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Topic: PO Media Mail rules

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Subject: PO Media Mail rules
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2009
Posts: 711
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While standing in the mile long line at my PO today, I overheard the clerk as a woman ahead of me about her Media Mail package. She really grilled her about the contents and told her it was subject to inspection, etc, etc. I already knew about that. But then she asked her if there was any correspondence enclosed, because that is not allowed. So that got me to wondering...isn't the paper we print out to enclose with our books giving the receiver all the information about the transaction a correspondence?? I hoped she wouldn't give me the 3rd degree about my one book I was sending, because I'm not sure what I would have answered. I really didn't want my package torn open, and I didn't want to have to pay more to send it just because I have this information paper inside. Anybody got any answers and/or solutions?

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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You are allowed to enclose correspondance if it pertains to the materials packaged, so the PBS sheets are OK.

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2009
Posts: 711
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Oh thank you!

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 16,558
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Are you, by chance, in WI? :)

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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PBS designed it's insert to fit into the rules for an invoice.  You may also include a comment on the "invoice" and a bookmarker that does not have any advertising.

Last Edited on: 1/9/10 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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The PBS insert actually qualifies under multiple sections of the USPS regulations. Here is the section from the Help Center indicating the USPS section and where the PBS page qualifies.

4.3 Written Enclosures

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class Mail prices. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class Mail postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling. (page 2 of the PBS Wrapper qualifies here)

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents. (page 2 of the PBS Wrapper qualifies here)

4.4 Invoice (page 2 of the PBS Wrapper qualifies here)

An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Media Mail piece or in an envelope marked "Invoice Enclosed" and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:

a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.

b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).

c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker.

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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"You may also include a comment on the "invoice" and a bookmarker that does not have any advertising."

Indeed - brief comments about the items, such as "Hope you like it as much as I did!" "Thanks a lot for the order!" etc. are fine as per media mail regs.

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,353
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BTW - any postal employee can inspect media mail anywhere along the way, not just in your presence.  Very seldom is it inspected (so I've been told) unless they suspect that what's in the package isn't really media mail.  Pat

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Actually something is happening in Wisconsin.  There have been reports of a lot of inspections.  Opened media mail has become almost the norm.  Questions at the counters as well.  It does not seem limited to just one city.  Must be the policy of the regional Post Master.

Date Posted: 1/10/2010 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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It appears somebody high up in Wisconson postal service has a hard-on to stop Media Mail violations.  IMO to the point of making up their own regulations & guidelines. 

Items mailed via Media Mail rate are always subject to inspection, although it rarely happens outside of Wisconson lol!  The PBS second sheet information may be enclosed as it is considered an invoice.  I also consider it an emergency address in case the outer wrapper is damaged USPS can still deliver to the final destination.  I wrap the 'invoice' inside the plastic underwrap for safety :-)