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Topic: USPS rules on writing on outside of package re: short scripture.

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Subject: USPS rules on writing on outside of package re: short scripture.
Date Posted: 9/4/2013 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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I have a general question:

Is there a USPS rule about what kind of writing is allowed on media mail.?If you want to put a personal note,on the OUTSIDE of the package, lets say a short scripture. or "god loves you!" is it illegal? If it is can you refer me to the rule on the USPS site?

Thanks! so much for your help! smiley

Date Posted: 9/4/2013 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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Really, no response?

I'll wait. I hope there is somone out there that can help me with my question.

Thanks!

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 39
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That's not a problem. It's only a problem if you tell them there is a note inside of it - just don't tell them.  They also don't allow any advertising with media mail.

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 39
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Also - the website if www.usps.com.

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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I've never heard of any objections to writing on the exterior of a package.  The exception would be markings that indicate the contents are not shippable (ie alcohol, etc).

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I often put pretty stickers and Happy Birthday stickers on the outside of boxes.

I have written on them too but don't know if there is a regulation that actually says you can or can not do this.

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Short, impersonal notes are fine ie "Happy Birthday Bob" but something more personal is not allowed
Date Posted: 9/5/2013 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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What about the ne of a scripture or something like "god loves the little children"? On the ouside of the box

thanks!

 

Date Posted: 9/5/2013 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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Here's a Customer Support Ruling: http://pe.usps.com/text/CSR/PS-006.htm



Last Edited on: 9/5/13 8:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2013 4:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2009
Posts: 1
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I've always written outside my box. Never had an issue with it.

And it wasn't just a tiny text, like the scripture examples you listed.

When sending out a package and there is 1cm of space where the items can shift, I always draw big arrows pointing up and it says "this side up" in big bold letters written with the chunky permanent markers.

Date Posted: 9/6/2013 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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Your parcel is sorted on automated machinery which can't read anything other than the address.

Date Posted: 9/6/2013 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I would recommend not doing it -- if the recipient complained to the PBS Team, they could take a dim view of potential proselytizing on a PBS package, even on the outside -- members are not permitted to use PBS as a vehicle to express personal political/religious/commerical viewpoints.  I recall an issue several years ago on the CD site when someone sealed packages with stickers reading "shop at <my online business>".

So, play it safe and keep religion out of it -- just swap books. ;-)

Date Posted: 9/9/2013 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 39
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It all boils down to whoever gets a hold of the media mail package, notices something written on it, and takes it up with the postmaster.  I don't see this happening, unless you took it into a person at the counter.  If they see it, they might try to tell you you cannot do it, but I wouldn't worry about it.

Date Posted: 9/10/2013 6:26 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Are you asking because of this thread?

If so, regardless of post office regulations, PBS is a private company and can therefore make whatever rules it wishes. As Cattriona says above, PBS really does not like PBS members proselytizing to other PBS members no matter how seemingly benign the intent.

Date Posted: 9/11/2013 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Last Edited on: 2/4/15 5:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/14/2013 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
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Just because you don't mind if someone writes religious or political messages on your PBS packages, CatsandRoses, doesn't negate the fact that it is against the Terms of Use that we all agreed to when we signed up with PBS.  That text reads, in part:

"Members shall not include additional material such as advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items in any requested mailing. Members further agree not to use member names, addresses, member lists, or any subset thereof for the development of mailing lists or the distribution of advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items, whether or not included with requested media."

In the case in the other thread, religious and political messages were being expressed, and the member was using PBS mailings to do so.  Doesn't matter if that message is on the inside or outside of the package, the site owners don't want that to happen (and many members don't want it either), so it isn't permitted, period. Media Mail rules are irrelevant, since the Terms of Use override whatever the USPS might permit us to write on parcels.



Last Edited on: 9/14/13 1:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 9/14/2013 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Last Edited on: 2/4/15 5:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/15/2013 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Give me a break catsandroses! 

it already says not to, it doesn't need to be spelled out 

 Members further agree not to use member names, addresses, member lists, or any subset thereof for the development of mailing lists or the distribution of advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items, whether or not included with requested media."

 

it doesn't matter if it is inside or outside, it is still being DISTRIBUTED

Date Posted: 9/15/2013 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2009
Posts: 4,812
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I think it's a little extreme to terminate membership based on a quote from anywhere on the outside of a package. I don't think it reflects anything about PBS as a business, nor do I think it matters if one member complains. There are hundreds of complaints incoming to PBS, I don't think they terminate members on the basis of all of them, why pick one that has religion in it? I believe it's personal bias on the part of who ever is working at PBS "contact me". It innerves me that this has happened, because this is not about relgion, it's about free speech. Members are always putting stuff on the ouside of packages, why single out this one? And I also agree, PBS should change their wording if they don't want anything at all put on the outside of packages. Golly, am I allowed to say "enjoy your book?" Or would that be misconstrued as being connected with the content of the book I sent? Lol. Give me a break!

Date Posted: 9/16/2013 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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My understanding was that PBS did not terminate this person's membership.  The person felt they could not comply with the PBS terms of service and terminated their membership themselves.  The former member can still say anything they want.  They still have "free speech".  They just can't use PBS to do it. 

Date Posted: 9/16/2013 7:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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 Golly, am I allowed to say "enjoy your book?" Or would that be misconstrued as being connected with the content of the book I sent? Lol. Give me a break!

 

Seriously? Can no one comprehend what you read? kind of ironic on a book trading site don't you think?

 Members further agree not to use member names, addresses, member lists, or any subset thereof for the development of mailing lists or the distribution of advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items, whether or not included with requested media."

 

Let me break it down for you

 Members further agree not to use member names, addresses, member lists, or any subset thereof for the development of mailing lists or the distribution of

you CAN NOT use club provided addresses(like for book requests) for:

 

advertising,

 you CAN NOT add something that advertises anything, no selling period, end of discussion

 

commercial solicitations,

you CAN NOT solicit for business

political materials,

you CAN NOT distribute political messages. No "Vote.(preferred political party)" no "support same sex marriage" and no "choose life" 

religious tracts or similar items,

That means you CAN NOT write "Jesus loves you"  or "Praise Allah" or "I hope you are touched by his noodley appendage"

whether or not

you CAN NOT send it with a book, or in a letter send separately

included with

WITH= inside or OUTSIDE the package

requested media."

THE BOOK the requester requested

 

So Elona, Yes you are allowed to say "enjoy your book" 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 9/16/2013 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,667
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Religion is a personal matter, keep it to yourself. If you don't like the PBS Terms of Service, you are free to leave.

 

Date Posted: 9/16/2013 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Last Edited on: 2/4/15 5:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/16/2013 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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catsandroses, YOU are carrying it to rediculous extremes.

a return address reflects on the sender, so if I got a package with a cross or star of David I would have no problem with it. I would have a HUGE problem with  "Jesus Loves You; John 3:16; Choose Life; You are not alone." as it is directed AT the receiver. 

The person didn't get their account shut down because he/she wrote that, he/she got it shut down because when informed that they had broken the rule, they said they would not stop breaking the rule. 

 

 

 

Subject: Postings on Packages
Date Posted: 9/18/2013 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2013
Posts: 2
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I always post religous stickers "Smile, Jesus loves You"...John 3:16....You are special in God's eyes....etc...or angels, hearts, kisses, crosses...something to cheer someone up.  It may be the only happy thought this person may receive!  Or anyone who touches the letter (not machines!!).  Stop hating, spread love.  Turn that frown upside up.  There is enough hate all around.  And if someone should complain, then it is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.  To each their own as they see fit.  Love and kisses.kissheartcheeky

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