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Topic: PID# vs Tracking

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Subject: PID# vs Tracking
Date Posted: 6/27/2014 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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Sometimes when I mail through the post office, I decide to pay for tracking - usually if the receiver of a package is being picky and I want to cover my butt. I had one package purchased through ebay that got tracking and one through PBS that didn't. When I looked at my receipt, I noticed the PBS book had a PID# underneath "Expected Delivery" and the ebay package had a Tracking # underneath "Expected Delivery." Then I noticed the PID and Tracking numbers looked pretty darn similar. So, as an experiment, I went online to track the books and the PID# was accepted as a tracking number. It showed me all the stops and stuff that a tracking number would. 

What the heck is the point of paying the $1+ for a tracking number when the PID number you get on your receipt for free does the same thing?

Date Posted: 6/27/2014 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2009
Posts: 28
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:) I have asked my postmaster this exact question. Basically, it's a bug they haven't fixed yet. With the last price increase in Jan. the wording on the receipts changed. It was supposed to be that a "Tracking #" could be tracked by the customer and a "PID #" could only be tracked by USPS. But it didn't turn out that way. The customer can track both. Many people have figured this out. I have heard that some offices black out the PID # on the receipt, but our area has never been told to do that.  There was a man that cussed out a co-worker one day when she asked if he wanted to add tracking to his 1st class package. Management requires us to offer 2 additional services on packages. I used to offer tracking and insurance for packages that didn't already include it. But once I figured out the tracking worked even when the customer didn't pay for it I stopped offering tracking. I offer insurance and signature now. I told my postmaster it was really hard to sell tracking for $1.05 when it's already there for free.

Be aware that it is a bug. Don't count on it to always be there. Eventually they will fix it so that it works the way they intended.

Date Posted: 6/27/2014 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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I figured something crazy had to be going on. Nice to know it's a bug. I will take advantage of it while I can. Thank you for the info.