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Old 02-05-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Question Post Office Rates for Mailing Clear Envelopes

I live in GA and for the last 3 years I have been making cards and mailing them out in those cool clear envelopes using 1 first class stamp. I just love those envelopes...

Well today I go to my mailbox and I had a returned card with a sticker from the post offiice on it...

This is what it said...

Return to Sender
Additional 17 cents Required for Nonmachinable Surcharge
This Letter-size mailpiece weighs 3.5 or less and cannot be processed on Postal Service letter-sorting machines due to one of the following:
a. Its length (the dimension parallel to the adress) divided by height is less than 1.3 (including square-shaped mailpieces) or more than 2.5
b. It has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.
c. It is too rigid or contains items that cause uneven thickness.
d. Its address is parallel to the shorter dimension.
e. It is made of or is enclosed in any plastic material.
Affix 17 cents additional postage, remove this label, and remail.
Label 100, May 2007
PSN 7690-03-000-9028"

Is this something new that has recently changed?

Has anyone else experienced this besides me?
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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I've never had any of mine come back... things that make you go hum...
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #3
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I mailed a couple in Jan., went to the PO and asked...they said 41 cents..no additional charge. I wish they'd get their act together.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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Yep this changed back in March I believe.

Sometimes they will go though if mailed in clear envelopes sometimes not. To ensure cards get to their destination unless they have no layers at all I use .58 stamps I print from stamps.com
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
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I mail alot of cards and I dont know that I am willing to pay .58 per card to mail just so I can mail it in a clear envelope.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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I just read somewhere that as long as the postage is affixed to the outside, you can mail in clear envelopes. I had a regular envelope come back to me with 'additional postage' required. I put it back in the mailbox with a note to my carrier....'since when do A2 size envelopes require extra postage?'. He left me a note.....'over zealous clerk'. Think that may be what happened to you, 'over zealous clerk'. But, like someone else said, seems like every PO is different, you can get 2 different answers from 2 different PO clerks. They really do need to get their 'act' together!!!!
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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I would personally take it to the post office and ask them.. whenever I have something returned to me. I always take it back, if it's their fault (which it always has been) they pay to send it back. Pam
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:14 PM   #8
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From my experiences, every post office is different as is every clerk in each post office! You'd think they'd all be on the same page, but that would be too easy, now wouldn't it?!
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:22 PM   #9
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It's because it has to be hand-processed. The machines can't process clear envelopes.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:39 PM   #10
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Checking on this---I put a call in to my Dad; he's a mailman. Stay tuned!
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:

Originally Posted by postcardgirlView Post
From my experiences, every post office is different as is every clerk in each post office! You'd think they'd all be on the same page, but that would be too easy, now wouldn't it?!
You said it, sister! One time I had to print off some info from the USPS website and bring it to my local PO to educate them about one of their policies. I'm very lucky though, the clerks at my PO are wonderful and my mail carrier is fabulous!
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:01 PM   #12
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No, this is not new. Supposedly it's been the rule for years, but not all post offices were enforcing it equally. I got lucky the last time I mailed out Christmas cards using clear envies, but the clerk who took them said that the reflectivity of the plastic can cause problems for the scanners reading the info so that's why they apply the "nonmachinable" surcharge.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:58 PM   #13
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it is to be enforved now... .17 extra for clear envelope...or any A2 envelope that is too thick to slide thru a special slot...so if you do lots of layers, or add buttons and primas... it may cost you

but hey. if you take the time to make it...then I am sure it is worth the extra change...
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:12 PM   #14
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Mine has just recently started enforcing this. To hear the crabby old man at my local post office tell it the embellishments can cause bodily harm and possibly put out the eyes of postal workers when they try to run the "homemade crap" through the machines. After that statement I was wanting to cause bodily harm...
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MUSIKELView Post
Mine has just recently started enforcing this. To hear the crabby old man at my local post office tell it the embellishments can cause bodily harm and possibly put out the eyes of postal workers when they try to run the "homemade crap" through the machines. After that statement I was wanting to cause bodily harm...
my goodness!! how rude!!

I've never had a problem mailing my cards but I've never tried mailing them in clear envelopes either!
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #16
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I mailed 2 dozen Valentines about 3 hours ago and it was the head clerk that took them, commented on how cute they were, and when I asked told me there was no extra postage with a look on her face that showed she was puzzled that I even asked. They had better not raise the rates. I asked before XMAS and then I purchased a lot of 2000 clear envies. I will be very upset if they changed the rules.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:31 PM   #17
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Boy, I get a little nervous every time we discuss this (and it has been discussed before). All of the rules are available on www.usps.com. The non-machinable charge is supposed to be applied to everything enclosed in plastic AND to items who's ratio of length to height is less than 1.3. When you do the math on 5.5 divided by 4.25 . . . or perhaps 5.75 divided by 4.5 . . . you will not be happy with the answer.

These rules have been in effect for awhile, they just don't seem to be very consistently applied.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #18
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Quote:

Originally Posted by cincistamperView Post
....items who's ratio of length to height is less than 1.3. When you do the math on 5.5 divided by 4.25 . . . or perhaps 5.75 divided by 4.5 . . . you will not be happy with the answer....
5.75 divided by 4.5 is 1.3529411765 so that's still higher than 1.3.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:49 PM   #19
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Try that math again . . . I get 1.27777777
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:51 PM   #20
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Quote:

Originally Posted by krabearkubView Post
5.75 divided by 4.5 is 1.3529411765 so that's still higher than 1.3.
Hmmmm, my calculator says 1.27777777
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:19 PM   #21
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krabearkub - 1.3529411765 is 5.75 divided by 4.25

5.75 divided by 4.5 equals 1.27777777778
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:22 AM   #22
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krabearkub - 1.3529411765 is 5.75 divided by 4.25

5.75 divided by 4.5 equals 1.27777777778
Ok, plugged in the wrong values evidently. Sorry.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by krabearkubView Post
Ok, plugged in the wrong values evidently. Sorry.
It's okay, - I just wanted to be clearer about how you had gotten an answer greater than 1.3 and we all got under!
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:58 AM   #24
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MUSIKELView Post
Mine has just recently started enforcing this. To hear the crabby old man at my local post office tell it the embellishments can cause bodily harm and possibly put out the eyes of postal workers when they try to run the "homemade crap" through the machines. After that statement I was wanting to cause bodily harm...
Yeah, well, think of it this way -- he's probably really close to earning his pension and can't wait to get the heck out. Sounds burnt out on his job to me!

You'd think they'd be glad you chose to use the plastic envies, and not just because they get to charge you more. They're way more durable than the paper ones, and save them the trouble of dealing with brads and buttons catching on the machinery and jamming things up.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:03 AM   #25
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I can live with the postal rate increases, but it's the inconsistencies that are killing me. Even from clerk to clerk in the same P.O. I will get a different answer!
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:10 AM   #26
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I checked with my Dad and in his office a clear envie mails for the same as a paper one! I guess we are lucky here in Iowa! Has anyone purchased any of the forever stamps? I asked for some for my birthday and plan to keep them in the desk drawer for the next 20 years before digging them out to use! LOL
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:24 AM   #27
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If I mail from home with clear envelopes I don't need extra postage (unless it is real bulky), once when I mailed from the post office the lady wanted to charge extra since it was in a clear envelope. I made sure it was just because of the clear envelope and not bulky or anything like that and she said it was the envelope. I pointed out I mail 4-8 cards a week and have never had a problem with the envelope. She said that the people I am mailing to must be being charged extra postage. I assured her they weren't and she didn't believe me! I didn't add the extra postage and my card still got there w/out charging my sister.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:26 AM   #28
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Just wanted to say that this is NOT something new...I have an old Cardmaking book from about 5 years ago and it says that if you mail in the clear envelopes to be sure add extra postage for hand processing. Having said that, it seems there are a lot of inconsistencies with the PO...I do however think they are really starting to enforce it now.
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