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Old 02-08-2007, 06:23 PM   #1  
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Default Pop dots = extra postage?

I went to the post office to verify that my valentine cards were not over wieght and would in fact fit through their template for thickness. The postmaster growled and said "I hate these!" You will need extra postage because of the "bump". What!? It was actually three dots across the front so it was pretty uniform in thickness (still meeting their requirements). How can one pop dot necessitate extra postage? Anyone else have this type of experience? Maybe I should just take them out of our town and drop them in the outgoing box
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:28 PM   #2  
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Yes I have dealt with this issue. I have had to pay extra.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:31 PM   #3  
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I have sent many cards in the mail with just one stamp (I have a scale at home, so I didn't need to bring it to the PO). I have never had them sent back, or had the mailwoman tell me about extra postage. Strange!
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:31 PM   #4  
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it really depends on the day and the person...i've found.

i mailed something that actually went through the electronic cancellation machine only to be returned to me for an additional 13 cents because it says per the rubber stamp 'it had to be manually cancelled'?????

so I went to the PO to buy 13 cent stamps...guess what...they didn't have any!?

crazy!
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:40 PM   #5  
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It's my understanding that the envelope must be less than 1/4" thick, so the brand name pop dots should go through without an additional charge. However, if you use scraps of leftover rubber from trimming your stamps, they possibly could be thick enough to warrant the extra postage.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:46 PM   #6  
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That was my understanding,too, using the template and all. He said the bump from pop dot would hold it up and require extra postage. It has nothing to do with weight or thickness, merely a "bump" Thumbs down
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:47 PM   #7  
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Nice to know the thickness max. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:50 PM   #8  
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It is not just about thickness. You can have cards which easily fit through the "thickness template" at the Post Office, but they still claim have to be hand cancelled. I have been having on-going frustrations with my PO about this. Now they say that ANY "bump", regardless of size or uniformity, requires the extra postage. I have even mailed cards with NO EMBELLISHMENTS (not even ribbon or pop dots) and had to pay extra because (are you ready for this?) "they are too STIFF"!!!!!!!!

I tried putting an extra piece of cardstock across the front to make sure that none of the "bumps" would poke through the envelope. Doesn't matter. The clerks feel for bumps and immediately pull them and charge extra. I'm so frustrated I could scream (but they would probably charge me an extra $2 for that).
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:54 PM   #9  
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I have had the post office pull all sorts of crud regarding mailing cards. They also don't seem to likethe CTMH stamp set envelopes because of the snap on the back

I sometimes think that they are just being pills
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:09 PM   #10  
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I've paid extra for brads on the card... I guess it depends
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:46 PM   #11  
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I have learned to NEVER take my cards to the Post Office. I took in over 100 Christmas cards one year and she insisted they needed 2 stamps each. I took them home, put single stamps on them and took them to the OTHER post office and dropped them in the box. Never got a one back with postage due. I also contacted several of the receivers and no one had to pay anything.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:11 PM   #12  
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I always check my cards at home for weight and thickness -- as long as they're within the guidelines I put a single first class stamp on 'em and drop 'em in the box. I ALWAYS have problems if I go into the PO and have them check them. Honestly, of the many, many cards I've just dropped in the box, not one has had any kind of problem. The inconsistency at the PO will drive you NUTS!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:44 PM   #13  
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I've only had one sent back, so far! But I think it was because I had a few pictures in it, so it had additional weight.
At Christmas my husband had to take the cards in to the post office for me and only one with two cards in it needed the extra postage. thankfully they didn't sucker him into paying extra postage for all of them!!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:08 PM   #14  
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On the books, the official rules at usps.com, you're supposed to add an extra 13 cents when something needs to be hand canceled regardless of weight. Fragile items and bumpy items will need the extra postage. And heaven help you if you have rigid objects, even flat. There's 13 cents right there.

If you're fortunate, you'll run into those wonderful postal workers who let this sort of thing pass. They're actually being lax about the rules, so don't rat them out!
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:27 PM   #15  
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I don't mind paying an extra $.13...but it is so annoying that they don't make a $.13 stamp. So you either have to have them print out those big sticker stamps with the number on it (not so cute on your cute little card) or put 3 stamps on your envy. So annoying. I had to do it for my 6X6 Christmas cards because of the size. DH just had them put the big stickers on them. Oh well.

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Old 02-08-2007, 09:32 PM   #16  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by vfnelson2
I don't mind paying an extra $.13...but it is so annoying that they don't make a $.13 stamp. So you either have to have them print out those big sticker stamps with the number on it (not so cute on your cute little card) or put 3 stamps on your envy. So annoying. I had to do it for my 6X6 Christmas cards because of the size. DH just had them put the big stickers on them. Oh well.

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My experience with this has been that the extra $0.13 isn't actually postage in the form of a stamp, it's more of a fee you pay to have them rubber stamp the envelope with a little square that says "Hand cancel". At least that's how it has worked where I am!
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:33 PM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sairabee
My experience with this has been that the extra $0.13 isn't actually postage in the form of a stamp, it's more of a fee you pay to have them rubber stamp the envelope with a little square that says "Hand cancel". At least that's how it has worked where I am!
(I miss the edit button!)

...meaning, if you mailed the card from home and put a thirteen cent stamp on (if there were one) it would not mean that the po would automatically hand cancel the card...
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:55 AM   #18  
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To the OP's comment. Too bad you caught that man on a grumpy day. I've had one postal worker tell me I needed extra postage on a bumpy card, which I paid. I decided that the post office's inconsistency on this issue serves us well and saves us money most of the time (when you drop mail in the box rather than to a person). I've had a few cards returned to me together one time. They weren't different from others I'd sent with no problem. It's just one of those things, I suppose, but it makes me stop and think before making lumpy, bumpy cards. Now that I've started using little rhinestones on some cards, I bought a whole bunch of padded envies. It'll be more expensive, but I don't want my cards arriving in mangled envelopes.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:06 AM   #19  
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This is a huge pet peeve with me. I took 40 Christmas cards to the post office in January (yes my Christmas cards went out late) and asked if they needed extra postage. I was told there wouldn't be a problem. The next day I had 15 back in my mailbox requiring an extra 13 cents. All of the others went through. I now put the extra 13 cents on with any card that might be considered bumpy... Don't mind the extra stamps, just the inconsistencies...
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:30 AM   #20  
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hmmmm.... I just sent my hubby to drop off 20 cards that had ribbon bumps you could feel thru the envelopes. I ran all the envelopes thru the postage machine for .39 first and then put the cards in them. Hope they aren't back in my mailbox tomorrow. Since the envies have already gone thru a postage machine, I don't think they have to go thru any machine again. I've never had any returned to me before, but I have had to put extra postage on some that I just had regular postage stamps on.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:42 AM   #21  
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Hmmm.. I can't imagine the scrutiny your postal people put your cards through!! I guess they really didn't like the times when RAKs were actually ITEMS sent via snail mail, no packaging what-so-ever. Years ago (almost 20!) many stampers would send random items through the mail, just for the laugh of it. l Some items I received included large (clown size) sun glasses, a blow up sail boat, a sombrero, a plastic drinking bottle with goodies inside. My favorite to send was those large bouncing balls. Anyway- my postal people were the best, they loved it when I came to pick up these strange items.

I'm wondering ..... should we rak someone's postal office????

Sorry to hear of so many issues with mailing "raised" art.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:00 AM   #22  
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I've sent my cards thru the mail, botton, bows, eyelets and brads, lumpy and bumpy. I put a stamp on each at home, put out in my mailbox for pickup and have never had one returned nor have I heard anyone had to pay extra postage.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:20 AM   #23  
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It's kind of funny that you posted about this because that happened to me at the PO yesterday! I had a few v-day cards that were going to other countries so I had to go to the counter. The lady at the counter took my cards and instantly started to "feel up" my cards, and then informed me in a not so nice tone that I would have to pay an extra .13 because those bumps will damage their machines. I wonder if some kind of memo went around to all the PO's telling them to keep an eye out for home-made cards.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:28 AM   #24  
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Any Canadian experiences... Any little bump is charged for at my Post Office....More than 2 stamps. $1.10.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:28 AM   #25  
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i'm knocking on wood...
no problems so far here!
and one i sent last week- i could feel the wigglie eyes thru the envelope.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:30 AM   #26  
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oh oh just mailed some bumpy cards. glad SU dimensions are thin!
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:35 AM   #27  
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I say just drop them in the mailbox outside of the PO or put them in your own mailbox at your house and they will never notice and there is no waiting in a line at the PO this way (I dread the thought of ever having to go into the tiny PO by me with that awful line to wait in!).

All of my Christmas cards had ribbon, brads, pop-dots, etc. and all I did was cut out a piece or scrap cardstock the size of the card I was sending and put it over the front of the card and mailed them off all for .39. I just dropped them in the box outside of the PO and they were all fine. Thinking about it now, I am pretty sure they were all more than 1/4 inch thick but never have been sent back to me, the 2 cards I sent out this morning were thicker than that, too...

Obviously the PO people have no idea what they are talking about if everyone gets different answers so just avoid asking
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:37 AM   #28  
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I wanted to add that if you do have a *bumpy* card, if at all possible put it in the envelope so the bumps are at the top of the envp. I do remember being told that the big problem is when the bumps are on the bottom 'cause that's the part running through their machines and gets things jammed up.

I did just get a Valentine card from a friend in the mail yesterday -- it had 3 pretty little ribbons tied in knots on it and those bumps tore the back of the envelope open.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:09 AM   #29  
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I had to pay extra for my 5x5 square christmas card becuase they don't go thru the auto sorter correctly and have to be hand stamped. If I send a few at a time they do not get returned from home or PO box. But the Post office actually pulled the 50 from their box and called me to pick up or add postage. I guess the amount was a trigger. At least they called and didn't send back after Christmas.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:11 AM   #30  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by frankie
I wanted to add that if you do have a *bumpy* card, if at all possible put it in the envelope so the bumps are at the top of the envp. I do remember being told that the big problem is when the bumps are on the bottom 'cause that's the part running through their machines and gets things jammed up.

I did just get a Valentine card from a friend in the mail yesterday -- it had 3 pretty little ribbons tied in knots on it and those bumps tore the back of the envelope open.
Do they actually have a top when it comes to machines? Don't they just get put through any direction or does someone actually make sure they are right side up. If so, why?
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:14 AM   #31  
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I also sometimes send mine out in small batches and then they won't bother with a small amount (that is my theory). I start mailing Christmas cards a half dozen a day right after Christmas in the outgoingmail. My friend who had a problem claims that big batches draw notice.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:22 AM   #32  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by housefan
Do they actually have a top when it comes to machines? Don't they just get put through any direction or does someone actually make sure they are right side up. If so, why?
I have no idea. I just know that the one gal at the post office told me this a while back. After having so much trouble with my local PO in the first year we moved here, I REALLY try to avoid going inside anymore and just drop stuff in the box.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:27 AM   #33  
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It's pretty funny here, if I go to the rinky-dink PO here in town (500 ppl) I don't usually have too much trouble. (Might be cuz the Post Master is interested in stamping and wants to start when she retires ) But if I got to the PO in Bloomington, and get Mr Hyde. it's another story altogether! This man will try to make you feel like a piece of dog poo no matter what! He is the meanest nastiest man I have ever met, that work with people for a living! He abuses just about everyone who goes into that PO. I won't got there anymore just because of him.

Anyway, yes there is a top and bottom, where the return address is, is the top. They do have people sorting the mail into the machines so they get canceled in the right spot. If the stamps didn't get canceled, you could use them again. (Had it happen once ask SweetMissDaisy )
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:27 AM   #34  
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This happened to me for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had put a whole stack of cards in the blue drop-box, and one was returned to me with a big fat sticker on it saying it needed extra postage. Since it wasn't too fat, the only reason I could come up with was that it had a bump from a ribbon knot. Why only one of them was returned I'll never know.

And this was the day after a friend of mine had some of hers returned! She had just asked me about it and I said I never have had to pay extra!

Makes you wonder, are all PO's cracking down on this? What a drag!
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:36 AM   #35  
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That makes sense Laura.

What I always wonder when they are returned is if the 39 cents already on there has been cancelled and so you have to put a new 39 center PLUS the additional?
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:44 AM   #36  
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My post office never sends any of my stuff back but my girlfriend has trouble all of the time with hers.

Hmmm...I guess I know why I did so poorly on postal civil service exam. I am just not mean enough!!!
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:51 AM   #37  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by housefan
That makes sense Laura.

What I always wonder when they are returned is if the 39 cents already on there has been cancelled and so you have to put a new 39 center PLUS the additional?
I took it to the PO to pay the extra and didn't have to pay the .39 again.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:53 AM   #38  
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I just throw it all in the mailbox and have never had one returned and everyone seems to get them.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:53 AM   #39  
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I just dropped some of the first cards I've made into a grocery store box for valentines. They will be sent to another city in my state to be hand canceled with a special postmark. I used brads and silver cord which made a lot of bumps on the cards so I'm anxious to see whether or not they will be returned. I used one 39 cent stamp on each!
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:56 AM   #40  
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ontario, Oregon
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Originally Posted by queen bee
That was my understanding,too, using the template and all. He said the bump from pop dot would hold it up and require extra postage. It has nothing to do with weight or thickness, merely a "bump" Thumbs down
Any "non-smooth" letters can get caught in the mail equipment - hence, the bump requires that the envelope be hand cancelled which requires extra labor - that's why it's an extra 13 cents (I thought it was 12 cents ).

Nearly every card I send has pop dots or ribbons with knots so they automatically require extra postage. My recommendation is to buy the stamps required for extra postage to have on hand when you make this style of card. It's easier than standing in line and arguing with the postal clerk. JMHO
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