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Read Thread: Is anyone having this problem?

Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Feb 9, 2019 8:45pm
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So I have joined several micro postals and have never had any problems. Until now. For the last two weeks, the post office has been holding a bunch of my envelopes. Then I would get a bundle of them at once, owing $.15 on each of them. At first I thought the postage of each envelope had gone over cost of a single stamp. But today my husband left the post office on an errand, saying a there was a very disgruntled employee there who said I needed to pay extra postage when I send these envelopes out. The employee said that because the business sized envelope was lumpy, as even though it had an appropriate stamp on it, I need to pay for an extra stamp because the envelope won't go through their machine and will jam it up. So I should pay for an extra stamp to avoid the machine.
But I don't put my outgoing mail in my box or my post office, as I take my outgoing mail to work. (I go to another post office multiple times a day for my job, and they have never said anything to me about this).
Has anyone had these problems, or have heard of this?
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 10, 2019 3:44am
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Fill out a report form from the Post Office and report this employee to the Post Master.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 10, 2019 5:12am
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My counter lady has been very nice about letting me know that “lumpy” takes an extra stamp. She said the PO is cracking down. I bought a roll of “extra ounce” stamps which also work for the non-machine able, and put one on every outgoing Micro. It’s still much cheaper than parcel rate. Most still arrive here with just one forever.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 10, 2019 6:02am
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I have toured the downtown Minneapolis postal center .... the machinery is amazing!! Very few people handle our mail. I try to remember that machines are doing the work of sorting. The more I think about how my mail interacts with the automated postal systems and prepare my items to be greeted by automatons, the better my mail goes through. Little things like printing in all caps, typing addresses and paying extra for a square envelope or a stiff gift card can make a big difference in the overhead conveyors.

When the machines jam, it is not pretty.

IMHO the postal service is still a great bargain.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 10, 2019 6:40am
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Yes, I just finished my first micro postal. To be sure I had it right I took it to the post office. All the guy said was “weight was right but bulky”. So I went home and shaved it thinner. When I returned the second time, he took enough time to tell me if anything is in an envelope other than paper it costs .71 rather than .50 (old rates). It didn’t matter the weight to him. I shaved it even more but mailed from another post office. I followed up on the postal and no one seemed to have to add postal, that I know of. Must be the crack down.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971280 by BinoBoxer
Feb 10, 2019 7:12am
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Yes, I just finished my first micro postal. [...] I followed up on the postal and no one seemed to have to add postal, that I know of.

I'm currently in a micro-postal. There is one that is bulky and needed more postage. Another came postage due, but didn't take extra postage to send. All of the rest comes and goes with FOREVER postage.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 11, 2019 9:58am
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I haven't had problems (yet). I think from your post, you've gotten to the crux of the matter ~ disgruntled employee. He/she would probably complain about other things too.

Here is the link to the specifics: https://www.usps.com/ship/letters.htm
"Non-machineable items include lumpy or rigid envelopes, and those that have clasps, string, or buttons. Unusually shaped square or vertical envelopes will also cost more to send."

Now, I've always wondered - a lot of charities like to send appeals with coins (nickels, or other items) in their envelopes. Those seem pretty "lumpy" to me, but they seem to get processed fine.

And, what happens if you add that extra postage, and mail from a post box? How does the post office "know" to separate that rectangular envelope from all of the rest, so it won't jam the machines?


In any case, when I prepare a micro, I try to reduce the lumpiness by making the envelope thickness as uniform as possible, or making it a gradual increasing-decreasing thickness, so the envelope won't jam the machine. I secure the stamp so it doesn't slide around, and put the stamp in the middle, often surrounded by a few cut sheets of paper that folks use for logging in.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 11, 2019 12:18pm
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All of our clerks used to feel the envelopes when I would take them in and add postage for any bumps. Our new clerks don't do that. You might try putting it inside a greeting card or thin cardstock on each side of the stamp. They don't charge extra for bumpy greeting cards usually. I started using greeting card-sized envelopes and had no problem.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971328 by Topcollector
Feb 11, 2019 12:33pm
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On regular plbs, one of our nearby p.o.s had this ancient woman who would bark "What's in there?" Instead of the q's she is supposed to ask. Thankfully, she retired & replaced with a very friendly agent.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971333 by J Walkers
Feb 11, 2019 4:46pm
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Just imagining all those possible shocking answers you could have given her.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971328 by Topcollector
Feb 11, 2019 7:11pm
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They don't charge extra for bumpy greeting cards usually. I started using greeting card-sized envelopes and had no problem.

So, where do you buy them, without buying a greeting card along with it?
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971349 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 12, 2019 5:13am
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Maybe Staples, or one of the Office stores. I get different sized envelopes there sometimes. :^)
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971349 by Oberon_Kenobi
Feb 12, 2019 7:20am
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We have a fair number in our immediate family and we give birthday cards to each other in person. I save the envelopes that haven't had the flaps completely glued down and are re-usable. Even if there's a name written on the front, that can be covered up with a label.
Re: Is anyone having this problem?
Board: Postals
Reply to: #971271 by The Beach People
Feb 13, 2019 8:44am
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So *technically* every micro postal should have the extra ounce stamp on it, even if it's at 1 oz or under and even if it's thinner than 1/4" because the stamp will make the envelope uneven and it's not paper.

I've learned to dump my postals in the mailbox and go, because the USPS employees always say the additional postage is needed. If they're doing more to sort out anything that might possibly jam the machines, then maybe that won't work anymore.

I just sent two micro postals your way. I added the "extra ounce" postage to one just to see what would happen.