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Topic: Have to mail from zip code on postage?

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Subject: Have to mail from zip code on postage?
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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I've been told I can't mail packages out from the box at work anymore, because all my packages have PBS postage on them with my home zip code, and work is a totally different zip code from 40 miles away. I actually got a couple of things RETURNED to me for this and my mailman told me that was why.

I've never heard of this, has anyone else had this problem?

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I haven't had that problem. In fact one time I printed labels with postage and put the date forward. I had 2 game books to finish while visiting family in another state.  I printed the labels and the PBS postage and mailed them from a blue box in PA (I live in MD). THey both arrived with no issues.  Actually whenever I use the printed postage now I put them in the blue box which is the next down over.  My PO is not really convenient for me and there's a blue box right in front of my favorite grocery store in the next town.  I've never had one come back-although I admit to not sending that many out that way. Most I take to the PO.  I mail out a lot of books and the postage fee gets too expensive.

Can you mail them from your home mailbox? 

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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Mary, our mailbox is very small, letters only, we get all our bigger items at the post office which is really out of the way for us so we only get there maybe once every week if that.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Bren--

I think it's odd that they would care as long as the books had printable postage--but it must be some sort of security feature--wanting to be able to track books from their destination.

I don't know if this would work for you, but I use my work address for PBS.  I also put my books with PBS Postage/DC in the blue box outside my office.  Of course, I want my books mailed to my work address as well.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I haven't had this problem.  In fact if I'm travelling to the main 48 States (I live in HI) I will often print the postage before I leave and bring the books with me to mail. Many times I'll complete the wrapping and leave the packages with the hotel reception

  I'm amazed how quickly Media Mail gets to the recipient on the mainland.   The joys of living in paradise!!

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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When we first got an APC machine in my PO lobby, I asked whether I had to mail APC postage from its bin only, and was told, "No, but you are to mail it out from within this zip code." I later read here that is for internal USPS credit reasons.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,387
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 I work in a small office and everyone here brings mail in to be sent out, bills, etc. instead of leaving in the box at home.  So we could hypothetically have mail with return addresses from two counties and at least 10 zip codes.  Our mail carrier just picks it up and takes it every day.  And DH takes my books, wrapped with my home zip, to one of the downtown POs all the time and the zip is not the same either.  Sometimes he takes outgoing mail on the way home and drops it off at one of the two or three POs along the way.  Never heard of anything being returned.  Especailly business mail but even media mail, so maybe it's just certain POs or processing centers being more strict.

ETA, I noticed that the returns mentioned seemed to be for printable postage but why would it matter as long as the sender's information was correct.  For instance, our postage meter at work has a different zip code than our physical address, it hasn't been updated since two moves ago.  It's never been a problem and nothing seems to be returned.



Last Edited on: 12/8/09 9:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Something about which post office receives credit for processing the mail, they are paid according to the zip showing on the package.  That's why some try to turn away packages.  IMO it's a cheap shot attempted by lazy Postmasters, request written proof documented from the USPS code.  I've yet to see anything proving they have the authority to do this in any circumstance except bulk mass mailings.

My reply...if post offices were meant to turn away packages with prepaid postage, stamps would be issued with zip codes



Last Edited on: 12/8/09 11:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 1:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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What Denise said. It only matters for postage purchased online, because it counts as revenue for the mailed from zip, and if you mail it from a different post office, they do the work without receiving the credit. 

I don't know about their authority to return mail, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do have some authority to do that for repeat offenders. 

When you purchase postage via Click n Ship (the USPS website), they have you select on there what the mailed from zip code is. That's only for Priority Mail and Express Mail postage though, so not too useful to anyone on here. 

I never purchase postage via PBS, but if they do not currently have a similar option, you should push them to implement one. 

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I have NEVER ONCE mailed a PBS package from my zip code. I mail all of my books from the next town - either taken to the PO or blueboxed. I have also printed and mailed from my parents computer, which is another state.

I would take my returned packages back in and ask to see something in writing telling them they are can turn away paid for postage, they won't be able to produce it because it doesn't exist. They can ask because they don't get the revenues, but they cannot refuse or return your packages.

Subject: have to mail from zip code on stamp
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2008
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This sounds like a form of harrassment to me.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
Posts: 621
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I mail envelopes all the time from one zip code (my parents' home) with my return address 3 counties away.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Who hasn't mailed postcards while on vacation, and used your home return address?

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,974
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I buy APC stamps and generate PBS postage all with my home zip code on them, but mail them from my office 2 towns over.  My letter carriers at the office happily take all of my PBS packages regardless of the postage method used.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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I'm guessing this is happening because I was mailing my stuff from work where everything is collected by a mall employee from all the stores rather than being collected by a postal employee. I think the mall has been returning my mail, not the post office, because I have discovered if I drop my packages in the official USPS blue box in front of the mail rather than the box in our office, I don't have the problem. Plus we just got a notice yesterday from the mall that we are no longer to mail personal items through the mall's mailing system. Guess I'll have to start going back to the post office for items that are too big for the blue boxes...

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,560
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I print my postage at home, then my husband mails from his job [diff. zipcode] or I mail from my job [yet another zipcode].  One time I mailed my books from a completely different part of the state [entirely different zipcode].  On my way home from work I sometimes pass thru a another state and mail them from the P.O. there.  No problem has ever been reported.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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Last Edited on: 7/23/10 7:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/19/2009 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Rosina - did they actually show you something that said this?? I've never heard such a thing. The whole point of online postage is that is it traceable so it doesn't matter where you mail it from, they know exactly who mailed it.

I'd be more inclined to say you were working with one of the lazy clerks that love to make up "rules" because they don't want to have to do the work when the revenues aren't assigned to their PO. 

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Melanie - It's not a security issue, but an internal P O accounting one, having to do with the printed zip code getting "credit" for the sale, and the actual mailed-from one doing the (sorting)" work" as I understand it. This has been covered in other threads here.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I know its been covered in other threads, and I can't remember any that came to the conclusion that packages had to be mailed from the zip code on them. Is there one that actually said you couldn't mail from where ever you wanted to and shown the USPS doc saying that? 

Until someone actually shows me USPS documents stating that POs are not supposed to process postage purchased online with a different zip code, I will continue to say its pure laziness on certain POs (and that's the opinion of all the clerks at the PO I use), they don't want to process it because they don't get the revenues, it has nothing to do with should or can.

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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Just because the USPS has a policy that is not clearly posted online doesn't mean that the employees are lazy for following the rules. 

If PBS doesn't have an option for a different Mailed From zip, they should. Other online postage sites (especially the USPS) make it clear that you need to specify which zip it will be mailed from. 

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Who said anything about online? I have asked at multiple POs because I do not mail anything from my zip-code and none of them can come up with any regulations that allows a PO to refuse mail with proper online postage let alone anything that says they cannot take it. They are a receptical in the USPS system, as long as it has proper postage on it, they are supposed to take it.

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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I agree with you Melanie, it was my understanding that the zip code thing only applies to bulk mass mailings (those people who bring in multiple boxes of advertising).  I've yet to see anything authorative that requires a single mail item be mailed from a particular post office...or (like I mentioned earlier) stamps would be issued with zip codes.  IMO another guideline abused by unknowledgable USPS staff.

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I never post things from my home. There is no way to do it. We have to use the blue boxes or stay around and hand it to the postal carrier. SO I mail everything frm work.
I use PBS postage all the time, use DC and it has never been sent back. I use the mail pick up from work and sometimes the blue box infront of the post office.
Now ours has an issue with the date. If you print postage and its the wrong date then they will return it.  But if you print it with NO date then there is no issue. We had the PO manager call our office and tell us off because we sent in letters with yesterdays date and not to do it ever again. UM ok.
 

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 3,846
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Last Edited on: 5/11/13 4:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 2