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Topic: Strange Shipping Dilemma

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Subject: Strange Shipping Dilemma
Date Posted: 4/4/2008 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 92
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Hi!  I'm hoping someone on here can help me out.

I mailed a book nearly a month ago to another PBSer, who recently sent me a PM last week stating that instead of delivering the book, her postal carrier had twice left "we tried to deliver this" notices, neither of which she responded to in time -- so the book was being shipped back to me.  At the time of this PM, I didn't have a real problem resending it to her, even though I had spent $2.65 for shipping, plus the delivery confirmation and PBS fees to mail it.

The problem is that yesterday the package was returned to me by my mail carrier, and I had to pay $2.65 MORE in shipping.  I guess the new USPS regulations state that when you send something Media Mail and it's returned, you owe the USPS RETURN SHIPPING COSTS.

Now, I had never heard of this, but I paid it because I had to.  The problem is that now this other PBS member still wants this book, but I've now spent over $6.00 in shipping, I still have the book, and if I resend it to her, it will be another $3.00+.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do i a case like this?  I had never had a book returned before, and although I love PBS and have sent out nearly 500 books in 5 months, I'm not too keen on spending $10.00 for a book that only gets me one credit.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Jen

Date Posted: 4/4/2008 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2007
Posts: 240
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I would ask for another credit because you paid double. Not only that she should have responded to the notice. Was there a good reason why she couldn't go get the book? I just think she should give you another credit at least.

Date Posted: 4/4/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 5/17/10 9:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/4/2008 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I feel that the requestor needs to make the extra cost up to you for the returned postage and the new postage to send again before you send. 

It very well could have been a post office snafu on her end or a delay in picking up a package.  However, neither of which were your errors.  Thus you should be reimbursed for the extra cost above and beyond the original postage.

Date Posted: 4/4/2008 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 92
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Thanks for all of your responses!  I'm going to contact the PBSer later and see what she wants to do.

Date Posted: 4/10/2008 1:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2006
Posts: 830
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Several years ago, a media mail package I sent to CA was returned to me because of problems with the recipient. I did not have to pay the return fee. You might want to ask your postal clerk why you were charged for your package's "return trip."

Date Posted: 4/10/2008 6:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Postage for media mail only covers a 'one way' trip. It is not forwarded nor returned without that postage being charged again.

d. Standard Mail can be forwarded or returned at the appropriate Media Mail or Library Mail rate if the content of the mail qualifies as Media Mail under 173, 373, or 473 or Library Mail under 183, 383, or 483 and the mail is marked "Media Mail" or "Library Mail" directly below the ancillary service endorsement.

(DMM 507 1.5.3d)

Date Posted: 4/10/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I was lucky and had a box of books returned that I shipped MM and I didn't have to pay the return postage.  maybe because it was sent to an APO address or maybe my mail carrier just likes me!  But I know that you are supposed to pay the postage if it is returned.

Date Posted: 4/11/2008 6:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Leslie, in the sorting process at the PO, the clerk who sorts the parcels to the carriers' hampers doesn't always catch the 'postage due' stamped (or yellow stickered) parcels. It's the carrier's responsibility to take the parcel to the 'accountable clerk' so he/she can sign for the postage due that will be collected upon delivery. But the carrier can miss it, too, or find it when he/she is on the street and it's too late. So it just becomes easier to deliver it!

Date Posted: 4/11/2008 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Connie, there wasn't any sticker or stamp that said postage due

Date Posted: 4/11/2008 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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Did the "Delivery Confirmation" require a signature from the recipient?   If not, why didn't the PO just deliver it without requiring her to go to the PO to pick it up?  I agree that the main part of the responsibility is the recipient's, but some of this snafu explains  why I never use DC or "signature required" on my books----I've had problems with them getting there way less than 1% or the time, and thus the extra isn't cost-effective.  I can write off the postage and the cost of the book and still come out ahead.  I had one go lost last month, and the last previous one was about 3-4 mo. ago----I have now mailed out >3000 books in the 2 1/2 years I've been addicted to this site so I have seen almost every oddball screwup the PO can arrange for its shipments.

Date Posted: 4/12/2008 6:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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To explain a little bit about  USPS regulations regarding parcels, as letter carriers we are not supposed to leave any parcel that won't fit in a mailbox that doesn't have the phrase Carrier Leave if no Response on it. This is a protection for the customer as well as the letter carrier should something happen to the package. The carrier is also supposed to attempt to deliver the package, though, not just leave a notice!

Now, that being said, I have customers on my route who expect me to leave a package for them if they aren't home to receive it. (And they are supposed to give me written permission to do so--another USPS requirement) But my regular substitute will not leave any parcel that doesn't have the carrier release endorsement on it--nor does he wait long enough for my customer to come to the door! Technically he's right, but practically it makes for hard feelings on my part as to the extra work he causes and my customers don't understand 'why she didn't leave it this time!'

Carrier release information (DMM 508 1.1.2)

1.2 Carrier Release for Uninsured Parcels

An uninsured parcel may not be left in an unprotected place, such as a porch or stairway, unless the addressee has filed a written order, or the mailer has endorsed the parcel "CarrierLeave If No Response." The endorsement must appear directly below the return address as specified in 402.2.0 and 402.3.0.

edited to include carrier release information from the Domestic Mail Manual



Last Edited on: 4/12/08 6:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/18/2008 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,161
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The reciepent had at least 10 days to get her book before the post office returned it, so I agree that you are not obligated to automatically send it to her again.   Curious why it wasn't just delivered in the first place, really small mailbox, large book, signature required?

I now use the PBS service that tracks the book, but does not require a signature upon receipt.  I have a safe porch and a large dog, so when requesting mail-order I always ask they not require my signature.  Seems to work for everything except cell phone deliverys.

Date Posted: 4/18/2008 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 92
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I'm not sure why they didn't just leave it, either.  It was a hardcover book, but just in a regular bubble mailer, so I'm not sure what happened.  I emailed to find out if she still wanted it but never got a response, so ended up reposting it and sending it to another person who had it on their wish list.

Strange!

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 11
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At my apartment the carrier never leaves packages even though we have an apartment office to sign for them.  Most of the time he doesn't leave a notice either.  Some (ionly a few of course) posties just don't do their job.

That said it is the receiver's responsibility to collect the package.  I know I have this issue and so have my PBS boojks sent to my work address.