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Topic: Ripped Off By Post Office

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Subject: Ripped Off By Post Office
Date Posted: 4/13/2014 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2007
Posts: 5
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So I sent my husband to mail two books for me yesterday and I'm pretty sure he got ripped off. He mailed two average-sized paperbacks and they charged him over SEVEN DOLLARS! Now, he doesn't know Media Mail from Pony Express (bless his heart) but he knew something was amiss. He's sent out books for me 8567545 times and has a rough idea what it should cost. But since there was a line a mile long and he was running late for work he paid it and let it go. I can't for the life of me figure out how two paperbacks came to more than $7. Anyone have any idea what happened?
Date Posted: 4/13/2014 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 702
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"I sent my husband.."

 

Can't tell you how many times I read this exact same thing on the eBay Packing & Shipping discussion board.

 

That doesn't make it right, I'm not making excuses for the PO at all.  Just saying', something about sending our husbands.  smiley

 

$7 is about $3.50 each/ did they add Tracking at a dollar something apiece?

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 23,576
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If the packages weren't marked Media Mail and your husband didn't tell the clerk they were books, then most likely they were sent at the First Class Package rate instead.  We can't read the customer's mind.  If we aren't told that the contents qualify for Media Mail, it isn't a service that gets offered.

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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yep, he either said he wanted tracking (which is $1.05) or it went first class. If he just went up to the counter and told them to send them the "cheapest way" they would go first class, since the clerk would have no way of knowing they were books, and Media Mail is a class of mail that you have to specifically ask for to get. Sorry, but in no way did the post office "rip you off" 

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What they said yes  especially the part about "I sent my husband..."   Bless his heart for being your helper, but this situation does seem to arise.

$7 each or combined?  Because with the rate increase could easily be First Class postage plus counter Tracking for both.  Even with postal clerks that know how to process pre-printed Tracking, my PBS labels occasionally scan in at the counter as First Class instead of Media Mail (even if Media Mail is printed on the label).  When this happens, I upgrade to First Class b/c the encoding cannot be changed at the counter with the current software.

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 702
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Another thing:  the window clerk is supposed to say:  Does this article contain anything fragile, liquid, perishable or potentially hazardous succh as lithium batteries or perfume?  Usually at the point, the customer will say, no, it's just socks or books or cookies or whatever.

 

Except:  Just before I retired, I heard that in the POS offices they were putting that question on the signature pad for the customer to read and sign, and they probably just sign without actually reading it, is my guess.

Date Posted: 4/14/2014 1:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2007
Posts: 5
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So maybe "ripped off" was a poor chooice of words, since I'm sure the clerk wasn't consciously trying to stick it to him. I know he said they were books, he does know that much. But he had no idea about Media Mail. I have since educated him. It was just unexpected because he does all our PO errands and this hasn't happened before. I guess up till now the clerks have just automatically shipped them MM. Anyway, lesson learned. He'll say Media Mail now if for no other reason than to save some loot.
Date Posted: 4/14/2014 1:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2007
Posts: 5
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And oh yeah, to answer the other questions, it was $7 total. And nay on the tracking, he'd rather chew glass than pay for "extras". lol Probably just went First Class. *shrug*
Subject: Sending the husband
Date Posted: 4/16/2014 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,428
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I never sent my husband to mail book...mainly because I  joined 2 years before he died. I use the pre paid postage and "drop these books in the outside mailbox at the post office" is something even he could handle.

Date Posted: 4/19/2014 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2010
Posts: 585
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I mailed books today and was told there was an update to their system which now makes it more difficult to ship media mail.. The clerk had to do more steps than before and scanning my DC was the last step otherwise her system would go back to first class . what a pain, her response was "updates are supposed to make things easier".   It took her about 5 minutes to figure it out but we got it.

I never send my hubby cuz I feel it is my responsibility so I know that books have been mailed and  I NEVER mark a book mailed until i put it in the mail box or when I return from the post office. 



Last Edited on: 4/19/14 4:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/21/2014 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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I almost always use PBS postage (and have a postal scale that's about twenty years old).

There was one day I didn't.  I asked my husband to run some packages to the post office.  He saw the little square up in the corner, but didn't look closely and just dropped it in the bin.  I got it back that afternoon.

Bless the hearts of the non-PBSers.

Date Posted: 5/4/2014 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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If you have a Paypal account and a scale it is great to print your labels and postage that way under Multiorder Shipping.  No extra fees at all.  I hand them to my SO, he says "are they prepaid?"  I answer "yes" and happily off he goes.

Subject: Yesterday's postal experience
Date Posted: 5/23/2014 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2009
Posts: 1
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I mailed a book requested of me yesterday.  I chose to pay for the tracking option from paperbackswap.com, but not the postage since I didn't have enough in my account.  The suggested postage for First Class was $2.50. The clerk told me that the tracking id was old and that he had to put a newer one on. He charged me $2.50 for First Class and $1.05 for the new tracking number.  I thought tracking was included in a First Class rate.  Sometimes the First Class rate is cheaper and sometimes the Media Rate is cheaper.  Sometimes the clerk has suggested the cheaper rate than what is printed on the preprinted mailing label.  From now on, I will print the postage from paperbackswap.com and save myself a trip!

Date Posted: 5/23/2014 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Go for it Ursula.  This has been an ongoing problem (and the subject of many discussion threads)...whereby local postal clerks are in error and have inadequate training for processing valid Tracking barcodes.  If printed in the last several weeks, your Tracking barcode was entirely current and valid and should have been charged at .30...the employee just didn't know how to process it properly and charged you full price for a new one.  Sucky b/c for several reasons, one of which is the loss of your credit assurance.

Here's the most informative discussion thread on this subject.
 

Date Posted: 5/23/2014 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Tracking IS NOT included on First Class packages, only Priority and Standard Post have it included, any other class must pay the $1.05 fee to get retail tracking. 

Date Posted: 5/23/2014 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 702
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Free tracking is included for First Class parcels with online generated labels.  Here is the price copied from Notice 123 price list.  Hope the formatting does not come out too weird.

 

USPS TRACKING 

 

Fee

First-Class Mail
(Parcels Only)

Customer Generated Electronic Label

$0.00

Retail

1.05

Date Posted: 6/11/2014 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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my husband has done the same thing despite me telling him how much postage needed to go in it and that it was media mail.  unless I'm in a bind, I don't send him any more!