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Topic: PBS D/C big time problem at the PO- UDdate

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Subject: PBS D/C big time problem at the PO- UDdate
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Sorry about putting this here and not in the Postal forum but only one person has been there all day.

I am so upset after my visit at the local post office. I brought in 6 books with PBS D/C on each one. The "grouchy" clerk came back today after being away for 2 weeks. I tried to be nice and told her it was nice to see her again. No smile or anything. Well, after the stress she put me through, I am done being nice to her. She told me that she couldn't scan my packages unless I paid them 80 cents on each package. Then I told her that when she scans them that they will get their 19 cents added to the postage I was buying. She said that can't be done. Then she went and got someone who called someone and they told her to scan and charge me the 19 cents. She told me that I could get away with it this time but no more. She said her supervisor is gone for the weekend and will return on Monday. I told her that she would find out then that I am right. She told me in a very cold manner that there is no way that the postmaster would ever say I was right. She told me that I was cheating the USPO out of 80 cents. She also told me that they have my address and will send me a bill. She meant it and in a mean way. If you're thinking that she may be a trainee, you're wrong, she is a seasoned veteran. She also told me that it doesn't matter what PBS says and everyone must stop doing this now!

Have any of you encountered this problem in your post office? I really want to use PBS D/C but if she has her way, I won't be able to. I guess there wouldn't be a problem if I bought the postage on PBS, but I really don't want to go that route. Do I have any support from PBS or do they have the legits of this system somewhere that I can read and print off?I looked at the Help docs but they only explain what PBS D/C is. I like the quick credit and credit assurance along with the tracking that comes with PBS D/C. I wouldn't get that with USPC D/C, so I see no advantage in buying theirs for 80 cents.

Please, I need help on what to do and according to her so does everyone on here who use PBS D/C. I would like to contact PBS, but every time I have before with a problem or question, they send me an automated email message. That would not help me or you with this problem. Thanks ahead.


***UPDATE***  You're going to laugh!  I took my six books in today to the PO to get scanned. There were three clerks up at the counter and a huge line waiting. Of course, 'Cranky Pants' was one of them. Within a couple of minutes, 'Cranky Pants' left her station, never to be seen again! lol Geese, I wonder if maybe she found out she WAS wrong!!!  I went up to one of the guys at the counter, handed him my six books, he scanned them, charged me, I paid him and went on my merry way. No questions, no accusations, nothing! It ended up being a great trip to the PO just like it should be.

Last Edited on: 10/10/09 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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I can't get this first link to stick, but go to this page:


and click on:

My PO says that I can't use PBS-DC! How can I prove that I can?


This doc includes a link to info on the Post Offices own website, which is helpful to have, and instructions for different scenarios.  She may be objecting to having to scan the package, but she'll need to to that in order for you do pay the postage.


Here's a link from a while back of someone who dealt with the same issue:


Last Edited on: 10/2/09 6:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Stand your ground. You are right and you should not pay the 80 cents. If she refuses your packages without it, ask for her supervisor, if he/she refuses ask for the next higher person until you get someone that will properly train this woman on electronic DC Tell her you are not going to argue with her. If it were not a USPS approved Confirmation number, their system would not recognize it and would not accept it. Since her system is accepting it and charging the 0.19, that is obviously correct. I use PBS-DC on almost all my packages and have never had a clerk argue with me. I had one new guy I had to walk through it, but he had no problem with learning it.

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,245
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Yes, that clerk is just wrong. Do what Melanie said, just keep talking to supervisors. If you get the same answer, ask to see the written regulation, which they won't be able to show you because their interpretation is wrong. I have had to walk a clerk thru the process before, too. They don't usually have a problem with it.

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Connie - sorry you have to deal with this.  I had a postmaster tell me the same thing - the clerk corrected him.  I had another clerk at another PO didn't know what to do with the barcode.  So you aren't the only one, you just have cranky pant clerks. 

Follow the suggestions of Melanie and Sara - I would definitely ask for the regulations or you can look for your local consumer affairs phone number

http://www.usps.com/ncsc/locators/find-cam.html  and ask them for the regulation.  I had to call them once and they were very helpful.  My be better to be armed with the info. 

Since my PO is used to me and my packages it is automatic for them.  Good Luck.

Last Edited on: 10/2/09 8:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Been through this too, Connie, & both the clerk and her supervisor were totally clueless - although they were polite at least:P  They actually didn't think they were supposed to charge me anything.  I talked them through it and then came back home & printed out the instructions for them.  They were glad to get them and the supervisor told me she'd post it in the back & train everyone on how to process them.   Your clerk is just flat out ignorant & rude.  Stick to your guns and keep going over everyone's head until you get them straightened out.

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Thanks everyone! You have given me wonderful advice on what to do. Actually, now I am almost excited to see the supervisor on Monday. I will be supplied with the regulations about it that are on their own website which Patty so graciously provided me with the link. Melanie has given me the strength to stand my ground and tell them that since their computer accepts the USPS confirmation number from PBS and charges me the 19 cents that it must be right. Otherwise, it would not accept the transaction. Sara has helped me to be assertive with the supervisors and clerks and not to take no for an answer. Thanks jubead for the website for locating our local consumers  affairs office in case I need to. Kim has made me feel better and that I'm not imagining that the postal clerks at the local post office are clueless, ignorant, and rude as all get out.

There, I feel better now! Thanks to you guys I will be informed, documents in hand, and have a hidden smurk ready to show that arrogant know-it-all clerk when she finds out that I was right all along.

Date Posted: 10/2/2009 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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I, too, say stick to your guns with this. Print out and bring the paperwork that Patty has linked to the next time you go.

I also think a call to 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) amy be called for in this instance. Her rude attitude really should be reported.

I have an old cranky pants clerk at my local PO too, she does what I need her to do but there is always friction. She is one that tells me that they are implenting new, made-up rules soon that will impact my transactions. She has never been able to produce documentation to support her claims, and lately does her best to avoid me. It is easier now that she avoids me, instead of me trying to avoid her.

After a few years of my mailing books at "her" PO she seems to have accepted the fact that I am not going to just go away.

I do have the luxury of using the APC machine at the PO near my job, so when I just can not deal with another PO clerk, I use the machine. I also have a bunch of stamps in different denominations, from $1 to .10 and .03 stamps, so when I am only using the PBS eDC, I slap the stamps on the package and leave it outside for my mail carrier.


Last Edited on: 10/2/09 8:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,431
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I've not had any problems at my PO.  They scan it when I ask them to and there's never a question. 

I'd report the postal clerk to the Postmaster.  If nothing else she can be talked to and if these types of problems aren't reported they can't be corrected. 


Date Posted: 10/2/2009 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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She's an idiot and I have one of those at my post office. Except mine is a "he" and he's the grouchiest, nastiest person in the world! Word for word almost the same thing happened to me, barring the threatening to bill me.

I started going to another post office and then I began to use PBS DC exclusively. Anyhow, I'd go talk to the postmaster in person. You know you're right. I was right, he got in trouble and actually pulled off the front counter for quite awhile. Of course, I wasn't the only one to complain on my idiot. Good luck!

Last Edited on: 10/3/09 12:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As a paying customer (doing nothing wrong) Connie, you don't have to put up with this behavior.  It's bad enough the clerk is lacking proper knowledge of her job, but the rudeness is inexcusable.   Thousands of PBS members make this exact same legitimate transaction every day.  Where does this postal employee get off treating you like you are stealing food from starving orphans???

Your local PO needs to believe their own computer.  When they correctly enter the package and that you wish to use Media Mail, there will be a prompt to scan the existing DC...which will then come up as .19 on their own computer.  If they don't believe their own equipment, they need to take it up with regional management not harass customers.  This is how it's done nationwide, and I have many postage receipts showing .19 DC charge for the books I've mailed.

A meeting with your local postmaster would be great!  Consider writing down your experiences in a letter or memo,and be sure to include the clerk's attitude you've been subjected to.  Reprint and attach a couple of the labels in question from today (no additional PBS charge to reprint them) as examples.   Hopefully, the postmaster can and will resolve this issue, and take this clerk in hand.  But JIC keep a copy of your letter/memo, and if the postmaster is as resistant to the truth as Ms. Cranky Pants clerk, you should mail the letter/memo (including sample labels) to the regional postmaster with an additonal note regarding the results of your local meeting. 

Very best wishes on your meeting Connie, and let us know how it goes!

Last Edited on: 10/2/09 10:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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Good luck, Connie. Ignorance of the rules is one thing (that can be corrected), a poor attitude is something else and deserves to be addressed while you educate your PO. I've taught mine several things, and my carriers as well - and since their rule books are so gigantic, I think mine are glad to have real world examples, and some of the carriers really don't know about the wonders of technology!

Subject: Rude clerks
Date Posted: 10/2/2009 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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I'm sorry you got a hold of Mrs. Cranky. All the really nice clearks are at MY post office!!  I use the PBS postage so I don't even have to go nside unless i want to...and I don't. I stop at the blue box in front of the PO, toss the package in and am on my way.

Date Posted: 10/3/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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The two folks I've used DC with at my Post Office were fine with the 19 cents. However, yesterday, I had a book where the system estimated that it should be just over 1 lb, showing $2.96 ($2.77 + .19). The computer spat out a label for $2.57 ($2.38 + .19), which he affixed, but then did some fiddling rather than taking my credit card and putting the package in the outgoing mail; the guy seemed rattled. He'd been afraid his scale was "off", and he'd been undercharging all morning, so I explained that the PBS number was an estimate. My receipt showed the package as weighing 15.6 ounces.

Date Posted: 10/3/2009 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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I've started marking out the suggested postage on the PBS label, because it confuses the clerks.  I'm thankful that the clerks at my local post office are all reasonably friendly and helpful.  I'm going to call the number Cheryl gave to compliment my local PO.  They need to hear when things are going right, too.

Date Posted: 10/3/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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I have tried a million times to tell my post office that I have to pay for the tracking plus postage and they look

at me like am nuts.  So I print the tracking go to the post office and pay just for the postage,  I am so tired of them not listening so I just smile say thank you see you again soon







Last Edited on: 10/3/09 4:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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I'm going back to the post office in a bit. Wish me luck. I will let you know what the postmaster says and how the cranky pants clerk reacts.

Last Edited on: 10/5/09 12:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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***Update*** in my original post!

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Woohoo Connie, hopefully your experience has prompted your post office to research your inquiry, correct misconceptions, and improve their workiing knowledge of pre-printed DC mailings!!!  May all your future book transactions go so smoothly  :)

So sad Ms. Cranky Pants, its difficult to smile and carry on when one has made a foolish and incorrect stand...and so rudely too.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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Heehee.  Cranky pants.  My PO is the opposite.  So ridiculously helpful that they won't deliver anything that has DC on it just to make sure it doesn't get lost.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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YAY Connie  ---  you made my day -  Connie 1  Cranky Pants Clerk 0    Smileys

Last Edited on: 10/5/09 10:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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Oh, Jubead, that is perfect!  :)

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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My local post office is great also.  So I'm doubly sympathetic to those who must endure service of less quality (or downright BS & harrassment) :/

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Thanks everyone for your help and kind words. Thanks Denise, I really do hope the clerks have learned the ropes and it will be smooth sailing from now on. Time will tell.

Jubead, you are too funny!:) That pic is exactly how I felt today! lol

Other than 'Cranky Pants' the rest of the clerks have been pretty nice. Some haven't been informed correctly on the electronic bar coding but at least they haven't been rude, invasive, and harrassing like you know who!