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Topic: New Transaction Fee

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Subject: New Transaction Fee
Date Posted: 1/14/2014 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2013
Posts: 3
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I have sent many books using PBS printable postage and delivery confirmation over the past 6 months but just today accepted a request and when I got to the payment screen there is an additional 50 cent transaction fee added to the total.  I've never been charged this before.  I haven't been able to find any PBS notices about adding this fee now.  Is this a new fee that will be added from from here on?  Thanks.

Date Posted: 1/14/2014 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,249
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Hi Cathy,

This fee was actually waived for several years.   Here is some information from the team:

We hate it, you hate it, but there's no getting around it anymore... we've had to add the flat 50-cent Kiosk Transaction Fee back to the Kiosk. PayPal is killing us with fees (they charge a hefty amount for every transaction they handle for us) and we can't keep the Kiosk available without defraying some of that cost.  Because the Transaction Fee is flat (= 50 cents no matter how much or how little is in the Cart), the wise option for members who use Printable Postage is to "fill up" with 10 or 20 dollars or more at a time, then print out postage for several shipments before having to "reload."  Please help members who use PBS-DC to understand that they should not buy 30 cents in PBS Money at a time - that will cost them 80 cents total each time!  As always, if PBS Money is used as a payment method the Transaction Fee will not be applied (since it will have been taken for the purchase of the PBS Money in the first place).   We know that there may be some confusion about this initially, but the Cart will show the fee, so maybe it won't be too difficult a transition. Fingers crossed. :)

Date Posted: 1/14/2014 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,959
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 3:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/14/2014 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2013
Posts: 3
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Mary, thank you for your reply.  I can understand needing to defray costs, however a notice on the PBS homepage or by email of this change would have been appreciated.  It would seem appropriate to charge PayPal users for their service's additional costs rather than charging everyone. 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/14/2014 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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Cathy T -- PBS uses Paypal's merchant services for all credit card transactions, so the fee applies to those too, not just to the transactions that are directly from a Paypal account.

Date Posted: 1/16/2014 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,263
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Yeah, I just saw (and paid) the fee myself. I can understand the 'cost basis' for bringing it back. At the same time, I agree it would have been nice for PBS to let everyone know why it was brought back. IMHO this avoids all kinds of problems.

For example, I volunteer at two Florida State parks. One park manager thought she could do something without first notifying all the stakeholders involved. Once it came to everyone's attention the manure hit the fan bigtime. Even the governor and legislature got involved. The issue is still not settled after a state level meeting. If she had proposed it beforehand, notifying everyone, park service personnel wouldn't be spending a lot of time apologizing and trying to sooth some very irate tempers.

People often reasonably accept things, if they are told beforehand. When it is sprung on them as a surprise, that is when tempers flare.



Last Edited on: 1/16/14 3:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/16/2014 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2010
Posts: 10
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i too am p*ssed that the fee was snuck back in without any warning to members -- who are the ones who allow this site to run at all.  very slippery indeed.



Last Edited on: 1/16/14 10:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/17/2014 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,339
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If you'd like to suggest that an announcement or notification be made, please let the Admin Team know directly.  To  talk to them go down to the bottom right corner of any page.  Under "company" click on "contact us" and then use the Feedback option there. 

Or you could post the suggestion in the red "Suggestions Wanted for PBS" thread at the top of the Club Members' Thoughts forum. 
 

Date Posted: 1/17/2014 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 602
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We own a business that suspends some charges during the winter and start them up again in the spring. We don't need our patrons to suggest  that we advise them ahead of time; that's common business sense.

No offense is intended to you Patty. You've always been a helpful volunteer for PBS.  PBS is not a charity however being run by volunteers. It is a for-profit business and they need to act that way.

Date Posted: 1/17/2014 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,140
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I agree with the others PBS should have announced that they started collecting the fee again. Thanks to Cathy T for mentioning the fee as that was the first I heard about it.

Date Posted: 1/18/2014 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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PBS now has an announcement regarding the 50-cent fee when you purchase PBS Money.

Date Posted: 1/18/2014 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 743
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It's only 50 cents.  I don't see  the big deal.  I just purchase higher amounts at one time. 

Date Posted: 1/18/2014 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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According to the news and the stamps.com/usps website, on Januarey 26 postage rates will be increasing - First Class letters to $ .49 and the first pound of Media Mail to $2.69, among others. 

 

Date Posted: 1/18/2014 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 602
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The big deal is the lack of communication and therefor respect for PBS users.

Date Posted: 1/20/2014 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 743
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I don't see how it is a lack of respect.  If you see the charge, you know it's there.  Do you want sales tax automatically put on items you purchase at a store so you know ahead of time what the cost will be?  I don't see how respect has anything to do with it.  It's 50 cents, they're not hitting you up for $50.  That's not even worth complaining about IMHO.  You can always go to the post office, you have a choice.  Not being flippant, just looking at the big picture.

Date Posted: 1/20/2014 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,140
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PBS should have announced the fee in the newsletter. Yes, we do have a choice whether to buy anything in the kiosk. We can mail books through PayPal's postage and avoid the fees altogether.

zeke68 -
Date Posted: 1/20/2014 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 2,810
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Look at it this way:

if your credit card decided to start charging you a user fee without notifying you, you'd most likely be upset.  You don't have to use that credit card, you have other options, but you would still be ticked if you didn't have cash on hand to pay for the item.

PBS had to know before the last newsletter went out that "Paypal was killing them with fees."  It didn't just all of a sudden smack their bottom line.  So they should have informed people in the last newsletter.  It is a lack of respect for the users.

I quit using PBS postage years ago because that extra 50 cents combined with the credit assurance fee did start to add up when I was mailing a lot of books.  I use paypal postage, with no extra fees.  

Briana -
Date Posted: 1/20/2014 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 2,768
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Well, I just found out about the PBS kiosk transaction fee as well. They made a big deal in the 2012 January newsletter about the 'waiving' of the fee. I also would have appreciated an announcement that the fee will be returning.

I'm not complaining about the money- I just wish they told us.

Date Posted: 8/21/2014 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/7/2010
Posts: 3
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The 50-cent Kiosk Transaction Fee:
We hate it, you hate it, and... there's absolutely getting around it!

There is another payment system that is effectively fee-less. It's called Bitcoin, and I believe you should start accepting it ASAP, it makes total sense for this business model. There are several payment processors you could use, the two big ones are Bitpay and Coinbase. Depending on the details of the account type, they are either entirely free or a fraction of what Paypal charges.

Some pretty big companies have come online recently as accepting Bitcoin payments. Expedia, Overstock, Newegg, Tigerdirect, and Dell, to name a few.

For the love of G-d, implement Bitcoin into your system as a payment option. It's absolutely ridiculous to pay fees on top of fees, switching dollars into "PBS Money" when all I want to do is print out $3 in postage once in a while. With Bitcoin this could be a one-click affair with no fees!

PBS admin, please look into this. I think you'll be glad you did. I certainly will be.

Date Posted: 8/21/2014 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Carl, you can contact the Admin Team directly about this via "Send Us Feedback" by clicking on "Contact Us" under the "Company" header at the bottom right of every PBS page.