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Topic: Postage Due

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Subject: Postage Due
Date Posted: 1/21/2011 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2010
Posts: 12
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If there is a minor error in postage I typical pay it and do not worry about it. Well today my mail lady showed up with a package that appears to be a book from PBS. I know which one it is. Its Postage $6.51. I told her I did not have the money today. I am tempted to tell her to return to sender if she can tomorrow. Its kind of upsetting that someone wold even bother to send out a book with that much postage due or that the post office would not just return it to them in the first place.


Date Posted: 1/21/2011 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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They attempt to get payment from the receiver first. You can refuse it, and wait for it to go officially "lost" here. They may or may not return it to the sender. They don't have to return media mail.

ETA: The amount they're charging makes me wonder if they tried to get away with using a disguised Priority Mail package.

Last Edited on: 1/21/11 9:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/21/2011 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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If someone reused a Priority Mail wrapper, the PO will charge the full priority mail rate.  Which is higher than first class.

Date Posted: 1/21/2011 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would PM the sender, tell them the problem and ask for credits to cover the postage or tell them you will be refusing delivery and sending it back.

Date Posted: 1/21/2011 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,698
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Since you have not accepted the package first and paid the postage due, here's what the help center says:

If you receive a book postage-due that bears your current address on it (it was not forwarded) but you have NOT accepted the package yet, you may refuse it.  It will be returned to sender.   You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.

  • In this case, you should not mark the book received.

    • This is the only time that it is appropriate not to mark a book received  (if you have refused it for postage-due, and are not in possession of the book.)
    • This is the only time that it is appropriate to refuse a package from PBS (if there is postage due)
  • When the book is declared "lost in the Mail" at PBS, you will get your credit back.

  • You should contact the sender in this case also, to ensure that he or she is aware of the proper cost of mailing a book.
    • You can contact the sender using the PM button on the En Route Transaction for the book on your En Route to Me tab in My Account.

If you do pay the postage and accept the package from the PO, you are obligated to mark it received and give the sender their credit.  The help center says the sender SHOULD reimburse you credits to cover the postage due but there's nothing in place to force them to do so.

Date Posted: 1/21/2011 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Yeah my money is on someone trying to use Priority Mail packaging.

Date Posted: 1/21/2011 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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If this book was sent "media Mail" it would have had to weigh over 10 pounds!!  This is blatantly impossible unless it were a large box of books.  It certainly was assessed some other form of shipping/postage---maybe priority. 

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Hmmm. . . I agree, that amount of postage due looks suspicious. 

I'd be curious and see if I could find a profile on the sender, might also be a new member that was confused regarding which mail rate to use.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/22/2011 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Another possibility is that the wrapper printed out for First Class, but the book actually weighed over 13 oz. USPS will bump the classification to Priority in that case too, and they will charge you the difference between postage paid and the priority rate.

Date Posted: 1/22/2011 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Remember, media mail is not forwarded at the media mail rate, so if it was returned (in essence "forwarded" back to you) then they cannot do so at the media mail rate.  It would be at least first class rate, if not priority depending on the weight/circumstances.

Also, yes, if someone got the weight wrong, it is bumped up to the next level of postage for them to deliver.

If you know which book it is, contact the sender to ask if they will cover the postage due by sending you extra credits.  If the book is being returned to you, then you may already have your credit depending on how it was mailed.

Date Posted: 1/24/2011 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2010
Posts: 12
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Thanks gals you have been very helpful. I appreciate it.