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Topic: Reciever Charged for DC?

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Subject: Reciever Charged for DC?
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 3
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Today I got two books with a label printed that has DC.  Why am I being charged?  According to the PO they say it wasn't paid for and are charging me.  I don't use the postage service here so have never used DC.  I have gotten books before with DC but not charged.  Is this normal?  If so I don't want DC anymore.   I mail out more books than I order so it is sort of redundant to be paying both ways.  BUT if the sender already paid (and I will be contacting them next) we shouldn't be paying twice.


Date Posted: 4/20/2009 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 3
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OK online postage users, tell me if I have this correct.

When a person prints out postage here an additional 18 cents is added to the mailing postage to cover the delivery confirmation.  If the postage is applied at the PO then it should include an additional 18 cents.  How does the PO know this?  Does the DC scan that is what is owed?

Do I have it correct that PBS foots the rest?  Or some sort of agreement with USPS?  I am not clear on that.  I want to have my facts straight before I go in and let Dave know I shouldn't be charged.

Also now my Postmaster is saying I owe .75 cents each.  How can I prove it was paid?  Should the postage strip say it?  How in the world does he know it wasn't paid for? 

HELP.  I want to open the books but I cannot until I get this straightened out.  BTW I can't print anything so I need to be able to tell him.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Christine. I use online postage but not from PBS. 

If you buy DC online (and it seems like you have to from what it says below)  then it costs 18 cents.

Not sure what you mean by "applied at the PO" -- there are some people who just ship with PBS-DC (for 27 cents to PBS plus 18 cents to PO), print the wrapper out with this at home,  and pay for this (someone help me out here--did you already pay the 45 cents when you printed out the wrapper? or just the postage for whatever the book weighs?) at the post office. That costs 45 cents. However, if you don't use PBS-DC and you arrive at the post office and decide to buy DC, you are buying it retail at 75 cents.

I don't think PBS foots the rest. It's a difference in the price of the DC depending on where it's bought--online or at the PO. In fact, users have to pay an additional 27 cents to use PBS-DC. But I think they do have a special agreement with USPS for this.

I think it's an issue of some postal workers not being familiar with how PBS-DC works. If you can post some information about the weight of the package, what the postage strip shows, and whether there are any DC stickers with flourescent green that would be helpful. 

I love figuring out how the USPS works.  

Here's some relevant info cut and pasted from the PBS FAQ regarding online postage:

The fee to USPS is 18 cents (for the electronic DC). Delivery Confirmation is required by USPS for all printable postage, so the option to print postage without DC is not available.

  • With PBS DC, you pay 27 cents (to PBS, from your PBS Money) + 18 cents (in postage on the package) = 45 cents over postage cost.
  • With PBS Printed Postage, you pay 43 cents (includes Instant credit fee paid to PBS plus the fee paid to the online postage provider)  from your PBS Money  + 18 cents (to USPS, from your PBS Money) + postage (from your PBS Money) = 61 cents over postage cost
  • Date Posted: 4/20/2009 8:31 PM ET
    Member Since: 1/24/2009
    Posts: 98
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    Is the DC preprinted by PBS?
    What is the amount of postage on the book?
    If it was mailed at the medai mail rate it should have $2.23 + .18 or a total of $2.41.  (If under 1lb with the wrapping)

    To prove it to him have him scan it into the clerk's Pos unit as if you were mailing it. The DC should scan as 18 cents.

    If the DC was not preprinted and is a bright Green sticker and the book was sent Media Mail then the DC does cost 75 cents and the postage should be $2.23 + .75 = $2.98

    If they are a very small PO and can't check the price in their computer you might be able to find something about it in the 
    Domestic Mailing Manual at USPS.COM. 

    Most PO's are modern enough to scan so I don't think you'll have to resort to that.

    Good Luck!

    Date Posted: 4/21/2009 2:10 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/27/2008
    Posts: 687
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    basically- your post master is an uneducated boob....

    was it a little green sticker?- if yes- i have no idea.... (sorry)

    please let us know how this turns out for you!

    Last Edited on: 4/22/09 1:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 4/22/2009 1:22 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/28/2006
    Posts: 14,177
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    If the two books were from different members, your PO is almost certainly in error.  It would require some very odd circumstances for a PBS book to arrive with printed DC fees due (and certainly not two from seperate members).  The exception would be if the weight is calculated incorrectly, but the DC is highly unlikely to be the issue.

    Basically when members purchase PBS DC we pay a fee to PBS, that's a fee not postage or DC.  When the postage is purchased (either PBS OR USPS) the actual DC cost is included with the postage.  Therefore, the book sender(s) almost certainly paid the DC charges when they purchased postage (by whatever method).

    PS - some postal employees know there is a seperate PBS fee (somewhere), but don't know what or where so they they try and account for it in their system and get confused.  Of course it doesn't show in the USPS system, and if they were more knowledgeable they would know the label couldn't be printed without prepayment.  They need to quit overthinking the issue and just do their part, which is scan & deliver.

    The bright green sticker would be the ones you can pick up in the USPS lobby as opposed to DC printed on the PBS label?

    Last Edited on: 4/22/09 1:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
    Connie C. (Cade) - ,
    Date Posted: 4/22/2009 6:10 PM ET
    Member Since: 10/29/2006
    Posts: 24
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    Okay, it doesn't matter whether the DC is on the pre-printed label or the green applied label. DC is NEVER postage due. If DC is not paid for then the delivery person is not to scan the package, pure and simple. So, I will say that your postmaster is uneducated. Now, you do want to straighten this out with him/her because, as said before, they obviously do not know how PBS/DC works. Because whether you are charged postage due or the labeled does not get scanned, you are not getting the service you (or the sender) paid for. I am a Postmaster and believe me I know the rules. Unfortunately, if your postmaster is in a little office, they usually start out as part-time sub called PMR's who are really under trained and then they move on to Postmaster in that or another little office. This is because a career employee from a bigger, better trained office usually will not take a job at a really small office. I deal with this kind of stuff all the time.

    I'm fortunate in that I mail my packages from my office so I never have a problem and I don't have any delivery problems from the office that services my house.

    Date Posted: 4/22/2009 7:42 PM ET
    Member Since: 2/10/2008
    Posts: 1,080
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    If the DC is printed at home (normally black and white) the USPS fee is 18 cents. If the postage is paid on the label (normally says $$$$ paid and weight is ### and the upper left corner is either an "M" or solid black for media mail) the fee is included in the price paid. If the label is NOT paid (looks close to the paid except it says postage required near the upper right corner) the 18 cents needs paid when the postage is paid either at the post office or with any other form of postage.

    If the DC is a bright green label, the USPS fee is 75 cents (exception for priority mail) when the postage is paid. 

    Ask the Postmaster to show you how much has been paid and how much it weighs.  Up to one pound media is $2.23 plus either 18 or 75 cents for the correct postage. Up to two pounds is $2.58 plus 18 or 75 cents.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.

    Date Posted: 4/29/2009 7:30 AM ET
    Member Since: 11/15/2008
    Posts: 3,308
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    This happens to me, but it happens locally so I get the book back when I send it.  It only happens w/ PBS DC and stamps not printable postage.  It always comes back w/ me owing 75 cents.  I talked to the local post office and they roll their eyes and mention the local sorting center.  I've given up using it, but if it's on your end, I would definitely have a talk with the folks in your local PO