Overcharged Postage....Filed with Postal Inspector....

dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)December 11, 2008

Just wanted to let you all know, I filed a complaint today with the postal inspector and I think that any of you who have paid package pricing for large envelopes should do the same. I'll post my complaint to them below. My next step is the media.

Where to file....


my complaint.....

This seems to be a nationwide problem. According to postal rates, a large envelope and = or (Large Envelope

Dimension Minimum* Maximum

Height 6-1/8 inches 12 inches

Length 11-1/2 inches 15 inches

Thickness 1/4 inch 3/4 inch

* Large envelopes exceed at least one of these dimensions.

For example, an envelope 10 long x 8 inches high x 1/4 inch thick is considered a large envelope because it exceeds the minimum height dimension.

Large envelopes that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly thick pay package prices.

For large envelopes, length is the longest dimension.

For larger items, see package prices.)

If I place two stamps (actually paying over by .01) I have no problem placing my large bubble envelope, which is size 000 or 4" x 7" and less than 3/4 of an inch thick, in the mailbox and it gets to its destination.

This is not the case if I take the mailers to the USPS desk and it is happening everywhere. Clerks are purposely charging PACKAGE pricing for large envelope pricing. I have a receipt for 5 envelopes that I mailed on Tuesday. Each one was charged out at $1.17 and when I asked the clerk why the difference, I was informed that bubble mailers don't qualify for large envelope pricing. Interesting, they are not rigid, they are only 1/4 inch thick and they certainly don't go beyond the size requirements. When I explained the guidelines to the clerk, that are stated on the USPS website, she looked puzzled and told me she would have to check with her boss, who wasn't in. So I was overcharged on these 5 packages. I am in contact with folks all over the nation that this very same thing is happening to. So how much overcharging do you think is actually going on? How many million packages do you think are being charged an extra $.34 across the nation? An investigation may be interesting eh?

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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Sorry that USPS.gov not .com :x oops

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:41PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

Good job! It happens to me quite often too.. so now I try to avoid going to the actual post office as much as possible in order to avoid the issues.. that doesn't fix the problem tho! I am also planning on buying my own small postal scale for larger trades. Now I just go the post office to buy stamps and to mail boxes. Who knows how much $$ I get tricked out of on those! :(
Good work !


    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:58PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Good job. Now the question is this. Will you get a response? never mind something actually being done about it.

This has been going on since the latest changes and it appears that no one in the postal system seems to really care. At least in terms of doing something nationally to correct the problem.

Even my local postmaster doesn't really care. He wants all bubblies mailed by me, brought to him personally and he will determine if they really qualify for the large envie bit.

Don't ask what I had to say to him about his "brilliant idea".
Needless to say, he has never had any of them delivered to him personally.

I bought a digital scale, weigh everything and then put on the postage myself, drop them in the box outside the local post office and off they go.
If i'm sending out SASBE, i weigh everything so I know exactly how much postage is needed to send the SASBE.

One problem that was left out of your complaint though it this. You may have the correct postage on the mailer, you may have even been charged the correct postage at the post office. BUT, once it leaves the mailing location, it can have added postage required added to it on the other end.

I call it government theft, and something really needs to be done about this.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 4:29PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Fran, it absolutely is theft. None of us owe the money, so why are they charging it? How many million packages a week are being shipped across the nation for an additional $.34. Wish I could make a million times $.34 a week how about you? Heck they're raising the rates without even letting anyone know. My curiosity makes me wonder who's pocket that extra money is going in to.

So far, "knocking on wood", I've never had a package sent on for postage due. You can bet that if I caught wind of it, I'd be stomping mad!

If I don't get a response on this, I'm dead serious, I'm going to the media! Have a friend that is a news reporter for our local tv station. She'd love to get her hands on something like this. And I'll be more than happy to put it into writing and forward it on to the multitude of newspapers. Not to mention all of the media fraud investigations for consumer protection. Somehow it needs to stop!

Upon filing my complaint this is what was said....

"U.S. Postal Inspectors base their investigations on the number, substance, and pattern of complaints received from the public. We ask you to keep all original documents related to your complaint. We will contact you ONLY if more information is needed."

So again, I encourage any of you that have been overcharged to do the same thing. It's pretty wild inputting the USPS in the who line lol.

Use the website in the OP if you want.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:23PM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

I have to take my envelopes into the post office. I was putting them in my mailbox until they started being returned to me saying there was not enough postage so I had to start over! We then started putting them in the outside mailbox at the post office until they posted a sign that mail would be returned...it had to be taken inside to be weighed.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 3:22PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

If I take mine, even with a single pack of petunia seeds, to the PO, I get charged $1.17. If I mail it from home, it gets there fine with 2 stamps. I try to mail everything from home. My mail carrier has never complained. I have a scale, so for the swap I'm hosting, I'll be weighing each package before they go back to make sure I am affixing enough stamps. Any extras can go back in the envie before I seal.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 2:13AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

So here's the postal charges on bubblies that came in the mail for SASBE.

All had nothing more than either a 3x5 piece of paper listing seeds I am sending out and postage or an 8x10 inch piece of paper with the list of seeds on it and postage.

4x7 bubblie charged $1.17 on printed postage from tn
4x7 bubble charged $1.17 on printed postage from tx
6x9 bubblie $.42 postage stamp and added $.41 printed postage = $.83 from TX
6x9 bubblie with 3 $.42 postage stamps on it TX
6x9 bubble with 2 $.42 postage stamps on it CA
6x9 bubble with $1.17 printed postage from PA
8x10 bubble with 3 $.42 postage stamps from KS

Same old, same old, nothing every changes, nothing ever corrected.

Will any of us live long enough to see the post office correct their errors across the country and get it right?

Beginning to think that if we live to be a million years old, we will still be seeing the same old stupidity.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 11:41AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

New plan to prove the point to the post office on this insanity.

Every time I get a bubblie in the mail, I am going to document it with a digital picture.

Close up of the postage on the mailer, no matter who put the postage on, no matter how much is on it, no matter whether it is right or wrong on the mailer and document the size of each of the mailers with a picture.

Then I will store them with the date I received each mailer in a photobucket album.

Pictures will document our proof of what is going on far better than all our complaints, all our words we say, they can't dispute the mailers when we have pictures to prove the over charges


    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Fran...I am writing you an email now. While I know you know what is well under 3/4", taking a pic of it is no proof that it is under 3/4" Maybe when you take the pic, you could also note on the pics, what the contents of the BE were...like 2 stamps, and 2 small pieces of paper, which is what would likely be contained in a BE if you are sending seeds for postage.

I received my First Class Mail Shape Based Pricing Template. My postmaster ordered it for me. Anyone else who wants one should be able to get it. I will start another post a bit later with the info on what to ask for, what to print out to show the PO, and what to tell the PO about where to order them. They likely will not know, as my postmaster didn't, until he asked and found out.
My postmaster had said he would help if there were problems in members getting the templates, but I really don't think he realizes that it is quite likely that no one can get them, though he was able to giterdun and get me one...bless his heart.

Sue...startin to twitch...I have been avoiding this thread for several days now, trying to get a lot of other things done which are hard to do when I'm twitchin.

My First Class Mail Shape Based Pricing Template...
Notice 3-S June 2008
PSN 7530-10-000-0765

Cool, huh?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 11:16PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Sue, have all the info listed with the pics in a tag. Everyone of them had nothing more than a piece of paper with a list of seeds on it and postage stamps. These bubblies where all for SASBE.

I want one of those templates and no need to ask my idiot postmaster for help. He doesn't know what the word help means. He's the one that wants all the mailers delivered to him so that he can determine that they really do meet the standards fro large envelopes. If he decides that they do, they will post correctly, otherwise they won't. Of course I have to get them to him and then go back and get them so I can then go to the post office and mail them with the correct postage on the mailers, per what he says the correct postage will be.

When "pigs fly, chicken's have lips" and any other good sayings you have will I do what my postmaster wants.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 12:48AM
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My husband had this problem when he went to mail some of my seeds at the post office near his work. They said they had to charge him "package rates". Problem is that particular post office is notorious for not giving a hoot about the customer.. and no amount of arguing will change their mind.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Same with me, if i mail them from the post office in town get charged package rate. Mail from the mailbox I dont and it goes through the same post office. Now when i go to the post office next town over, they do it right....

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 2:40AM
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mikey-gardener(6a,6b, kcmo)

I am just a newbie here and just mailed 5 BEAP off at the post office inside and no matter where they went, whether it was oregon, Texas, ohio, Pa, Ga, they dummys still charge me $1.22 just to mail an empty BEAP. No wonder they are called a P.O. CAUSE THAT IS WHAT I AM RIGHT NOW. BEING RIPPED ON TAXES, ON POSTAGE, AND ON EVERYTHING ELSE. And I haven't even got start with my ranting and raving yet. The post master ( at my local post office) will hear from me personally. Cause I hate thieves!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 10:20AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

This just makes me sick to read of a PO in MO still overcharging, and I'm not sure where the other two Post Offices are located for alaskamazon and yotetrapper.

Why, why, why, after 2 1/2 years are postal workers not informed about the proper pricing on bubble envelopes? Why are they still using their antiquated way of thinking that all bubble envelopes must go as parcels, thus be charged Parcel Rate?

Mikey, why not ask to speak with the Post Master/Mistress and ask that they refund the amount you were overcharged. I would think then that they might have to prove to you that all BE are parcels. Why not ask that they reference their First Class Mail Shaped-Based Pricing Template.

Like this....

For those of you still being overcharged, you might go to the link below and print out the requirements for Flats...ie Large Envelopes


Here is a link that might be useful: Physical Standards for Flats...aka Large Envelopes

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 2:34PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Sue -

My post office overcharges but actually gives me a rather logical reason for it.

If I send a 0.8 oz thin flat bubbly, they routinely charge it at the package rate.

When I discussed this in person with them, they said that yes - I could send it as an envelope at the lower rate, but then it goes from the desk clerks hands to the bin that goes straight to a mechanical sorting / seed shredding machine.

If it has parcel postage on it it goes into a different bin and never goes anywhere near the seed crushers.

I chose to pay the extra parcel rate instead of testing to see whether the bubbly will zoom through the automatic machinery safely. It probably would make it through just fine - but I'd rather not even take the chance.

So anyway, that's how our local postie clerk explains how things are done here. But I'd bet you a stamp that the postie at the next down down the road has a different way of doing things. :)


    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 8:15PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

When I discussed this in person with them, they said that yes - I could send it as an envelope at the lower rate, but then it goes from the desk clerks hands to the bin that goes straight to a mechanical sorting / seed shredding machine.
Lynda, I'd say that about 50% or a little better are being mailed as a Large Envelope rate and go through the mechanical sorting. See the picture of the template above. There is a 3/4" slot for Large Envelopes and the mechanical sorting equipment handles bubble envelopes just fine. That is also why the contents need to be evenly distributed and taped in place so there is no shifting and making the envelope go over the 3/4" allowance.

Your PO employees must not know that the sorting equipment can handle Large Envelopes. I wonder just what they think that template is for anyway. Maybe they think if a letter is over 1/4" that it too needs to go as a parcel.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 7:19PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Thanks for the info Sue.

I have not been taping seeds in place so I'm guessing that's one of the reasons the clerks are steering it toward the small package bin.

I guess I should really start taping for small and flat seeds. For lumpier things (ones with bean seeds or similar) I'll probably err on the side of caution - even though I guess that's really overkill.

Probably should also write "this is a large envelope, postage attached for large envelope rate" or "this is a small package, postage attached for small package rate" so when I send it from home I never leave them guessing as to whether or not I've really intended to send it large envelope.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 8:06PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

I'm still awaiting response from our local USPS office manager. It will take yet another phone call (only 4 so far...@ 1 per month) to the Consumer Affairs office. This individual refuses to call...so there must be some form of recourse on refusal to serve "we the people" or are we just "we the tax and postal cost payers?"

Well I'm bound and determined to utilize that flat rate box for its maximum weight of 70 lbs. Looking for someone to make a lead block to fit that large flat rate...just to send it clear across the US! No I'm not mad...I'm getting even lol. I'd like to address it to our local manager in the PO....but I don't know his name or address.

Anybody need some natural sand? I have a nice beach full of it, I can send it flat rate...any takers?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 9:59PM
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cherone7(Zone 8 - Central MS)

"So far, "knocking on wood", I've never had a package sent on for postage due. You can bet that if I caught wind of it, I'd be stomping mad! "

Funny I read this tonight.... I had an envelope come in today marked "Postage Due: $0.20" Someone between there and here apparently didn't agree, cause my postman left it without collecting! (hee hee)

I guess I'm REALLY lucky, cause all the stuff I've sent out so far, has gone for 2 stamps; one if it was for an SASBE. But then, I know more than half of the postal workers at my PO, and they're ALL ABOUT doing it right! (Hey, for ONCE, MS isn't at the BOTTOM of a list!!!! At least not THIS office! lol)

I had noticed the differences in postage in stuff I'm getting though.... someone paid over $2 for a package!! I feel BLESSED that they cared enough and is financially comfortable enough to DO that!! And for a SANTA gift! I'm seeing that MOST of the swap's present is the postage to get it TO you! And THAT is SAD!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:13PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Well a quick update to a long saga...

I mailed a large package stuffed with seeds, to a Round Robin that I'm participating in, on Dec 21, 2009. Lo and Behold that package arrived back to me, plastered with stickers saying it would not be mailed due to the fact that it was over 13 oz and I didn't hand deliver it, on December 24th!! Interestingly, I recalled checking the weight to put proper postage on it and the weight on my postal scale said 12 oz. STOMPING MAD...DH made me calm down...so I weighed it...with all the stamps and stickers, it gained .2 oz. Well it could have gone at the 12 oz price had they not placed all the blasted stickers all over it, but it was FAR from over 13 oz.

Guess where I went Monday morning??? You guessed it! Well actually on Christmas Eve, I contacted the postal Consumer Affairs division and filed another formal complaint and explained that I'm still awaiting a phone call from the blasted Postal Manager of our local post office. I used a few colorful words with him and he just continued typing knowing I was MORE than angry!

After walking up to the counter on Monday AM and placing my package on the counter, the postal worker started with attitude. I said nothing other than, will you please weigh this package for me. He grabbed the package and forcefully put it on the scale. I waited.....

Now for the blank...oops look on his face, he said, "Oh it's 12.2 oz...someone must have messed up."

Well I made sure that everyone in that office heard every word I said. I told him I wanted proof of the weight as I had a formal complaint filed and this WILL be resolved! Amazingly his attitude did a complete 180. He said, "Well it must have happened after leaving the local PO..." I stopped him and said, "Those stamps would have been cancelled if that were the case! I know EXACTLY where that problem occurred and if it isn't handled, there will be a formal investigation and I will contact the media! If the idiot who weighed the package had charged postage, I'd have been charged for Priority or at least 2 oz more than what was owed on it! That's FRAUD!!" He apologized profusely and I turned and said, "I don't want your apology! I want an apology from the division that I'm at WAR with! But thank you anyway."

I made sure everyone in that room heard exactly what was going on.

Still my 2 cents...and growing roots awaiting the SECOND phone call that was supposed to have come by Tuesday. So Monday morning I'll be on the phone again.

I don't expect a quick resolution to this issue, but I'm becoming quite well known with the postal employees and Consumer Affairs. You know the squeaky wheel gets the oil....so I'll continue to squeak and be a nice big ol' thorn in their side until they fix this problem with the lack of common sense and decency. You know none of them make mistakes...ask them, they'll rip your head off. Cause they are always right and we are always wrong...

I'm off my soap box now ;) but I will certainly keep you updated...don't hold your breath...cause I'm not holding mine lol.



    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 5:36PM
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