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Topic: What is this about the PO being allowed to openmy Media Mail?

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Subject: What is this about the PO being allowed to openmy Media Mail?
Date Posted: 9/9/2007 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 47
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I heard about this from somewhere...and perhaps it has been brought up before on the forums, but was too lazy to look for it :)

I have heard how others have received personal notes, etc. in with their books (which I have done) but that the PO could open our mail if it states it is Media Mail and would not allow one with a note it in to be delivered?  What is up with that?  And what are the odds that our mail would be opened?  Is it based on it's size/appearance?

I understand the need for security measures, but it's a book, darn it!


Date Posted: 9/9/2007 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Here's the link to the thread, Brandy.http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=71363

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 11,045
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It has nothing to do with security - it is because people abuse the lower cost of media rate to send other things, which is illegal and costs the post office a lot of money. The post office already loses money on media rate so being able to inspect MM packages is just their way of making sure that people aren't scamming them by shipping non-book items. It happens more often than you might think so I certainly don't blame them for doing so.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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Here is a http://pe.usps.gov/search/jsp/search/vv_docread.jsp?k2dockey=http%3A%2F%2Fpe.usps.com%2Ftext%2Fdmm300%2F173.htm%40PE_DMM300_HTML_5&serverSpec= to the rules.

I don't blame them, either. Here is the part talking about inspection:

"Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at Media Mail rates constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents."

What bothers me is the over-enthusiastic inspectors who see a note enclosed with a book and declare that the whole package is illegal use of Media Mail, when their own regulations state:

" Incidental First-Class matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Media Mial piece without payment of First-Class postage. An incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if  mailed separately, would require First-Class postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel."

I'm not sure what to do about that. Print out the regs and write a note on the back? ;~)


Date Posted: 9/10/2007 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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Even with the PBS wrapper on my books, the post office often stamps the package with "Media Mail - Subject to Inspection" when I pay at the counter.

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2007
Posts: 2,461
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I've had my packages inspectede 3 times when mailing out and 4 times receiving... that was a while ago.  Not many lately.


Date Posted: 9/11/2007 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,817
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All media mail I take to the PO is stamped with the "This may be inspected" stamp.    This is certainly not a new policy.    My packages are taped so tightly that they'd have a hard time getting into them.   But if that's what they choose to do, no problem as far as I'm concerned.