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Topic: over 13 oz. must mail from post office?

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Subject: over 13 oz. must mail from post office?
Date Posted: 12/16/2009 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,566
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is this true even if I use the PBS postage?

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,342
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Books over 13 oz. must be mailed from the post office ONLY if you use regular stamps. If you use printable postage, you can mail from home or any blue box.

Pam:)

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
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thanks Pam

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2009
Posts: 166
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I was just coming here to post this same ?......so thanks for the info...

Subject: Need clarification about the 13 oz rule
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2009
Posts: 2
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So are you saying that even if the package weighs, say, 3 pounds, but I've put the postage on using PBS' print-the-wrapper service, and the package will fit in a blue mailbox, then I can just drop it in the blue box and avoid taking the package inside the post office myself? I'm already imagining the extremely fussy post office people at my local post office returning my packages to me unsent. Has anyone had any negative experiences with this?

What is the point of the 13 oz. rule anyway? If it has to do with security, wouldn't it make sense, then, for someone who wanted to send something prohibited to simply print the postage at home and drop the over 13 oz pacage in a mailbox?

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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Yes, you can put your 3 pound box with PBS postage in a mailbox.

 

If a bomber prints their postage at home, it will be traced back to them.  I guess this is considered a deterrent.   Although in  a world in which people are willing to blow their balls off just to prove a point, I"m not sure how reliable a preventative this would be.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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If someone presenting a stamps-only package isn't required to show ID, and a log kept with the sender/recipient info, what's the use of handing it over for a "$0.00" strip? Tracking down the clerk, and trusting their memory for a good description of the sender later?

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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It's a secret John, I could tell you but then you would have to disappear...............

Actually it operates on the theory that someone mailing a bomb isn't going to go into a post office and have a video record of the transaction available to LEOs after the fact.  So far it seems to have worked although Diane has a point IMHO.

These restrictions actually go back to the Unabomber and are FAA regulations, not USPS.  If USPS doesn't enforce them the FAA can pull the PO's permissions to use commercial flights to transport mail, effectively putting them out of business.  And the FAA does have people who test the system by mailing "Target Mail" to see if the PO does pull it out of the system.  The Postal Inspection Service and at least some districts also test the system by mailing Target Mail.  Woe to anyone who misses it.

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 98
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Steve is exactly right.  They also ask clerks and staff to quote the definition of "Target Mail" and actually pulled the license at one of our Postal Stations when the newbie clerk did not answer correctly.  They had to jump through a few hoops to get reinstated.

Date Posted: 1/10/2010 1:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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IIRC the 13 oz rule falls under Homeland Security.  Your local post office may return your pre-printed postage (happens occassionally), but it would be their error (make them correct it).  Printable forms of postage are considered 'traceable' should they ever wish to send the black helicopters to keep an eye on you lol!!  For matters of national security, stamps are not traceable and therefore must be passed over the counter on all packages 13 oz and over.



Last Edited on: 1/10/10 1:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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Where does postage from a meter such as Pitney Bowes fit into this?  Is that traceable?

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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Yes, postage metered mail is traceable.  Pretty much the only postage that isn't is stamps.

Date Posted: 2/25/2010 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 5
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Gah...this is such a headache. I started using stamps to save the "add money" fees and the printing fees from PBS, and I learned that not only can you not send them from a box, but you can't send them from a contracted location like Mailboxes, etc, nor an official remote post office (like in a grocery store). I just got the same four books back today for the third time. So frustrating...the closest PO is miles away. Makes me want to just take all of my larger books and give them to Goodwill and only offer paperbacks on PBS.

Date Posted: 2/25/2010 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 5
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I have an update to this thread that you all may be interested in.

I submitted a complaint to usps.com on my above situation (I was given bad info on the usps 800# as to where/how I could drop these off, as well as the local office hand-canceling my stamps before returning the package to me), and the local post office called me back this afternoon with the following guidance:

Due to heightened security, he said, any package over 13oz (whether is has stamps or a printed, trackable meter) has to be taken to a "regular" post office, and can no longer be left on the counter--you have to wait in line and speak to an employee so that they can ask you if there are explosives or liquids in the package. If it passes, they will put a round stamp on it declaring it "safe" by DHS and FAA regulations. According to the local supervisor, if you don't present it in person--again, whether it's stamped or metered--you will be lucky if it gets through, and not getting it returned would be an exception to their policy.

As for them canceling my stamps prior to returning the package to me: he said that's just too bad, it happens sometimes and they won't reimburse for it.

Honestly, it sounds like the biggest problem--other than onerous bureaucracy--is lack of clear guidance within their own ranks, not to mention the information publicly provided.

It's unfortunate, and enough of a headache to make me pull all of my hardcovers and thicker paperbacks down from PBS. Hate to sound bitter, but I don't have time to deal with sending the same package 3 times, and don't want to stand in line for 40 minutes to send a book.

Date Posted: 2/25/2010 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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you have recived incorrect information you can mailed PBS printed postage from ANY blue collection box

you do NOT need to stand in line any lines

now if its STAMP then yes you have to take to the post office even if has a APC stamp (again you can use the collection boxes

you do not need to stand in any lines (

Date Posted: 2/25/2010 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Jeremy,

If you stopped using the PBS postage only because you wanted to avoid the "add money" fees on PBS but would benefit from the convenience of non-PO mailing, then consider using paypal postage. You just need a paypal account, but you can print out postage for free. It can be dropped off in any blue collection box (etc) but it is 19c more than just regular postage postage, which is what you pay for any online postage with electronic DC. That eDC does not help you get your credits fasterwhen it is not bought through PBS.

just an idea...

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Mark you almost got it right - APC stamps DO NOT have to be taken to the post office. They are considered traceable and can be dropped in a bluebox. I have been using APC stamps for 2 years this way. I had my first one returned to me recently and when I took it back in to the PO that I usually deal with, they called the offending PO and chewed them out. During tax season I don't ever stand in line and I rarely buy PBS postage. I buy a handful of APC strips in the most common amounts I need and if its a little short, I add stamps to make up the difference. The APC gets it buy the 13 oz rule and I can mail them from various blueboxes around town.

Jeremy - the 13 oz rules applies only to packages bearing only stamps. No one in the postal system should be as off on the regulations as the person you talked to becausethe release on the 13oz ruleclearly states that any online, metered,or APC postage can be dropped in any collection box. Any package 13 oz or more bearing only stamps must be taken to a USPS retail counter and handed to a clerk, so yes that means none of the little post office want-a-bes qualify. Some post offices are familiar enough with their people that they let them justleave them on the counter, but I would confirm that with the clerks beforetrying that. I like to see the stamps cancelled in front of me so I know no PO along the way will mess it up.

As far as I can tell, stamps are always cancelled before being sent back. They just put a zero strip on to update and send them on their way.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 1:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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When I was still using stamps to mail books, I didn't stand in line to pass over the counter if they were over 13 oz. At the time I would stand to the side, and when a clerk had a break in action, I would hold the package up so they could see the postage and wait to be waived over. I don't recall being asked any questions tho, is this new or was I a familiar face to the clerks?

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 5
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Mark and Melanie: what you said was how I have always understood it to be--but unfortunately I'm caught in this loop where the local PO has it stuck in their skulls that anything over 13oz has to be handed off (and have, for both stamped and online metered/printed, sent books back to me); and if I call usps to complain, I get a phone rep who says "well, gee, that's not how it should be, but you'll have to go down to the PO and talk to them", or I send an email, which gets sent right down to the same PO. Like I said, they seem to have no internal controls around consistently (and legally) implementing their own rules. Maybe I need to write the Nevada Postmaster General?

Sophia: thanks, I'll check it out

Denise: I've done that too, many times (but it's been about a year), and was surprised when the supervisor told me that this week...when I first signed up w/ PBS, it never occurred to me to put them in a blue box and I took everything to the closest PO (which is a different PO than the one that handles the mail from my neighborhood...my local PO does not have a customer window for drop offs or services, only hold pickups...I have to drive across town to drop stuff off, which is why this is such a pain for me).

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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You could write a letter:

  • Write

Customers may write the Postal Service to express a concern and to request assistance. In order to receive the best possible service, it is recommended to send your correspondence to the Consumer Advocate?s office at the following address:

Consumer Advocate
475 L?Enfant Plaza SW, Rm. 10433
Washington DC 20260-2200

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 5
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Thanks Diane. I spent the last 1/2 hour typing something up, I'll let y'all know when I get a response. My hope beyond hope is that the state or county boss calls them and tells them to read the rulebook.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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I hope you can get them straightened out. It's easy for a person to get one thing fixed in their head (over 13 ounces must bring to PO) but as you know that thing is incorrect (should be over 13 ounces bearing only stamps as postage). In your letter be sure to put in that you have spoken to personnel at your local office and they are still handling your mail incorrectly. This should work, the message should be sent down to them about what they need to do to be in compliance with the actual postal regulations, not their mistaken interpretation.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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What Diane said. If that doesn't work you may wish to contact PBS, they have their own USPS liason that can help if your local peeps just can't find the light of day.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 6:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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Oooh, yeah, remember Cranky Pants? Got that one straightened out!

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Lol Diane, who could forget Cranky Pants?! In this age of instant information tho, there is no reason or excuse to be misinformed. All mailing information and rates are available almost instantly, for both customers and USPS employees. Seriously, it would take like two minutes to check their own published guidelines...yesh. Especially regarding the electronic stuff, it's not even rare or unusual any more but used all the time.



Last Edited on: 2/27/10 11:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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