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Topic: Media Mail not accepted by Post Office for single books

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Subject: Media Mail not accepted by Post Office for single books
Date Posted: 8/10/2011 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
Posts: 3
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 The problem I am having at our local PO is that they won't let me send individual books at the media mail rate.  They make me pay either 1st or 3rd class rates on EVERY BOOK I send.  It is getting incredibly expensive to continue at PBS.

The clerk told me Media Mail is reserved ONLY for people mailing BOXES of multiple books.  Period.

Will you please clarify this for me?  Is there a section in the DMM that covers this?

Thank you!

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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Wow. Sounds like you have a rogue PO.

Here's the info from the DMM: (Link here)

4.0 Content Standards for Media Mail

4.1 Qualified Items

Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail prices:

a. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers' own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.

b. 16-millimeter or narrower width films, which must be positive prints in final form for viewing, and catalogs of such films of 24 pages or more (at least 22 of which are printed). Films and film catalogs sent to or from commercial theaters do not qualify for the Media Mail price.

c. Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.

d. Printed objective test materials and their accessories used by or on behalf of educational institutions to test ability, aptitude, achievement, interests, and other mental and personal qualities with or without answers, test scores, or identifying information recorded thereon in writing or by mark.

e. Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.

f. Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.

g. Printed educational reference charts designed to instruct or train individuals for improving or developing their capabilities. Each chart must be a single printed sheet of information designed for educational reference. The information on the chart, which may be printed on one or both sides of the sheet, must be conveyed primarily by graphs, diagrams, tables, or other nonnarrative matter. An educational reference chart is normally but not necessarily devoted to one subject. A chart on which the information is conveyed primarily by textual matter in a narrative form does not qualify as a printed educational reference chart for mailing at the Media Mail prices even if it includes graphs, diagrams, or tables. Examples of qualifying charts include maps produced primarily for educational reference, tables of mathematical or scientific equations, noun declensions or verb conjugations used in the study of languages, periodic table of elements, botanical or zoological tables, and other tables used in the study of science.

h. Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.

i. Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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Wow, I think I read on here somewhere that there is a PBS post office liason.  Perhaps contact your tour guide about who to talk to about the situation. 

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You might want to start using stamps on books under 13oz if they continue to give you a hard time.

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yet another uneducated Postal branch, so sorry you have to deal with that. 

You might wish to show them the DMM section posted by Jennifer.  Or ask your PO to show you that Media Mail regulation in print...it doesn't exist.

IIRC there is a USPS complaint line (online) you can post your problem there, we hear they follow up on those.

You could also contact PBS admin and see what they advise.

Date Posted: 8/11/2011 5:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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And what the heck are they talking about, "third class", we haven't had that class in years.

Date Posted: 8/11/2011 7:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Many times if you are sending a single book, it is cheaper to send it first class. maybe the post office is just trying to save you some money.

Date Posted: 8/11/2011 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,054
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It seems the PO is hiring mean and uneducated people anymore. frown

Date Posted: 8/12/2011 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Sounds like that PO Branch should be on the closure list.


Date Posted: 8/12/2011 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yeah, totally bogus.  Sounds like they might be confusing it with Library Rate...but even then, that rate has additional limitations but never heard multiples are required.  No telling how some PO branches make up this nonsense.

ETA - Was at my PO today and mentioned the OP.  My clerk rolled his eyes and said "...I can't believe this stuff you tell us..."  Apparently my well trained staf has a difficult time understanding the sortcomings of their fellow workers.

Last Edited on: 8/13/11 10:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/15/2011 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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What absolute nonsense! Some of this stuff the DMM doesn't specifically identify because its to strange for anyone to ever have thought someone who pull out of their arse.

I'd ask for their postmaster, and if it is the postmaster that is the problem, ask for their boss and go up the chain until you find someone with some sense. A PACKAGE is all that is required for media mail. How many separately bound books is in that package is irrelevent. If you don't get anywhere, use the Contact Us link in the lower right under Company and send in Feedback. Let the PBS Team know that your post office is refusing to allow you to send books Media Mail and ask if their postal liason can help you out by contacting them.

Date Posted: 8/17/2011 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2010
Posts: 57
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Fill a Consumer Service Card,found at any post office .
If the postmaster fails to address your problem, you can contact the Consumer Advocate, U.S. postal service in D.C.

Date Posted: 8/17/2011 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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consumer service cards are obsolete and shouldn't be found at any post office. All complaints should go through 1-800-ASK-USPS

Date Posted: 8/25/2011 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2008
Posts: 20
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If your package is under about 8 oz. it is cheaper to use First Class (and in most cases faster) but after than it's cheaper to use Media Mail.  If I'm shipping a paperbook book I send it first class, if it is a hardback book it's almost always Media Mail.


My postal cleck also rolled his eyes when I told him this...  I just use the postal from PBS and ship from my house..  Or if you don't want to ship using PBS money just go to the USPS website and print your postage from there and you can ship from you house..

Or if you don't have a CC just print out what was listed for MEDIA MAIL with the URL of the link and take to your EVIL postal person then if that don't work call the 1-800 number..  Don't let this person get away with this..


Later Gator,


Subject: Update
Date Posted: 8/26/2011 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2010
Posts: 271
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It's probably because they are trying to upsale.

You kinda in the dog house if  your book is over 8 oz.


TRY THIS TRICK... Put your single books in a box ??? Tell them it's not a single book - they are taking this Upsale rule too far