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Topic: What woud you do?

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Subject: What woud you do?
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I received a shipment of books wrapped in one of the free Tyvak priority mail envelopes from the post office (new, not used).  This really pisses me off and I am considering reporting them to the post office or to PBS.  When someone misuses these free boxes and wrappers, it is just like stealing from the US taxpayers.  They used the wrapping to protect the books from the elements, then used an old interoffice envelope for the outer wrapping.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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It is against the law to reuse priority mail envelopes except for sending priority mail.  You may wish to warn the Sender about this, although I don't think it is strictly enforced and I don't know what the penalties are.  However, they do risk incurring sanctions and penalties upon themselves if they continue the practice.

I personally wouldn't try to report the person or anything, however.  Just pass along the warning in case they were ignorant of the law.

Edited to add that I just noticed that priority mail envelope was used as an INNER wrapper for strength.  I don't think this is illegal, and may even be a good use to recycle these envelopes since they CAN'T be used as outer envelopes again for non-priority mail shipments.  But I don't agree with grabbing NEW, UNUSED ones for this purpose.  Just recycling already once-used ones.



Last Edited on: 12/24/09 1:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Although it is wrong, I have to say I wouldn't do anything about it.  I'm not the post office police, nor do I report every infraction of the myriad of rules I run across each day. The newer USPS materials are labeled on the inside so that you can't get away with doing that, even preventing recycling of the materials. I must admit, that rule bothers me as well, as I'm very much in favor of recycling when possible, and feel that a lot of money is being wasted by making recycling prohibited. I know it's a fine line between the PO providing "free" materials for other purposes, when in theory the cost of priority shipping does include the material (envelope or box) to do so, but how many of those materials wouldn't be required if recycling was allowed?

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,959
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But you can recycle these, on other priority mail. I used all recycled Priority boxes and mailers to mail out my Xmas boxes this year.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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But you can recycle these, on other priority mail. I used all recycled Priority boxes and mailers to mail out my Xmas boxes this year.

The Post Office considers using priority mail supplies that have already been used to be the same as using them when they are new.  They have started pringing on both sides of the boxes to stop this.  I think that not allowing recycling of used materials to be a bit over board, but thems the rules. 

I won't re-use the envelope because it's trashed for using it as a new priority envelope and if I use it to wrap my books, I will be committing the same violation as the original person committed.

Frankly I'm a little bothered by everyone who has said  "let it go".  If we all ignore illegal activity, nothing will ever change.  Granted using priority mail materials is very low on the "illegal" scale, but it's still a violation of USPS rules and it directly impacts (no matter how small) all of us who pay taxes in this country.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,959
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Yes, but I am reusing them for other things that get sent Priority Mail. That's legal.

I don't approve but I would let it go, too. Although, I would send a PM to the other member and let them know that its not legal and that they could get in trouble if they do it again.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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The USPS is not funded by taxpayer dollars. Not sure if that would change anyone's mind about reporting or not...

http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/postalfacts.htm

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I also am in the "let it go" section, but agree you might want to PM the sender to let them know that it's not allowable to use those envelopes in that manner.
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Not everyone knows that this is illegal. When this happens I just politely PM with a warning that it's illegal and how I wouldn't want them to get in trouble. 

If it arrived postage due to me then I would refuse delivery and they'd learn their lesson the hardway.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,556
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I'd definitely let the other member know.  Had that package been opened for inspection, it would have been assessed the Priority Mail rate because of that envelope being used.  The other member may not know they can't do that.

Their response to my friendly PM would determine if I'd let the PO know they have a habit of doing this.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Frankly, I really don't think letting the PO know would make a bit of difference.  I can't see them making a concentrated effort against one individual for using their priorty mailers improperly.

I do think letting the person know in a friendly PM that what they are doing is illegal and if their package were opened for inspection the receiver would be responsible for making up the difference between media mail and priority mail rates is a good idea though.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I'd do what the help documents say to do if you think a package was wrapped incorrectly/ inadequately, "provide gentle feedback to the sender". You could refer them to this section of the help documents as well (Titled "How to Wrap a Book).

Priority mail envelope (this is illegal to use for MediaMail, even if you are reusing it, and even if you turn it inside out!)

  • if you do this, and the package is inspected, it will arrive postage-due at the requestor's, or be returned postage-due to you (the additional postage required will be the difference between postage paid and Priority Mail rate)


Last Edited on: 12/25/09 12:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/25/2009 7:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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As a continuation of what Liesl had previously posted:

If you receive a book that you think was inadequately wrapped

  • We ask that you give gentle feedback to the sender, to help him or her improve wrapping technique.
  • Doing this not only helps the sender, but also all the future members she or he swaps with, and is a service to the Club as a whole.
  • There are many options for wrapping a book. Everyone needs to experiment a little, to find the method that works best for him or her

Maybe you can send them a PM and remind them of the rules?  Here's the link if you want to use it. 

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=50

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Their response to my friendly PM would determine if I'd let the PO know they have a habit of doing this.

I PM'ed the sender and they have ignored my PM.  Just out of curiousity I called my local post office yesterday and asked them what they would do if a patron was reported to be misusing the priority mail supplies.  I was told that they would leave a message in the patron's mailbox informing them of the rules and letting them know that they have been reported.  They also keep records of who has been reported.  If they get more than one complaint, they can/will suspend services like package pick-up to the patron.  Apparently this has become a real problem with the advent of E-bay.  The two biggest misuses are the misuse of priority mail supplies and the misuse of Media Mail.  Apparently these are costing the post office big bucks.

I'm sorry, but this is a real hot-button issue with me.  I once reported to E-bay a member who sent me a blanket Media Mail.  Apparently E-bay got on the seller's case and the seller sent me very nasty e-mails.  But, they were warned that if they gone one more complaint about that subject, E-bay would suspend their account. 

I still say that if we all stick our head in the sand and ignore things like this, all we are doing is encouraging the continuance of this kind of bad behavior.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,300
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I've received a couple like that - or they've turned a Priority box inside out - I usually send the sender a PM letting them know what will happen if the PO happens to check.  I've mentioned it in passing to my postal people, but there's nothing they can do about it unless they catch it.  Most people that I've told about it didn't know that you shouldn't/couldn't use Priority mail boxes for anything except Priority mail.  They've all expressed appreciation for the 'gentle reminder'.  Whether it changed anything I don't know.  Pat

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I once received a book wrapped in a priority mailer and marked media mail. For whatever reason - dumb luck, probably - the post office didn't do anything about it, although they could have tried to charge me the difference. When I marked the book received, I sent a PM to the member about her misuse of the priority mailer and I noted it in the comments section. She responded that she'd never done it before and knew it wasn't allowed, but that she had nothing else to wrap the book in... 

Nothing else? I've received books packed in cereal boxes, among other things. Thick, glossy magazine pages. Re-used mailers of all sorts. I use wallpaper.

At any rate, she did answer my PM, and her use of priority mailers - at least this one time - is a matter of (PBS) record. It never occurred to me to contact the post office, and since I wasn't charged any extra for postage, I didn't consider it a RWAP. If it was really was just a one-time thing, no real harm. But if it was ongoing, then PBS has the information from me.

Pam

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,304
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I also am in the "let it go" section, but agree you might want to PM the sender to let them know that it's not allowable to use those envelopes in that manner.  But it does seem unpatriotic not to be able to recycle used ones.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I PM'ed the sender and they have ignored my PM.

You posted Christmas Eve Day, it's now Christmas Day. I'm not sure "ignored" is the appropriate term...

Was your PM a friendly informative holiday one, or an "I'm pissed off and reporting you to the authorities!"?  That too may determine whether you receive a response. Additionally, she/he may value the information but see no need to reply.  

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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You posted Christmas Eve Day, it's now Christmas Day. I'm not sure "ignored" is the appropriate term...

I received the book a couple days before posting and my PM was very polite telling them that the use of free priority mail envelopes could end up in costing the recipient money in postage due. 

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Wish I had so little else to worry about.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They might have left for a Holiday trip several days ago.  My daughter's friend left last Friday for a Christmas trip.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,205
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I would do nothing. Seriously. I'm sorry you're "bothered" by that attitude but really, report them?  Yep, got many other better things to do than wring my hands over someone's usage of a priority  envelope. 

Also, I think your demeanor is a little over-the-top and I'm stating that because of your word usage. You Pm'd and they "ignored" you? Um, not everyone has time to be on PBS during a major holiday. Your word usage makes it seems that since they didn't jump up and respond (in addition to being naughty and using the wrong inner wrapping) this is a person needing a spanking. 

Illegal activity? I'm asking again, seriously? I'm thinking: hurting someone, rape, murder, robbery,  selling drugs, and yep, right in there, using a priority envelope. Guess I'm messed up for sticking my head in the sand. . 

 



Last Edited on: 12/25/09 6:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/26/2009 6:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/26/2009 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Illegal activity? I'm asking again, seriously? I'm thinking: hurting someone, rape, murder, robbery,  selling drugs, and yep, right in there, using a priority envelope. Guess I'm messed up for sticking my head in the sand. .

And you don't think the people who ignore this kind of activity didn't start out by ignoring things people find unimportant?  I am very discouraged at the attitude so many people today have about ignoring something that is wrong just because it didn't affect them.

But this is my last comment on this subject since it is apparent most people here disagree with me.

 

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm at a loss as to why I should appoint myself an enforcer for the USPS.  My taxes don't fund the USPS, so I can't think of any reason I should care what people do with their envelopes.  If they can't afford to be giving them away to people who may not use them properly, maybe they should consider not sending free cases of them to anyone who orders them from their website.  A lot of ebay sellers & others go into business and get cases of free priority shipping materials, which they are then stuck with if they go out of business.  I don't particularly approve of the USPS expecting people to just dispose of the excess cardboard & tyvek they hand out for free, rather than recycling it elsewhere.  And it's not like your local PO wants you to turn it in to them either.

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