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Topic: Mailing with DC and MY PO ---Can one of PBS's Postal Employees here answer

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
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The one thing I don't understand from the above explanation is this: if scanning at the counter requires following the menu and all that key punching, how is it that the machines can automatically scan a package in just by scanning it? If the machines can just automatically scan it, why can't (physically I mean) a clerk simply and quickly scan it at the counter and throw it into the bin? What's with the extra key punching?

curiously,

Sandy

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 8:52 AM ET
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Because the computers the counter people are given have a much more complicated interface than the automatic scanners have.

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 10:01 AM ET
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Steve, your post is HILARIOUS! But there is a bit of a flaw in the argument. When a store advertises a sale or a coupon, it also lists the products that are not eligible for the discount. (Say, not on the designer brands or a certain department.)

When I look at the policies available to the public regarding electronic services, I don't see anything that says that when you use that discounted service that you're not eligible for customer service at the counter. And if it does not specifically say that, then people will expect that service, whether it's courteous to the others in line or not. (We all certainly know how folks can be discourteous to the others in line at the store, right?)

Of course, now that I know from you, I won't expect that service. But as it stands now, without a public notice that scanning of prepaid packages is not permitted, people will expect it to be done on request, whether it's right or wrong.

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 10:48 AM ET
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Last Edited on: 2/8/15 1:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 6:57 PM ET
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Jane, I'm sure it's in there somewhere probably but I really have no desire to look for it.  My volunteer time only goes so far.  To me it can be as simple as my employer has told me not to do it.  I try to go beyound that with customers in general and PBS members in particular because IMO the more informed a customer is the better the relationship is between myself and my customer, most of the time.

Sometimes you get a customer who doesn't care, they just insist on it "their way" and will be satisfied with nothing else no matter how good the reasons are not to do it that way.

Sandra, our scanner is part of a POS system, a cash register if you will, so there is no just scanning anything.  In fact it will do nothing without something sitting on the scale (well, except money orders) and a ZIP code punched in.  The scanner on the equipment, as Eloise pointed out, do nothing but scan bar codes and pass that data on.

When it comes to scanners and associated software the PO is one of the best developers in the world.  Our scanners were the first to be able to reasonably and reliably read cursive.  They do some amazing stuff with them when they work.  When they don't your letter going to the Fort Wayne area (zips 467xx and 468xx) gets to go to Hawaii first (zips 967xx and 968xx).

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 7:22 PM ET
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Ah, I see the general public is unfamiliar with the 'Postal' way of doing things, Steve! The 'Do it this way' or 'Don't do it this way' or the 'That was how we did it last week' policies that usually end with 'or you're subject to disciplinary action.'

The new carrier scanners are pretty amazing, too. They now take a picture of the customer signature on the back of the 3849. And they'll scan barcodes printed in red ink. Anything that saves my having to punch in those long numbers is a huge improvement!

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 7:24 PM ET
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They do some amazing stuff with them when they work.  When they don't your letter going to the Fort Wayne area (zips 467xx and 468xx) gets to go to Hawaii first (zips 967xx and 968xx).

Or my husband, who grew up in Toronto, often had mail intended to go to him stop off in Ontario, California first, because someone didn't look at the zip and realize that 'M4N 2V1' means that 'ONTARIO, CA' means *Canada*. :->

 

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Date Posted: 7/3/2007 9:32 PM ET
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Jane, I think the point that's being missed is that Delivery Confirmation is NOT sold as a tracking service. What they are selling you (be it over the counter or eletronic) is a scan of the item upon delivery. The only reason the OTC versions are scanned is to add the price to the customer's total. The fact that it also shows as scanned when tracked is a "bonus" or by-product of the transaction, not a service you are paying for, as are any scans along the way. The only thing they're selling you is confirmation of delivery. Hope that helps,

Scott out

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Date Posted: 7/4/2007 1:55 AM ET
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We do the same at our office, Steve. The customers with prepaid postage, either over or under 1 pound, leave their parcels on the counter and our dispatch person picks them up to put in the appropriate equipment as they get the opportunity. No wait in line.



Last Edited on: 7/4/07 1:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 7/4/2007 4:13 PM ET
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I can see that happening Eloise.  Years ago when I was in mail processing it wasn't uncommon to see mail going too addresses in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico come here first.  Mexico's zip codes are also five numbers and apparently somewhere in Chihuahua uses 467xx, part of the area sorted for by Fort Wayne.

This was the early days of sorting machines (not automated, mail was hand keyed at a very fast rate by people) and what was ironic was some of it would be from Mexico to Mexico. 

We like the new scanners so well Connie that if given the chance two of the clerks will use the box section's scanner to deliver mail across the counter, it's a whole lot faster then using the POS system and having the customer sign on the repeater monitor.  The down side of doing that is it won't show up in the WOS stats but those are so stacked against us I doubt it matters.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/4/2007 5:30 PM ET
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i work for the post office and they don't have different rules just bad clerks. it doesn't take but a few seconds to scan the number just some of them don't want to take the time. i really am sorry for the way they acted it gives all of us a bad name.

pat

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Date Posted: 7/5/2007 3:33 PM ET
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Well, I solved my problem of a post office office refusing to scan the PBS-DC.....I went to a differerent po! 
I DID NOT put stamps on the book as I usually do.  The clerk scanned my package and told me how much postage to pay.  Of course, I knew in advance how much I was going to pay, but this way, no one refused the scan. 

You have to do what you have to do.......lol.....whatever works!!

 

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Date Posted: 7/5/2007 9:01 PM ET
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Glad to here it June.  As we've stated, if you are paying the postage the clerk needs to scan it to get the correct rate (although we've heard of cases here where they don't know that and won't).  It's the ones with pre-applied postage that the clerks aren't allowed to scan.

 

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 7/9/2007 6:52 AM ET
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I only ran into this problem once and it wasn't cause they refused she just missed it (I had other packages that didn't have DC)  Well about two days later my mailman brought it back to me cause I was short on postage. 

So what I don't understand is, if they don't want to scan it, then how do they figure your right postage even if they are just scanning it when it is received.

Another thing, when you get those green DC stickers right from the PO, they have to scan it.  So what is so differant with using the one here.  I think alot of the PO don't want to do it cause they are loosing money on DC by use using the once from here.

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Date Posted: 7/9/2007 12:37 PM ET
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The green slips, they don't know they've sold you until they scan them. When you buy a DC barcode from PBS, the post office right away knows there is going to be a package in the system with that number. The info you get when you click the first circle on the package's route on the map isn't from being scanned, it's from you buying the barcode.



Last Edited on: 7/9/07 12:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 7/9/2007 5:18 PM ET
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I always go into the post office and have them weigh my packages, that way I can check to see if first class is the cheaper option. Three different clerks at my post office tried to tell me that my preprinted DC labels were free and argued with me when said that if they scanned it, an additional .18 would be added to the price of the postage.  Two ignored me and simply printed out the postage; one of them was a real grouch who informed me that she'd been working there for 23 years and she KNEW her damn job..  Being a polite individual who didn't feel the need to make a big issue out of this, I let it go. Later, all of those books were scanned into the system.  I asked the receivers if they'd been charged additional postage on their end, but none had.  I finally convinced the third clerk to scan a book and she was surprised that an additional amount came up.  LOL!  Ever since that day, not one of the nice people at my post office goes without scanning my packages.

 

Coffee avatar
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Date Posted: 7/9/2007 6:45 PM ET
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Danni, the employees aren't supposed to scan the DC on the ones with pre-paid postage on them.  If you are mailing them across the counter and paying the postage they are suppose to scan them, that's how the proper rate gets figured.  If you've read this entire thread and a few of the others then you know the major problem is a lot of postal workers aren't aware that there are other types of DC besides those provided by the PO and PayPal.

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Date Posted: 7/26/2007 6:03 PM ET
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Today I went to my PO and they refused to touch my packages that had the preprinted DC on them. 

They were told never to scan a preprinted DC. 

They were told never to touch a package that had a preprinted DC on it. 

They told me they can't accept any packages over the counter with preprinted DC's on them.

Also, they told me that I HAVE to purchase postage online and can't use stamps since they would then have to touch the package.  This all came from their downtown corporate offices.

 OK, OK, so I understand all that Steve has been saying about cutting down lines etc, etc, BUT do you think all the PO's around the country could possibly get it together and follow the same procedures?  It's very frustrating to me to receive packages that have the preprinted DC on them and have obviously been paid for over the counter at their local PO.  I'm not mad at my local people since they are just doing what they are told to do and I would never jeopardize anyone's job over something fairly trivial like this.

So, I took back all my packages, logged onto Paypal and paid for my 8 labels that included DC.  I'll drop them off tomorrow at the PO since the postal carriers can't pick up mail that isn't first class from my home. 

Frustration level-High.  If there was another option other than the USPS I would take it in a NY minute.

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Date Posted: 7/26/2007 6:51 PM ET
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Doree, sorry for the problems.  It's very frustrating for us too to have to deal with the inconsistancies in the PO. 

A suggestion.  Suggest they read the DMM on it and ask for the phone number to their District Customer Service Rep.  Call the rep. and explaine the problem.  Point out the rate charts wouldn't have a charge for Electronic DC paid over the window if they weren't suppose to do it.

That's the best I can do for you but I strongly encourage you to follow up on this, they need to be straightened out.

Susanaque avatar
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Date Posted: 7/26/2007 7:28 PM ET
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I have never had a problem with scaning packages when I am going to pay for all the postage at the counter.  There has been a couple time when the clerk made the comment they will scan it when the package is delivered.........I just said, "that may be, but you'll have to scan the barcode now if you want your money"...and she did.  One lady said "the dc is free...took another look and said, oh no, it isn't.  Not one problem.   Does anyone want to mail from my post office????

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Date Posted: 8/9/2007 9:35 PM ET
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This seems like a big hassle.  I just may stop using DC in general.   And I wasn't using it for the quick credit - I just liked having a record for the person I was shipping the book to - in case they were ever saying they didn't receive it.

NewRuth avatar
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Date Posted: 8/10/2007 10:43 AM ET
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bump, so we dont loose Steve's answers on this one.

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