Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Media Mail printed postage with DC- no tracking?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Media Mail printed postage with DC- no tracking?
Date Posted: 2/1/2012 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 7,860
Back To Top

I printed a mailing label using PBS printable postage with DC that went out by Media Mail on January 28.  It's not showing any scans in the PBS system, so I went to the USPS website to see if it had been scanned yet. 

After copying in the tracking number (copy and paste), it gave me this message:  Delivery status information is not available for your item via this web site. A return receipt after mailing may be available through your local Post Office.

Has anyone else had this happen to them using printable postage?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/1/2012 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
Back To Top

You will not be able to get tracking at USPS for Media Mail that has the new free DC. As I understand it, this is not real "electronic DC". Real eDC costs 19 cents for non-First Class packages and it does include tracking at usps.com. The one you get for free from printable postage vendors is a different type of barcode called IMpb. It has tracking which is downloadable by vendors such as Endicia and PBS, but you can't see it anywhere else.

You can track the following PBS wrappers at USPS.com:

- eDC on a First Class package with printable postage

- eDC on a First Class package with DC only

- eDC on a Media Mail package with DC only (you pay 19 cents for this service)

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 7,860
Back To Top

So then will the scans still show up through Endicia on the PBS website?  Will the DC scan at delivery even show up?  Guess if I'm going to use the printed DC for my books I'm sending for the games forum, and I want visible tracking through USPS.com on my media mail packages too, then I'd better use the eDC and the APC machine and skip the printable postage...  I was wondering why the DC# started with a slightly different code and nothing was showing up.

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2011
Posts: 56
Back To Top

Sorry but, I am still a little confused. I just had the same exact issue as Debbie and was looking to see if it would be a problem. Over the weekend I mailed 14 books out and only 1 is not showing up on the little map. As far as I know, they all had the same type postage and confirmation paid  for and printed from PBS, so I thought maybe the 1 book has not been scanned yet for whatever reason but now that it's been a few days I was worried, as this is the first time I have ever had a book not show up. So is it ok that it's not showing on the map?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/1/2012 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
Back To Top

Debbie -- If you use printable postage for Media Mail, then you will still see the scan records if you click on the Details button on the transaction once there are any scans to see. If you don't see them now, it means your book hasn't been scanned, or the scan record hasn't made it all the way through the USPS system and back to PBS. I don't know what the Games rules are as far as DC, but why would it have to be visible at USPS? I don't think you're any more likely to get scan records there than here.

Maudaevee -- The map is just a fun toy. It doesn't mean anything at all about where your book is, and it doesn't matter whether a book ever shows up there or not. So, yes, it's o.k. if you have a book that's not showing on the map. If you want to see where USPS last knows that your book was, click on the Details button and scroll down to see the actual scan records. Each record will show up as a dot on the map, so if your book is not on the map yet, it probably is in the same situation as Debbie's -- no scans available.

Sometimes it takes several days for a book to get a scan. Most First Class books that I send get scanned the first night in San Diego; but Media Mail usually doesn't get scanned until the second night in Bell Gardens. However, I have a book that I mailed on the 20th, that wasn't ever scanned until the 25th -- and that scan was an Acceptance scan right in my own town. Interestingly, it was then scanned an hour later in Bell Gardens, which is physically impossible. I also had one that I mailed on a Friday morning on my way to work and it was delivered in Victorville before noon on Saturday. So sometimes packages get lost for 5 days, and other times you get overnight service for the price of Media Mail postage. You just never know what'll happen when you drop a book in that blue box.

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2011
Posts: 56
Back To Top

Thank you for the reply Cathy, that makes sense and it makes me feel better :)

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 7,860
Back To Top

My scans usually show up within a day or two of mailing, which is why I checked at the USPS website (since I mailed my book 4 days ago, and I was curious as to whether or not it was close to being delivered). 

Quite often, I've seen much more recent scan information on the USPS tracking website than I do on this website, as it can take time for things to show up on here.  I've even had books show as delivered on the USPS website, while there were no visible scans listed under the DC info available on this website.  *shrug*  

And as to why the DC tracking would need to be visible at USPS for the games forum?  Because some of the hosts track the mailing routes and deliveries of all the books in their games, as well as relying on the input from those playing.  Hard to do if that information is no longer available...  

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

For all the books I have mailed with printable postage since the change went into effect I can view the scan information on my account page.  You just have to click on details.  That is no different than it has ever been.   The difference is that you no longer see the scans on usps,com 

You still have a record of the books progress through the postal system but it is only in your own account information.  

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

Books blue boxed with printable postage (and e-DC) do not always pick up enroute scans.  Sometimes the 'delivery' scan is the only scan those packages receive.  In the past, the USPS website occassionally had a bit more scan information available than PBS.

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
Back To Top

 I don't know what the Games rules are as far as DC, but why would it have to be visible at USPS? I don't think you're any more likely to get scan records there than here.

This could actually be a big problem in the Games. DC is required for a reason, so the scan can be seen by the game's host. If the games hosts can't confirm scans because they only show on the member's accounts, then they are back to taking a member's word for whether they mailed a lost/late book. 

Date Posted: 2/2/2012 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

If the games hosts can't confirm scans because they only show on the member's accounts, then they are back to taking a member's word for whether they mailed a lost/late book. 

As a hostess if there was a problem, I could always ask the player to send me a PM with the scan information from their sent book information.  If they could not or would not provide that information then and only then would I get very concerned.  

This may just be a temporary situation.  When the 9449 XXXXXXXX DC numbers first started to be used, the usps.com website did not show the scans for a period of time so it may be the same with these new 9452 XXXXXXXX DC numbers

Date Posted: 2/2/2012 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
Back To Top

I posted in the other forum but was directed here by Denise.

I have the exact same problem as Debbie -- I sent out two swap books for the games. No scans on the Details in PBS and then I go to the USPS tracking page and it says the same thing: Delivery status information is not available for your item via this web site.

I'm not really worried about the scans under Details but there usually is something on the USPS page. And it's more the message that concerns me than the lack of scans. I've never seen that before.

None of the scenarios that Cathy described her post apply to my books either as I sent both media mail with PBS DC and postage. So, what's the point of having the DC if it can no longer be tracked? Hopefully it's as LaVonne mentioned and just temporary.



Last Edited on: 2/2/12 2:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/2/2012 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

Susan - I am seeing the scan information on My Account page under Details for the book shipped.  

Date Posted: 2/2/2012 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
Back To Top

Susan - It seems that this message came about after the change to the new free eDC and that's why you hadn't seen it before. It seems this new type of eDC is currently not trackable on USPS.com (per Cathy's message above.) Hopefully this will change!

 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/2/2012 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
Back To Top

You will not be able to get tracking at USPS for Media Mail that has the new free DC.

This is not a bug. It's not temporary. USPS charges 19 cents per Media Mail package to get eDC tracking at their website. PBS doesn't sell that service any more, because USPS no longer requires them to do so. I am guessing that they figured most printable postage users would prefer not to pay more than they have to. If you do want to pay an extra 19 cents per package to get the tracking at the USPS website in addition to what you get at PBS, then you should use the Contact Us link below to let PBS know. They would have to change their programming to generate the eDC type of barcode on the wrapper.

In the meantime, you might want to check and see if Paypal is still selling eDC with Media Mail. If you pay the extra 19 cents through them, then you would be able to track the package at USPS. However, you wouldn't be able to track it here at PBS, and you wouldn't get a credit if the book gets lost.

ETA -- I reread this and realized I was not really clear that this info applies only to Printable Postage Media Mail wrappers. DC Only Media Mail wrappers are still trackable at USPS.com. Both types of wrappers are trackable at PBS.



Last Edited on: 2/3/12 11:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/2/2012 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

I was wondering if I should feel grumpy that my e-DC isn't free under the new rates (I use PBS e-DC and buy counter postage).  Since I play swaps too, appears to work in my favor that I'm still getting scans.

Date Posted: 2/3/2012 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

There are still scans they just are not appearing on usps.com.

This is the information in my own account for a book I mailed with printable postage.  I can still see what progress the book is making in it's journey to it's new home.  

I have edited some minor information for privacy reasons.

 

 

Delivery Confirmation Events

USPS DC#: 945211020081700............


  • 1/27/2012 12:20 AM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - ,MN
  • 1/28/2012 10:41 PM - Enroute - DES MOINES,IA
  • 2/2/2012 6:48 AM - Arrival at Unit - ,TX
  • 2/2/2012 7:22 AM - Missent - ,TX
  • 2/2/2012 6:59 PM - Enroute - ,TX
Date Posted: 2/3/2012 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
Back To Top

I think where the problem for the games is going to come in is when the scans don't show up on the PBS site. There is no back up now for when that happens. I have two swap books mailed 4 days ago that are showing nothing on PBS on the Details tab. If something happens to one or both of those books and they don't get scanned and are lost, there is no protection for me. The USPS was always a strong back up for the senders and the swap hostesses.

If it happens too many times that my scans, such that they are .... I'll take even one somewhere .... don't show up, I might have to rethink playing in the games. Since they don't have to scan until delivered, I can see us all in the games sitting on pins and needles waiting for something to show up to prove we at least mailed the book. surprise

I guess the other thing I'm curious about is how the hostesses are going to check on  books. If I'm not mistaken they have to rely on the USPS tracking site because they can't get into the players' Details tabs. I wonder how that is going to work?

Date Posted: 2/3/2012 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 7,860
Back To Top

At least my package in question does finally show a delivery scan under my details tab now, but still no info is available on the USPS tracking site.  Guess I'll save my free monthly printed postage for a lighter book that I'm putting through FIFO and needs only first class postage, and keep using just the printed DC and use the APC to do the postage for my game books that are heavy enough to need to go out by Media Mail.  At least until I see when (or if) this tracking issue gets resolved.



Last Edited on: 2/3/12 3:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/3/2012 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

I guess the other thing I'm curious about is how the hostesses are going to check on  books. If I'm not mistaken they have to rely on the USPS tracking site because they can't get into the players' Details tabs. I wonder how that is going to work?

This is just my opinion - but if I was the hostess and there was a possible issue with a shipped book, I would ask the player to copy the information that is showing in their mail books detail and send it to me in a PM.   As a hostess I would be getting the information like what I posted above showing the scans which is the same info I use to get from usps.com

I think there are workable solutions to this and we should not panic.  The mods are aware of the situation and I am sure that if there needs to be a change in how swap book mailings are handled, they will let us know.  

 

Date Posted: 2/3/2012 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 7,860
Back To Top

Not panicking. :)  Just gonna do what works for me.  Hopefully this is all just a temporary thing.  Fortunately I live right around the corner from the P.O., so unless the APC is broken and the line is really long, it's not a big deal for me to go there.

Date Posted: 2/3/2012 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

You are lucky that you have an APC location.  None of them in my area.  

Date Posted: 2/3/2012 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
Back To Top

Still not showing for me. frown

Oh well, there really is no use panicking since most books don't go lost.

Date Posted: 2/4/2012 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
Back To Top

LaVonne, I see this as a potentially huge issue, since a PM or a copy & paste of the information could be edited, and you are still just taking a player's word for it that they mailed.  This makes it no different than just mailing without DC at all--you are just going on a player's word that they mailed.

For instance with your information you posted above:

 

Delivery Confirmation Events

USPS DC#: 945211020051200............


  • 1/27/2012 12:20 AM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - ,MN
  • 1/27/2012 4:21 PM - Acceptance -FOREST LAKE, MN
  • 1/28/2012 10:41 PM - Enroute - DES MOINES,IA
  • 2/2/2012 6:48 AM - Arrival at Unit - ,TX
  • 2/2/2012 7:22 AM - Missent - ,TX
  • 2/2/2012 6:59 PM - Enroute - ,TX
  • 2/3/2012 2:12 PM - Delivered - HOUSTON, TX

 

I changed the DC number, added an acceptance scan, and showed the package as "delivered".  Now, I'm not sure what city in TX this was going to, but if I were the sender, I'd have the city information and could change it easily.  While I'm all for trust, the point of having DC required in the games was to give proof to everyone in the game that the package had indeed been mailed, and mailed on time.  The information is no longer accessible by others with the DC number alone if you use the printable postage option, so you cannot prove you mailed the package.  I will be bringing this up over in the Games Forum.

Date Posted: 2/4/2012 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 28,084
Back To Top

I guess I am just a believer that the majority of people are honest.  

I will wait and see what the mods decide on this.  It will be a shame if we can't continue to use printable postage for swap books.  

Page: