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United States/BOB & Other : Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

 

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cocollectibles

04 Feb 2015
09:43:00am
I went to our main post office as it was nearer to where I was yesterday morning, and the clerk told me that the airmail stamps I used for a domestic mailing were not valid for two reasons: First, this would not go to California from Georgia by air (really?) and second, the stamps were "too old" (I used several small denomination stamps including a C35 pair, which he said was too old).

I took the envelope back and went to my regular local neighborhood post office this morning and they took it without question. She said it all looked fine as long as the postage cost was correct.

Now, of course, I'm worried that it won't get through because the first clerk was right, that the 15c stamps were "too old"; should I worry? And what's with the statement they don't send mail from Georgia to California by air; is that right? How inefficient.

Peter
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philb
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04 Feb 2015
10:00:21am

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re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

I understand, i get different responses from the different clerks...when i send a 6x9 manila envelope overseas i put a $1.15 stamp on it. One clerk calls it an oversize envelope and wants to charge me over 2 dollars...i do not go to him !!!Surprise

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04 Feb 2015
10:17:08am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Peter

You encountered a clerk who is either illiterate (cannot read his manual), outrageously stupid, incompetent, or was deliberately misleading you for some unfathomable reason. Any airmail stamp is valid for domestic postage, whether the letter is going across the country or across town, whether via an airplane, a truck or a donkey cart. I am not familiar with how mail is routed, but I would presume all standard mail from Georgia to California goes by way of the air. When you encounter this level of incompetence, you do everyone a favor by requesting to speak with his supervisor.

Bobby

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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:18:14am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Air mail stamps are all valid for postage.

From the USPS Domestic Mail Manual Part 604, Section 1.0:

1.2 Postage Stamps Valid for Use

All postage stamps issued by the United States since 1860, unless listed in 1.3, are valid for postage from any point in the United States or from any other place where U.S. Mail service operates. Precanceled stamps may be used to pay regular postage and fees for extra services if the mailpiece is endorsed under the standards for the class of mail and service requested. Precanceled postage may be used only by permit holders authorized under 3.0. Unless excepted by standard, the total postage affixed must equal at least the postage charge for the class of the mail and, if applicable, the fee for the extra service requested. All nondenominated postage and makeup price stamps, including official mail stamps, are valid at the original prices of issue.

1.3 Postage Stamps Invalid for Use

The following are not valid to pay postage for U.S. domestic or U.S.-originated international mail:

a. Postage due, special delivery, special handling, and Certified Mail stamps.

b. Stamps of other countries.

c. United Nations stamps, unless on mail deposited at the United Nations, NY.

d. U.S. stamps that are mutilated or defaced; cut from stamped envelopes, aerogrammes, or stamped cards; covered or coated in such a manner that canceling or defacing marks cannot be printed onto the stamps; or overprinted with an unauthorized design, message, or other marking.

e. Nonpostage stamps, such as migratory-bird hunting and conservation stamps, U.S. saving and thrift stamps.

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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:21:34am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"All nondenominated postage and makeup price stamps, including official mail stamps, are valid at the original prices of issue."



This is a new addition to the policy, and is surprising to me. See the second half of the sentence quoted. Never before were official stamps valid for postage. The rule does seem to state that these are now valid for postage. Interesting.
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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:28:22am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Phil, when they tell you that a 6x9 envelope is a large envelope, and it is less than 1/4" thick AND flexible, have them place the envelope on the platen of their scale and match it to the lines of the various sized envelopes there. They should see it. Anything larger than 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" x 1/4" thick is a large envelope. Smaller, and it is considered letter rate.

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larsdog
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04 Feb 2015
11:23:10am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"The rule does seem to state that these are now valid for postage."



I don't read it that way. Official stamps ARE valid for postage, you and I just aren't authorized to use them. It's like precancelled or service inscribed stamps. If you are authorized to use them, they are valid for postage. I can get a permit to use precancelled and service inscribed stamps, but I can't just use them without a permit.

Lars
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04 Feb 2015
11:27:53am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Michael,

that last rule you quoted indicates that forever stamps are valid at the price sold, not the current first class rate. Unless the "forever" rule supersedes that rule.

Peter,

You do have reason to worry; the people who stand behind counters and wear the uniform of the USPS do not know their own rules, have no sense of how mail travels, and/or have no sense of geography. But your airmail postage is legal tender. The last demonetization happened more than 150 years ago, so anything issued since is still valid for the services it was issued, and most for all services.

Perhaps your clerk has confused the fact that air mail is no longer a service one can choose, but, instead, is completely at the USPS's option with air mail stamps' validity. The first is true; the second is not.

David

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cocollectibles

04 Feb 2015
12:32:58pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Thank you all for restoring my sanity and reducing my needless worry. I find that the main post office clerks are more prone to incorrect information than my small local PO. As with Phil, I've been told by a main PO clerk that my letter sized envelope, less than a 1/4 inch thick, but with DO NOT BEND clearly stamped on front and back, must be sent as a package! At my local PO, they readily take it as is, with the 20c additional postage because it isn't flexible.

Peter

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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

04 Feb 2015
01:07:37pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Peter, that's the correct approach: 20c surcharge for non-machinable.

and the same is true in NY, where main GPO is laughably ignorant whereas the local PO in Red Hook can quote rates and rules and will accommodate you all day long

David

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philb
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04 Feb 2015
01:37:54pm

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re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Most interesting thread..i find if we avoid the clerk and use the "out of town" slot..things get delivered !!!!

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04 Feb 2015
02:01:45pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

One thing I dislike is that I can no longer get tracking or insurance on a regular 6X9 photo mailer. Tracking is now available only if I make it a package (over 1/4 inch thick) or send it certified mail. By the time I make it a package if I want to add tracking or insurance I might as well send it priority.

I have no idea if this is a change or they were wrong before in allowing me to add tracking and insurance but the USPS site is very specific in not allowing them on first class mail - period.

It's frustrating that mail service is so expensive for individual taxpayers and so cheap for the large corporations ....

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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
02:17:39pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

You can get tracking on any parcel. With Priority Mail, tracking is included with the postage fee as is $100 of insurance. With First Class Parcel, you have to pay extra for tracking and insurance.

An envelope thicker than 1/4" is not automatically a parcel. First it falls into the "large envelope" category. For envelope thickness to get to the First Class Parcel, it has to be more than 3/4" thick. Bubble wrap will make any envelope a parcel regardless of size. Padded envelopes, and non-flexible envelopes do likewise.

As for the "Do Not Bend", I was told that if the mail piece is machinable, then it is optional whether the carrier honors the request. If it is non-machinable, then the added postage paid makes the request mandatory that the carrier is not to bend the mail piece. But, I have received non-machinable mail that was folded and bent despite the "Do Not Bend" marking. I brought it to the attention of the postmaster, and have not had a problem since (even on machinable pieces!).

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04 Feb 2015
04:37:42pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Yes - I can track and insure a package, but I cannot track or insure a regular envelope containing merchandise, nor can I track or insure a 6X9 hard mailer unless I make it 1/4 inch thick.

As for the insurance the postmaster referred to :

4.3.2 Ineligible Matter
The following types of mail may not be insured:
a. Parcels containing matter offered for sale, addressed to prospective purchasers who have not ordered or authorized their sending. If such matter is mailed, payment is not made for loss, damage, or missing contents.
b. Nonmailable matter.
c. Articles so fragile that they cannot be carried safely in the mail regardless of packaging.
d. Articles not adequately prepared to withstand normal handling in the mail. As a rule, any mailable package should be insurable.
e. Standard Mail letters and flats.
f. Matter mailed at First-Class Mail prices (including Priority Mail) that consists of items described in 123.3.0,133.3.0, 233.2.0, and 283.2.0, and required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices.

As for the tracking the postmaster said it would require sending by certified mail and when I go to the USPS site to get a quote on first class mail there is no tracking offered in the last drop down where everything else is located.

The USPS has made mailing things so complicated that even they do not know what the rules are. .... for awhile the same identicle 6X9 mailing would be charged either 91 cents, $1.41, or around $2.40. With or without "do not bend" - I finally got that squared around (the postmaster ran a class) but the lack of consistancy is beyond frustrating.


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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
06:15:47pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"nor can I track or insure a 6X9 hard mailer unless I make it 1/4 inch thick"



Right, because you have to get it to be a First Class Parcel. I place a small piece of small bubble wrap that's a little smaller than the envelope, and place it inside the envelope. That will bring you over the 1/4" thickness, and won't add to the weight and postage cost like cardboard stiffener will. The easiest way is just to buy bubble/fiber mailers.
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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:11:49pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

It doesn't cost that much more to send something in a flat rate Priority Mail envelope, considering what the add-on costs would be for First Class Parcel, tracking and $50 insurance. Heck, it's probably cheaper. Probably fits right in what you are saying, Chris, that the post office wants people to use larger and better tracked mail for shipments of value.

{NOTE: I corrected the amount of insurance provided with Priority Mail. It is $50, not $100.}

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Soundcrest
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06 Feb 2015
10:18:28am

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re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Ignorant postal clerks are everywhere, which is why I stopped going to the PO and buy my stamps on line and print parcel labels online. Only way to get tracking on a 1oz envelope is to print off the label. For my non-ebay sales I print postage via PAYPAL. The USPS site does not allow you to print media mail, or parcel select labels but ebay does. You also get shipping discounts online and the best part is only you know if a package weighs 2 pounds or 2 pounds and 1 oz. The PO clerk never sees the parcel. I never bring a box to the PO. Keep it in mind for sending Christmas parcels if nothing else.

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cocollectibles

06 Feb 2015
02:21:24pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

That's exactly why I go to the PO, to get hand cancels, and that's when he made that comment about airmail stamps.

I also purchase all my stamps online, but I package and ship regular sales shipments by myself using stamps. For family packages, though, I use USPS.com to print the label usually at a discount.

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malcolm197

22 Feb 2015
07:39:44am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Before you all knock the postal staff please consider the following -

a) Check the pay rate of the staff.
b) Consider the level of education you can expect for the pay scale.
c) Consider the complexity of the regulations/job description compared to the level of education in (b)
d) Consider the quantity and quality of training given compared to (c)

and I think you will be pleasurably surprised by the actual knowledge and experience of the average person.

I am in the UK and have no experience of the US Postal Service but I have worked in many levels of business from Senior Manager to a "mere" warehouse operator ( one up from the most basic labourer ), and one thing I can confidently say is that ALL management under-estimates the expertise and quality of the staff required to fulfil the requirements of the job, and equally underestimates the expertise and quality of the majority of the staff it has. It then unfairly criticises the minority of the staff who (usually),through no fault of their own, fail to have the requisite educational standards,initiative and mental agility to succesfully perform their duties to the required standard.

The lowest levels of employees in any organisation are the ones that earn the money, and all the levels above are the facilitators( managers among others) who spend it - unfortunately many of the latter do not recognise it - and fail to either reward or train the earners appropriately.

I will now get off my soapbox.

Malcolm

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ECollector
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22 Feb 2015
08:15:18am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

To all in the US... try to find a clerk that will let you have one of these....

Image Not Found

This helps to clear up some of the confusion...

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22 Feb 2015
08:21:03am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Thank you Malcomb,

Well stated and absolutely true.

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22 Feb 2015
08:22:55am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"I understand, i get different responses from the different clerks...when i send a 6x9 manila envelope overseas i put a $1.15 stamp on it. One clerk calls it an oversize envelope and wants to charge me over 2 dollars...i do not go to him "



Ditto... I can ask 5 different clerks and get 8 different answers. But there's always one that knows...

There are 3 post offices within 6 miles of my house and the postal personel are constantly rotated. With an important package, I will drive around to find the couple of clerks I trust to know their job, it's that bad with the majority

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michael78651

22 Feb 2015
01:32:50pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Right, Mike. I have one of those cardstock mailing templates, and a plastic one. They are indispensable. If you have a clerk who you work very well with, maybe you can talk the clerk into giving you one.

Just remember when you size your envelope, if it touches any side of the hole that you slide it through, even if it just grazes it, you have to go up to the next mailing size. If you slide the envelope through the letter template, and it touches the top and bottom of the slot, then you have a flat/large envelope. If you still ship the envelope at letter rate, it will go through the letter sorting equipment. If it's too thick, it could jam in the sorter and get destroyed/shredded. Your buyer won't like that. Do it right. It doesn't cost that much more, and besides, you probably charged the buyer for shipping
anyway. Don't be a cheapskate with you buyers. Ship it the way the paid for it.

If you do get into a "discussion" with a clerk regarding whether the envelope size is letter or flat, the scale that they use behind the counter has the template right on top of the platen. I don't know why, but many don't use it and rather guess at the size.


I hate it when I pay for first class mail, and the seller ships it Media mail, thus making a dollar or two off my fee that was designated for first class mail per the seller's listing. I do demand my shipping fee be refunded when that happens. The worst case I had was when I paid for priority mail shipping, and it came Media mail three weeks later. After I contacted the seller and told him what I thought of that, he refunded me 100% of the priority mail shipping fee I paid, plus 50% of the purchase price. The item wasn't even eligible for Media mail to begin with (a model railroad plastic kit). He said it did qualify, because there were printed paper building instructions inside the kit box. I never bought from him again.

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Bobstamp
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22 Feb 2015
01:48:57pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

In the early decades of the 20th Century, my grandfather worked in silk mill in New York State, where he was working 12-hour days, six days a week, for wages that he could barely feed his family on. In desperation, like so many union organizers and members, he was fighting wealthy mill owners for a decent wage and working conditions; for his trouble he got himself beat up by goons hired by the company. In New Mexico, where my grandparents moved because of Grandma Ingraham's TB, he became a union leader at the Kennecott Copper Corporation mill at Hurley.

During his time there, he fought not so much for himself and his fellow white workers as for the Mexican-American labourers, who were paid less than white workers for the same jobs and lived in homes that they built themselves from whatever materials they could buy or find in their drab, treeless, segregated neighbourhood. They had no central heating or indoor plumbing, and were considered fortunate to have even one electric lightbulb. (My grandparents lived in a two-bedroom bungalow with all of the modern conveniences including indoor plumbing, central heat, electricity, a garage, a large yard with grass and trees, and a big porch; they paid only a modest rent.) Mexican-American children went to segregated schools and were not allowed to swim in the Kennecott "country club" pool except on Sunday afternoons, just before the pool was cleaned. The movie theatre, which I often attended with my grandparents, was also segregated: whites sat in the centre section, Mexican-Americans on the sides.

In 1950, Mexican-American workers at the nearby Empire Zinc Mine went on strike for better wages and working conditions. Among their grievances were safety issues: white workers in the deep-shaft mine always worked with a partner, but Mexican-American workers had to work alone. They were treated no better, really, than the burros that pulled the ore cars in the mine. The strike became the longest strike in American history up to that time. Its leaders were barred from picketing by the Taft-Hartley Act, at which point their wives and girlfriends took over. At one point some 50 women and and even some very young children were jailed illegally. Strikers and their families were threatened and physically assaulted by police and strikebreakers.

Some charges by Empire Mine managers were true: some of the strikers were communists, but, really, what choice did they have? The American democratic system had given them nothing. Besides, their communism was economic, not political in the sense of their wanting to control the world, and certainly wasn't controlled by Moscow. Nevertheless, given the political climate of the times, at least one of their leaders spent a good deal of time in prison, just for trying to do the right thing and being a communist. My father knew him quite well, and considered him to be one of the few decent Anglos in the entire mess. I learned only recently that the father of one of my best friends, a lawyer, was deep in the pocket of Empire Zinc; no wonder my friend lived in the best house in town!

As a retired teacher, I can't disagree that unions have become as much a problem as a solution. I taught with a few -- very few! -- "colleagues" who simply shouldn't have been in the classroom. It does seem that unions have gone much farther than is necessary or even healthy. Still, I can't imagine where education here in BC might be if the conservative government -- they called themselves "liberal" -- had their way. It is only the British Columbia Teachers Federation (the formation of which was required by law back in the 1980s) that keeps teachers out of the poorhouse and provides some of the best education in North America.

Bob



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philatelia
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22 Feb 2015
04:37:26pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Well I tried to keep us on topic and posted my response under a new thread, but the discussion has continued here, so I deleted that topic and repost my comment here . . .



Unions evolved out of a society that exploited child labor, had horrible working conditions and other deplorable problems. Yes, in some instances Unions have become bloated and too powerful, but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water. Workers need some sort of contract or statement of rights to protect them and negotiating these individually is unwieldy so Unions negotiate for the group. Ask any executive if they would work without a contract - they would look at you like you are nuts!

Have you read the statistics for "right to work" states? Higher worker fatalities, lower wages, and no worker protection. Until someone comes up with a better solution, unions are the lesser of evils in my opinion.

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22 Feb 2015
06:24:51pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

No, Miss Philatelia, you did exactly what you should have and we thank you.

Please - no more union discussions here. Take it off-topic.

Thank you,
Lisa
DB Moderator

P.S. I hate being the bad guy...Bobby - where are you??? At Wits End
{lurking! Big Grin -B-}


(Modified by Moderator on 2015-02-22 19:02:10)

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22 Feb 2015
08:17:20pm
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Union break Bobby?

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ccndd
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07 May 2015
02:54:40am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Official stamps are for use by government employees on government business ONLY!!! There are hefty fines for misuse. I know this for sure having worked for the US Government for many years and having sent many letters this way.

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larsdog
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08 May 2015
12:07:08am
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

I have experienced some clerks that knew the regs, and some that didn't. It's true that you can sometimes go to a different PO to get more informed service, but it often depends on which clerk you get and how much time you have. At my local rural PO I have found that word gets around fairly quickly that I know the regs. I had one clerk argue with me and I said, "Fine, do it your way, it's less than 50 cents difference and I have more stops I need to get to today." The next day he apologized and said he looked it up. I think his peers made him look it up because I have a very long history at this PO and I have NEVER been wrong in my postage calculations and I have NEVER tried to slip one by them. If I use "First class" stamps (not Forever stamps), I always bring a Mystic catalog to show them what those stamps are worth. (It is the ONE thing that Mystic catalogs seem to be useful for).

Lars

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02 Sep 2015
06:53:41am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Here in Australia we have (at the moment) may change shortly local mail which is basic 70c or 60c if you are on a pension.
Then we have the International Post for overseas mail the former have a 10% GST goods and services tax ,the international have no GST. You are not allowed to used international stamps on internal mail,but you can use internal postage stamps on international mail IF you add more stamps to cover the GST the post office is supposed to pay the tax man.
Several months ago I went into the big post office in our nearest city with a letter to post to the US I had put enough internal postage on it to cover the GST ,I took it to the counter were the clerk duly cancelled and returned it to me so I could seal it in a plastic sleeve.After completing it I took it back to the counter to be put in the hand sort bin this time I encountered a new clerk ,who looked at my envelope and said it doesn't have the right stamps on it I can't send it .Well I then had to explain the post office edict of what is allowed she still did not believe me and took my letter to another clerk ,who nodded her head and I received an apology and an explanation that she was in training .
I think they should get trainees to wear L plates so we know who to avoid.Sad

Brian

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cocollectibles

04 Feb 2015
09:43:00am

I went to our main post office as it was nearer to where I was yesterday morning, and the clerk told me that the airmail stamps I used for a domestic mailing were not valid for two reasons: First, this would not go to California from Georgia by air (really?) and second, the stamps were "too old" (I used several small denomination stamps including a C35 pair, which he said was too old).

I took the envelope back and went to my regular local neighborhood post office this morning and they took it without question. She said it all looked fine as long as the postage cost was correct.

Now, of course, I'm worried that it won't get through because the first clerk was right, that the 15c stamps were "too old"; should I worry? And what's with the statement they don't send mail from Georgia to California by air; is that right? How inefficient.

Peter

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philb

04 Feb 2015
10:00:21am

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re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

I understand, i get different responses from the different clerks...when i send a 6x9 manila envelope overseas i put a $1.15 stamp on it. One clerk calls it an oversize envelope and wants to charge me over 2 dollars...i do not go to him !!!Surprise

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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
04 Feb 2015
10:17:08am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Peter

You encountered a clerk who is either illiterate (cannot read his manual), outrageously stupid, incompetent, or was deliberately misleading you for some unfathomable reason. Any airmail stamp is valid for domestic postage, whether the letter is going across the country or across town, whether via an airplane, a truck or a donkey cart. I am not familiar with how mail is routed, but I would presume all standard mail from Georgia to California goes by way of the air. When you encounter this level of incompetence, you do everyone a favor by requesting to speak with his supervisor.

Bobby

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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:18:14am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Air mail stamps are all valid for postage.

From the USPS Domestic Mail Manual Part 604, Section 1.0:

1.2 Postage Stamps Valid for Use

All postage stamps issued by the United States since 1860, unless listed in 1.3, are valid for postage from any point in the United States or from any other place where U.S. Mail service operates. Precanceled stamps may be used to pay regular postage and fees for extra services if the mailpiece is endorsed under the standards for the class of mail and service requested. Precanceled postage may be used only by permit holders authorized under 3.0. Unless excepted by standard, the total postage affixed must equal at least the postage charge for the class of the mail and, if applicable, the fee for the extra service requested. All nondenominated postage and makeup price stamps, including official mail stamps, are valid at the original prices of issue.

1.3 Postage Stamps Invalid for Use

The following are not valid to pay postage for U.S. domestic or U.S.-originated international mail:

a. Postage due, special delivery, special handling, and Certified Mail stamps.

b. Stamps of other countries.

c. United Nations stamps, unless on mail deposited at the United Nations, NY.

d. U.S. stamps that are mutilated or defaced; cut from stamped envelopes, aerogrammes, or stamped cards; covered or coated in such a manner that canceling or defacing marks cannot be printed onto the stamps; or overprinted with an unauthorized design, message, or other marking.

e. Nonpostage stamps, such as migratory-bird hunting and conservation stamps, U.S. saving and thrift stamps.

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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:21:34am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"All nondenominated postage and makeup price stamps, including official mail stamps, are valid at the original prices of issue."



This is a new addition to the policy, and is surprising to me. See the second half of the sentence quoted. Never before were official stamps valid for postage. The rule does seem to state that these are now valid for postage. Interesting.
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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:28:22am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Phil, when they tell you that a 6x9 envelope is a large envelope, and it is less than 1/4" thick AND flexible, have them place the envelope on the platen of their scale and match it to the lines of the various sized envelopes there. They should see it. Anything larger than 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" x 1/4" thick is a large envelope. Smaller, and it is considered letter rate.

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
04 Feb 2015
11:23:10am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"The rule does seem to state that these are now valid for postage."



I don't read it that way. Official stamps ARE valid for postage, you and I just aren't authorized to use them. It's like precancelled or service inscribed stamps. If you are authorized to use them, they are valid for postage. I can get a permit to use precancelled and service inscribed stamps, but I can't just use them without a permit.

Lars
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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Feb 2015
11:27:53am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Michael,

that last rule you quoted indicates that forever stamps are valid at the price sold, not the current first class rate. Unless the "forever" rule supersedes that rule.

Peter,

You do have reason to worry; the people who stand behind counters and wear the uniform of the USPS do not know their own rules, have no sense of how mail travels, and/or have no sense of geography. But your airmail postage is legal tender. The last demonetization happened more than 150 years ago, so anything issued since is still valid for the services it was issued, and most for all services.

Perhaps your clerk has confused the fact that air mail is no longer a service one can choose, but, instead, is completely at the USPS's option with air mail stamps' validity. The first is true; the second is not.

David

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cocollectibles

04 Feb 2015
12:32:58pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Thank you all for restoring my sanity and reducing my needless worry. I find that the main post office clerks are more prone to incorrect information than my small local PO. As with Phil, I've been told by a main PO clerk that my letter sized envelope, less than a 1/4 inch thick, but with DO NOT BEND clearly stamped on front and back, must be sent as a package! At my local PO, they readily take it as is, with the 20c additional postage because it isn't flexible.

Peter

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Feb 2015
01:07:37pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Peter, that's the correct approach: 20c surcharge for non-machinable.

and the same is true in NY, where main GPO is laughably ignorant whereas the local PO in Red Hook can quote rates and rules and will accommodate you all day long

David

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philb

04 Feb 2015
01:37:54pm

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re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Most interesting thread..i find if we avoid the clerk and use the "out of town" slot..things get delivered !!!!

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04 Feb 2015
02:01:45pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

One thing I dislike is that I can no longer get tracking or insurance on a regular 6X9 photo mailer. Tracking is now available only if I make it a package (over 1/4 inch thick) or send it certified mail. By the time I make it a package if I want to add tracking or insurance I might as well send it priority.

I have no idea if this is a change or they were wrong before in allowing me to add tracking and insurance but the USPS site is very specific in not allowing them on first class mail - period.

It's frustrating that mail service is so expensive for individual taxpayers and so cheap for the large corporations ....

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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
02:17:39pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

You can get tracking on any parcel. With Priority Mail, tracking is included with the postage fee as is $100 of insurance. With First Class Parcel, you have to pay extra for tracking and insurance.

An envelope thicker than 1/4" is not automatically a parcel. First it falls into the "large envelope" category. For envelope thickness to get to the First Class Parcel, it has to be more than 3/4" thick. Bubble wrap will make any envelope a parcel regardless of size. Padded envelopes, and non-flexible envelopes do likewise.

As for the "Do Not Bend", I was told that if the mail piece is machinable, then it is optional whether the carrier honors the request. If it is non-machinable, then the added postage paid makes the request mandatory that the carrier is not to bend the mail piece. But, I have received non-machinable mail that was folded and bent despite the "Do Not Bend" marking. I brought it to the attention of the postmaster, and have not had a problem since (even on machinable pieces!).

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04 Feb 2015
04:37:42pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Yes - I can track and insure a package, but I cannot track or insure a regular envelope containing merchandise, nor can I track or insure a 6X9 hard mailer unless I make it 1/4 inch thick.

As for the insurance the postmaster referred to :

4.3.2 Ineligible Matter
The following types of mail may not be insured:
a. Parcels containing matter offered for sale, addressed to prospective purchasers who have not ordered or authorized their sending. If such matter is mailed, payment is not made for loss, damage, or missing contents.
b. Nonmailable matter.
c. Articles so fragile that they cannot be carried safely in the mail regardless of packaging.
d. Articles not adequately prepared to withstand normal handling in the mail. As a rule, any mailable package should be insurable.
e. Standard Mail letters and flats.
f. Matter mailed at First-Class Mail prices (including Priority Mail) that consists of items described in 123.3.0,133.3.0, 233.2.0, and 283.2.0, and required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices.

As for the tracking the postmaster said it would require sending by certified mail and when I go to the USPS site to get a quote on first class mail there is no tracking offered in the last drop down where everything else is located.

The USPS has made mailing things so complicated that even they do not know what the rules are. .... for awhile the same identicle 6X9 mailing would be charged either 91 cents, $1.41, or around $2.40. With or without "do not bend" - I finally got that squared around (the postmaster ran a class) but the lack of consistancy is beyond frustrating.


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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
06:15:47pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"nor can I track or insure a 6X9 hard mailer unless I make it 1/4 inch thick"



Right, because you have to get it to be a First Class Parcel. I place a small piece of small bubble wrap that's a little smaller than the envelope, and place it inside the envelope. That will bring you over the 1/4" thickness, and won't add to the weight and postage cost like cardboard stiffener will. The easiest way is just to buy bubble/fiber mailers.
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michael78651

04 Feb 2015
10:11:49pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

It doesn't cost that much more to send something in a flat rate Priority Mail envelope, considering what the add-on costs would be for First Class Parcel, tracking and $50 insurance. Heck, it's probably cheaper. Probably fits right in what you are saying, Chris, that the post office wants people to use larger and better tracked mail for shipments of value.

{NOTE: I corrected the amount of insurance provided with Priority Mail. It is $50, not $100.}

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Soundcrest

06 Feb 2015
10:18:28am

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re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Ignorant postal clerks are everywhere, which is why I stopped going to the PO and buy my stamps on line and print parcel labels online. Only way to get tracking on a 1oz envelope is to print off the label. For my non-ebay sales I print postage via PAYPAL. The USPS site does not allow you to print media mail, or parcel select labels but ebay does. You also get shipping discounts online and the best part is only you know if a package weighs 2 pounds or 2 pounds and 1 oz. The PO clerk never sees the parcel. I never bring a box to the PO. Keep it in mind for sending Christmas parcels if nothing else.

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cocollectibles

06 Feb 2015
02:21:24pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

That's exactly why I go to the PO, to get hand cancels, and that's when he made that comment about airmail stamps.

I also purchase all my stamps online, but I package and ship regular sales shipments by myself using stamps. For family packages, though, I use USPS.com to print the label usually at a discount.

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malcolm197

22 Feb 2015
07:39:44am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Before you all knock the postal staff please consider the following -

a) Check the pay rate of the staff.
b) Consider the level of education you can expect for the pay scale.
c) Consider the complexity of the regulations/job description compared to the level of education in (b)
d) Consider the quantity and quality of training given compared to (c)

and I think you will be pleasurably surprised by the actual knowledge and experience of the average person.

I am in the UK and have no experience of the US Postal Service but I have worked in many levels of business from Senior Manager to a "mere" warehouse operator ( one up from the most basic labourer ), and one thing I can confidently say is that ALL management under-estimates the expertise and quality of the staff required to fulfil the requirements of the job, and equally underestimates the expertise and quality of the majority of the staff it has. It then unfairly criticises the minority of the staff who (usually),through no fault of their own, fail to have the requisite educational standards,initiative and mental agility to succesfully perform their duties to the required standard.

The lowest levels of employees in any organisation are the ones that earn the money, and all the levels above are the facilitators( managers among others) who spend it - unfortunately many of the latter do not recognise it - and fail to either reward or train the earners appropriately.

I will now get off my soapbox.

Malcolm

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ECollector

22 Feb 2015
08:15:18am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

To all in the US... try to find a clerk that will let you have one of these....

Image Not Found

This helps to clear up some of the confusion...

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22 Feb 2015
08:21:03am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Thank you Malcomb,

Well stated and absolutely true.

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ECollector

22 Feb 2015
08:22:55am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

"I understand, i get different responses from the different clerks...when i send a 6x9 manila envelope overseas i put a $1.15 stamp on it. One clerk calls it an oversize envelope and wants to charge me over 2 dollars...i do not go to him "



Ditto... I can ask 5 different clerks and get 8 different answers. But there's always one that knows...

There are 3 post offices within 6 miles of my house and the postal personel are constantly rotated. With an important package, I will drive around to find the couple of clerks I trust to know their job, it's that bad with the majority

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michael78651

22 Feb 2015
01:32:50pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Right, Mike. I have one of those cardstock mailing templates, and a plastic one. They are indispensable. If you have a clerk who you work very well with, maybe you can talk the clerk into giving you one.

Just remember when you size your envelope, if it touches any side of the hole that you slide it through, even if it just grazes it, you have to go up to the next mailing size. If you slide the envelope through the letter template, and it touches the top and bottom of the slot, then you have a flat/large envelope. If you still ship the envelope at letter rate, it will go through the letter sorting equipment. If it's too thick, it could jam in the sorter and get destroyed/shredded. Your buyer won't like that. Do it right. It doesn't cost that much more, and besides, you probably charged the buyer for shipping
anyway. Don't be a cheapskate with you buyers. Ship it the way the paid for it.

If you do get into a "discussion" with a clerk regarding whether the envelope size is letter or flat, the scale that they use behind the counter has the template right on top of the platen. I don't know why, but many don't use it and rather guess at the size.


I hate it when I pay for first class mail, and the seller ships it Media mail, thus making a dollar or two off my fee that was designated for first class mail per the seller's listing. I do demand my shipping fee be refunded when that happens. The worst case I had was when I paid for priority mail shipping, and it came Media mail three weeks later. After I contacted the seller and told him what I thought of that, he refunded me 100% of the priority mail shipping fee I paid, plus 50% of the purchase price. The item wasn't even eligible for Media mail to begin with (a model railroad plastic kit). He said it did qualify, because there were printed paper building instructions inside the kit box. I never bought from him again.

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Bobstamp

22 Feb 2015
01:48:57pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

In the early decades of the 20th Century, my grandfather worked in silk mill in New York State, where he was working 12-hour days, six days a week, for wages that he could barely feed his family on. In desperation, like so many union organizers and members, he was fighting wealthy mill owners for a decent wage and working conditions; for his trouble he got himself beat up by goons hired by the company. In New Mexico, where my grandparents moved because of Grandma Ingraham's TB, he became a union leader at the Kennecott Copper Corporation mill at Hurley.

During his time there, he fought not so much for himself and his fellow white workers as for the Mexican-American labourers, who were paid less than white workers for the same jobs and lived in homes that they built themselves from whatever materials they could buy or find in their drab, treeless, segregated neighbourhood. They had no central heating or indoor plumbing, and were considered fortunate to have even one electric lightbulb. (My grandparents lived in a two-bedroom bungalow with all of the modern conveniences including indoor plumbing, central heat, electricity, a garage, a large yard with grass and trees, and a big porch; they paid only a modest rent.) Mexican-American children went to segregated schools and were not allowed to swim in the Kennecott "country club" pool except on Sunday afternoons, just before the pool was cleaned. The movie theatre, which I often attended with my grandparents, was also segregated: whites sat in the centre section, Mexican-Americans on the sides.

In 1950, Mexican-American workers at the nearby Empire Zinc Mine went on strike for better wages and working conditions. Among their grievances were safety issues: white workers in the deep-shaft mine always worked with a partner, but Mexican-American workers had to work alone. They were treated no better, really, than the burros that pulled the ore cars in the mine. The strike became the longest strike in American history up to that time. Its leaders were barred from picketing by the Taft-Hartley Act, at which point their wives and girlfriends took over. At one point some 50 women and and even some very young children were jailed illegally. Strikers and their families were threatened and physically assaulted by police and strikebreakers.

Some charges by Empire Mine managers were true: some of the strikers were communists, but, really, what choice did they have? The American democratic system had given them nothing. Besides, their communism was economic, not political in the sense of their wanting to control the world, and certainly wasn't controlled by Moscow. Nevertheless, given the political climate of the times, at least one of their leaders spent a good deal of time in prison, just for trying to do the right thing and being a communist. My father knew him quite well, and considered him to be one of the few decent Anglos in the entire mess. I learned only recently that the father of one of my best friends, a lawyer, was deep in the pocket of Empire Zinc; no wonder my friend lived in the best house in town!

As a retired teacher, I can't disagree that unions have become as much a problem as a solution. I taught with a few -- very few! -- "colleagues" who simply shouldn't have been in the classroom. It does seem that unions have gone much farther than is necessary or even healthy. Still, I can't imagine where education here in BC might be if the conservative government -- they called themselves "liberal" -- had their way. It is only the British Columbia Teachers Federation (the formation of which was required by law back in the 1980s) that keeps teachers out of the poorhouse and provides some of the best education in North America.

Bob



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philatelia

22 Feb 2015
04:37:26pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Well I tried to keep us on topic and posted my response under a new thread, but the discussion has continued here, so I deleted that topic and repost my comment here . . .



Unions evolved out of a society that exploited child labor, had horrible working conditions and other deplorable problems. Yes, in some instances Unions have become bloated and too powerful, but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water. Workers need some sort of contract or statement of rights to protect them and negotiating these individually is unwieldy so Unions negotiate for the group. Ask any executive if they would work without a contract - they would look at you like you are nuts!

Have you read the statistics for "right to work" states? Higher worker fatalities, lower wages, and no worker protection. Until someone comes up with a better solution, unions are the lesser of evils in my opinion.

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22 Feb 2015
06:24:51pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

No, Miss Philatelia, you did exactly what you should have and we thank you.

Please - no more union discussions here. Take it off-topic.

Thank you,
Lisa
DB Moderator

P.S. I hate being the bad guy...Bobby - where are you??? At Wits End
{lurking! Big Grin -B-}


(Modified by Moderator on 2015-02-22 19:02:10)

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ECollector

22 Feb 2015
08:17:20pm

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Union break Bobby?

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ccndd

07 May 2015
02:54:40am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Official stamps are for use by government employees on government business ONLY!!! There are hefty fines for misuse. I know this for sure having worked for the US Government for many years and having sent many letters this way.

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
08 May 2015
12:07:08am

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

I have experienced some clerks that knew the regs, and some that didn't. It's true that you can sometimes go to a different PO to get more informed service, but it often depends on which clerk you get and how much time you have. At my local rural PO I have found that word gets around fairly quickly that I know the regs. I had one clerk argue with me and I said, "Fine, do it your way, it's less than 50 cents difference and I have more stops I need to get to today." The next day he apologized and said he looked it up. I think his peers made him look it up because I have a very long history at this PO and I have NEVER been wrong in my postage calculations and I have NEVER tried to slip one by them. If I use "First class" stamps (not Forever stamps), I always bring a Mystic catalog to show them what those stamps are worth. (It is the ONE thing that Mystic catalogs seem to be useful for).

Lars

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snowy12

02 Sep 2015
06:53:41am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Older airmail stamps rejected for postage? What?

Here in Australia we have (at the moment) may change shortly local mail which is basic 70c or 60c if you are on a pension.
Then we have the International Post for overseas mail the former have a 10% GST goods and services tax ,the international have no GST. You are not allowed to used international stamps on internal mail,but you can use internal postage stamps on international mail IF you add more stamps to cover the GST the post office is supposed to pay the tax man.
Several months ago I went into the big post office in our nearest city with a letter to post to the US I had put enough internal postage on it to cover the GST ,I took it to the counter were the clerk duly cancelled and returned it to me so I could seal it in a plastic sleeve.After completing it I took it back to the counter to be put in the hand sort bin this time I encountered a new clerk ,who looked at my envelope and said it doesn't have the right stamps on it I can't send it .Well I then had to explain the post office edict of what is allowed she still did not believe me and took my letter to another clerk ,who nodded her head and I received an apology and an explanation that she was in training .
I think they should get trainees to wear L plates so we know who to avoid.Sad

Brian

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