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Postage question revisited.

Posted by proudgm_03 6MO (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 6, 07 at 21:28

Just wanted everyone to know that I am experimenting with mail rates. I have been sending out small trades with 2 stamps. I'm not taking anything to the post office anymore. I receive trades with 2 stamps all the time and sometimes even with 1. So, if you get a trade from me with postage due, let me know and I will make it right. I am sick and tired of the post office not being able to get it right.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Postage question revisited.

Ha! That sounds familiar! After several frustrating episodes with postal workers who seem to be universally unenlightened at the local level, I started dropping mine in the mailbox outside the post office with two stamps on them and not one has been returned to me and no one has indicated that they arrive postage due.
My mail carrier refuses to take ANY bubble envelopes from my home at all because he says they must be taken in person for security reasons. Try explaining the 13 ounce rule to a wooden Indian and you will have better luck, even though it is clearly posted inside the post office itself! I empathize with what must be a challenging existence for him.
I thought postal workers had to pass a test? I have to believe that this kind of cluelessness is a local issue. Otherwise, it is too scary to contemplate.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

At this time the first ounce is $.41 each additionalis .17

God Bless


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RE: Postage question revisited.

aj...

those prices are for first class under 1/4 inch think. All bubble mailers are over 1/4 inch think even when empty...thus the problem of the postal workers across the country not all trained properly, and charging many different prices.

Maybe in time they will all 'get it right'.

Sue


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I dont know if everyone has seen this,it was updated 9~13~07,I hope it is of some help!(I am still confused!)~Angie

Here is a link that might be useful: Mailing standards of the USPS


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Our postmaster recently retired, he knew rates and regs by heart. Today the new guy charged me $1.13 each for average size bubble envelopes. He said they are a lot more trouble to handle.
Gunnysack


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I've mailed about 50 bubble envelopes in the last two months and carry them inside to have them weighed and stamped. All of them cost .80 cents because they said they were considered a large envelope, was more than 1/4 inch and less than 3/4 inch, and was one ounce or less. At least half of them was weighed and stamped by the same guy with no problems. This morning I took a BE inside to check the weight and postage and the same guy tried to charge me .97 cents. He must have had a massive brain fart or something. I told him he was wrong and he told me he was tried of people telling him how to do his job. So we stood there and argued loudly until he finally stamped it and then he asked if I was happy. I said yes and left the building and then the parking lot loudly. Probably shouldn't have done that but I was pissed and still am.


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Work around?

I am about to give up! I can't even discuss the latest issues with my P.O. and remain calm and rational, but I noted something today that I would like to experiment with.
Someone responded to a SASBE offer and sent me a bubble envelope inside a plain envelope. The plain brown envelope concealing the ordinary sized bubble envelope traveled to me for 41 cents. The bubble envelope inside the plain envelope had 2 stamps on it. It will cost more to send the bubble envelope with one flat little seed packet inside than to send the bubble envelope inside another plain envelope. I doubt the little seed packet adds significant girth. Still with me or am I making this hard to follow?
Does the mere sight of a bubble envelope send some postal workers into a state of confusion or was it just a fluke that the plain envelope with the contraband bubble envelope got through with one stamp?
If anyone is curious enough to send me their address, I will put a single seed packet inside a small bubble envelope and send that inside a plain envelope with 1 stamp and see if it comes back to me.
Oh. One more gripe. I sent an envelope of seeds to Canada yesterday. My P.O. charged 1.13 to send the exact envelope with one little pack of salvia domestically. The one I sent to Canada with the same size packet, same number of salvia seeds cost 1.00 to send. *#%*@# *%#$*#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: Postage question revisited.

  • Posted by kek19 5b-Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 10, 07 at 19:06

I just took a bubble envi to the post office for the first time. I've been doing just 2 stamps on bubble's. 1.35!!! She said it's the standard parcel package rate + weight! WHAT WEIGHT!?? I had one single lil pack of seeds, 2" square w/ a note in it. I told her I was swapping seeds and use bubble evi's w/ 82 cents all the time w/ no issues. (heck i've gotten them w/ 41 cent stamps) She just said that padded envelopes are now considered parcels not envelopes, and that changed in May, so I must've been mailing in May. I just started seed swapping in JULY!


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I'm going to wrap duct tape around my head so when it explodes they will be able to find all of the pieces.
Jim


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Well, I am so glad to see that I am not the only one with stupid PO workers. And Lime and I can both tell you that it does no good to contact the big, big, head honcho, (see our other postage post). So I am continuing to "guess" my own postage rates waiting to see if any of them come up postage due. Let me know.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Poisondartfrog said, "My mail carrier refuses to take ANY bubble envelopes from my home at all because he says they must be taken in person for security reasons."

gunnysack said, "Today the new guy charged me $1.13 each for average size bubble envelopes. He said they are a lot more trouble to handle."

Jim_6b said, "This morning I took a BE inside to check the weight and postage and the same guy tried to charge me .97 cents."

kek19 said, "She said it's the standard parcel package rate + weight!"
and
"She just said that padded envelopes are now considered parcels not envelopes, and that changed in May,"

Why don't you all call 1-800-275-8777. and complain. Why not DEMAND that they send you reimbursement for what you were overcharged. Ask that they mail you documentation to 'show' your postal workers what they should be charging?
Ask them to also send documentation especially to your PO, so they can get enlightened as well.

They are not going to get it right or get any better until enough people complain to the 'right' person.

Additionally there is a way to email them. I am now going to email them a link to this thread and all the others complaining about all the absurdities since the rate change.

Maybe we all need to email them...think?

Sue...resident busybody

Here is a link that might be useful: email United States Postal Service.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I hope you have better luck than I did! I used that form to complain about another issue. I print a lot of my postage online and was trying to take advantage of the scan form option which would help me verify that the local PO actually sends out my priority mail packages in a timely fashion instead of holding them in limbo for a day or two(I think they do sometimes, oh yes!). My mailman was not scanning the form and giving it back to me. He was marking on it and taking it with him because he was clueless. I tried to help him understand to no avail.
I bumped my complaint upstairs and got an email informing me that the PO in question was being trained on the use of SCAN forms because of my complaint and that I should have no more issues.
Great! I was elated. Until the next time I tried to mail a package with a scan form. The mail carrier told me that he would like to oblige me and now knew what to do, but for some reason his scanner just does not work away from the office, which he proceeded to demonstrate.
I emailed back twice to let the person who "fixed" the problem know that it was not resolved, but did not receive a response to my follow up.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I received bubble envelopes today, both contained the same amount of seeds or more than I paid $1.13 to send eariler this week, both these envelopes were delivered to me with 2 stamps and no postage due ! On monday I am going to call the number Sue listed.
Gunnysack


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Uh, Sue, we did complain. Remember back in July when Lime and I wrote to the head dog and it did absolutely no good as my copied letter attests. I also called the 800 number and got a lady as clueless and hateful as the rest of them.

RE: WANTED: postage question clip this post email this post what is this?
see most clipped and recent clippings

Posted by proudgm_03 6MO (My Page) on Fri, Aug 31, 07 at 17:10

I debated on whether or not to post this because it only goes to show that the PO is very good at BS. In other words I got no sensible response. But here goes. This is the letter that I received when I wrote to the gentleman that Lime gave the address for.
Dear Mrs. Banks:

This is in response to your correspondence to James Miller, USPS Board of Governors dated August 3, 2007. The office of the Board of Govenors forwarded your concern to my office, as revisions to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), including those surrounding changes in rates, fall within the responsibilities of Mailing Standards.

Your inquiry expresses concern over the general increase in rates of certain mailpieces resulting from our new "shaped based" pricing structure. Specifically, you refer to an increase in postage fees for flower and vegetable seeds enclosed in padded mailing bags or bubble wrap envelopes. In addition, you relate that there is confusion among customers and Postal employees regarding the application of the new standards.

Through the implementation of our shape based pricing structure, the United States Postal Service is assigning postage rates that relate directly to our expenses in processing, transporting and delivering each item accepted. As a result, many items that can be worked through automated processes have experienced only minimal rate increases and, in some cases have actually had their rates decrease. Others which must be worked manually have experienced a greater increase in rates.

There is typically a short period following any significant change in mailing standards where our employees are still becoming acquainted with some elements of the change. However, most employees should be familiar with the majority of the new structure by now. I suggest that you direct any future questions to the Postmaster at your local Post Office who can assist you with your mailing needs.

Our new pricing structure provides significant price incentives for those who can modify their mailpieces to move easily through our processing environment. It may be possible for you to also realize savings by packaging your seeds to meet the characteristics of a letter or flat-shaped mailpiece.

It may provide clarity by looking at the individual characteristics of any prospective mailpiece to determine if it first fits into the letter category, which must be between 5 and 11 1/2 inches in length, between 3 1/2 and 6 1/8 in height, and between .007 inch and 1/4 inch in thickness. The address must read parallel to the length and can not be rigid. If your item can not meet these characteristics, you would then see if it meets those of a flat-sized piece and finally a parcel.

I would suggest that you visit our Postal Explorer Website at http://pe.usps.com for a complete list of the elements that characterize each of the categories of mailable items. Also, for your convenience, I am enclosing a First-Class Mail template to assist you in this process.

I am pleased to be able to provide you with this information. Please contact Kevin Gunther of my staff at 202-266-7208 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Sharon Daniel
Manager

P&C:MS:WKGunter:PhyicalStandards:dmm101:873212

Okay. Let's look at this letter in detail.

Paragraph 1: S#*% rolls down hill. Mr. Miller delegated one of his underdogs to handle the situation.

Paragraph 2: Addresses my concern and clarifies my complaint.

Paragraph 3: Gives me the sob story of how much more it is costing the USPS to operate and why that cost is past down to me, the customer. Well, my heart bleeds for them.
Going to automated processes cuts down on the need for human beings to do the job. This increases unemployment so that the USPS can make a bigger profit.

Paragraph 4: Basically tells me that they need to revamp the way they train their employees on new changes. Obviously it wasn't done to 100% mastery or we wouldn't be having this problem. Having me direct any future inquiries to the Postmaster at my local Post Office is again letting the S#&% roll down hill. Let someone else deal with it. Besides I did talk to him and he made no more sense than the rest of them.

Paragraph #5: Tells me that I need to change what I do for the convenience of the government. If I make my packages look like everyone else's I can realize savings. So, when are they going to start expecting people to look like everyone else? When will they expect us all to move easily through our environment without having to bother with differences that slow up the process? When will they expect us to all go to the same church? When will disabilities become unacceptable? Laugh if you will, but discrimination of anything has always started with but one small step that is accepted by the majority.

Paragraph 6: I have a masters degree in educational administration (so I know BS is when I hear it) and that little bit of important, number filled, non-defining information did not clarify one single thing about my complaint. Dazzle them with BS and they will forget what they wanted to know.

Paragraph 7: The website that was listed does nothing to address the real issue of the complaint. It is the same thing we are being told at the post office and in this letter. Basically nothing. And I wish I had enough First-Class Mail templates to share with you all. No home should be without one.

Paragraph 8: She is pleased to provide me with useless information. And once again she rolls the S#@% further downhill.

There you have it, know you know. The confusion of the difference in mail rates has been made crystal clear. There has never been a problem with it at all. It's us. We're the problem. D@#% non-conforming postal patrons.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

The pressure is building. Applying more duct tape.
Jim


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Oops! I posted this on the wrong thread last evening. Copied and pasted:
Angie and I completed our shipping experiment this week. The results were very interesting and support the supposition that it is the "bubble" thing that scares all the postal workers. I can just imagine some mid-level bureaucrat who is asked to provide guidance about the new postal regulations issuing some lame memo that for the sake of avoiding confusion, just consider all bubble envelopes as packages.
This is what we did. I sent her two envelopes. One was a bubble envelope containing one packet of seeds with 2 first class stamps. I sent another bubble envelope concealed inside a plain manila envelope which contained the same kind and number of seeds in the same size packet using one first class stamp. Both envelopes traveled at the same speed directly to Angie, no holdups, no postage due. The lesson for me is this: recycle those plain manila envelopes just like I do the bubble ones and if I am mailing just one or two packets of seeds use the two envelope method. If one ever comes up postage due, I will happily make it right.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

The other day I received a bulky business size envelope...no extra postage..so I have cut a bubble envelope down, put the seeds inside and will be sending it out tommrow in a white business size envelope. If the people at the post office don't require extra postage I will be sending all my seeds out this way in the future.

Gunnysack


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Ok! I had my PO visit yesterday! Was good and bad! First,the supervisor seemed to understand what I was saying and he wants me to bring in examples of what I mail(ones he can keep) to show the woman at the PO I used to use!I will be mailing from a different neighborhood,I noticed some sort of weirdness from the Neanderathal of a woman they had at the desk! I am not stupid I know there will be some sort of issue if I use this PO. Her and I butted heads pretty good!She was giant and I am glad she didnt want to get physical! LOL! Ok enough of that,I did walk away with a copy of their template and a word of advice from the supervisior.He completely agreed that I was overcharged and of course was not able to do the refund! Was not surprised! Well,he had me go to the desk because he wanted to see how their clerks would charge.What a joke! I never seen so many stupid looks in my life! I am convinced their clerks are idiots (well I am sure there are some out there that arent)! I will refer to them as big lady and little lady,ok little lady takes envy and puts it on their template and weighs it and agrees on $.80,supervisior was proud,Then supervisior gets run over by big lady,he disappeared for a few and in the meantime this big moron starts shaking the envy so all the seeds bunch up in middle and explains this is why Miss PO general at the other office charged me a small parcel fee! then she grabs the sides of the envy and squeezed it with her big monkey hands ( I am so sorry but she really got to me!),and she said "See its not uniform in thickness" I wanted to say " Your skull apparently is"! I pointed out that it was fine before she shook and squeezed it.She then asked me if I wanted her to copy the template for me I said Oh yeah! So she did and let me tell you a 2 year old child could do her job with ease!I will have to try to match it up the best I can and tape to card board,I want to see if there is anyway I can get it on a file and share it! Give me some time If I can figure it out I will post a thread.So the problem at this office is the uniformity of the envy nothing else. Supervisior told me to tell all my seed buddies to tape the seeds inside envy so they do not bunch up.Do not use cardboard or anything else that will cause it to be un-flexible,and he said as long as it is uniform,flexible and under an ounce there should be no reason to be charged more.And of course keep it within the correct dimensions.I do believe this man was also frustrated with the whole thing,he was very nice and really does want to train his people right. I still think I am going to do some more complaining anyway,even if I am not useing this PO.When I said to big lady that I was going to mail from box from now on she tried to tell me if I mail a bunch at one time the Post Master will catch it and I will be charged more...Can you believe she thought I was that dumb!?! Please the PO Master is not doing routine uniformity tests! Give me a break. When she said this I just looked at her and she knew what my eyes were saying! LOL! I choose not to take the envies that Alana sent because I didnt want to draw attention to it and blow it for myself and boy after dealing with the big monkey I am glad I didnt.If you are going to use the 'Alana method' of mailing,please make sure your bubble envy fits perfect inside the manila envy. I think I know why it passes so well,the paper envy smooths out any inconsistencey and make sure it goes in the box. Do not mail all at one time from the same box if you mail from a box,it draws too much attention! Alana's bubble envy fit perfect inside the manila envy and was very smooth and watch the envies you re-use because if some bubbles are popped it will cause it to look like there is a bulge and some clerk will charge you $.33 more for this bulge.So in conclusion:

~Make sure the envy is within dimensions

~Make sure it is within the right weight for the rate you are going for.

~Prevent bulges,tape seeds down so they dont move and watch your envy,look at it before you put your seeds in and try to even it out!

~ Do not put anything in to cause it to be un-flexible.

~Do not do 'mass mailings from same PO zip',especially if you have complained!

~If using Alanas idea make sure everything fits just right!

I am going to do these things myself and see if there is a difference!So it was not exactly good but it wasnt bad either,pretty much the same as some other stories I've heard but better than some! Well thanks for letting me vent this and I hope we see some change in the future! :) ~ Angie


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Angie,
Thanks so much for taking the time to catch up with them, and spend time with them, while they all tried to get it right.

Your saga cracked me up totally. I think it would be fun to share it with the folks at the USPS email link.

~Do not do 'mass mailings from same PO zip',especially if you have complained!
I assume that is so the Postal BULGE Police won't catch them and want to charge parcel rates...right?

Sue


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RE: Postage question revisited.

You got it Sue! Thanks!~Angie :)


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RE: Postage question revisited.

It worked ! I cut a bubble envelope in half, put the seeds inside it and put the bubble envelope in a long white business envelope and mailed the whole thing for 41 cents ! The postal person was able to put them through the slot..which he did not bother with before. From now on I am mailing my seeds this way .
Gunnysack


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I think we are starting to find loop holes! I say everyone that finds a way to mail on one stamp to post here,the more ideas the better! I just received a trade with 9 packs of seed delivered in a regular white envy with bubble wrap mailed on one stamp! No postage due! She packed them very flat! I think the flatness is the key to our whole problem! The flatter the better! That way the Postal Bulge Police (lol! Sue!) dont catch on! I received a trade from a guy that did what Gunny did and they got here safe and sound with no problem! Except he used a smaller envy! One Stamp! I think this is probably the most ideal way,maybe the white envy throws them off,the yellow may confuse them into thinking they should charge more!So cover your yellow with the white and lets all see what happens! If anyone ends up with postage due please let the sending member know so we can detect any flaws in the system! All in all I think maybe putting our heads together we can find away around all this,which is more than the USPS has done! ~ Angie


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RE: Postage question revisited.

This is the funniest thread I've read in a long time. Here's my question, though -- I've tried cutting up a bubble envelope or just using plain bubble wrap inside a regular envelope, but when I measure it (even without any seeds inside), it seems to be just slightly more than 1/4 inch. Does the thickness really not matter? I'm afraid they won't be able to put it through their machine (although, really, do they have a separate machine just for letters)?


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I did my first large mailing of the year today 9 small bubble envies. I don't think I'm trading unless it's a larger # of seeds. supposedly the regular envies have to go thru the rollers(which can smash some seeds that is why we always used the bubbles) and the bubbles are hand stamped no seed smashing . My lady was nice and any bubble envie is now a package the lowest price is $1.13 but in the last couple of days I have gotten 3 with different stamps only one added up to more than $1.00.I don't know what to do.
Patty


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RE: Postage question revisited.

  • Posted by susanc Z9/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 8, 07 at 11:58

Last week, the P.O. charged me $1.13 for a small BE with 6 seed packets. This week, I mailed the same size envy/same number of packets and was charged 58 cents. Since this all began, I have been charged 58 cents, 80 cents, 97 cents and $1.13. -I feel like I'm playing the slots every time I go to the P.O.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Because,in a way you are playing the slots!The 1/4 inch and the 3/4 inch!...lol


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Before the change in rates, I weighed and stamped all seed bubble envelopes at home. After being scolded by the post office a few months ago I now take every single shipment to the post office window. This is a waste of gas, my time, and the tax payer's expense for postal service employee wages. I want to return to the old system where I could do the postage by myself and always be right.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Chervil,

Since you have a scale, and know the dimensions, why not just put the postage on them and drop them in a box somewhere when you are out....not to many at a time though...due to drawing attention to yourself by the 'bulge' police...see above.

How did the charges compare...what you thought they were, and what they 'thought' they were? Did they charge parcel rates?...versus big (flats) envelopes?

I still think someone like Andy Rooney needs to do an expose' on the situation.

Sue


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I sent out 31 packages of seeds in a bubble envelope inside a manilla envelope and was only charged $1.64 for all that. Why should a small bubble envelope with 1 seed pack cost me $1.13? This is just crazy.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I was scolded numerous times by my local post office for dropping off preweighed and prestamped bubble envelopes in outside collection containers since they went to my return address at my local PO instead of their intended destination. All this transportation delay was over a few pennies of postage due by some crazy method of calculation. The postal authorities have beaten me into submission!


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Well I've given up and now I put three stamps on all bubble envelopes so now they can charge me .58 to 1.13 and I'm covered.
Jim


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RE: Postage question revisited.

The plot thickens....

Here's what I was told yesterday. I went to mail a bubble envelope with seeds, less than one ounce, and she originally was going to charge 58 cents. Then she asked what was in it and I said "seeds". She said, oh, that's a parcel then and it will be 1.13 because seeds are "merchandise".

I asked what the definition of "merchandise" was and she said "anything that isn't paper".

So much for the explanation about increased manual handling costs for the new rates. How, exactly, do the contents of a package affect the cost of handling it - shouldn't that just be based on weight and dimensions?


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Egads!

Merchandise/paper...never heard that one.

Why not email them what you said here. Please include the address of the PO that said that, if you have it.

Also please report what their silly reply is...if you don't mind.

This sometimes just seems to be getting worse and worse.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Email USPS


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RE: Postage question revisited.

I still think we need to get Andy Rooney to do a story on this and expose all the stupidity that has gone on across the country for so long now.

Anyone else agree?

I'm going to attempt it here sometime during the cold winter months. I may be asking for specifics later from everyone.

Sue


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Bump again!


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RE: Postage question revisited.

The last 3 times I went to the post office to mail a small bubble envlope with 2 or 3 small packets of seeds inside they charged me 1.17. They had been charging 80 cents. I don't know why it changed again, they were getting it right there for a while.


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RE: Postage question revisited.

Because I swear they are insane!


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RE: Postage question revisited.

maybe they think they are running out of money!! yep that's what i'm going with!! LOL or maybe....they needed lunch money!! walla!! i figured it out!! WOO HOO!!! LOL ~Medo


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RE: Postage question revisited.

That's really interesting... is it merchandise (seeds) or paper.... hmmmm... The lady behind the desk at the PO yesterday ASKED me if it was just paper in the envelope... I said yes thinking she meant is there pictures or unbendables in there... I guess I lied as there was a little bit more than just paper... paper packets with seeds in them.... LOL... hmmmmm... I wonder if I would have been charged more if I had said seeds...

I think I'm going to give a whirl to mailing in plain envelopes (to conceal bubble) and maybe avoid all this bubble envelope "parcel" merchandise mailing stuff.... uggggh... Maybe I'll only be charged $ .42!!! Any more feedback on that from members who may have tried this would be helpful.

~Angela


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