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Old 01-07-2008, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Post Office (too subjective)

Ok - I know there have been several threads complaining about the post office and the cost of mailing handmade cards now.

Mine were really late going out this year (Jan 4) - I took them to the post office (but I weighed them at my office ahead of time so I knew the weight was ok). I hand the guy at the counter one of my cards - he lays it against the shape template (no problems there), puts it on the scale (no problem) - then he picks up the magical template (you know, the one with the slot that your card has to fit through cleanly). He starts sliding my card back and forth through it (it goes through fine the first time, BTW). Then he turns it around and put it back through and when he turns it, he feels the little knot with his finger and says "this could be trouble". He hems and haws around and finally says they are ok at 41 cents.

But it's so subjective - what if he had been having a bad day?????
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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I find that you just never know with the post office these days. If my cards are THE LEAST little bit bumpy, and 99.9% of mine are, I always put on the extra 17 cents. It never fails that one will always come back and then I get more irritated at the post office so it saves me some irritation And usually the one that comes back is one I had them check....
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:58 PM   #3
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You know what's so crazy about all that - and I feel your pain by the way - is that the post office clerk who is "picky" and tells you that you need more postage, has nothing more to do with your cards after that!

The machines are the ones that do the sorting for the most part, and as far as I know, they are usually functioning, or not, and don't have emotions or bad days, lol.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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I think they have something against us folks who construct and mail cards!

They always feel them and say, "What's in here???????????????"

I typically want to say,
1. "NON of your business!"
2. "A dead body."

I mean, really, who CARES what is in it???????????????????????????

I think they work hard to make the process and their job difficult.
i wish they would just respond in a friendly way and MOVE ON!!!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #5
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stampwithjoanneView Post
I think they have something against us folks who construct and mail cards!

They always feel them and say, "What's in here???????????????"

I typically want to say,
1. "NON of your business!"
2. "A dead body."

I mean, really, who CARES what is in it???????????????????????????

I think they work hard to make the process and their job difficult.
i wish they would just respond in a friendly way and MOVE ON!!!!
Well, they had better learn to love us because I can assure you- a lot of people are using email for everything now- but Stampers will always make and send cards- therefore we provide job security for them. LOL!!

BTW- I have always just covered the front of my card with a piece of manila folder when I put it in the envelope. Then it isn't bumpy and it protects the card when it goes through the sorters. I send it out with regular postage- and I have not had one come back yet.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AuburnTigerTNView Post
Then he turns it around and put it back through and when he turns it, he feels the little knot with his finger and says "this could be trouble". He hems and haws around and finally says they are ok at 41 cents.

But it's so subjective - what if he had been having a bad day?????

He might have been so uncertain because he might have been trying to imagine if it would pass through the machines or not. There are a bunch of automation machines that your cards would've had to pass through, each one with bends, gates, and very fast-moving belts.

The knot would be the kind of thing that sometimes gets caught on something, especially if it passes through an older less-sensitive machine.
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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Don't even start me on USPS. I am still trying to find a parcel that I sent 11th Dec. priority international mail which still hasn't arrived. I HATE USPS with a vengeance. I will NEVER use them again. OK, rant over, back to your normal programming.
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:02 PM   #8
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I find that if I put my cards in my mailbox from home, they go through fine. I've only gotten one back. If I take them to the PO, they ALWAYS charge me more - ALWAYS! So, I save the gas, time and the postage and let my carrier take them out of my box...
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:20 PM   #9
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Grrrrr to the USPS!!! I mailed out some last minute Christmas cards about 5 days before Christmas and when I got back from my trip to see my family, one of them had been returned with the add 17 cents label! Now, I had already mailed out about 15 of this same card and there was not a problem. There were no brads or ribbon, they were totally flat and under one ounce. Now, the thing that really ticks me off is that the card made it to the post office in the destination city and was returned from there (3,000 miles away). How did it make it all the way across the country with no problems, only to be returned at the end?!?!?! I am so sick of dealing with the stupid post office, I may be investing in my own Dymo Labeler, just so I don't have to go in there anymore!!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:29 PM   #10
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I throw mine in my rural mail box and have NEVER gotten one of them back.
If I were to take them to the PO hard telling what would happen. So I don't.
Kind of the "don't ask, don't get told" attitude.

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Old 01-07-2008, 05:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by smartblonde_2000View Post
Grrrrr to the USPS!!! I mailed out some last minute Christmas cards about 5 days before Christmas and when I got back from my trip to see my family, one of them had been returned with the add 17 cents label! Now, I had already mailed out about 15 of this same card and there was not a problem. There were no brads or ribbon, they were totally flat and under one ounce. Now, the thing that really ticks me off is that the card made it to the post office in the destination city and was returned from there (3,000 miles away). How did it make it all the way across the country with no problems, only to be returned at the end?!?!?! I am so sick of dealing with the stupid post office, I may be investing in my own Dymo Labeler, just so I don't have to go in there anymore!!!
The PO in the destination city has the option to charge more postage if they think it needs it -- crazy, huh? Seems like once the local PO has passed it on, they shouldn't be allowed to change it.

I never bother asking inside the PO anymore. My local office ALWAYS wants to charge me every single penny they can possibly get from me . . . if I just put the 41 cent stamps on 'em and dump 'em in the blue box outside, they always arrive just fine.
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:49 PM   #12
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The PO in the destination city has the option to charge more postage if they think it needs it -- crazy, huh? Seems like once the local PO has passed it on, they shouldn't be allowed to change it.

I never bother asking inside the PO anymore. My local office ALWAYS wants to charge me every single penny they can possibly get from me . . . if I just put the 41 cent stamps on 'em and dump 'em in the blue box outside, they always arrive just fine.
This card was sent from my box at my condo....it just kills me because ALL of the others of the same card made it just fine. I think some goober up at the Everett, WA post office was having a bad day (that was the post office that denied it). That Dymo is sounding better and better!
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:00 PM   #13
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In Canada we are paying way more to send cards. Both of my cards with three cardstock layers and brads had postage added. Both were $2.00 canadian. Darn that little slot they use to check.

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Old 01-07-2008, 08:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AuburnTigerTNView Post
Ok - I know there have been several threads complaining about the post office and the cost of mailing handmade cards now.

Mine were really late going out this year (Jan 4) - I took them to the post office (but I weighed them at my office ahead of time so I knew the weight was ok). I hand the guy at the counter one of my cards - he lays it against the shape template (no problems there), puts it on the scale (no problem) - then he picks up the magical template (you know, the one with the slot that your card has to fit through cleanly). He starts sliding my card back and forth through it (it goes through fine the first time, BTW). Then he turns it around and put it back through and when he turns it, he feels the little knot with his finger and says "this could be trouble". He hems and haws around and finally says they are ok at 41 cents.

But it's so subjective - what if he had been having a bad day?????
I don't even give my cards to the lady at my local post office. She usually tells me I need more stamps when I don't think I do- one time she made me put three .47 cent stamps on one card and the only thing that card had on it was a small bow.

So lately I have just been putting my cards in the mail slot inside the post office and I haven't had one come back yet. Now, if a card I made is a bit more bulky I put on the extra postage just in case, especially if it needs to me mailed quickly.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:44 PM   #15
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It's all very "subjective" here where I mail cards. It's irritating at "best". I have inner troubles with the postal people who have to put my cards through the "slot" 2 or 3 times in order to get it to "drag".
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:48 PM   #16
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I've never had a problem until I got this mail lady. She felt the knot and slapped $.17 extra on it. I asked what it was for and she told me and I said that I've been coming there for the last few weeks and nobody's charged me extra. She went on about the new policy and that people (postal folks) should be more strict on it since the machine can't handles the lumps and bumps, etc. etc. So since they were only two cards, I didn't care. But not, I make sure on my mailed cards, that I don't add extra embellishments that would create lumps unless I really want to spend the extra $.17 or I'm just sending one special card for somebody.

But despite all that. I have been quite impressed with USPS this year. My packages have been quicker than the UPS/Fedex ground (less expensive too for the most part) and the cards I've sent have made it to the recipient super fast. One package, it was regular slow mail, to an APO address made it the Thursday before Christmas and I just sent it the week before that. I told my friend that it's not a Christmas present and so we were all expecting it to just make it there this week.

So yeah there were some "bumps" in sending out cards but I have been happier with their speed. So, I guess the $.17 is helping speed things up -- no snags in their machines
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LaLattyView Post
I don't even give my cards to the lady at my local post office. She usually tells me I need more stamps when I don't think I do- one time she made me put three .47 cent stamps on one card and the only thing that card had on it was a small bow.

So lately I have just been putting my cards in the mail slot inside the post office and I haven't had one come back yet. Now, if a card I made is a bit more bulky I put on the extra postage just in case, especially if it needs to me mailed quickly.
oops...I meant to say that I had to put on three .41 cent stamps- not .47 cent stamps in my post above.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:07 PM   #18
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I've never had a card returned, ever, and I use brads and knots on literally every one. It's weird. I ship 90% from my mailbox too.

I use USPS for all my shipping because UPS is so %#[email protected]! expensive! I ship wool in copy paper boxes. I always use the same type copy paper boxes (hubby gets from work - recycling!) and each and every time the same man (super small PO) measures the box before shipping. It's always legal size too
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:09 PM   #19
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I hate to brag, but I love my PO lady!! I do live in a teeny tiny community, but she is fabulous!! I have even got to the point where I dont seal the envelopes until I get there, so she can see what I have made. She rarely ever makes me put extra postage on(her part time worker always does, she doesnt even check the slot she just feels and says you need extra postage) and she even keeps empty boxes and packing material for me, just incase. I guess I am blessed. I did have a terrible experience with the post office in the town I used to work in. I sent my wedding invitations from there, and people were still recieving them 2 weeks after my wedding. I mailed them out a month before, and all of them at the same time. I had people that I hadnt seen for awhile calling and apologizing for not coming weeks after I got married!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:16 PM   #20
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I hate to brag, but I love my PO lady!!
Me too, my MIL is a postmaster. She's super helpful and even mailed out my last swap for me.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:24 PM   #21
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I live in small town Saskatchewan where the closest postal machine is 1 hour away. I mailed my friend Cindy Haffner a Christmas card. I decided not to put the extra 58 cents that Canada has to put on just to go 6 miles to the neighboring town. So I put on the regular 52 cents. Now remember these cards are hand processed, not even close to any machine. They drove from my town - 6 miles to Cindy's town. The gal at Cindys post office handed Cindy's husband the card and asked for 58 extra cents because I hadn't put enough postage on. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!! There is no machine between us. RRRRR was I upset that Cindy had to pay for her Christmas card...... They wanted $1.10 for 6 miles, and no machine.
So the gals that are just dumping their cards in the post office are the people at the other end paying for them??????
I thought if anything they would have sent it back to me, not charge Cindy.
And don't get me started on UPS, double rrrrrr
Karen: UPS held one of my parcel for over a month and they would say its customs, so I phoned customs and they would say it was UPS. Oh, My Gosh.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:41 PM   #22
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When I do my cards, I place a piece of cardstock (same size as card) over the embellished side of card before placing in envelope. I don't hesitate on using embellishments on my cards either. I brought mine to the post office and put most through the mail slot. I kept a few out that I thought might be too heavy/thick etc and brought them to the counter. I asked if any needed extra postage...none did! So all mine were mailed using 41cents. MaggieSt
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:43 PM   #23
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LaLattyView Post
I don't even give my cards to the lady at my local post office. She usually tells me I need more stamps when I don't think I do- one time she made me put three .47 cent stamps on one card and the only thing that card had on it was a small bow.

So lately I have just been putting my cards in the mail slot inside the post office and I haven't had one come back yet. Now, if a card I made is a bit more bulky I put on the extra postage just in case, especially if it needs to me mailed quickly.
From the USPS site:

Letters that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics below are subject to the $0.17 nonmachinable surcharge. For items over 3.5 ounces, see Large Envelope or Package.

It is a square letter

It is too rigid does not bend easily

It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices

It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter

It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven

The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 (calculate this below)

Square Envelope

The minimum size for a square envelope is 5 x 5 inches.
Square letters are subject to the $0.17 nonmachinable surcharge.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

See, it doesn't really have to be more than 1/4" wide, but if it has a lot of layers and still no bumps, they can charge that extra 17 cents.

But you never should have been told to simply add more stamps (caught your correction about 41 cents). If anything, you just add 17 cents.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:53 PM   #24
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So the gals that are just dumping their cards in the post office are the people at the other end paying for them??????
Kathy
Nope. I know my friends/family who I send cards to would definitely let me know if the PO charged them for them. So they're arriving ok. If it's a particularly lumpy card, or an embellie that I'm concerned about, I'll do as some have suggested and put a scrap piece of cardstock cut to cardsize over the front of the card just for extra protection. As long as it's not overweight, I don't worry about adding extra postage.

I'd have been extremely irritated too over the extra charge for simply driving a card 6 miles without any machinery involved. What the heck is that about?!?!
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:33 PM   #25
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I place a thin piece of cardboard over the front of my cards, seems to help them slide thru the new 'test' slot easier.

Most of my cards I do weigh before I take up to the counter and usually the postage is what I expected. A few times they weighed in at .41 until I put a
.41 stamp on them then they weigh over 1 ounce, weird.

I've had a few things I've received in the mail that I owed .17 on ..and they had the printed out sticker from the post office from where they were sent.. no reason I should have to pay extra postage if they main post office they were shipped out of okay'ed them.

I have issues with my mail lady but I don't have ill feelings towards the actual post office, yet, LOL.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:47 AM   #26
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For the people who are paying the extra .17:

Do they mark it "hand stamp" or put it in another pile? Or does the machine open up extra wide when it detects a .17 stamp? hahaha
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:51 AM   #27
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Do they mark it "hand stamp" or put it in another pile? Or does the machine open up extra wide when it detects a .17 stamp? hahaha
ha ha, now THAT is an interesting visual image!
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:36 AM   #28
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I went to the PO yesterday and was told my card was going to cost $1.13 to mail, because my "bump" put it in the parcel category! My bump was a ribbon! I told her I'll risk it and see if it comes back, cause everything I mail has a "bump". Crock of you-know-what if you ask me!!!
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:28 PM   #29
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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For the people who are paying the extra .17:

Do they mark it "hand stamp" or put it in another pile? Or does the machine open up extra wide when it detects a .17 stamp? hahaha
*snort* Too funny!!!

Actually, I think the machine just spits it out if it doesn't fit and they look for the extra postage and do it by hand.

Or something like that.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:31 PM   #30
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I went to the PO yesterday and was told my card was going to cost $1.13 to mail, because my "bump" put it in the parcel category! My bump was a ribbon! I told her I'll risk it and see if it comes back, cause everything I mail has a "bump". Crock of you-know-what if you ask me!!!
One of my guys told me if it got too thick, it would be a "package." But if you look it up, that would be over 3/4" !!!

I have become a "thin plastic" scavenger. Whenever I get anything that's wrapped in that really thin light stuff, I save it and cut it up and put it on top of any cards with "bumps". Then I add the 17 cents because I figure at that point I'm over 1/4" but hopefully my cards will get through without being caught on the machines.

I've gotten cards where someone took a quarter sheet of light cardstock and crimped it!! That was their protection. Works great but does add thickness. I would do that for something special.

I do like using hardware and stuff. When these new postal regs came out, I told DH that our Christmas cards were probably all going to cost 58 cents to mail this year (we send about 70). He said, "That's okay, I think we can afford it."

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Old 01-08-2008, 05:41 PM   #31
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If we don't pay the "extra" for special handling, the machine could very well tear our envie apart. I take no chances.
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