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Topic: Is PBS cheating people out of postage?

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Subject: Is PBS cheating people out of postage?
Date Posted: 8/9/2014 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Sorry, I had to make a salacious headline in hopes that an actual PBS employee would check in. 

I am seeing lots of complaints that people who are purchasing their media mail postage through PBS are getting tracking numbers that don't work on the USPS website, and don't scan as delivered, only out for delivery. These tracking numbers start with 9452. 

Based on my experience buying postage through other sources, you're doing something wrong. 9452 tracking numbers means that you (PBS) are not paying for Delivery Confirmation from USPS. Your media mail labels should be generating 9449 numbers if tracking was purchased, those would track on the USPS website and get delivery scans. 9452 numbers are just internal tracking numbers, USPS allows you to view them through your website, but they won't show delivery scans or show up on the USPS website.

I assume that the 20c for delivery confirmation is included in the postage price that you are charging people, but it looks like you guys are not paying it to USPS. Hence the headline. 

Please investigate this... 

Date Posted: 8/9/2014 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I don't use PBS postage and therefore not clear on all the details of your post.  But I do know that there were some tracking numbers that are less trackable, so PBS set up a special onsite tracking link for that series of numbers.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/9/2014 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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PBS employees do not read the forums. These are unmonitored discussion groups for members only. The way to reach PBS is to scroll to the bottom of your screen and look for Company. Under that heading, you'll see Contact Us. Click that link and send in a feedback.

Date Posted: 8/10/2014 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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I don't use PBS postage and therefore not clear on all the details of your post.  But I do know that there were some tracking numbers that are less trackable, so PBS set up a special onsite tracking link for that series of numbers.

Yeah the reason they are not less trackable is because they aren't supposed to be trackable at all, they are internal tracking numbers that USPS allows third party sites to track, minus the delivery scan. And obviously a lot of people here are upset about not having the DELIVERY part of the scan.

PBS already upcharges on shipping to raise money for the site. People can buy postage with tracking that actually works for less money from PayPal.

PBS must have recently changed their agreement with USPS to drop the tracking, which saves PBS 20c per transaction. Did they lower the price of the postage 20c per customer?  

Date Posted: 8/10/2014 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2007
Posts: 6,559
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The link that Denise provided does show delivery scans for numbers that start with 9452.  The most recent one I sent with a 9452 number was in April and it shows the delivery scan at the link Denise provided.  It also shows the delivery scan in my tracking information in my transaction archive.  So, PaperBackSwap is paying USPS the delivery confirmation fee that it collects from us when we choose Delivery Confirmation.

Date Posted: 8/14/2014 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Well I have seen a lot of complaints from people NOT getting delivery scans, and PBS did not reply to my email on this matter. 

Date Posted: 8/14/2014 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"...I have seen a lot of complaints from people NOT getting delivery scans..."  So why do you assume the problem is with PBS instead of USPS?  PBS cannot scan packages as delivered, that requires a postal employee.  This seems to be a regional issue with some staff not trained as well as other areas.

Date Posted: 8/14/2014 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,138
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PBS uses Endicia Postage. The fee charged covers using that service. All of my printable postage has the 9452 tracking numbers. I'm sure USPS is getting their money as Endicia is a large postage provider company.

Date Posted: 8/31/2014 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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I use Paypal and just checked, all my tracking numbers were 9449 and 9400.  I received the delivery scan on these.

Date Posted: 9/5/2014 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 65
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Theresa, that would make sense through paypal, which is her point that 9449 and 9400 are tracking codes through USPS