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Topic: RANT - I hate uninformed Postal workers

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Subject: RANT - I hate uninformed Postal workers
Date Posted: 2/17/2012 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
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I've got a bit of a back story here.  Not too long, but bear with me:

I live in a very small town with a very small PO.  So small that it doesn't even have a computer and the two postal workers have to do all their numbers with a small calculator.  I have been charged full price for DC on my PBS books because these workers refuse to believe me when I say that DC is only 19cents.  I mail everything EXCEPT my PBS stuff at my local PO because of this issue.  I got around this issue by mailing my PBS stuff at the PO in the county seat, which is only 15 minutes away.

Since my daughter's school is in the county seat, I make sure that I mail my PBS stuff on the days that I go to town to pick up my daughter.  That way I'm not making any special trips just to go to the PO.  I've been doing this since August, when DD started school.  I've never had any issues with this PO; they weigh the package and scan the DC and the price is usually the same price that is printed on the address label.

So here's the issue.  After I picked up my DD from school, we stopped by the PO to mail two PBS packages.  I told the worker behind the ocunter that I needed to mail both packages Media Mail.  She asked if there was anything liquid, perishable, etc. in the package and told me that the package was subject to inspection.  I said fine.  Then she asked if there was an invoice in the package.  I told her yes, that there was a book and an invoice for the book in the package.  The worker then proceeded to tell me that she would have to charge me First Class postage because of the invoice.  I told her that it was just an invoice for a book, that there were no advertisements in the package.  She told me again that she had to charge me First Class postage for the invoice.  I told her that I would mail my postage from a different PO because her information was wrong.  Her supervisor was standing there observing the situation and didn't bother to correct either one of us.  This same supervisor has checked me out before and has never charged me First Class for an invoice.  And I go in that PO at least once per week.

So I took my PBS books to the PO in the next county.  I was going there anyway, so I wasn't making a special trip.  After paying for postage, I asked the worker if an invoice mailed with a book would make the postage go from Media Mail to First Class.  She and another worker both told me no.  As long as it was just an invoice, there were no advertisements, and there were no personal notes, then the basic price would always be Media Mail.  I told them what happened to me earlier, and they had a good laugh at the other PO's expense.

I love being validated!

Date Posted: 2/17/2012 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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According to DMM, invoices are allowed under the Media Mail rate.  Let me see if I can find the reference...

170 Retail Mail
Media MailPaste
173 Prices and Eligibility
4.5 Incidental First-Class Mail Attachments and Enclosures  appears to be updated to section 6.3

Incidental First-Class Mail matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Media Mail piece without payment of First-Class Mail postage. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First-Class Mail postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Package Services price for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure.

Here's a link to USPS own website, regarding Media Mail and Library Mail...the section that answers your question is 6.3.  Sometimes PBS recommends printing a copy and taking it with you to the post office that doesn't know their own regs.

Last Edited on: 2/17/12 10:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: mailing packages
Date Posted: 2/18/2012 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
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That is the main reason I use the pre paid postage..I can just chuck the package in the blue box in the town I live in and my job is done. Well worth the extra charge...but then I have a pretty well informed post office.

Date Posted: 2/18/2012 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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My PO is awesome  heart

Becky, not sure why the PO is 'grilling' you at the counter about invoice inclosures, when their own DMM guidelines specifically allow it *eyeroll*  If it happens again, I'd be tempted to report the situation through USPS.com...we hear they take that complaint line seriously.  And it sounds like a district training problem, not just a single PO.

Last Edited on: 2/18/12 1:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1