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Thu Mar 13 2014 10:57:45

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptance Scan Dates

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
A few weeks ago I noticed that my local USPS was "processing" packages 5 to 7 days after the packages were being dropped. The acceptance scan showed up to a week late, customers were not happy and were accusing me of shipping very late. Delivery was taking 12 days on average, after the "acceptance" date. It was either packages were being sent ground shipping or something else.

All I found so far is that post offices have rating system (like eBay DSRs), a delivery score system per post office, I guess masking the real acceptance date may have played a role on all this.

Because I requested a solution to that issue a few times, I was told that it was all my fault, that I was printing postage let's say on a Saturday or Sunday and dropping it Monday or Tuesday on long weekends. Not only I was told this after 4,000 packages later and weeks of communicating with the post office managers, but I was told that printing a label on a weekend or a day or two before the day I drop the packages was a federal fraud and that all the packages were going to be returned at the very least.

I drop with scan form and I print and drop same day every single item now. After a few weeks, the acceptance date problem is still happening.

I found it strange that they have no issue with the use of normal stamps, which have no date (but have no tracking and are more expensive), and no issue delivering a package 2 or 3 days late.

I have been searching online and on the USPS website, I found nothing about that federal postage law. I did ask USPS district managers and city post masters who are helping me to investigate that post office and they told me that they never heard of such a law and that it was up to the local post master discretion.

I also notice that many people are having the same issue in different cities. If the USPS is struggling to make some money, attacking small businesses is not the answer. Many small sellers have a job and print postage in the evening or on weekends.  

Can you please publish this letter and to ask your readers if they can help me find a law or written policy regarding the label printing/drop date.
Best Regards,
Joe

Comments (27) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 11:10:19 2014

That's complete nonsense. In some areas, packages placed in a drop box on Friday might not be picked up until Monday. No one is going around returning packages whose prepaid labels happen to be dated a day or two in the past. Doesn't happen.

As for that knucklehead who blathered about ''federal fraud,'' you're going to have to get back to him personally for a cite on which law you're breaking there, because everyone else will cheerfully tell you that it's complete rubbish.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: Captain Nemo

Thu Mar 13 11:26:22 2014

See USPS site - label must be used on ship date on label or package will be returned.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 13 13:30:06 2014

eBay's head in the sand Dean of Education and eBay radio host Jim Griffth has the answer... " Bring the Postal clerks donuts!"  

BAW HA-HA-HA-HA

Talk about a company disconnected from reality, there is a serious problem that many sellers face, and eBay's Parrot in Chief thinks donuts will resolve the issue.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: TRSeller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 14:01:47 2014

See DMM 604.4.6.2a
'' 4.6.2 Mailing Date Accuracy and Mailing Periods

The date or period when mailers may deposit or present metered mail for mailing is controlled by the mailing date in the indicia under the following conditions.

a. Complete Date. Mailpieces bearing a complete date in the indicia must be deposited or presented on that date, except that pieces entered after the day's last scheduled collection from the Post Office or collection box may bear the actual date of entry or the date of the next scheduled collection from the Post Office or collection box.''

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 14:07:07 2014

We have experienced the same thing. Packages taking days to show scanning and buyers getting bent out of shape. The problem is these packages are worth less than 10 dollars.

We did an experiment. Everything we could ship as a flat with 98 cents postage went that way. Saves almost 1.00 per package. Been doing it for almost a month and have had just one person screaming that their package hasn't arrived.

We honestly think that once the packages are in the system the pre printed labels are free game for mis routing and delays.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Mar 13 14:40:43 2014

Sounds like the Post Office where I used to live.

A few suggestions:
Obviously if you are printing a label for a package on Saturday that is going out Monday date the label for Monday.

If you cannot get a solution from your local Post Master start a case (or whatever the official name is) by calling (1-800-275-8777)this way there is a record of your problem.

As for as I know there is no "law" regarding what date you have on the label. There is a regulation I believe it allows the USPS to refuse the package.

Does your local post Office pick up mail at your address? If so schedule a pick up and have them pick it up. To some extent carriers get "credit" for the number of pickups made and almost always scan the package with they pick it up.

If all else fails drop your package off at a different Post Office.

Good luck!

Don

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Mar 13 16:59:15 2014

I would like to know the specific USPS policy. I see a lot of folks affected by this issue and also another letter to the Editor about flat rate packages being rejected because there were not flat enough. eBay and Amazon seem to have a very good relation with the USPS if they have made them delivery same day or on a Sunday in some areas, even getting cheaper rates from China to the USA. I wish eBay and Amazon can see this so that they can help their sellers.

I imagine that the processing delay was indeed due to an internal USPS delivery rate. We have enough issues as it is and we do not need more from the USPS.

By the way, I have never been able to collect the $50 insurance for a lost Priority package, have you? Thank you!

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 19:28:11 2014

I often print my postage late at night and rarely remember to change the date and have yet to have a package returned.

Of course, those are my fault but this recently happened.  I placed about 15 packages out in plastic bins next to the mailbox and the sub carrier didn't pick them up.  I stayed home the next day to catch her and ask why she didn't pick them up and she said she thought they were a UPS delivery.

Really?

There are 15 boxes with my From address with 15 To addresses in PM or similar boxes with USPS postage and you thought they were a delivery?

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 19:30:14 2014

As for the donuts thing, I realize people think employees think they should do their job without bribes, but you have to realize who you're dealing with.  When you have a work force of people with a no-fire contract, then if taking in a box of donuts now and then works, then isn't it worth the price?

Which reminds me, I was going to make cookies for my carriers at Christmas and haven't had time.  Maybe I should do it this weekend.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 20:21:04 2014

@Ric
  Griff specifically advised "Don't forget to butter them."
  Does JD accept buttered donuts?  
   Is Griff tipping small American sellers to send buttered donuts to JD every morning?
   

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 13 20:26:51 2014

USPS owes me $100 insurance and $38 postage for lost package. It owes it $58 for EMS Guaranteed for many day late arrival.

Nothing paid back.  

USPS postal manager argued you paid Paypal not us.... so it boils down to ... shipper's fault for printing shipping label online.


Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Mar 14 01:58:58 2014

Griff obviously has a food obsession. He previously suggested to send chocolate bars to buyers to thank them and now he wants to butter up the postal workers with donuts. Maybe he should apply to be on The Biggest Loser.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Mar 14 02:03:54 2014

@thehost

I had two claims with the new priority mail insurance and both were paid. The first took a little longer with me calling the post office to get it resolved and the second was paid very quickly and without a hitch. Both claims were submitted online.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Mar 14 06:32:34 2014

Doughnuts to postal workers?  And if your postal worker is diabetic its "You're trying to kill me!"

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 14 08:32:20 2014

A regulation passed pursuant to law is as effective as law enabling it.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: ovigh This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 14 10:13:32 2014

From USPS website:

''How soon after printing a PC Postage® label should I use it?
Some PC Postage providers require that the customer mail their item the same day a postage label is printed.  However some vendors will allow the customer to print labels to use at a later date. You should check your vendor to find out when a label has to be used by. Below are links to the websites and additional information on label usage requirements of some PC Postage vendors:
Endicia.com  --  http://www.pictureitpostage.com/
Stamps.com -- http://photo.stamps.com/PhotoStamps
Zazzle.com -- http://www.zazzle.com/cards+stamps
Pitney Bowes -- http://www.pbcustomprint.com/

If my postage label is from Click-N-Ship®, does it need to be used the same day?
Customers using Click-N-Ship postage labels must mail their item on the date selected for the Click-N-Ship® label. An electronic record is generated on that date indicating that the mailpiece has been mailed. Packages shipped with labels that have incorrect ship dates may be returned to the sender and will not be eligible for a refund. If the customer is unable to use the label, they should request a refund within 30 days of the printed label and create another label with the correct ship date.

Can I deposit my PC Postage® labeled mail into the USPS Collection Box®?
Domestic mailpieces with a return address and with Priority Mail Express™ or Priority Mail® labels prepared using PC Postage service (postage paid for with a credit card) can be deposited in the Collection Box® as long as it fits through the opening. Larger packages may be dropped at the local Post Office, handed to a letter carrier, or picked up by USPS® via Pickup on Demand®.

How do I deposit my other PC Postage® labeled mail?
Priority Mail Express™, Flat-rate Priority Mail®, single-piece price First-Class Mail®, single-piece price Media Mail® and single-piece price Library Mail prepared through PC Postage® may be deposited at any postal facility, but preferably at your local Post Office™.''

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: ovigh This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 14 10:31:16 2014

It is against regulations for postal personnel to hold packages at local offices for more than one day. If you don't see an ''Acceptance'' scan within 24 hours, call customer service and document the case. Also ask the customer service agent for the phone number to the Consumer Affairs Office in your area and call them also. The reason 'some' postal supervisors allow this practice is due to workload balancing. By delaying the ''Acceptance'' scan, the blame is shifted to the customer. When filing a complaint it helps if you obtain the name of the supervisor and/or manager.

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Fri Mar 14 11:45:43 2014

Thank you bitbybit, how did you get the priority mail insurance paid, if you search this blog you will see other people having issues to collect the payment. As per the question about a law or policy I still don't see anyone who can post a link to the USPS explaining this issue. I have told eBay to use their influence so that sellers don't get packages returned because they printed late at night or on a weekend. Some sellers drop 1 or 2 pieces a day but I'm talking about the ones shipping a few a day. I insist, the USPS should be more friendly to sellers in the USA, at least just as friend as friendly they are to China sellers which get super cheap rates and delivery in less than 10 days, where is the support for USA sellers?.  

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: ovigh This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 14 12:22:27 2014

thehosst, here is a tip for USA sellers: First-class and  Priority International flat-rate (small boxes) 1) do not qualify for indemnity coverage in case of loss/damage. 2) only offers tracking to point of US departure. (with a very few exceptions). 3) do not qualify for further investigations in case of delay, damage, loss etc.

If you and your international customers (in China, or elsewhere) expect these extras, then it would be worth the few extra bucks for shipping Regular Priority International. (Still one of the best deals for shippers in the whole wide world.)

Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc   Merchant Complaints about Delays in USPS Acceptanc

by: BigT618 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 14 12:26:38 2014

I'm a Postmaster at a small office and have been trying for years to get mailers to follow the ruling on the dates for shipping labels. I was constantly getting attacked everytime I told a customer I could not receive their package because the date was old. I decided to contact the customer service center for the Postal Service Internet shipping department and asked them to verify that what I was telling customers was infact correct.The response I received stated that the ship date is the date that is printed on the label and the item must be sent on that date before the Post office closes. There is a drop down box that allows you to change the date up to 3 days in advance if you are printing late in the evening or on a weekend. The ship date generates a message to the Post office that you mailed this package and the tracking begins from that date. We are responsible for getting the package delivered within the 2-3 day timeframe. If you a printing labels and then not mailing until 1-2 days later, that package is already late and we take the hit for it being late. The policy also states that if the date is stale, your packages will be returned to you and a refund will not be issued.If you are interested in seeing the policy in writing, I can send it to your email if you contact me at theresa.d.bailey@usps.gov.

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