Do not bend envelope postage

Do not bend envelope postage DEFAULT

"Do Not Bend" = "Parcel" ?

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blcjr

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I received some covers in a manila #10 envelope with some cardboard stiffener inside. When I weighed it, it was 1.9 oz, but the seller had put $0.91 cents of postage on it, enough for 3 oz. However, marked next to the postage was a handwritten "$1.41 due" and the carrier left an envelope in the mailbox for me to enclose $1.41. Since it looked to me like the postage was more than adequate, instead of putting the money in the mailbox, I went down to the post office to ask about it this morning.

Their response? It was market "Do Not Bend" and that it therefore required a first class parcel rate, which is $2.32 for 3 oz. I asked them to show me where in postal regulations marking an envelope with "Do Not Bend" requires treating it as a parcel? The clerk said they couldn't, so I left without paying.

Has anybody else ever heard of this, or encountered the same thing?

Basil

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CanadaStamp

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Posted 07/26/2014   2:17 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd CanadaStamp to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

It's a crazy USA thing. It's called something like "the stiff rule." Exists nowhere else in the world.

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Sportfanatic1

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Posted 07/26/2014   2:24 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd Sportfanatic1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Unless it was super thick, it should have just incurred a 21¢ non-machinable surcharge

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johnsim03

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wt1

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Posted 07/26/2014   3:45 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd wt1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree the item should only be assessed the 21-cent non-machineable surcharge.

Not the it matters much (as USPS personnel will not listen to the customer) but as per DMM 601, Section 5.1 (a), provision is made specifically for this. Basically, the "Do Not Bend" reference must only be applied if the content includes stiffeners, thus if the "Do Not Bend" reference is on the piece, the non-machineable surcharge applies (regardless of whether you choose to use stiffeners or not). The parcel rate shouldn't come into play at all.

Here's the excerpt from the Domestic Mail Manual:

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Edited by wt1 - 07/26/2014 3:46 pm

JLLebbert

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Posted 07/26/2014   3:47 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd JLLebbert to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

This is the reason I quit writing "DO NOT BEND" on envelopes containing stiffeners. The interpretation does indeed seem to vary from one postal clerk to another. Without the extra verbage, I only need to pay the non-machinable surcharge ... and for the extra ounce when it is applicable.

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blcjr

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Posted 07/26/2014   4:14 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd blcjr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. I weighed the "package" at the scale in the PO lobby, and it was 1.9 oz. First class postage for 2 oz would be $0.70. The seller put $0.91 in postage on it. So looks to me like the seller included $0.21 extra for non-machinable!

Do you have to do anything "special" to let the PO know that the postage is supposed to cover the non-machinable surcharge?

Another question. It looks to me like the decision to access "postage due" was made at myPO, and not at the PO from which it was originally mailed. For that much additional postage due, I would have thought it would be "return[ed] to sender." And since it was just handwritten -- image below -- how am I to know that this just doesn't end up in somebody's pocket, if I pay?



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Edited by blcjr - 07/26/2014 5:28 pm

Battlestamps

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srailkb

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Posted 07/27/2014   08:07 am  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd srailkb to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I think each US post office has their own way of handling things, but at mine (for letters):

"DO NOT FOLD" = 49c w/ no surcharge (assuming otherwise qualifies as "letter")
"DO NOT BEND" = 49c + 21c non-machinable surcharge added

If you think about how the sorting equipment works (11" radius turns, 40 lb tension IIRC,) this makes perfect sense. Letters "bend" as they go through the sorting machinery. Marking it "DO NOT BEND" deserves the non-machinable surcharge.

But stamps can bend and not be damaged...and including a stiffener in an envelope doesn't automatically make it non-machinable. The bottom line is that as long as your letter is uniformly thick & can pass the minimum flexibility test for flats (DMM Sec 201.4.3c, which is actually tougher to do with letters,) it will go at the "regular" letter rate of 49c (or 70c for 2 oz) w/ no surcharge. Such envelopes could even conceivably be marked "DO NOT FOLD" and would not incur the non-machinable surcharge (although I don't believe marking it that way is necessary - very few letters are actually "folded.")

There's an illustration of the flexibility test for flats at the link below:
http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/201.htm#1096362

My "machinable" letters with stiffeners easily make those 11" radius turns without damaging stamps. The stiffeners I use are 24pt or 30pt chipboard type and those easily pass that flexibility test, even in #6 3/4 envelopes. I send hundreds (sometimes thousands) every year that way at the 49c rate without (ever) getting one delivered postage due or arriving damaged.

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srailkb

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Posted 07/27/2014   08:28 am  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd srailkb to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

blcjr, many of those manila envelopes are not #10 size but rather slightly larger. Max length for letter is 11 1/2" - you might want to check that to make sure it qualified as a letter and not a flat. If >11 1/2" and marked "DO NOT BEND," then parcel would have been correct designation for that non-machinable flat & $2.32 the correct rate.

If however it truly was #10 (letter) sized, uniform thickness, and marked "DO NOT BEND," then it should have just been assessed the non-machinable surcharge of 21c, not the full parcel rate. The USPS would have goofed in that case, and depending on how high up the ladder you wanted to argue, you would have eventually prevailed...

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wt1

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Battlestamps

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ikeyPikey

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Posted 07/27/2014   12:45 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd ikeyPikey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I have been thru the same argument with the US Postal Service.

I posted an 8x8" bubble envelope with a stiffener & collectibles for the grandchildren (cards, stamps, Wall-E cd) overseas. Width was now just over 1/4", which should have upgraded me from letter to flat but, either way, cost U$D ~5. Clerk insisted I pay the parcel rate, eg, U$D ~10.

Being an accommodating sort, I next tried a 6x9" photo mailer (same sort of contents), which I expected would travel at the letter rate (much less than 1/4" thick) plus the non-machinable charge.

Different clerk, different post office, different *county*, same result: the clerk insisted it be rated as a parcel at, again, double the price.

"But a letter can be rigid" says I, "and that adds only 21 cents."

"Yes, but that is for 'rigid', and this is actually STIFF."

I got stiffed, in more ways than one.

I next wrote the USPS HQ on my letterhead, asking for a ruling about the photo mailers, on their letterhead.

Eighty-five days later, and still no answer to that simple question.

Of late, I have resorted to ikeyPikey's Maxim: "Count on indifference to make a difference."

I insert stiffeners in a greeting-card-sized envelope. In the middle, along the top, I hand-write the amount of postage for a first-class letter and, underneath that, write "21c".

I put what I think is the correct letter rate worth of postage on the right side of the envelope, and add twenty-one cents worth of post over on the left side of the envelope - perhpas inadvertently creating the impression that I added the 21c after a window clerk told me to pay the non-machineable surcharge - and toss it the outbound mail slot. Sans customs declaration, to boot.

These arrive at their destination, on time, intact, no postage due, no nothing. YMMV.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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blcjr

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Posted 07/27/2014   4:55 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd blcjr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
blcjr, many of those manila envelopes are not #10 size but rather slightly larger. Max length for letter is 11 1/2" - you might want to check that to make sure it qualified as a letter and not a flat. If >11 1/2" and marked "DO NOT BEND," then parcel would have been correct designation for that non-machinable flat & $2.32 the correct rate.

If however it truly was #10 (letter) sized, uniform thickness, and marked "DO NOT BEND," then it should have just been assessed the non-machinable surcharge of 21c, not the full parcel rate. The USPS would have goofed in that case, and depending on how high up the ladder you wanted to argue, you would have eventually prevailed...


It is definitely #10: I measure it to be 4-1/8" x 9-3/8". Thickness is uniform, at about 2/10 of an inch, or less than the 1/4" maximum. And no metal clasp. Very much the standard #10 manila envelope.

As for "going up the ladder," I'm not really sure that I have to, though it might make for an interesting experience. What happens if I refuse to pay? They cannot refuse to mail it--I've already received it! Are they going to stop delivering my mail over it?

I will be going right by the post office in the morning, and have the time to pursue it further with them. If I'm on firm ground (I think I am, and your reply helped a lot with that), then why not? I'll be pleasant enough about it.

Basil
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Edited by blcjr - 07/27/2014 4:58 pm

blcjr

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Posted 07/28/2014   1:28 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd blcjr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Just returned from the PO. The clerk I talked to really couldn't explain why someone was trying to treat it as a parcel. She said maybe someone thought it was too stiff, and then demonstrated a "flex test" to see how much bend or flexibility there was. So I just asked what will happen if I ignore the request for the additional "postage due" and she just shrugged her shoulders. So that was it and I left, letter in hand, and without paying.

I'm curious though, about her flex test. Is that applicable to letters? I thought it applied to flats. If the non-machinable rate is paid, does it matter if the letter is rigid, and will not flex? Why should it matter, if it is not going to be machine processed?

Basil

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JLLebbert

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Posted 07/28/2014   2:49 pm  Show ProfileBookmark this replyAdd JLLebbert to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I just had the opposite problem this morning. A postal clerk (a newbie) tried to charge me the large envelope rate when my envelope was 9"x18" (actually, 2 9x13s taped together). It even had a cardboard stiffener inside. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon your viewpoint) I already had almost enough postage on the package to cover the parcel rate. I told him he was wrong & after he recalculated, I added a couple more stamps. But he is new & just learning ... an event not likely to be repeated.

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Royal Mail Letter Sizes

Here you will find detailed information including sizes and costs for sending standard letters and large letters with Royal Mail.

Royal Mail Size & Weight Guide For Letters

Max WeightMax LengthMax WidthMax Thickness
Letter100g24cm16.5cm5mm
Large Letter750g35.3cm25cm2.5cm

Letters

Ideal for mailing greeting cards, regular letters and postcards, the maximum size that would fall under a 'letter' is 165 mm x 240 mm. We would recommend using an envelope no larger than C5 to fit these restrictions comfortably and avoid any excess costs. The envelope and contents must also weigh under 100g.

Recommended envelope sizes

Cost for sending a letter

ServicePrice
1st Class85p
2nd Class66p

Large Letters

For mailing contents such as A4 sized documents, DVDs, certificates, large greeting cards and magazines you would need to send as a large letter. The maximum size is 250 mm x 353 mm and and a maximum weight of 750g so a C4 envelope is a good choice.

Recommended envelope sizes for a large letter

Cost for sending a large letter

Weight1st Class2nd Class
up to 100g£1.2996p
101g to 250g£1.83£1.53
251g to 500g£2.39£1.99
501g to 750g 3.30£2.70
Sours: https://www.ideal-envelopes.co.uk/
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DMM Revision: Clarification of Shape-based Standards

The Postal Service™ is clarifying standards for determining flexibility and uniform thickness of flat-size mailpieces and deleting standards for using the marking “Do Not Bend.” We are revising the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 101, 301, and 601 accordingly.

We recognize that some flat-size mailpieces have contents that are stiff but not completely rigid. Some employees may be reluctant to administer the flexibility test on these pieces. As stated in the Federal Register notice of March 30, 2007, customers may administer the flexibility test on their own mailpieces with an employee observing. When the customer demonstrates that a flat-size piece is flexible according to standards, the employee does not need to perform the test. We are adding this clarification to DMM 101 and 301.

The requirement that nonpaper contents in flat-size mailpieces not shift more than 2 inches is within the context of the overall standard concerning uniform thickness. In DMM 101 and 301, we are adding the phrase “if shifting would cause the piece to be nonuniform in thickness,” to clarify that intent. We are adding a reminder to the same section that some objects placed in ordinary paper enve­lopes may need to be fixed in place or wrapped within the other contents of the mailpiece to prevent them from burst­ing out of the envelope. We are also clarifying when to exclude the external edges of a flat-size mailpiece when determining uniform thickness.

There has been a longstanding mailing standard that mailers marking their mailpieces with “Do Not Bend” must add a stiffener within the mailpiece. That requirement was included to provide a sensory reminder in case our employ­ees did not see the marking. However, we do not guarantee that these pieces will not be bent during processing or bent or folded when delivered. Therefore, we are removing references to this marking. We recommend that mailers prepare these items (that could be damaged by bending or folding) in boxes or similar protective containers mailed at the applicable parcel rates, instead of adding handling endorsements on the outside of the mailpiece.

These revised standards are effective immediately.

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

* * * * * 

100Retail Mail101Physical Standards

* * * * * 

2.0Physical Standards for Flats

* * * * * 

2.3 Minimum Flexibility Criteria for Flat-Size Pieces

[Revise 2.3 to clarify that customers may perform this test when an employee is present, as follows:]

Flat-size pieces must be flexible. Boxes — with or without hinges, gaps, or breaks that allow the piece to bend — are not flats. Tight envelopes or wrappers that are filled with one or more boxes are not flats. At the customer’s option, a customer may perform the following test on their own mailpieces. When a postal employee observes a customer demonstrating that a flat-size piece is flexible according to these standards, the employee does not need to perform the test. Test flats as follows:

* * * * * 

2.4Uniform Thickness

[Revise 2.4 to clarify when the outside edges are excluded for determining variation in thickness and when contents must be secured to prevent shifting, as follows:]

Flat-size mailpieces must be uniformly thick so that any bumps, protrusions, or other irregularities do not cause more than 1/4-inch variance in thickness. When determin­ing variance in thickness, exclude the outside edges of a mailpiece (1 inch from each edge) when the contents do not extend into those edges. Also, exclude the selvage of any polywrap covering (see 301.3.3) from this determina­tion. Mailers must secure nonpaper contents to prevent shifting of more than 2 inches within the mailpiece if shifting would cause the piece to be nonuniform in thickness or would result in the contents bursting out of the mailpiece (see 601.11.18).

* * * * * 

300Discount Flats301Physical Standards1.0Physical Standards for Flats

* * * * * 

1.3 Minimum Flexibility for Flat-Size Pieces

[Revise 1.3 to clarify that customers may perform this test when an employee is present, as follows:]

Flat-size pieces must be flexible. Boxes — with or without hinges, gaps, or breaks that allow the piece to bend — are not flats. Tight envelopes or wrappers that are filled with one or more boxes are not flats. At the customer’s option, a customer may perform the following test on their own mailpieces. When a postal employee observes a customer demonstrating that a flat-size piece is flexible according to these standards, the employee does not need to perform the test. Test flats as follows:

* * * * * 

1.4Uniform Thickness

[Revise 1.4 to clarify that the outside edges are excluded when determining variation in thickness and that contents must be secured to prevent shifting, as follows:]

Flat-size mailpieces must be uniformly thick so that any bumps, protrusions, or other irregularities do not cause more than 1/4-inch variance in thickness. When determin­ing variance in thickness, exclude the outside edges of a mailpiece (1 inch from each edge) when the contents do not extend into those edges. Also, exclude the selvage of any polywrap covering (see 301.3.3) from this determina­tion. Mailers must secure nonpaper contents to prevent shifting of more than 2 inches within the mailpiece if shifting would cause the piece to be nonuniform in thickness or would result in the contents bursting out of the mailpiece (see 601.11.18).

* * * * * 

600 Basic Standards for All Mailing Services601 Mailability

* * * * * 

5.0Handling, Content, and Extra Service Markings5.1Handling, Content, and Extra Service

* * * * * 

[Revise item a to remove the standards for applying mark­ings such as “Do Not Bend”, as follows:]

a.Handling markings such as “Fragile” must be applied only to packages containing delicate items such as glass and electrical appliances.

* * * * * 

We will incorporate this revision into the next printed version of the DMM and into the monthly update of the online DMM available via Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com.

— Mailing Standards,
Pricing and Classification, 8-16-07

 

 

 




Link to "Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates"Link to contents for "Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates"      Link to "ELM Revision: Limited Duty and Rehabilitation Assignments"
Sours: https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2007/html/pb22213/updt.3.2.html
What's the deal with Pen Cancels?!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) for Postal Service employees. The FAQs are focused on retail and provide additional clarification on some of the major changes that took place in May to postal prices and prod­ucts. This information will also assist employees in responding to questions received from customers.

Domestic Mail FAQs

General

Q. Can the Forever Stamp be used on mailpieces that require extra postage?

A. Forever Stamp First-Class Stamp.Yes. The postage value of a ForeverStamp is the cur­rent First-Class Mail single-piece 1-ounce letter rate — $0.41. Customers must affix additional postage when mailing letters weighing in ex­cess of 1 ounce and/or letters subject to the nonmachinable sur­charge or mailpieces subject to another rate of post­age (e.g., large envelopes or packages).

Q. American Flag First-Class Stamp.How may cus­tomers who have a number of dif­ferent stamps with no denomi­nation determine the value of those stamps?

A. DMM Quick Ser­vice Guide 604a details all nonde­nominated post­age issued since 1975. Go to http://pe.usps.com and click Quick Service Guides.

Q. Where can customers find additional information regarding domestic and international rates and fees?

A. Additional information on domestic and international rates and fees can be found at http://pe.usps.com. International delivery options can be found at www.usps.com/international.

Q. Pickup on Demand service increased to $14.25. What about Carrier Pickup service — did that change?

A. Carrier Pickup service remains available at no charge. Customers may schedule Carrier Pickup service or Pickup on Demand service online at www.usps.com/pickup. Pickup on Demand service may be also be scheduled by calling 800-222-1811. Note: Mailpieces that weigh over 13 ounces and that bear only postage stamps as postage must be pre­sented for mailing to an employee at a Post Office retail counter.

First-Class Mail

Q. Are letter-size greeting cards weighing more than 1 ounce subject to the nonmachinable surcharge?

A. Yes. The $0.17 nonmachinable surcharge criteria applies to all First-Class Mail letters (up to the 3.5–ounce maximum weight). However, greeting cards that are classified and priced as flats are not subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

Q. How are “rigid” letter-size greeting cards priced?

A. If a mailpiece does not exceed 11-1/2 inches x 6-1/8 inches x 1/4 inch thick and 3.5 ounces, but is rigid, it is classified and priced as a nonmachinable letter (i.e., applicable First-Class Mail postage and $0.17 nonmachinable surcharge apply).

Q. Are large envelopes (flats) subject to a nonmachin­able surcharge?

A. No. Since large envelopes have their own price struc­ture (flats prices), the nonmachinable surcharge does not apply.

Q. If a First-Class Mail piece is larger than letter-size, does it have to be over 1/4 inch thick to be priced as a “large envelope”?

A. No. The 1/4 inch thickness is just one of the three maximum measurements for letter-size pieces. If the mailpiece exceeds any one of the measurements, it is classified and priced as a large envelope (flat) as long as it does not exceed any of the flat-size maxi­mum dimensions and has all the other characteristics of a large envelope (flat).

Q. If a flat-size First-Class Mail piece is rigid, is that piece charged the parcel rate?

A. Yes. If the physical dimensions are within flat-size standards, and the mailpiece is rigid, it is classified and priced as a package (parcel). Notice 3-S, First-Class Mail Shape-Based Pricing Template, is a useful tool to help determine First-Class Mail prices.

Q. Did the Postal Service make any changes to any of its processing categories used to determine shape-based rates?

A. No. The minimum and maximum sizes for First-Class Mail card rate, letters, and flats have not changed — see page 27 in this issue of the Postal Bulletin.

First-Class Mail - Single-Piece RatesFirst-Class Mail - Single-Piece Rates

Q. How large can an envelope be and still be eligible for First-Class Mail letter rates?

A. The maximum size is 11-1/2 inches x 6-1/8 inches x 1/4 inch thick. Determining the processing category of a mailpiece (letter, flat, or parcel) is dependent solely on the physical dimensions of the piece with­out regard to address placement. If an envelope exceeds any of the physical dimensions, or 3.5 ounc­es in weight, it is classified and priced as a large envelope (flat).

Q. Are items sent at First-Class Mail flats rates (large envelopes) required to be flexible and “uniformly thick”?

A. Yes. Large envelopes as well as padded mailing bags must be somewhat flexible (not rigid) and uniformly thick. Items mailed in large envelopes cannot have more than a 1/4 inch variance in thickness. Also, mailpieces must be rectangular with a maximum thickness (at the thickest point) of 3/4 inch. A mail­piece that exceeds any one of the maximum physical dimensions (15 inches x 12 inches x 3/4 inch thick) is classified and priced as a package (parcel).

Q. Would items such as photos mailed in a large enve­lope with cardboard or “stiffeners” inserted to prevent bending be subject to package rates?

A. Yes. For additional information, see DMM 101.2.3.

Priority Mail

Q. With dimensional-weight pricing for Priority Mail packages, is there still the balloon rate?

A. Yes, but only for packages measuring larger than 84 inches combined length and girth traveling locally up to Zone 4 with the minimum rate being the 20–pound rate.

Q. Are packages measured the same way for dimensional-weight pricing as for balloon-rate pricing?

A. No. Dimensional-weight is based on cubic inches by measuring (in inches) and multiplying the length by the width by the height. If the result is greater than 1,728, divide it by 194 (the “dim factor”). The result is the dimensional-weight. The Smart Mat may be used to determine if a parcel is eligible for dimensional-weight pricing. Balloon-rate is determined by mea­suring the length and girth combined, and if the result is greater than 84 inches, balloon-rate pricing may apply.

Q. Are complimentary Priority Mail boxes, including the flat-rate boxes, subject to dimensional-weight pricing or the balloon-rate?

A. No. Complimentary Priority Mail containers available online or at Post Offices are not subject to dimensional-weight or balloon-rate pricing.

Express Mail

Q. Is insurance included in the base price for Express Mail?

A. Yes, merchandise insurance is provided against loss, damage, or rifling up to a maximum liability of $100. Additional insurance up to $5,000 may still be pur­chased for a fee, at the customer’s option. Note:The maximum amount of insurance available for purchase online is $500. The maximum amount of insurance available for purchase at the retail counter is $5,000. Online insurance cannot be combined with insurance purchased at the retail counter. Customers wishing to ensure items for more than $500 should purchase the whole insurance amount at the retail counter.

Q. If a customer purchases additional insurance, can the “waiver of signature” option be selected?

A. No. If a waiver of signature is requested, any addi­tional insurance coverage is void. This information is printed on the Express Mail label.

Q. Does dimensional-weight pricing apply to Express Mail shipments?

A. No. Dimensional-weight pricing only applies to Priority Mail.

Package Services

Q. Can postage for Bound Printed Matter (BPM)–eligible items be purchased at the retail counter?

A. Single-piece nonpresorted BPM is no longer offered as an option for mailing flats and parcels at the retail counter. However, we accept nonpresorted BPM pieces for mailing at the retail counter (as well as col­lection boxes and letter carriers, as appropriate) if the customer has pre-applied postage using adhesive stamps, meter strips, or PC Postage. We sell postage (stamps or PVI labels) for BPM items only when cus­tomers specifically request BPM.

Q. Were there any changes to Media Mail eligibility?

A. There were no significant changes to Media Mail. As a reminder, eligible contents are limited to books, sound recordings, recorded videotapes, and com­puter-readable media (not blank). Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may con­tain incidental announcements of books. Rates are still unzoned and based on weight.

Extra Services

Q. Where can electronic Return Receipt service be purchased?

A. Return Receipt (electronic) service is available on eligible mailpieces at Post Offices that have integrat­ed retail terminals (IRTs) and point of service (POS) terminals. It is not available at manual offices.

Q. How are mailpieces with partial or full postage han­dled when a customer has requested an electronic Return Receipt?

A. There is a process that must be followed in IRT/POS Post Offices. The standard operating procedures for this process can be found on the Retail Operations page at http://blue.usps.gov/delret/L3RetOper.htm; click on SOPs in the left navigation bar of the Web page.

Q. Can gift cards be insured?

A. Gift cards may be insured for their full value only when sent by Registered Mail service. Otherwise, gift cards sent by Express Mail service (which includes Express Mail insurance) or another class of mail with merchandise insurance are protected only up to the maximum indemnity for cash and negotiable items — $15. Customers should check the terms of their gift cards as many are replaceable by the issuer if they are lost or stolen.

Q. What if a customer wishes to purchase domestic (or international) postage online and insure the item for more than $500?

A. Insurance purchased online is limited to $500, whereas insurance purchased at any Post Office facility is available in amounts up to $5,000. Insur­ance purchased online cannot be combined with additional insurance purchased later at a Post Office. Customers may purchase postage online and bring the item to a Post Office to purchase insurance up to $5,000.

Q. How can a customer determine if an insured item has been delivered?

A. For any item insured for more than $200, customers can purchase a return receipt (hardcopy or electron­ic). A return receipt after mailing can be used if no return receipt was purchased at the time of mailing. For Priority Mail pieces, First-Class Mail parcels, and Package Service parcels, regardless of the insured value, customers can purchase Delivery Confirma­tion or Signature Confirmation service at the time of mailing. Delivery information is available by inputting the Delivery Confirmation or Signature Confirmation number (not the insured number) online at www.usps.com; click on Track and Confirm. Customers may also call 800-222-1811. Always encourage customers to save their insurance receipt in case they need to file a claim.

Q. Are there any changes to the criteria for mailpieces eligible for Delivery Confirmation or Signature Confir­mation service?

A. No. Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirma­tion services are available for all Priority Mail pieces, First-Class Mail packages, and Package Services packages (e.g., Parcel Post). First-Class Mail and Package Services items must be greater than 3/4 inch thick at their thickest point, unless the item is prepared in a strong and rigid fiberboard or similar container or in a container that becomes rigid after the contents are enclosed and the container is secured. The rigid package must be greater than 1/4 inch thick, and be able to maintain its shape, integrity, and rigidity throughout processing and handling. Customers cannot pay First-Class Mail package rates for items that are classified as letters or flats.

Q. Are there any size (shape) standards for items sent with postal insurance?

A. No. All mail shapes — letters, large envelopes, and packages containing insurable merchandise — may be insured and sent as Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, or Package Services items.

Q. What is PAL or Parcel Airlift?

A. PAL (parcel airlift service) provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis to or from mil­itary post offices (MPOs) outside the 48 contiguous states. It is available for Package Services mail that does not exceed 30 pounds or 60 inches in length and girth combined. Packages must be marked “PAL” on the address side, preferably below the postage and above the addressee’s name. The appli­cable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the Pack­age Services postage.

Q. What is SAM or space available mail?

A. SAM (space available mail) provides air transporta­tion for parcels on a space-available basis to or from military post offices (MPOs) outside the 48 contigu­ous states. It is available for Package Services mail that does not exceed 15 pounds or 60 inches in length and girth combined. Packages must be marked “SAM” on the address side, preferably below the postage and above the addressee’s name. There is no additional fee for SAM.

Q. Are Priority Mail parcels using a Business Reply Mail label or Merchandise Return Service label subject to balloon-rate or dimensional-weight pricing?

A. Yes, parcels greater than 84 inches in combined length and girth returned from within Zones 1–4 are subject to balloon-rate pricing. Parcels greater than 1 cubic foot capacity and returned from Zone 5 or be­yond are subject to Priority Mail dimensional-weight pricing.

International Mail FAQs

General

Q. Can the Forever Stamp be used on international mail?

A. Yes, however, since international postage rates are always higher, additional postage would have to be affixed. Any nondenominated stamps (except for those that bear unique markings, such as First-Class Presort, Nonprofit Org.) may be affixed to items that are sent to foreign destinations. The postage value of such stamps is linked to its appropriate domestic rate (e.g., the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp and the American Flag stamp have a postage value of $0.41).

Q. Why were changes made to the structure of interna­tional mail?

A. The international mail product line was restructured to better meet customer needs. Over time, custom­ers had expressed the desire for clear and concise product options to choose from. They wanted to have the same quick, easy, and convenient shipping options that are available domestically. Also, cus­tomers had stated a preference for using the same Postal Service–provided packaging for both domes­tic and international shipments, free Carrier Pickup service, and better tracking and package visibility — all at the Postal Service’s competitive prices.

Q. What are some of the major changes that were made to international mail?

A. The changes include a simplification and rebranding of all international products. Eight international prod­ucts with overlapping prices and service standards were combined into four: Global Express Guaranteed (GXG), Express Mail International, Priority Mail Inter­national, and First-Class Mail International.

Q. What international products are no longer offered?

A. Economy (surface) products including economy par­cel post; economy letter post; publishers’ periodi­cals, books, and sheet music; and economy M-bags are no longer offered. In place of these services we now offer comparable air product alternatives. In addition, aerogrammes and recorded delivery ser­vice were eliminated. First-Class Mail International letters and cards are alternatives to aerogrammes, and Registered Mail is an alternative for recorded delivery.

Q. What are some of the benefits that the new interna­tional services offer?

A. Customers have the convenience of using domestic shipping supplies, including “flat-rate” options, as well as increased visibility and more specific delivery times to major destinations. Additionally, online ship­pers qualify for postage discounts of up to 10 percent for GXG, Express Mail International, and Priority Mail International when paying postage online at www.usps.com or through authorized PC Postage vendors.

Q. Can Express Mail and Priority Mail “prepaid” Flat-Rate Envelopes be used for international mail?

A. Yes. However, since international rates are always higher than the postage value, additional postage as well as appropriate customs forms would have to be affixed. Express Mail and Priority Mail prepaid enve­lopes are only available for purchase online at http://shop.usps.com.

Q. Which of the four new international products offer insurance and tracking?

A. GXG and Express Mail International include insur­ance up to $100 for loss, damage, rifling, or docu­ment reconstruction. Priority Mail International also includes limited insurance coverage. Additional mer­chandise insurance is available at the mailer’s option. Tracking is included in the price of these products. In­surance is not available for items mailed in a Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelope.

Q. Where is the tracking number located?

A. The tracking number is located immediately below the barcode on either the mailing label or customs form, as appropriate:

Q. How is delivery information accessed?

A. Customers can go to “Track & Confirm” on www.usps.com or call 800-222-1811.

Q. Does the Postal Service provide free packaging for international services?

A. Yes. We continue to provide GXG packaging. Cus­tomers using Express Mail International or Priority Mail International can use the same packaging they use for domestic shipping including flat-rate enve­lopes and Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes. Shipping supplies can be ordered online at www.usps.com/shippingsupplies or by calling 800-610-8734.

Q. Must customers declare the specific contents and value on customs forms?

A. Yes. The package contents description is required on shipments going to foreign countries and is subject to the restrictions and prohibitions of that country. If the item is not properly described, it might be reject­ed by Customs before entering the country and is at risk of not being delivered.

Q. Is the sender required to state the value of an interna­tional shipment sent as a gift on the customs form?

A. Yes. Shipments may be subject to duties and taxes based on contents and their value. Because each country has regulations about what it will allow into the country, everything that enters that country and its value must be identified.

Q. Which international products can be sent with Regis­tered Mail service?

A. Registered Mail service (without insurance) is avail­able for purchase for all First-Class Mail International items and for the Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope. Limited indemnity of $43.73 is included against loss, damage, and rifling. See the IMM for individual country restrictions.

Q. Other than new pricing, were there any other chang­es to IPA and ISAL service?

A. Yes, a separate rate group was established for Australia, and an IPA M-bag option is now available.

Q. What mailing options are there for books, sheet music, and publishers’ periodicals that used to be sent as surface mail?

A. Mailing options include International Priority Airmail (IPA), M-bag, and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) service. “Single-piece” mailing options are First-Class Mail International and Priority Mail International service.

First-Class Mail International

Q. Is pricing for First-Class Mail International items based on shape like it is for domestic mail?

A. No. Shape-based pricing does not apply to First-Class Mail international.

Q. Can domestic stamped envelopes be used for inter­national mail?

A. Yes, but since international postage rates are always higher than the domestic postage value, additional postage would need to be affixed.

Q. Are prices for international postcards still available?

A. Yes, postcards are part of First-Class Mail Interna­tional service. The price for eligible cards is $0.69 to Canada and Mexico and $0.90 to all other countries (exception: postcards to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia are $0.52). Remember, for postcard rates, cards can be no larger than 4-1/4 by 6 inches.

Q. Can aerogrammes still be mailed?

A. Aerogrammes may be mailed as First-Class Mail International items; however, additional postage must be affixed.

Q. Is there a nonmachinable surcharge for letters?

A. Yes, the nonmachinable surcharge for First-Class Mail International letters weighing 1 ounce or less is $0.17. As always, 1-ounce letters that do not meet aspect ratio or that have any nonmachinable charac­teristics are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

Priority Mail International

Q. What level of tracking is available with Priority Mail International?

A. Tracking is available to major destinations in Canada, Europe, and Asia for variable-weight packages and flat-rate boxes only. Tracking is not available for the Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope at this time.

Q. Is insurance available with Priority Mail International?

A. Priority Mail International packages include limited indemnity coverage against loss, damage, or rifling. Limited indemnity coverage, however, does not in­clude coins; banknotes; currency notes (including paper money); securities of any kind payable to the bearer; traveler’s checks; platinum, gold, and silver; precious stones; jewelry, watches and other valuable articles. Additional merchandise insurance is avail­able at the mailer’s option. The Priority Mail Interna­tional Flat-Rate Envelope may not be insured.

Q. Is it true that Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes and Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelops are now available for interna­tional use?

A. Yes. The flat-rate box has a 20-pound weight limit for allowable contents, and the flat-rate envelope has a 4-pound weight limit. Note: Use former domestic packaging until supplies are depleted. Although the packaging says “For Domestic Use Only,” it can be used for both domestic and international shipments.

Q. How does a Priority Mail International label generated and paid for online through Click-N-Ship service or another authorized PC Postage vendor receive a round-date stamp?

A. A Priority Mail International label that is prepared and paid for online will contain a preprinted round-date stamp when it is printed.

Q. When do Priority Mail International labels generated and paid for online receive scans?

A. In most cases, packages receive a scan at the Inter­national Service Center (ISC) upon leaving the coun­try and then a delivery scan in major destinations in Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Q. Does balloon-rate and dimensional-weight pricing apply to Priority Mail International packages?

A. No. Neither applies to Priority Mail International.

Q. What extra services are available with the Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope?

A. Registered Mail service is available with the Priority Mail International Flat-Rate Envelope only. A certificate of mailing, which only provides evidence of mailing, is available for all Priority Mail International shipments.

International Mail Extra Services

Q. Were there any significant changes to extra services?

A. Except for the elimination of recorded delivery ser­vice, all other extra services remain unchanged. The IMM Country Listings should be referenced for coun­try-specific availability of extra services.

Q. How is an insurance inquiry initiated for international mail items?

A. An inquiry must be initiated before a claim can be filed. For GXG, Express Mail International, and Prior­ity Mail International service, customers must call 800-222-1811 to initiate an inquiry. Upon determina­tion that a claim can be filed, we provide the custom­er with a claim packet containing detailed instructions.

Q. What should a customer do upon receipt of a dam­aged package?

A. If a customer receives an article from a foreign coun­try in damaged condition, or with some or all contents missing, the customer needs to take the mailing container, wrapping, packaging, and any oth­er contents to any Post Office for inspection. The postmaster will verify damage and give the customer a PS Form 2855, Claim for Indemnity International Registered Mail, Insured, Ordinary Parcel and Express Mail, to complete. The postmaster then completes PS Form 2856, Damage Report of Insured Parcel and Contents, to go with PS Form 2855.

Note that for Registered Mail service, regardless of the declared value, the maximum amount of indem­nity payable for loss, damage, or rifling is $43.73.

Q. Do the discounts for paying international postage on­line through Click-N-Ship or an authorized postage vendor apply to any extra services purchased online?

A. No. The discounts apply only to the postage amount.

Q. What if a customer wishes to purchase international (or domestic) postage online and insure the item for more than $500?

A. Insurance purchased online is limited to $500, whereas insurance purchased at any Post Office is available in amounts up to $5,000 (as limited by the individual country, content, or value). Insurance pur­chased online cannot be combined with additional insurance purchased later at a Post Office facility. Customers who wish to insure items for more than $500 must come into the Post Office. In this case, a customer may pay the postage amount online and then bring the item into the Post Office to purchase insurance.

 




Link to "Stand-up Talk for Retail Employees: Nondenominated IBI (“Hidden Postage”) Labels"Link to contents for "2007 Product and Pricing Holiday Mailing Kit"      Link to "2007 Pricing Change Resources for Postal Employees"
Sours: https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2007/html/pb22218/kit1_021.html

Envelope do postage bend not

The Postal Service� is clarifying standards for determining flexibility and uniform thickness of flat-size mailpieces and deleting standards for using the marking �Do Not Bend.� We are revising the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM�) 101, 301, and 601 accordingly.

We recognize that some flat-size mailpieces have contents that are stiff but not completely rigid. Some employees may be reluctant to administer the flexibility test on these pieces. As stated in the Federal Register notice of March 30, 2007, customers may administer the flexibility test on their own mailpieces with an employee observing. When the customer demonstrates that a flat-size piece is flexible according to standards, the employee does not need to perform the test. We are adding this clarification to DMM 101 and 301.

The requirement that nonpaper contents in flat-size mailpieces not shift more than 2 inches is within the context of the overall standard concerning uniform thickness. In DMM 101 and 301, we are adding the phrase �if shifting would cause the piece to be nonuniform in thickness,� to clarify that intent. We are adding a reminder to the same section that some objects placed in ordinary paper enve�lopes may need to be fixed in place or wrapped within the other contents of the mailpiece to prevent them from burst�ing out of the envelope. We are also clarifying when to exclude the external edges of a flat-size mailpiece when determining uniform thickness.

There has been a longstanding mailing standard that mailers marking their mailpieces with �Do Not Bend� must add a stiffener within the mailpiece. That requirement was included to provide a sensory reminder in case our employ�ees did not see the marking. However, we do not guarantee that these pieces will not be bent during processing or bent or folded when delivered. Therefore, we are removing references to this marking. We recommend that mailers prepare these items (that could be damaged by bending or folding) in boxes or similar protective containers mailed at the applicable parcel rates, instead of adding handling endorsements on the outside of the mailpiece.

These revised standards are effective immediately.

Sours: http://postalclerk.info/bend.html
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If you are sending postcards, be aware that the minimum size is 3.5 x 5 inches. So a small photograph with a stamp on the back will not count even if addressed properly. All mail must be at least .007 inches thick. So if you send a sheet of regular paper as a postcard, it would be too thin. When mail pieces get too small or flimsy they are just too easy to lose or damage during handling, so those types of postcards or envelopes are considered unmailable.

If you are mailing overstuffed letters or home-made cards, be aware there is a limitation on the thickness of the envelope. A standard size card that is too fat (over ¼ inch) or too irregular in thickness will not go through automated processing equipment and will need to be processed by hand. This can cost a bit more than your standard letter to send even though the card may be well within the weight limit for the standard amount of postage. The most economical solution is to take all of your cards at once to the post office and have them check the thickness and assign the postage or if you only have one card and want to avoid that hassle, you could double stamp your envelope.

Also watch for loose items within your letter like pens, beads, keys or coins. Not only can these make your letter thickness uneven, they can cause a paper envelope to tear and drop its contents and are therefore sometimes considered unmailable. The post office doesn’t want to deal with the contents of your envelope falling out all over the place or stabbing someone while the envelope is in transit. If you need to send items like those mentioned before, consider taping them to a piece of paper and wrapping it up so they can’t move around within the envelope.

Here are a few other non-machineable (higher priced and more risky to send) types of mail:

  • Envelopes with clasps, buttons or strings to close the envelope (these can get snagged with other pieces of mail very easily).
  • Envelopes wrapped in plastic or envelopes that are not made of paper on the outside.
  • Envelopes that don’t bend
  • Custom envelopes which are too square or too elongated
  • Envelopes or postcards that are addressed sideways- sometimes considered non-mailable (there must be a minimum 5 inch length of the envelope or postcard where the recipient name and address are written, regardless of whether the address takes up that much space or not)
  • Envelopes that are stamped and addressed creatively may also be considered unmailable

If your parcel weighs over 13 ounces (slightly more than the weight of a typical can of soda), there are special security precautions that will apply. This is to help ensure that your postal workers and airline passengers are safer. Parcels over 13 ounces (with only stamps as postage) must be brought to an employee at the Post Office counter. Stuffing your parcel into a mail collection box, leaving it on a counter or elsewhere about the Post Office will get it returned to you, even if everything else with the parcel is in order. You can also not expect that package will be picked up by your mail carrier if you leave it in your mailbox. So how do you avoid going to the Post Office? Answer: These rules apply only to parcels that use regular stamps as postage. Postage on a parcel that was created by a service like Stamps.com® or by a postage meter will allow you to get the parcel picked up from your home or office without having to go anywhere. We speculate this is because it makes the sender‘s information much easier to confirm.

Recycling helps save money and reduce waste, but there are some USPS rules regarding reuse. If you reuse packaging or boxes, you need to completely obscure any previous markings (not just draw a line through) and remove any old labels. Make sure there aren’t any old indicators of hazardous or restricted materials. An easy example would be to try to send gifts in a box that is labeled by a vineyard. This can get a parcel refused, regardless of what its actual contents are.

By law, it is considered the mailer’s responsibility to make sure that they do not send unmailable materials by mail. It is also the mailer’s responsibility not to transmit material via mail which is not legally transferrable.


Was this article helpful? We hope so! If it was, you might want to consider purchasing your next set of shipping supplies or stamps from Amazon.com

Sours: https://www.postageonlinenow.com/guides/dont-get-your-mail-returned-to-you/

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After drinking tea, I asked. Elena to go with her again to the store, for other literature. During the selection of books, I did everything to be as close to her as possible, the narrow aisles between the shelves allowed it, we touched our bodies.



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