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Topic: What should we do?

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Subject: What should we do?
Date Posted: 12/15/2007 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 106
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I sent a book and paid $1.47 first class postage + the .18 and .47 fees for delivery confirmation etc for a total of $2.08.   The recipient's post office has sent her a cash delivery slip and they want $2.95 from her because they say there is no postage on it..  I printed it out through PBS and taped it on. 

What do you suppose happened and what should we do about it? 

Dianne

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2006
Posts: 279
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They are upgrading you to Priority Mail because of the thickness of your package.  You can't  use Delivery Confirmation on packages less than 3/4 inches thick.  So they are charging you the $4.60 rate for Priority Mail.

I know this because I am steaming livid at the Post Office right now for doing the exact same thing to me on an Ebay shipment I just made.  It did fail the 3/4 inch thickness rule and they charged a customer of mine $2.60 extra for Priority Mail.  And the worst thing is, is that if you are using Paypal shipping, it doesn't even give you the option of turning DC off.  At least if it does, I have tried and tried to figure it out with no success.   So I think I will be adding a cotton ball to all of my mailings  and taping it to the middle of the envelope to get by their dumb rule. 

What cracks me up about this the most, is I ship out  a lot at 3 different Post Offices and they are all stationing a full-time clerk at the APC machine, as if they are just trying to get us all to leave the clerks at the counter alone.  But now comes a rule that forces me to take my dumb mail into the Post Office.  So I'm bound and determined to ignore the APC and visit the clerks, since that's what they want me to do.  Avoid that automation!

Why the clerks just can't cross off the DC and deliver it at 1st Class rate w/o DC is a super mystery to me and I would love to hear from some of the workers who I know frequent this forum.



Last Edited on: 12/15/07 4:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/15/2007 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2006
Posts: 279
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By the way, to answer your original question, I would have her refuse the book (by telling them she's not paying the additonal due) and have them send it back to you.  You will be out your original postage, but at least it's less postage money than paying the recipient of your book $2.95 to claim it.



Last Edited on: 12/15/07 4:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/15/2007 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1
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by the way - a simple fix to the thickness problem: 

put a styrofoam packing peanut next to the book.

always worked for me!!  (now I just pay the higher 1st class parcel rate when using dc)

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2006
Posts: 279
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Yep, I suggested the cotton ball.  The peanut is a good idea, too, and I have lots of them.  Just such a dumb rule on behalf of the P.O.

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 106
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Thanks for all the replies.  I knew that 3/4 " rule but I've never had it apply to me before so I didn' even think of it.  Yeah, that is a dumb rule.  I think PBS postage maybe needs some tweaking to get around this.

 

 

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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I had one that was under 3/4" so when the guy at the PO said it would be cheaper first class, I questioned him on this. He said that as long as the book was wrapped as a package (not in an envelope) and stiff it was fine. So you could also put in some cardboard to make it unbendable and then it should go fine.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,425
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I was going to suggest cardboard as well.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 285
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Yes, If the package can't be bent, the 3/4 inch rule goes out the window. If the package can't be bent, it won't go through a flat-sorting or letter-sorting machine, so it becomes a parcel. The rule about not having dc on anything under 3/4 inch is because dc is only for parcels or priority mail. If it's thinner, it is assumed to be correspondence, which has to go certified mail if you want confirmation. It's all up to how your item gets defined. I know this drives customers up the effin' wall, but it is how it is. Blame it on the people in Washington DC. They make the rules, we just have to follow them if we wanna get paid.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 106
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The recipient is a very nice lady and we worked it out satisfactorily for both of us. 

Live and Learn.  Now I'll try to remember not to do that again!   Thanks for the education!

 

Dianne

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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The 3/4" thick rule is not dumb!  It's so that the PO can easily identify items that have delivery confirmation on them.  Also, it stops people from putting DC on every letter or bill they may mail.  Can you imagine if every postal carrier had to sort thru every person's mail, looking for envelopes with a DC on them?  3/4" thick or rigid items can't go thru the regular sorting machines so those do get looked at for DC.  Ordinary letters do not.

You knew about the 3/4" rule, you just momentarily forgot about it.  It's not the PO's fault, they're just doing their job.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would suggest for something that skinny maybe using a bubble mailer.  I've had  some thin WL books to mail and these work great and bulk up the package. They don't really add anything much weightwise to the postage either. I reuse ones I've received something in or buy them at the dollar store.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2006
Posts: 279
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The 3/4" thick rule is not dumb!  It's so that the PO can easily identify items that have delivery confirmation on them.  Also, it stops people from putting DC on every letter or bill they may mail.  Can you imagine if every postal carrier had to sort thru every person's mail, looking for envelopes with a DC on them?  3/4" thick or rigid items can't go thru the regular sorting machines so those do get looked at for DC.  Ordinary letters do not.

You knew about the 3/4" rule, you just momentarily forgot about it.  It's not the PO's fault, they're just doing their job.

 

It's dumb in the sense for me, because I am a big Ebay shipper, and DC is something I can NOT turn off when using Paypal shipping.   So to skirt the issue, which it seems like LOTs of people are doing, I have to put a packing peanut or some wadded up something or other into my envelope to mail it.  Ebay makes you use DC so they have greater tracking ability if you use Paypal shipping.

And if people are willing to PAY for DC, then let them use it.   More revenue for the Post Office as far as I see it.

I did forget about it, and I won't again.  I'll just be wadding up useless stuff and putting in my envelopes from now on.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 106
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I don't think you can turn it off when printing PBS postage either.  So unless you're aware of the rule you get a big surprise when you have to pay priority shipping for a skinny little book.  If I didn't have you folks in the forums at PBS I probably still wouldn't know what happened.  But like Carolyn, I won't do it again.

 

 

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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You can't turn it off (selling DC is one way Paypal makes their money offering shipping labels) but you don't have to use it. Just cut your label below the address instead of below the DC. Yes, I've done it and yes, it works for me. As always with the PO, YMMV.

Merry Christmas!