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Topic: Problem With Date on Purchased Postage

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Subject: Problem With Date on Purchased Postage
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2007
Posts: 63
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Hello All --

I'm having a problem with the post office accepting one of my books.  I received a request last Saturday, the 19th.  I printed the label with postage and DC.  The date on the label was the 19th.  The book was then mailed on Monday the 21st.  The post office has now returned the book to me twice now this week, saying that the book MUST be mailed on the date printed on the label and that they "were surprised I haven't been caught before."

So, I'm wondering if I can reprint my label with the updated date?  I went to do so and my label came up with the 19th still.  Can I do that, or should I try to mail from another post office?  Do you have any other recommendations?


  -- Chris

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,530
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I would try another PO. I've forgot to change the date a couple times and had no trouble with my postal workers taking it. Although I do have to say, our postal workers are the greatest and will work with me to get me cheapest shipping possible and with any other troubles or needs I have.

I don't believe there is any way to change the date now that it's been paid for and printed. I'd either try another PO or just take it in and talk to the postal workers to see what can be done, if anything about it.

Best of luck, hope it all works out in your favor!

Date Posted: 7/25/2008 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Here is the portion of the Help Center that addresses this issue:

What is the significance of the postmark date on the Wrapper Settings page?  Does it matter what date I choose there?

  • Yes, it is important to choose the date properly--you need to mail the book by that date.
  • You cannot change the postmark date after you have downloaded/printed the wrapper.
  • If you mail AFTER that date, you can go to the PO and have a new metered $0.00 strip with that day's date applied to the package.
  • It is okay to mail it earlier than the date; your package may be returned to you if you mail it after that date.
    • If you put it into a collection box after the last day's scheduled collection, then the package will be accepted with the previous day's date when the next collection happens on the next day.
  • If you are into legalese, here are the USPS regulations on this ("indicia" = postmark):
      • Mailpieces bearing a complete date in the indicia must be deposited or presented on that date, except that pieces entered after the day's last scheduled collection from the post office or collection box may bear the actual date of entry or the date of the next scheduled collection from the post office or collection box. When authorized by USPS, presort mail accepted after midnight may bear the previous day's date. If the mailer knows that the mail is not to be deposited or presented on the date in the indicia, the mailer must use a date correction indicium under 4.4.1. (from DMM, 4.5.2 Mailing Date Accuracy and Mailing Periods)

There is a link there at the bottom, last sentence, to go the the USPS site explaining the problem.

Last Edited on: 7/25/08 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2008 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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now if you are using APC stamps - the date on the APC stamp is just the date the stamp was sold

you can even use APC stamps anytime after that day (even a month later (although you might get some postal

workers balking at you)



Date Posted: 7/27/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2007
Posts: 63
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Thanks all, for the suggestions.  I mailed the book from work on Friday, so I'm hoping it'll make it through that way.  It would have been nice if the post office worker both my wife and I spoke to on Thursday would have suggested the $0.00 stamp thing, but she didn't.  In fact, she was quite rude...

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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I've never seen a postal worker offer to print a 0.00 meter strip.  Its happened a few times that I wasn't able to get to the PO the date of the printed postage.  Each time I brought it in the day after, the PO worker wanted me to buy new postage reflecting the correct date.  Several told me to go to the PO at the airport which closes at midnight and when I said I don't have a car, one PO persond told me to take a cab.  Is that stupid advice or what! 

Date Posted: 8/19/2008 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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I knew about the $0.00 strip to update "stale" postage, so when I had a pkg that didn't go out by printed date, I took it to my favorite postal clerk. Brenda didn't offer to sell me new postage, but she didn't do the $0.00 strip thing, either. She postmarked the package by hand to update the date and so down the line they would see that a postal clerk handled it. (Shrug) It worked!

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,062
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I've gotten several PBS books with a $0.00 postal strip on them.  Usually they had stamps, so I'm guessing the strip was to confirm that they were handed to a postal worker.