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Topic: UPDATE: With questions and slight rant

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Subject: UPDATE: With questions and slight rant
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,246
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A few days ago I was wondering why it would take 16 days for a book to go less than 15 miles. It was finally received!  I PMed the recipient who checked their local PO. It was at the PO the whole time!  In the recipient's PM to me they stated: Thanks for the PM. The (town)  post office was holding it "subject to inspection".  Apparently, the recipient never received a notice that a package was being held for them.The book would still be at the PO if the person I sent it to had not checked up on it.

Why would the PO "hold" something subject to inspection? I know they have the right to inspect media mail, but why do they have to "hold" it for that purpose? Are there only set days that mail can be inspected? Why should it take so long to inspect? Why not just inspect it and send it on its merry way to its final destination? Why hold it in secret? Why not give the recipient a note that a package was being held for them?

After 7+ years of a regime that has repeatedly expressed its distrust and contempt for the public, I am cynical and suspicious of the gov't. I don't like the gov't or PO being able to do things in secret. I feel that the public has now become "the enemy."

Date Posted: 2/22/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Sounds like they goofed up and are covering their mistake by saying it was held 'subject to inspection', Jason. No conspiracy--just an error.

Glad your book was received.



Last Edited on: 2/22/08 8:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 3/2/10 6:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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USPS is not a government agency. 

You (and the receiver) should both know that Media Mail packages are subject to inspection.

That said, Bush probably got something in under the Patriot Act that allows the Federal Government access to or info from the USPS, just like they felt they had the right to tap phone lines and get people's library borrowing habits.

I would rather my post office take care of post office business rather than leave me little notes that a package I will be receiving will be delivered soon.  That time could be used by my carrier to leave mail at the 250+ addresses he delivers to other than mine.  I know a package is on its way and it might take up to 30 days to receive it.

The time might also be better used selling a customer a stamp rather than writing me a note.

The note saying the package had been opened for inspection will come with the package.  It doesn't sound as if your book was about to go lost as only 16 days had passed.  I'm sure the message saying it was being held is just one of the canned messages that USPS uses when customers track mail via delivery confirmation.

You just happened to have an odd time with your book.  And you probably checked via DC because the requester was geographically close and you were curious.  Don't worry about it.  Mail the next book and the one after that and the one after that.  Chances are you won't ever see that message again.

 

Date Posted: 2/22/2008 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,246
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Cindy, regarding your comment:  I think you're giving the 'government' too much credit in thinking they have enough energy to care about your mail. Since you're not the President, what reason in the world would they waste any more time on your mail than they had to?  I don't think the PO or gov't is necessarilly interested in my mail because it was sent by or to me. What I have I hard time understanding is why it should take so long to inspect the contents of a bubblewrap envelope. Wouldn't someone question why a package has been "hanging around" and not being delivered?

 



Last Edited on: 2/22/08 11:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Here's a partial list of what could have happened, Jason:

  1. Regular carrier was on vacation and route was split up between overtime carriers. No one took the SPRs (small parcels, rolls)
  2. Book was attempted but carrier didn't have any notified slips to leave a notice.
  3. Book was missed in carrier hamper
  4. Book was mis-sorted to wrong route
  5. Afternoon clerk did not put the notified parcels on the notified shelves
  6. Afternoon clerk failed to send second notices.

This is all hypothetical. I don't know the circumstances in this particular delivery office, but as you can see, any number of things could have happened. I personally have never heard of something being held 'subject to inspection.' That's why I say somebody goofed and is giving that reason because it sounds 'official.'

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Jason - you and my husband would be best friends, he'd be suspicious in this situation as well.  My husband's name is Jason too.  Wait...is this my husband?  :)  Okay, all kidding aside, I get where you are coming from.  However, I agree with the other posters, the reason they wanted to inspect it is likely a minor one.  They looove to inspect media mail just to be sure that we aren't secretly trying to send, I don't know, a computer or a grilled cheese sandwich or something. 

Also - USPS is not a government agency.  Huh?  USPS is part of the federal government.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 3/2/10 6:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 3/2/10 6:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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Another possibility is that your package was set aside to be inspected and then got pushed in a dark corner or fallen behind a shelf ect. Hopefully this is an isolated incident.There is a push in this area to do more inspections. There is a form letter and a ink stamp message that should be on all inspected pieces. We do not want packages just slit open without this information. It would just encourage problems. Anything that comes open should be marked somehow and resealed before delivery. We do not want items to be delivered open and no idea when or why it was opened. If it was damaged in handling, it should be marked and resealed. It would create a huge loophole if carriers just delivered opened items. I work in a small post office and I am impressed with the amount of mail that gets delivered with no problems. We get very few insurance claims and not many obviously damaged items. It seems like letters and soon to be more large envelopes suffer the worst damage going through the machinery.

Date Posted: 2/24/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,177
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Another possibility is that someone in that PO really wanted to read that book ;)

Annoying situation, but nothing to lose a moments time worrying about.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Also - USPS is not a government agency.  Huh?  USPS is part of the federal government.

Lisa, they privatized the USPS (as much as it could be privatized) some years back and it isn't a government agency per se.  It is sort of like TVA (Tenn. Valley Authority)  This is from Wikipedia

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the United States government (see 39 U.S.C. § 201) responsible for providing postal service in the U.S. Within the United States, it is colloquially referred to simply as "the post office", "the postal service", "the mail" or "USPS".

In 1971, the department was reorganized as a quasi-independent agency of the federal government and acquired its present name. The postmaster general is no longer in the presidential line of succession.

although there was this too:

The USPS is often mistaken for a government-owned corporation (e.g., Amtrak), but as noted above is legally defined as an "independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States," (39 U.S.C. § 201) as it is wholly owned by the government and controlled by the Presidential appointees and the Postmaster General. As a quasi-governmental agency, it has many special privileges, including sovereign immunity, eminent domain powers, powers to negotiate postal treaties with foreign nations, and an exclusive legal right to deliver first-class and third-class mail. Indeed, in 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the USPS was not a government-owned corporation and therefore could not be sued under the Sherman Antitrust Act.[2]



Last Edited on: 2/25/08 1:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1