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Topic: Postage Due issue

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Subject: Postage Due issue
Date Posted: 5/5/2011 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 5
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I received a notice from my postal carrier in my mailbox today that I had a package waiting with postage due. It's marked as a "large envelope" and the postage due is over $6! I sent the member a private message indicating that I wanted to discuss things before paying the postage. I have had postage due issues in the past, but usually it's only a few cents and has never been a problem. But this is a little outrageous. I'm not really sure how to proceed with this member, but I certainly do not want to pay the postage due without some kind of compensation. Any suggestions?  

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,471
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It had to have been mailed first class. Maybe the stamp fell off, LOL. Refuse the package; have them return it to the sender. Unless there is a 25 dollar book in there and you really ,really want it. How did the "envelope get so far without postage?

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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It sounds like the sender (a) used a pre-marked USPS package indicating Priority or Express Mail or  (b) tried to send a book - which is a PACKAGE - at a large envelope letter rate to be cheap on the postage. When the PO marks them up it is often to Priority. If the sender won't compensate you for the $6 postage, I'd let the package go back to them and the PBS transaction go lost.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I would also refuse the package and let it go back to the sender.  That's a large amount of money to be a "mistake".

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I'd also refuse it and let them go after the sender. I'm willing to bet that they tried to disguise a Priority Mail envelope or box.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I was also thinking they reused a Priority envelope.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,466
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Yes, that definitely sounds like a Priority Mail rate to me also.  Unless the other member compensates you first, I would refuse the package and let it be returned to them and they'll be forced to pay the postage.  Once it goes lost in the system, you'll get your credit back.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,471
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Has the sender responded to your PM's ?

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 5
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I just heard back from the sender. She thinks she might have put first class on there. I'm not 100% sure, my guess is priority. We were able to work out a deal and it is now settled. Thank you for the feedback everyone, I am very interested in seeing exactly what the package looks like and where the mix-up went wrong.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,466
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First Class turns into Priority mail if it's over 13 oz.  So, if it's a heavy book it very well could be assesed at the Priority rate.

Glad you and the sender were able to work it out.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Also if she reused a priority mailer but put 1st class postage on it-they would charge the difference. 

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 1:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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So glad she answered and a solution was reached.  I'm also curious about how the package accumulated so much postage due.

Date Posted: 5/8/2011 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 5
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I went and picked up the book. They had torn into the packaging to see what was in it. The lady behind the counter said, why didn't this go media mail? I said I had no clue. She then proceeded to tell me that she wouldn't have charged me for this, but because it was technically written in the USPS regulations and that there was a record of it being charged, she had to take my money. Too bad she wasn't the one sorting! Anyway, the sender had failed to write anything on the package, no Media Mail/First Class/Priority designation. Nothing, it was just sent in one of those larger manila type envelopes. It had $2.87 postage on it, so it must have gone priority based on what I had to pay for it. No wonder it made it to me so quickly :) I will notify the sender that she failed to write "media mail" on the package and that that's what caused this so hopefully she doesn't go through this again.

 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/8/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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I'm curious -- How much did the book weigh? Did it have DC? Was the postage purchased at the counter or was it stamps?

The thing is, $2.87 is not a correct postage amount for anything you can send at PBS. So I'm wondering how she came up with that amount and whether a USPS clerk sold it to her. If so, the sender should go complain at her own Post Office.

Also, it's disturbing that "They had torn into the packaging to see what was in it." USPS is not allowed to open First Class or Priority Mail to see what's in it, though of course sometimes the mail is damaged by the sorting equipment and opened accidentally. The only reason they should have deliberately opened this package was if it was clearly marked Media Mail and they wanted to see if it really was a book.

Date Posted: 5/10/2011 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 5
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Carol - the book was almost 2 pounds, coming in at 1 lb. 14.5 oz. It did not have DC, it was sent using one of those stamps.com "stamps" I have no idea where she mailed it from, whether her house or if she handed it over to a postal clerk. But the package was intentionally cut into, it was not a tear from the equipment.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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That would make me mad if they wanted priority rate for the package and then opened it which they are not allowed to do with first class and priority.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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We got told by the USPS that if we print stamps we must write on the package if it is going first class, priority, media mail. if we do not then they will charge us the highest rate after seeing what the item is. Some items cannot be set via various mail methods. A book would be package rate not letter rate over a certain weight without might be why they looked. It could have been a manuscript or something. 

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 22,884
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I work at the PO and we are told to assume any package without any other designation is considered to be First Class/Priority based on the weight of the item.  There was no reason to need to "check" the contents - anything mailable can be sent by Priority mail, and First Class rates automatically turn into Priority Mail once the package weighs more than 13 ounces.

Oops - there are a very few hazardous items that can only be sent by Parcel Post - but those must be marked as hazardous.



Last Edited on: 5/12/11 10:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/18/2011 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 49
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Rather then start a new thread with my postage due question, I figured I would just jump in here.  I recently received a book postage due, my wife paid for it when USPS brought it to the door.  The sender had written Media Mail on a Priority envelope and we had to pay the difference between the media and priority rates.  I read the help docs regarding postage due and it says to contact the seller and make arangements with them, it doesn't say anything about what to do if the sender doesn't respond.  I assume that means if I don't hear back from the sender, I'm out the money and there's nothing I can do about it.  Am I correct?

 

Thanks,

Mike

Date Posted: 5/18/2011 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,471
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Mike, send them one more PM and give them a time limit to respond to your PM . Let them know that you will report them if they don't respond. If they don't just send a message via the Contact Us at the bottom of the page. It's too bad that you didn't catch it soon enough to refuse the package and have it returned to the sender. They should know better.

Date Posted: 5/18/2011 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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Yes, if the sender doesn't respond in five days, you can ask the Admin Team to look into it.  As Fara said, go to the bottom right corner of any page, and under "company" click on "contact us."  Use the feedback option there.

Date Posted: 5/19/2011 5:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 49
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Thanks, it's only been a couple of days, hopefully I'll hear back soon.  If not I'll do what you advised. 

Date Posted: 5/19/2011 6:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 688
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"They should know better"

Before I joined PBS I had only mailed a  few packages in my life. I had no idea that you were not supposed to reuse priority envelopes and boxes until I read it here on the forums.

I do hope the person will make it right.

 

Date Posted: 5/24/2011 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 49
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Thanks to everyone for their advice.  After a second PM and a few days, the sender refunded my credit which works for me.  Apparently I'm having a run of bad luck because yesterday I received a book filled with underlining, highlighting, and note taking.  The sender replied to my PM by stating that since it was a used as a text book and was the only one available, I should just accept the book.  Not likely.  It's particulary annoying because I've returned credits to people who have complained about the condition of books I sent, that I believe were postable, just because it's not generally worth the argument.   So now when I get an obviously unpostable book, I get a hard time.  Like I said, a run of bad luck.



Last Edited on: 5/24/11 8:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2011 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,466
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Mike, if they wanted to use the textbook exception, they needed to PM you BEFORE they sent the book and get your okay to send it with the highlighting and underlining.  If they did not, you are within your rights to RWAP it and request your credit back.  They're in the wrong, not you.

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