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Topic: P.O. just returned my book

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Subject: P.O. just returned my book
Date Posted: 6/18/2010 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 4
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The P.O. returned my book saying that I owe an additional $2.62 ~ bringing the total to mail this book to $5.05.  The printed wrapper charged $2.43.  How can it be off that much? 

Date Posted: 6/18/2010 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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It sounds like it was marked up to priority or express.

Did you use or reuse any postal provided suppies for those services? Those supplies will be marked up to the class they are meant for. Even a piece of priority tape applied to seal it would require the higher postage. 

Did you include anything in the book that would have disqualified it for media mail? Nothing but the book and the packing slip should be included.

If neither of those apply, I would take it into the post office and ask. If it was their error, they should resend it without additional postage,

Date Posted: 6/18/2010 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 4
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Thanks Melanie.  There was not anything extra added to the book, so I am going to take it to the PO and see where we went wrong.  :o/

mistie -
Date Posted: 6/18/2010 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,019
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And, come back and fill us in here too, please :-)

Date Posted: 6/18/2010 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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If the book came back undeliverable for any reason, it is postage due. Media mail is paying for a one way trip.

Date Posted: 6/18/2010 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 703
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What were the dimensions?  Was it rigid or flexible?

Date Posted: 6/20/2010 2:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Also curious about the size/weight of your book Kelly.  And was it returned enroute, or from destination (like Patti says, Media Mail is one way service)?

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 4
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As it turns out, PBS mistakenly listed my book as being a pb copy ~ my book is actually a hardback, so that is why there was such a big difference in postage fees.  When I took it to the po to mail, the clerk at the window told me that I could not send it because the mail date had expired.  She insisted that I had to mail it on the exact date.   She said that I had to print another label with today's date.  Good grief. :o/  So I drove to another po and started the process all over again.   I inquired if I could down grade it from first class to media mail so that I would not have to pay the additional postage.  They said that since "First Class" was printed all over the label that I was just stuck, so I just took my lick and forked over my money just to get it over with.   At least they mail the book without rejecting the late mailing date.

 

Hope that helps someone,

Kelly 

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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As it turns out, PBS mistakenly listed my book as being a pb copy ~ my book is actually a hardback,  - just an FYI you cannot post a book to the ISBN unless the binding matches the PBS listing. You will most likely get this book marked as Received With a Problem - Wrong Book and if they ask, will need to return the credit you just worked so hard to earn :(  Many books are released in more than one binding for the same ISBN so the listing is not wrong, the first binding into the system gets the ISBN and the rest need to be posted as a book without an ISBN.

You work with stinkers for PO employees. Any PO should be printing a "zero strip" to update the postage date and sending the book without charging you extra postage. You cannot mail the books with outdated PBS postage from a blue box or mail box, but you should be able to take them into the PO and mail them without paying more. Because the First Class in imbedded in much of the PBS label, changing the class on one is not possible.



Last Edited on: 6/22/10 1:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/22/2010 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,142
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It sounds like you used PBS Printable Postage.

1) As Melanie said, you are responsible for making sure your book matches the author, title, ISBN and book type exactly. If any one of these things does not match, then you need to use the Post a Book Without an ISBN screen to post your book. You should double check your shelf and make sure everything you've already posted is o.k. Delete anything that's not correct and repost it.

2) PBS uses an outside database and it has the weights already in it. These weights are often wrong, especially for hardcovers. The database weight is for the retail version of the book, but if you have a bookclub version, it will be a hardcover with the same ISBN, but it can weigh a pound or more less than the weight shown on the wrapper. If you are going to purchase postage online, get a kitchen scale that weighs to the nearest ounce. They cost about $20 at Target. Weigh every package and enter the correct weight on the wrapper screen before you buy the postage.

3) Once you've printed a wrapper with First Class postage (meaning the system thought the book weighed less than 7 oz), there is no way to convert it to Media Mail. If you print with No Extra Services and apply your own postage, then it's o.k. to cross out the First Class or Media Mail designation and write in the correct one. You just can't change the class of service for wrappers with printed postage or DC, because the class is embedded in the DC barcode.

4) You do need to mail on the date shown on the wrapper if it has printed postage. You can drop it in a blue box after the last pickup of the day and before the next pickup, but you can't mail it later than that. If you have stale postage, but the amount was right, then your postal clerk can print a $0 strip with the new date on it, but to get this you have to stand in line at the counter, which kind of removes the reason for printing your own postage in the first place. If the amount was wrong, then they should just add a new strip in the additional amount with the current date on it.

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2010
Posts: 45
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'3) Once you've printed a wrapper with First Class postage (meaning the system thought the book weighed less than 7 oz), there is no way to convert it to Media Mail. If you print with No Extra Services and apply your own postage, then it's o.k. to cross out the First Class or Media Mail designation and write in the correct one. You just can't change the class of service for wrappers with printed postage or DC, because the class is embedded in the DC barcode'

Really? My PO let's me change classes if it has just DC on it. Dunno about prepaid postage.

Date Posted: 6/22/2010 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As Melanie mentioned, your PO employees are being somewhat anal.  A 'zero strip' is all that's necessary to update the postage date.

Rachel, I also frequently change the mail rate when using electronic DC only (as do my counter clerks).  Apparently that may not be the case for printed postage.

Subject: Post Office Problem
Date Posted: 6/22/2010 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2009
Posts: 132
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Hello,

I can sympathize with you on the Post Office telling you that the book has to be mailed on the date that the postage prints.  My very own post office returned one of my books for the same reason.  (They can be hard to deal with !)   Luckily, I took the book to a larger post office nearby and they printed the "strip" and  allowed me to mail the book without giving me a hard time.  I did learn through that experience, that I can control what the date is on  the printed postage label  by using the drop down to select the date I want.        Best Wishes, Diane

Date Posted: 6/23/2010 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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Really? My PO let's me change classes if it has just DC on it. Dunno about prepaid postage.

Prepaid labels are very different and are supposed to be whole and unaltered  when used or the PO could refuse them. It has FCM in the area that is a black box for MM, it has First Class written in 2 places in the postage area. The PBS-DC only just has it written in the lower corner which can be changed.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/23/2010 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,142
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Yes. The class of service is in the DC barcode. I don't know what happens if your P.O. clerks change the class on the label without changing the barcode, it would depend on how the sorting machines parse the label. They may go by character recognition, and if they see First Class on the label, treat it as such even if the barcode says 02 (media).

Here's what the digits in the eDC barcode mean, straight from USPS pub 91. I have a paper copy of this doc, but you can probably find it online as well.

digits 1 to 3 - routing application identifier - these should always be "420"

4 to 8 - 5-digit destination ZIP code

9 to 10 - tracking application identifier - these should always be "91"

11 to 12 - service type code - "01" if it's first class, "02" if it's media mail (there are other values as well, but they are not used by PBS)

13 to 21 - mailer ID - for PBS, this is 165561353 if sent with PP via Endicia; 805213907 if sent with DC only.

22 to 29 - package ID

30 - mod 10 check digit

The first two parts of the tracking number aren't shown online for printable postage, but they do print on the label. The package I shipped yesterday with printable postage shows "9102165561353016849777" as the eDC code on the Details page for the request, but the wrapper itself had 420 08701 9102 1655 6135 3016 8497 77. A package that was sent to me with DC only has 420 92118 9102 8052 1390 7200 9867 58.

 

Date Posted: 6/24/2010 12:41 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Fascinating Cathy, thank you for sharing.