now you've got me wondering if that date doohicky was on here or if it was in one of the other mailing programs I use.  I'll have to check too.

 

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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When you are using PBS postage there is a place to choose your date.  To be safe,  I sometimes choose the next day if I think I might not get the books out there before my  mail carrier comes.

Luckily, he is OK with picking up books with yesterday's date.  I think that is just courtesy on his part, I suspect he could reject them due to date if he wanted to.

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 160
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I just packaged two books. Bernhard is correct. You can choose the date you want to appear on the label.



Last Edited on: 2/4/09 11:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2009 3:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Thanks for confirming that Lita and Lea.

 

I use four different mailing sites and programs, so I sometimes forget which has what feature.

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Your post office is being overly picky and hiding behind an obscure regulation, in otherwards your post master has something uncomfortable stuffed where the sun doesn't shine.  Unfortunately it can be difficult to argue with them, not like you can take your package to the competition down the street to mail.  Although often the next PO over will handle the same situation differently, depending on how they interpret the regs.

So use the date change feature, and don't leave your carrier any cookies.



Last Edited on: 2/5/09 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/10/2009 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Thank you for confirming the date can be changed.  I must have missed this feature somehow when printing labels but will be sure to look for it at the next request.

I can't believe it to be a problem when they mailed the next business day, but...

they wonder why they are losing money?  Hmmmmm.

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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I looked into this issue before and I swear I found something which says that the mailing must occur within 48 hours.  If the date of the stamp is the wrong date you can request the USPS to put a correction date label on top without an additional charge.



Last Edited on: 2/11/09 8:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 10
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Here is what the PBS Help section has to say on the topic.  A few weeks back, however,  I tried to follow the directions below about going to the PO to get a new metered strip with the correct date and the guy acted like I had grown two heads!  He just took the package and said it was fine.  That was a wasted trip!!

What is the significance of the postmark date on the Wrapper Settings page?  Does it matter what date I choose there?

  • Yes, it is important to choose the date properly--you need to mail the book by that date.
  • You cannot change the postmark date after you have downloaded/printed the wrapper.
  • If you mail AFTER that date, you can go to the PO and have a new metered $0.00 strip with that day's date applied to the package.
  • It is okay to mail it earlier than the date; your package may be returned to you if you mail it after that date.
    • If you put it into a collection box after the last day's scheduled collection, then the package will be accepted with the previous day's date when the next collection happens on the next day.
  • If you are into legalese, here are the USPS regulations on this ("indicia" = postmark):
      • Mailpieces bearing a complete date in the indicia must be deposited or presented on that date, except that pieces entered after the day's last scheduled collection from the post office or collection box may bear the actual date of entry or the date of the next scheduled collection from the post office or collection box. When authorized by USPS, presort mail accepted after midnight may bear the previous day's date. If the mailer knows that the mail is not to be deposited or presented on the date in the indicia, the mailer must use a date correction indicium under 4.4.1. (from DMM, 4.5.2 Mailing Date Accuracy and Mailing Periods)