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Topic: Surcharge for mailing packages wrapped in paper?

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Subject: Surcharge for mailing packages wrapped in paper?
Date Posted: 3/30/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I mailed 5 books out at the post office today wrapped in brown paper.  The clerk at the counter told me she didn't know when it was going to take effect but that they were going to start charging a surcharge for all packages wrapped in brown paper.  I told her great I'll just start mailing with the label from the site again.  Then she got all cranky and said "what I am trying to tell you is all packages wrapped in paper are going to have the surcharge and its not going to be cheap so you'll probably want to start using bubble mailers"

I'm wondering if this is true and I'm hoping its not because I've never had issues with brown paper.  I understand that if not reinforced with an ample amount of packing tape there is the chance they will get caught in the machine but I'm a generous packing tape user and have been extremely lucky so far.  I've actually had more packages come to me ripped open in a bubble mailer than those in any type of paper :(

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
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why would they put a surcharge on brown paper? it's not like it's thick. i haven't heard anything about this ... i use old paper bags to wrap my books.
Date Posted: 3/30/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
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Sounds like someone at the post office was not having a good day. I haven't heard anything about this.

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
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I looked on the usps website and I didn't see anything about charges for specific wrapping.
Date Posted: 3/30/2009 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I haven't heard that rumor either.  In my experience, a loose envelope is more easily damaged by the post office than a snug fitting paper wrapper.



Last Edited on: 6/3/09 12:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/30/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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That seems to be a tactic postal workers take a lot with things they don't like people doing - they either lie and say there already is a new rule, or they threaten that a new rule is coming out so you better stop doing it. I wouldn't worry about it until she can produce written regulations showing a surcharge is in place. 

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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You must go to the little PO in my neighborhood. Every single time I go there and get "Old Cranky Pants" (Yes I renamed her, she has something different on her name tag) she has a new "about to be a" rule for me. She has told me about 20 different new "about to be rules" in the last year or so. None have been true that I can tell, She has been unable to produce any in writing for me. If the USPS puts all these new rules in effect that she "advises" me of, they are going to have to reprint the whole manual. Poor "Old Cranky Pants". She hates when she sees me coming. I go there sometimes just for the entertainment value.

 

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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ROFL Cheryl...I'd borrow your "Old Cranky Pants" label, but all my PO clerks are really nice. Glad you can enjoy the situation!

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Okay, I've been checking the DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) to see if I can figure out what might be changing.  The best I can come up with is in section 601:

3.4 Paper Bags and Wraps

For easy loads of up to 5 pounds, paper bags and wraps are acceptable when at least of a 50-pound basis weight (the strength of an average large grocery bag) and the items are immune from impact or pressure damage. A combination of plies adding up to or exceeding 50-pound basis weight is not acceptable. For easy and average loads of up to 20 pounds, reinforced bags or bags with a minimum of 70-pound basis weight are acceptable. Nonreinforced loose-fill padded bags are not acceptable as exterior containers, unless the exterior ply is at least 60-pound basis weight.

 

And, on the lighter side (bet you didn't know that postal regulations could even have a lighter side), if you really want to have some fun try mailing a live chicken.  It's perfectly legal...

DMM 601:

9.3.4 Adult Fowl

Disease-free adult fowl may be mailed domestically when shipped under applicable law in accordance with 1.7. Adult chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, partridges, and quail as well as ducks, geese, and swans are mailable as follows:

a. The mailer must send adult fowl by Express Mail in secure containers approved by the manager of Mailing Standards (see 608.8.0 for address).

b. The number of birds per parcel must follow the container manufacturer limits and each bird must weigh more than 6 ounces.

c. Indemnity may be paid only for loss, damage, or rifling, and not for death of the birds in transit if there is no visible damage to the mailing container.

 

Or, for some real fun, how about bees?

9.3.7 Bees

Bees are acceptable in the continental surface mail when shipped under federal and state regulations to ensure that they are free of disease. Packages of honeybees must bear special handling postage, except those sent at a First-Class Mail price. Only queen honeybees may be shipped via air transportation. Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.

Remember though, only queens can travel air-mail, and queens are only allowed up to eight attendants, so make sure that Cranky-Pants clerk checks the sex of your bee, and counts the number of attendants.  ;)

 

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Where can I get some bees? I have a few days off coming. I may be going to the bee store and the PO! And you know I am gonna ask that she send the non-queen bees Media Mail. I may be at that counter for most of the afternoon! They do have air-conditioning and some benches. I think I will bring a book to read while I am there. Look out "Old Cranky Pants" here I come!

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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One thing I don't get about the fowl is that you can't send baby turkeys, they have to be adults, but can't weigh more than 6 ounces.  Huh?

 ETA: Nevermind...  I read it again.  They have to weigh more than 6 ounces.  But still, a 7 ounce adult turkey?  "Honey!  It's gonna be a real lean Thanksgiving this year!  Better make more stuffing and sweet potatoes!"

 



Last Edited on: 3/31/09 12:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/31/2009 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Laughing at the 7 ounce trukey!!

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i remember when i was reading all the fine print for fedex for our work account that you can't ship household pets ... but they will ship horses, live stock and other types of animals on an exception basis only, such as if they're going to/from a zoo. neat.
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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You must go to the little PO in my neighborhood. Every single time I go there and get "Old Cranky Pants" (Yes I renamed her, she has something different on her name tag) she has a new "about to be a" rule for me. She has told me about 20 different new "about to be rules" in the last year or so. None have been true that I can tell, She has been unable to produce any in writing for me. If the USPS puts all these new rules in effect that she "advises" me of, they are going to have to reprint the whole manual. Poor "Old Cranky Pants". She hates when she sees me coming. I go there sometimes just for the entertainment value.

 

 

lol. I like you.

 



Last Edited on: 4/1/09 8:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/10/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Cheryl, since you and I live near each other I'm extremely curious about Old Cranky Pants!

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I have delivered queen bees, bee hives, lady bugs, crickets, hatching eggs, pigeons, hens, roosters, butterflies. All sorts of day old chicks come through both for farming and hunting.

The most fun were the crickets with the hole that was just a smidge too big ;) We heard crickets for days.

Date Posted: 5/19/2009 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 4,324
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Last Edited on: 1/3/10 10:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Postal manual
Date Posted: 5/26/2009 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 7
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I'm new to PBS and I just fell out of my chair laughing; but as soon as I pick myself up I may read some of the USPS manual.  Thanks for the terrific info.  And to think I only wanted to find a new book.  Didn't know the added values that came with membership. 

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2007
Posts: 4
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Hmmm, fun at the poor ole window clerks once again, yep that's me, nope no surcharge for media (book rate) mail in brown paper, that's funny. Wonder if they were sending it foreign, that's another matter in the Internation mail manual.  Yep another book, we have lots and lots of books, then we have Union books of all kinds. Mostly writing to let you know if your book is very light, check with first class parcel, it might be cheaper!

Happy Reading, and hope your next adventure to the PO is much happier, my customers love me, hehehe! Well I think they do, you are not the one that called me Ms. Cranky pants are ya? lol!

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 92
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This is the reason I use electronic postage and either leave it for the postal carrier to pick up or drop it in the mailbox at the PO.  I have had so many different "new rules" thrown at me or just plain cranky people at the window who act like I'm mailing explosives to the Taliban.  Tired of it and DONE!

Now if only electronic postage on PBS would actually be working today....

Date Posted: 5/27/2009 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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PostalDeb,

No I sure wasnt talking about you, but I would love if you would put in a transfer request to come to my PO here in GA.

I went in today to mail a 3 book BOB, 3 single books, 2 bills, and a package for a friend's birthday. It was 20 minutes before they close. 2 clerks were working, I was sure hoping that Old Cranky Pants wouldnt be the one available when it was my turn. I got my wish! She saw me next in line with my armload, finished with her customer, put  the "Station Closed" sign up and walked away!! She now has 2, count them, 2 carpal tunnel braces on. Good thing they raised the price of stamps, looks like the PO is gonna be paying for some surgeries soon.

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The postage not working is an issue with Endica and not PBS. 

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2007
Posts: 4
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Poncer,

Afraid I can't come to Georgia, thanks though. Times are too tough for transfers, they would put me in the bottom of seniority. Glad you didn't get her, sounds as though she has issues and health issues. Unless she can prove it happened at work, its the same everywhere, they won't pay, she will have to have good insurance. Remember, this is what I have to do, peoples moods are dictated by something or someone. Never let it be someone, then they control you. A smiley face leads to another!

Read the usps.com site on transformation act. They can review stamps again next May. Stock up on forever stamps. Then  again, 44 cents is still cheap to mail a letter, compared to running around town paying bills. Online? Umm, two of my cards where comprised this year. Don't much like paying online anymore and certainly am not doing any banking, just check balances.

Hang onto your jobs, never know what lies ahead!

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Lol Bernhard, either the regs have changed, or my dad used to get his baby turkeys via UPS :-)  Yup, mom microwaved a home grown Thanksgiving Turkey.

Sooooo thankful for my post office, very knowledgable and no unnecessary hastles.  Does anyone else notice these problems appear to run in regions?

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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"Sooooo thankful for my post office, very knowledgable and no unnecessary hastles.  Does anyone else notice these problems appear to run in regions?"

I haven't seen the problems as regional (I'm probably just very lucky) but rather as individual.  At my old PO in Maryland there were two places you could go, the main PO and a sattelite unit.  Both were full USPS facilities with regular USPS staff.  The two ladies who worked the counter at the sattelite unit were the most fun and pleasant PO employees I've ever dealt with, and always "up" on the regs.  They'd even take the time to explain them and let you read the appropriate sections in the DMM while they helped other customers.  Unfortunately, that unit had the weirdest hours of any PO I've ever used, and was usually closed when I went there.

The main PO was a little further to get to, with abysmal parking (I could walk to the sattelite unit).  Of the 5 people that worked the counter, only one had "a clue", but completely lacked any kind of personality.

My current PO is a similar setup, with a contract unit in the local hardware store (one mile away) that is staffed by two very nice and pleasant ladies who are, nevertheless, mostly clueless when it comes to the regs about Media Maul and Priority mail to APO/FPO addresses.  The main PO is about 8 miles away and I've only used them a couple of times.  They seem like they might be okay, but there's always really long lines (out the doors at times) and I did encounter one "counter Queen" who tried to insist that computer software discs going to an APO address could not be sent Priority mail and must go Media Maul because, "Well, it's media!  It has its own class of service!"  She was not amused when I questioned her imperial judgement and requested to speak with the postmaster (I had already requested a supervisor and she claimed she was the shift supervisor) then backed down and let me send the discs via flat rate Priority mail, but with the dire warning that they might be seized or returned since I was using the wrong class of mail.  Very weird...

 

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