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Topic: quick credit and the post office

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Subject: quick credit and the post office
Date Posted: 7/29/2013 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2012
Posts: 54
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I had trouble at post office today.   It amazes me that some clerks have no problems with paperback swap D.C. system, then others seem so bewildered over it.  I explained to the clerk how the system works, but he was still trying to get me to pay .90 for tracking.  I refused.  So eventually, he slapped a tracking sticker on top of the paperback swap tracking number.  Because he did that, I am pretty sure I won't be receiving the quick credit. I just wished that all clerks were trained on how it works. 

Date Posted: 7/29/2013 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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When I get a new clerk, I just talk him/her through it, and have never had any problems.  Have trained a few clerks in how it's done.  LOL. Pat

Date Posted: 7/29/2013 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2011
Posts: 3,064
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Both of my post offices are that way. I have started printing off the instructions that have details on how they can do it and take it with me on each trip. You can find it in the help docs. Something you might consider doing.
Subject: instructions
Date Posted: 7/30/2013 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2012
Posts: 54
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In the past when I taken the instructions, the clerks did not want to even read them... they thought I was trying to tell them how to do their job.  Anyway, I have found the best way, is just to mention you want item sent media mail, not pointing out the D.C. at all, eventually it seems to get scanned.  Hopefully, next one will be sent with no problems.

Date Posted: 7/30/2013 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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When they fight me about it, I just ask to buy a 20 cent stamp and add it.  It gets scanned at the hub.

Date Posted: 7/31/2013 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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You are correct Debbie, placing the counter sticker over your PBS barcode voids quick-credit. Many postal units were inadequately trained regarding the new scanning procedure (6 months ago now).  PBS has a help document for these situations, which you can print out and take to the PO with you.  If they still refuse to comply you can contact your area customer service manager and they should assist in the education process.

Luckily my post office welcomed the directions when I brought them in, and shared them with their sister branch down the road.  Prior to that I used Emily's method of purchasing an additional 20 cent stamp...just don't let them cross off or deface your PBS barcode, they will work and pick up enroute scans which will trigger quick-credit.

ETA - there's a long discussion thread on this subject over in the USPS Postal Regulations forum.

Last Edited on: 7/31/13 1:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/31/2013 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Some...note I say some, not most or all....Postal Clerks are hacks, lucky enough to pass the exam and just showing up for a paycheck and a federal pension. They could care less about customer service.


Date Posted: 8/4/2013 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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We have two post offices in town. At one, the employees are super nice and Super Awesome Employee remembers me (I took the instructions in the first time).  At the other, there is a Really Grumpy Employee who KNOWS how to do it and who KNOWS that it's allowed, however he refuses to scan it for you. I tried handing him the instructions and he just said he couldn't do it. I didn't feel like arguing, so I went to the other one. The Super Awesome Employee confirmed that Really Grumpy Employee knows how to do it, he just doesn't like doing it and she's surprised he hasn't gotten in trouble for it yet. 

Date Posted: 8/4/2013 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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Tell the employee that is covering up the bar code that it is a legal USPS bar code and it is illegal to tamper with it and you'd like their supevisor if they are unable properly ring you up. I have no problem stretching the truth nor getting pushy with people who refuse to do their job right.

Date Posted: 8/4/2013 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,573
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Postal Clerks are hacks, lucky enough to pass the exam and just showing up for a paycheck and a federal pension.

My biggest problem with the postal clerks at our rather large P.O. is that they are way too nice and polite. I know how to wrap and ship packages and I resent having the postal clerks box and wrap for people who are too lazy to do it themselves while I'm waiting in line. I know that for a small set of people this experience might be new and perhaps confusing, but there are just too many that take advantage of the clerks.

Date Posted: 8/8/2013 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I hear ya Thomas.  While in the PO lobby, I'm often dismayed at the number of customers that show up with a handful or shopping bag of unwrapped goods to mail (sometimes without even a 'mail to' address).  Fortunately, my local staff handle this situation very well.  They usually weigh the 'goods' and help the customer determine the appropriate weight (and therefore packaging)...then direct them to the display of tape and packaging for sale, and back table where they can wrap their own package.  Some customers are obviously dismayed that staff isn't going gift wrap and package their mail for them *eyeroll*

USPS employees probably love PBSers (and others) who arrive with their packages all wrapped, properly labeled, and ready to mail!

Last Edited on: 8/8/13 1:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2013 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Sadly, this is the main reason why I haven't opted to use PBS DC.  I haven't found any PO in my area that has the "nice, helpful" employees that many folks talk about.  I just don't want a fight every time I bring in a book for them to "scan" -- an argument which I'm sure will take place.

In all of these PO's near me, as a test I've asked if I can put a larger-than-13 oz. book in a "blue box" if I print the postage at "that machine in your lobby" .  They have all said "No - anything larger than 13 oz. needs to be brought to the desk".  Sigh...

Date Posted: 8/9/2013 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,844
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USPS employees probably love PBSers (and others) who arrive with their packages all wrapped, properly labeled, and ready to mail!

Back in the Dark Ages (before I fell in love with PBS printed postage) when I frequented several post offices, I had several USPS employees tell me they liked processing my packages because they were well wrapped, clearly labeled and pretty (I always use colorfully-printed packaging tape).

Date Posted: 8/9/2013 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I really feel for members such as yourself Debbie, burdoned with undertrained postal staff.  APC's only take 'plastic' as payment, and the postage is therefore 'trackable' ...thus can be blue boxed regardless of weight *sigh*  A no brainer if they just think it through even a little bit.

Date Posted: 8/12/2013 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I stopped using DC because PBS is not able to provide easy tracking. We should not be required to educate postal clerks. So I won't pay for it anymore. PBS lost the fees I used to pay. 

mistie -
Date Posted: 8/12/2013 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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We should not be required to educate postal clerks.


However, I don't think it is reasonable to blame PBS for this. FWIW, from memory, the difference between purchasing PBS e-DC, then postage at the post office, compared to purchasing postgae via PBS is very minimal. I remember seeing 5-10c quoted here,

Date Posted: 8/13/2013 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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I would politely ask to see the Postmaster and stand there until I did.  I would then politely ask the Postmaster how the package should be handled in order to speed up the process in the future.  (And I would do this on a day when I was not in a hurry to be somewhere else and be prepared to wait as long as it took to fetch said Postmaster.)  Depending upon the Postmaster's response, I would hand over the copy of the mailing instructions and either ask where I had failed to follow them or suggest that the Postmaster rreview the guidelines with the clerks.

I might also remind said Postmaster that, while it is easier and simpler to do obtain my postage online, I had chosen to visit the post office in person in order to help maintain the jobs of live people working in the post office, which, given the muchpublised budget woes of the USPS, seem to be in jeopardy.  :)