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Topic: question about blue box

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Subject: question about blue box
Date Posted: 7/6/2013 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2011
Posts: 3,028
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My post office man is a butt hat to put it nicely.  I just started using instant credit and I mailed off a book earlier this week in the blue box.  He brought the package to my front door at 1130 this afternoon and told me I would have to take it to post office front counter because it was a pound.  Has anyone ever ran into this ? I thought you would put it in the blue box with the printed off mailing? 

Can someone let me know if they ran into this problem? This frustrates me as "it will now show up as late mailing."

Last Edited on: 7/6/13 10:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/6/2013 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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If you printed the wrapper with PBS postage (or any electronic postage) then you can drop it in a blue box.  If you didn't print postage, then you have to hand it to a Post Office clerk if it weighs more than 13 ounces. 



Here's the help doc on this:

Do I have to mail from a post office?

It depends on the weight of your package, and if you use stamps for postage. Note that if you use PBS Printed Postage, the USPS's "13-ounce rule" does not apply.

  • If your package weighs 13 ounces or less (many paperbacks):
    • you can mail your books straight from home, even if you use stamps: place the required amount of postage on the wrapper and pop the book in your outgoing mailbox. There is no need to waste time or energy driving to the Post office.
    • You can also mail these packages from a blue mailbox or other mail collection point.
  • If your package is over 13 ounces (typical hardcovers or multiple-book shipments) and you use stamps for postage:
    • USPS National Security regulations require that the package be physically handed to a postal employee, and this generally means that you would need to take it to the post office. 
    • You can also hand it to your mail carrier, if your mail carrier agrees to this.
    • Packages weighing over 13 ounces that bear stamps for postage will be returned to the sender.
    • If you are uncertain whether your book as wrapped weighs more or less than 13 ounces, the PO is the surest way to mail it.  You can also get a postal scale to use at home.
  • If you use PBS Printable Postage (or other printed or metered postage):
  • The 13-ounce regulation does NOT apply; you can mail from your outgoing mailbox or a blue mailbox or a USPS collection point at work.

These regulations regarding stamped packages over a certain weight are designed to prevent untraceable packages that could contain dangerous material from being sent via USPS.  They were originally put into place after the Unabomber sent bombs through the US Mail, and they have been refined several times since then.  The weight limit was changed from 16 ounces to 13 ounces on July 30, 2007.


Since you said you used instant credit, I'm assuming that you did print postage (if you printed just delivery confirmation, that would be "quick credit"), so it sounds as if your postal carrier isn't clear on the rules on this.  You could ask to talk to your local postmaster.  If that doesn't work, talk to the Admin Team here (go down to the bottom right corner of any page, and under "company" click on "contact us".  Use the Feedback option.)  They have someone who will talk to your postmaster, if need be.

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2011
Posts: 3,028
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Thank you! I did print postage! My postal master that delivers has always been a "rear end anyways."

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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print out the rules from PBS for him.  also see if you can find it in their handbook to copy as well.


eta: really"  he weighed it himself?  he has an official scale in his truck??

Last Edited on: 7/7/13 3:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/7/2013 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I've had the same thing happen except it was mailing from my mailbox shortly after moving into a new neighborhood, and it is so frustrating, especially as I seem to know and understand the rules better than he, but he wears a uniform and gets to play dictator. I called the post master for this area and complained and asked that the carriers be (re)educated on this matter. Unfortunately the post master said it was up to the carrier as to whether they wanted to pick up mail or not(!!!) and totally ignored the matter at hand. I now specify a later mailing date than I used to and just drop them off in a big blue box when I am out and about.

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I've heard that the carrier is allowed to refuse to pick up media mail at the house. But the OP said it was in a blue pick up box. This means the carrier took it out of the blue box and came all the way BACK to her house. Refusing to pick up mail from a blue box? I'd think about calling the National customer service number about that.
mistie -
Date Posted: 7/7/2013 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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To the OP - I'd hav ebeen taking that package to the post office counter - but, I'd be asking to talk to the post master, "recommending" his staff get better educated. Depending on what their "vibe" was, I might ablso be making an online complaint. If uneducated postal staff don't get corrected, they will continue to think that they are right.  (though, some probably will regardless.............)

Date Posted: 7/7/2013 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,393
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What an asshatt! Sad thing is he will probably just do it again until you either stop using the blue box or break down and buy a postage meter to have on hand for the next time he comes back to rub your nose in it. You can pick them up really cheap. I got a digital one for like 6 bucks.

It has come in really handy. Just last week I saved myself a trip inside the post office because pbs had the estimated weight for a book I was mailing at over 13 ounces and it was only 11 ounces with wrapping. It was my favorite purchase last year.

Date Posted: 7/8/2013 5:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Emily said yes  We've heard that route carriers are not required to pick up packages.  Blue box isn't their business, I'd second the recommendation to complain to the local postmaster and above if not immediately resolved.