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Topic: Using PBS Postage and Shipping from somewhere else

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Subject: Using PBS Postage and Shipping from somewhere else
Date Posted: 6/20/2011 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,159
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I know there have been some issues in the past with PO's getting bitchy when you, living in one zip, post the package from another zip - and that's just in the same area.  But what about cross country?

I'll be going on vacation soon and I am considering taking some WLed books to read and then posting them while I am at my parents house in PA.  Would it cause problems to use PBS Postage with my address and then ship out from PA?  Or should I forego PBS Postage and just take them to the local PO out there?

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
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Neither Media Mail nor First Class Mail are zone-rated, so it shouldn't make any difference.

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
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Here you go, right from the DMM:

 

4.5.3 Deposit of Mail

Mailers must deposit or enter mailpieces with metered or PC Postage indicia according to the following conditions.

a. Mailers may deposit Express Mail, Flat Rate Priority Mail, Priority Mail weighing one pound or less, single-piece price First-Class Mail, single-piece price Media Mail, and single-piece price Library Mail items with a metered or PC Postage indicia at any postal facility, preferably within the area of the customer's local Post Office.

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,395
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Diane, That sounds ambiguous. Preferably is not required. So what do you think about cross country? Not preferred , but allowed?

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,159
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Preferably leaves a lot open for PO interpretation, I think...  And sometimes they can be a bit peculiar.

I also just realized that the possibility of my parents having a small scale is about nil, and I'm not going to pack mine.  :D  I believe I will be going to the PO after all. 

I wonder if the nearby POs are still the same...   They're older structures, and they all had this "Post Office Smell" I'd associate with going to the PO as a child.  The newer buildings don't have that scent.  The one nearest to my parents is (or at least it was...) a box PO only - No deliveries.  We'd always go to the one in Oxford, though.  I guess b/c the nearest one didn't have that much parking and the PO that covered the route is a bit out of the way.

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
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I've never heard of a post office actually rejecting online postage mailed from a different zip (provided the rate is the same), but if you take it to the counter you could get an earful from the clerk. If you just drop the books in a blue bin, they'll almost certainly get to their destination w/o incident.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Its not ambiguous at all, it says it may be deposited "...at any postal facility, preferably within the area of the customer's local Post Office." So you can mail it from anywhere you want to, they just prefer you mail it within the area of your local PO.

I live in ND. I've mailed from Vegas, multiple places around MN, and on at least 2 other vacations and I almost never mail from my actual zip code, but instead mail from the next town over. Never had a problem, just dropped them in a blue box and away they went. Just make sure you aren't trying to mail with a stale postage date on it, that could cause problems.



Last Edited on: 6/21/11 12:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Should be the same as mailing a postcard while on vacation, and using your home addy.  But yes, a few members have been hassled by anal postal staff regarding zip codes.   It's my theory that if USPS intended us to mail only from our own zip code, stamps would be issued with the zip on them.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
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It's not a return address issue per se. When you mail a postcard with a stamp on it, the PO you mail it from gets "credit" for it regardless of the return address. When you mail something with electronic postage, the PO of the "mailed from" zip gets credit regardless of where you actually mail it. 

With USPS Click n Ship, you can change the "mailed from" zip to anything, regardless of the return address. On PBS the "mailed from" zip is automatically the return address and you cannot change it.

So if any postal clerks catch you mailing something with electronic postage from their PO with a different "mailed from" zip, they might get cranky about it. But it looks like USPS does not authorize them to reject the package (as long as the postage paid is correct for their zip code which is a non-issue with PBS packages).

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,395
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I should know better than to try to interpret any government issued anything!    Yep, mail books anywhere.

 

Date Posted: 6/25/2011 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I've done it before with no problems.

Date Posted: 6/26/2011 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
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if you take it to the counter you could get an earful from the clerk. If you just drop the books in a blue bin, they'll almost certainly get to their destination w/o incident. """

That's been my experience as well.

 

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
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They prefer you mail it from your main post office, but I was told that they cannot refuse to handle your mail somewhere else. As long as it has sufficient postage they have to handle it. IF they give problems you should report it to the head postmaster of that location. I have received letters from post masters of other post offices indicating that I need to change the zip code on my return address so that they get the revenue for the package, but they still have to process it.

Subject: Our Post Office WOn't Take It
Date Posted: 6/27/2011 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 16
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I live in one town, but have my PO Box in the next zip code over which is closer to my home.  When I have taken PBS packages into my town's PO, they refuse them.  If the metered "mailed from" zip code is different, they can refuse to take it.  The postmaster showed me some postal regulation in a book when I complained.  If it says mailed from a certain zip code, it has to be mailed from that certain zip code.  They did offer to let me pay again so the postage would be from their post office, but I wasn't going to pay twice.  They do not get credit for personnel hours to process packages said to be mailed from a different zip code.  I have 3 to mail today, but since I can't change the mailed from zip code, they won't get mailed until tomorrow or the next day until I can go pick up my mail and mail them out from my return address zip code.  I can change the mailed from zip code on Click & Ship and on eBay too, but not here.  Now, if you are mailing books under 13 ounces and can drop them in a blue mail box, you can probaqbly get away with it if you are in a city, but when I did  that in my smaller town, they let me know when I went in to mail another non-book package that they will return any others they see come through.  All three of the books I needed to mail today are over 13 ounces so have to be handed to a person at the counter.  I wish the PBS postage system would get with the times and add the mailed from another zip code feature.  I also wish that Sundays weren't counted in the timeline when you say you can mail within 2 days.  I click that thinking 2 postal business days then have to rush to mail stuff the first day after a weekend.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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The 13 ounce rule only applies to packages mailed using stamps. If you use electronic postage, you do not need to take it to the counter, because it can be traced back to you electronically. 

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yeah, I'm also thinking this is mostly a mute point.  If a PBS member is using printable postage, the package  can be blue boxed and thus avoid counter clerks.  PBS members (like myself) that print e-DC and purchase postage at the counter...well, there's no complaint b/c I've bought the postage at the PO that will process and receive credit. 

Packages weighing over 13 oz. with trackable postage (almost anything except stamps) can be blue boxed.  Again, no need to interact with postal staff.

Subject: different zip
Date Posted: 7/1/2011 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2007
Posts: 292
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I have encountered the different zip too and was told its because they do not get creit for shipping it.I guess like everything else amounts of mail are watched to see if its worth keeping a post office open or something.in smaller areas this seems logical.

Date Posted: 7/1/2011 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,395
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I also have been told that my PBS-DCed and stamped books cannot be shipped from anywhere but my own post office. So what is the real rule?

Date Posted: 7/1/2011 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 696
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the real rule is published in the Domestic Mail Manual, which all postal workers are supposed to go by:

4.5.3 Deposit of Mail

Mailers must deposit or enter mailpieces with metered or PC Postage indicia according to the following conditions.

a. Mailers may deposit Express Mail, Flat Rate Priority Mail, Priority Mail weighing one pound or less, single-piece price First-Class Mail, single-piece price Media Mail, and single-piece price Library Mail items with a metered or PC Postage indicia at any postal facility, preferably within the area of the customer's local Post Office.

 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/2/2011 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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Diane,

Doesn't that conflict with section 176? http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/176.htm#1048755

1.1 

Media Mail must be deposited at a time and place specified by the postmaster or designee at the office of mailing. Metered mail may be deposited at other than the licensing Post Office only as permitted under 705.19.0, Metered Mail Drop Shipment. Permit imprint mail must be presented at the Post Office under 604.5.0.

To me, this passage seems to say that the Postmaster can specify that you have to deposit your mail at some other place (i.e. one that has the ZIP code on the printed label). 

Date Posted: 7/9/2011 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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Way back when they started the online labels, the post office was telling employees to reject the ones without the correct mailed from zip. Later they backtracked and said we should accept them anywhere. The post office listed as the mailing zipcode gets "credit" for the sale of the postage. If I see someone often dropping off packages with a nearby zip listed I ask them to change it if they can but I do not think I am rude about it.

Date Posted: 7/9/2011 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 696
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It appears to be a conflict, so I would use the one that suits me and let the USPS worry about resolving a conflict they created themselves.