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Topic: Question for any postal workers

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Subject: Question for any postal workers
Date Posted: 10/25/2007 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
Posts: 436
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Okay, here's what happened. A month ago I mailed a package from a blue box. I knew from the size of it that I would need to send it media mail. So I'd affixed postage, addres, etc and sent it on its way.


So fast forward to yesterday and today. I get the mail yesterday and much to my shock, the package came back to me! A month later! I had no idea why it'd come back. Today, I left a note for my regular mail carrier. She's incredibly nice and always takes the time to help me out with problems, so I knew it would be okay.


Today she gets the mail and goes up to the house and talks to my mom. Basically, she couldn't figure out why the package had been sent back either. Then she told my mom that she thinks maybe it's because of my stamp. I used a meter mail stamp I'd bought about a month and a half ago. I'm disabled, and it helps to just buy several at a time.


Let me just cut to the chase...my mail carrier said she thinks maybe it's because the meter mail stamp I bought could only be used on the day I purchased. My mom was baffled. She said we've always been doing things this way. My mail carrier even called her supervisor to ask, and he didn't know as well.


So this is my question for any postal workers out there... Have I been doing this wrong? Am I only supposed to use the meter mail stamps on the day I purchase them? I've never had a problem until now and it's really worrying me. I've sent out a few other packges recently using the same dated meter mail stamp.


I'll say thanks in advance for any replies!

Natalie B.

Date Posted: 10/25/2007 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,234
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Steve, the resident postal worker, talked about stale postage in another thread. Essentially, you are supposed to use it the day its printed and they can send a package back (or not take it) for stale postage, but it isn't always caught. If you do a search of the forum for stale postage you will find his post.

Date Posted: 10/25/2007 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Natalie, if you are using an actual metered stamp--using a postage meter to create a metered label with the amount of postage on it and the date--it must be mailed the day it's metered for. But if you're using postage bought from the APC machine at the PO, the date on these labels are 'date of SALE' and not a metered date. The APC postage says that right on the label. It shouldn't be considered a metered date. But we all know how individual POs interpret rules in different ways.

I found a reference in the linked notice to the APC date for tax returns. If you'll look in the paragraph after the hours of operation in this USPS news release, you'll see it says that the APC date is NOT an official postmark. So you should be able to use those APC stamps just like a regular stamp.

Here's the link   http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/localnews/ks/ks_2007_0410.htm


Last Edited on: 10/25/07 10:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2007 2:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
Posts: 436
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Thanks for the responses. I haven't checked out any of the links yet, but I wanted respond really quick.


I usually send my brother to that machine right outside the post office. As far as I know, the date on the stamp is the date of sale. How do I know if the stamps I have are from an APC? I've used this same exact machine for as long as I've been on PBS. Even back when postage for media mail was $1.59. I've never had a book come back to me.


Thanks again for the replies. In the meantime, I'm going to check out if my stamps are from an APC. Oh, but before I post this, what is this metered stamp that was talked about? The one that has to be used on the date of sale? Just so I can decipher between the stamps from the APC and this one.




Edited to say that I just asked my brother if the place he bought the stamps from was an APC, and he confirmed that it was in fact an APC. Hmm. So what's going on?

Last Edited on: 10/26/07 2:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2007 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,234
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Your package passed under the nose of an uneducated newbie at a PO somewhere. Hopefully you didn't have to pay the postage again.

Date Posted: 10/26/2007 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Natalie, that machine in the PO that lets you use a credit or debit card is the APC machine.  so it sounds like someone at the PO didn't know that or realize that or something.  although they look different than metered postage so not sure how they could confuse them unless they are new

Last Edited on: 10/26/07 1:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1