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My postmaster's gone gastapo... tape on flat rates?
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TheyGrewAgain



Posts: 189

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:04 pm    Post subject: My postmaster's gone gastapo... tape on flat rates? Reply with quote

I've been mailing with flat rate envelopes for years and have always reinforced the outer envelope with tape across the seal and on the corners.

I get a package returned to me today that says NO TAPE is allowed and I'd have to pay an extra .30 to mail it.

So I printed out pages from USPS own website that state taping is allowed, and trotted down to the local PO with this highlighted

Can cellophane or masking tape be used to close or reinforce packages?

When mailing at the Priority Mail or Express Mail flat rate, the contents of the flat rate envelope must be confined within the envelope with the adhesive provided on the flap as the primary means of closure. The flap must be able to close and adhere to the envelope. Tape may be applied to reinforce the envelope provided the design of the envelope is not enlarged by any means.




Coutner clerk says, sorry, "no tape" is what their boss told them, didn't care what was in black and white in front of her, and also refused to refund my postage or allow me to just tack on an extra thirty cents.

So yes, I called and lodged a complaint to the USPS, and yes the CSR told me tape is OK to reinforce the envelope, as long as it wasn't used to increase the size of the envelope, which mine didn't.

Supposed to get a call back with resolution tomorrow....

Just a little vent, and wondering if you've run into the same tape/no tape issue?


Kathleen
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TexasTreasures
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Posts: 3467

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Menopause, maybe? You could give her a gift of hormone therapy!
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thelivesandlovesofmaggiethecat



Posts: 9747

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay today at my US post office, I took an item that had to be sent in an express cardboard envelope which I was out of. I asked the clerk for an envelope and he said we are all out but here's what we'll do. He pulled a priority envelope out and two Express stickers and put one of the front and one on the back and gave me the envelope to fill. I also always reinforce the flap even though the contents today were absolutely flat. I certainly hope it doesn't get sent back to the post office as I have a pob as a return address.

Keep us informed about the outcome of this.
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheyGrewAgain - if you have not already done so call you DISTRICT PostMaster.

I have gone rounds and rounds with my post office over the years for different things. One being the fact that I use a meter and could drop off packages and run - before local pick-up was free. The smart people at my local PO claimed it was stamped mail, LMAO! You got it, they didn't know the difference between STAMPED and metered! I had to get the District Post Master on the phone and have him call them well I was standing their!

You can get the District Post Master's phone number by demanding it from 1-800-Ask-USPS
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TheyGrewAgain



Posts: 189

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, BT

I'll post a follow up to the tape saga when I hear back from them, hopefully later today.

Kathleen
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poopsheet



Posts: 4865

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the advice I always hear too -- if you can't get the clerk to accept the facts then the next step is to talk to the postmaster.

Clerks who don't know the rules won't back down...
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TheyGrewAgain



Posts: 189

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE

the postmaster of my local PO called me.

He's claiming anything thicker than 3/4 of an inch isn't a "flat" but a package and I should pay the parcel or priority by weight on it, as it's no longer a "flat" mail parcel. Claims it's changed since 5/2007 with the new first class parcel/flat mail change.

This isn't first class, bud, and they haven't updated any of their website info with this 3/4" restriction...

so I still call foul on that,

still, after much debate, he at least will be giving me a refund for my online postage, which I can't void now, and I'll just eat the extra postage to get this to by buyer, stat.

I'm not done making calls though...

Kathleen
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bigtallmensclothing
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Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope your next call is to the DISTRICT Post Master

The idiot don't understand that FLAT refers to the rate not to what you can fit into the envelope!
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TheyGrewAgain



Posts: 189

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL BT... I brought up the meaning of "flat" in flat rate to him!

Well then, why do they call it a flat rate box, are you conjecturing that has to be used in it's flat unassembled state as well?

doofus.
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fancyflappers



Posts: 650

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been my experience that USPS hires the dumbest people out there. Twisted Evil

Yes, I have run into the tape issue, and have always managed to argue my way out of it, BUT had what happened to you-happened to me...I'd go postal. Twisted Evil

I hate USPS.
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Comics-Emporium



Posts: 508

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: My postmaster's gone gastapo... tape on flat rates? Reply with quote

Can cellophane or masking tape be used to close or reinforce packages?

When mailing at the Priority Mail or Express Mail flat rate, the contents of the flat rate envelope must be confined within the envelope with the adhesive provided on the flap as the primary means of closure. The flap must be able to close and adhere to the envelope. Tape may be applied to reinforce the envelope provided the design of the envelope is not enlarged by any means.


I glad I read this. I have had the same problem with the PO about putting tape on there to.
I also get a signature auction package from Heritage about once every other month and it came to me in a flat rate priority envelope and had tape on it(it was about 1 thick) and had correct postage, but they wanted $4.00 from me because it had tape on it, so I refused it. Now when I get their package it has the flat rate postage on it, but its also completely sealed in thin plastic wrap(like a vacuumed sealed package). Wonder what would happen if I tried that?!!
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thelivesandlovesofmaggiethecat



Posts: 9747

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh the joy of dissing the post office.

I have a question to those who print postage and DC. I used to put a wad of something on first class envelopes so I could put DC on them (the half inch rule, you know). Now I'm told the whole padded envelope has to be over half inch to use DC.

???Can you put DC on thin first class envelopes if you print out the postage???
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Comics-Emporium



Posts: 508

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thelivesandlovesofmaggiethecat wrote:
Oh the joy of dissing the post office.

I have a question to those who print postage and DC. I used to put a wad of something on first class envelopes so I could put DC on them (the half inch rule, you know). Now I'm told the whole padded envelope has to be over half inch to use DC.

???Can you put DC on thin first class envelopes if you print out the postage???


Well When I print out postage through Paypal it automatically includes DC, no option what so ever. Even if its a thin package it still gets it. I've never had a thin package with DC come back saying you can't have it on there. Of course I will never ship without DC. Now when I took a thin package to the post office they say it has to be 3/4 inch to have DC included(unless it prioirty rate)

I think most online postage printing site require DC so it can be tracked(at least with Paypal, not positive about other sites)
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bigtallmensclothing
moderator


Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can you put DC on thin first class envelopes if you print out the postage???

Only oversize and/or non-machine mail.
It must be 3/4" thick - that makes it non-machine and therefore it's more expensive to send out.

First class mail that is not 3/4" will not be scanned at the PO. Or so they say anyways.
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Periwinkles



Posts: 2908

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just sent out a padded enveloped yesterday and I wasn't told you can't have tape on the flap or anything. I'm not sure it was over 3/4" but it could have been. They just scanned it and I also got DC and had no problem at all.

Joyce
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