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Topic: Rural Post Office - not automated

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Subject: Rural Post Office - not automated
Date Posted: 9/14/2010 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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My rural post office is not automated, meaning they don't print out those white postage strips, or give you any kind of digitized receipt.  All postage is done with actual stamps.

Also, when I use PBS DC, they charge me the 0.19 but put it on the package as postage.   They do not scan the article.  It is only scanned either along the way if somebody bothers, or it gets scanned AT THE DESTINATION.

So, I know if someone recieves a book. 

I went to the larger PO in town, and they also will not scan a DC unless it is purchased there.  I remember going thru this with ebay/paypal postage.

If I use PBS full service mailing, i.e, both the postage and the DC are already on the package and I just drop it into a Blue Box, it doesn't get scanned then either, right?  They are not taking things out of the Blue Box and scanning them.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/14/2010 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,139
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Correct. I drop my books in the blue boxes all the time, and they get scanned when they reach the first sorting center. About half my packages get scanned in San Diego the first night after they're mailed, and about half get their first scan in Bell on the second night after they're mailed.

Date Posted: 9/14/2010 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Okay, thanks, I was just wondering how common it is for a book not to be scanned when presented for mailing.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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I also have a teeny tiny not automated at all post office, although my postmaster does have a handheld scanner that she uses for DC. I don't use PBS DC, but I send a lot of Click 'n Ship packages for my business and she usually scans them when I give them to her, I think in part because I am usually receiving items with DC, so she usually has the scanner ready anyway. The previous postmaster never scanned my outgoing DCs. 

They only _have_ to get scanned when they reach their destination. Usually they get scanned at the sorting centers, but not always. As far as I can tell, it's up to each post office or employee if they want to scan the outgoing DCs. They are probably discouraged from doing so at busier POs. 

If you have a good relationship with your postmaster (or employees if your PO has more than one), you could try asking them politely if they could scan them as a favor to you.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"Okay, thanks, I was just wondering how common it is for a book not to be scanned when presented for mailing."  Laura, if you purchase counter postage, the DC should be scanned as part of the purchase transaction.  Electronic DC cannot be refused, and if clerks are doing so you should ask why their training is lacking. 

OTOH, if you have already applied postage and are merely passing the package over the counter to a postal clerk, they do not scan these (aka courtesy scan).  In fact, we hear it is actively discouraged by USPS (some will still do it, some will not...if yours provides this service for you, make sure to thank them).

As already mentioned, blue box may be scanned enroute, or possibly only upon delivery depending on which sorting centers the package travels through.



Last Edited on: 9/16/10 12:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2010 6:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Denise,

NOPE!  They will not scan my PBS DC. 

They will only scan if purchased at the USPS counter.  Even though I do purchase the counter postage, and give them the additional  0.19 cents to mail the darn thing.  

Can somebody explain to me what leg I have to stand on? 

I'm thinking of no longer buying the postage there at ALL anymore as a result.  

Date Posted: 9/25/2010 6:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Oh, and PS, this is my POSTMASTER doing this.  LOL  The PO is so tiny, the postmaster IS the clerk. 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/25/2010 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,139
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You really don't have a leg to stand on. The P.O. is not required to scan your DC when you present it for mailing. They're only required to collect the correct postage amount plus 19 cents from you. If they're doing that correctly, and it sounds like they are, then they are doing their jobs.

If you have an automated Post Office, then the easiest way for them to add the 19 cent charge to the postage is to scan the DC. The clerks are not doing the scanning to provide better service to the customer, they're doing it to make things easier for themselves.

Your options here are

  1. Use Printable Postage and drop in the blue boxes. With Printable Postage, you get your credit as soon as you click the Book Has Been Mailed button, so when the book gets scanned is irrelevant.
  2. Use a different Post Office that is automated.
  3. Keep doing what you've been doing and just accept that you'll get your credits whenever that first scan happens. If you go with this option, you might consider using stamps and dropping in the blue boxes though. Your packages will get scanned at exactly the same time and you'll avoid having to wait in line at the P.O. You can drop packages over 13 oz with stamps in a blue box as long as they also have an eDC barcode on them. That's trackable.
Date Posted: 9/27/2010 2:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 600
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Haha if her post office is anything like mine, waiting in line is probably not usually an issue.