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Tue Aug 4 2015 15:52:55

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I was thankful to find the following letter from the USPS. A lot of questions have been answered as I have recently experience a postal employee who refused to scan a package with a postage purchased online. 

I do have a follow-up question that I would love for USPS to clear up. It says in that letter "Every item accepted at the retail counter at a local Post Office that has a USPS Tracking number must be scanned, whether the customer requests it or not."

My question is whether post offices are required to accept a package with a postage printed and paid for online at their retail counters. My post office has a cardboard box in the back (not near the retail counter) that says to drop off packages with prepaid labels.

To summarize, I would like to know whether a post office is required to accept packages with online postage at its retail counter.

Thank you for taking your time to read this email.
Sincerely,
JYC




Comments (48) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 16:06:26 2015

According to the janitor at my post office ( and he is probably the smartest person working there. )  All Mail including priority, online postage generated, or stamps affixed with a tracking number has to be scanned.

Now to be sure this is a small very busy post office but I drop every day between 50 to 100 packages of priority, lst class and first class parcel, stamped with stamps, or online generated postage and at the end of the day everyone of those packages are scanned before they leave the post office for their 20 mile trip to the sectional center where they are scanned again.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Aug 4 17:13:15 2015


Check out this unattended mail ''inadvertently''  left in the USPS lobby in Winterhaven FL - I recently saw this on the news and was still able to find a link.

http://wfla.com/2015/07/29/mail-left-out-unattended-in-wi
nter-haven/
 


The picture says a thousand words! Open box in lobby that anyone can access is a no-no.



I usually drop mine in the package bin at USPS. They do seem to get scanned OK so I have not tried the counter. Sometimes the bin gets full and people leave stuff on the counter.

I have been in our USPS near closing time with labeled packages sitting piled up all around the area near the postal windows.  One guy was bringing in load after load of packages - and at 5pm they locked him out, with his arms full of packages!  

If it were not closing time, I think someone could walk out with packages. I am hoping they would be on video.


Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: froggie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 17:46:09 2015

Last year, the manager of my local post office put up a sign in the lobby saying that packages would no longer be scanned at the counter, that had already been paid for online.

He said that they were no longer required to do that, and because population has grown here, but the number of postal clerks hasn't, they would no longer accept packages at the counter that had online postage already affixed.

I've had no problem since they instituted this, and all of my packages are scanned before leaving my post office. I'm very lucky, considering all the horror stories I've read online about other sellers having problems with this issue.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Aug 4 19:42:12 2015

When I first started printing postage labels online many years ago, I was told by a clerk at my post office that I could not toss my packages down the mail chute, I had to hand them to a clerk at the counter. So that's what I've been doing and I always get the labels scanned when I hand them in. I did have a "problem" that never materialized last Christmas when I was told by one clerk that the supervisor was forbidding the clerks from scanning pre-printed labels but that she would scan mine anyway so long as he didn't see her doing it. I was ready to get his name and report him, but I was never refused a scan.  

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 19:56:30 2015

If I hand them to a clerk they nit pick everything on every single package trying to find some reason to reject them. This process can take 10-15 minutes, and wastes too much time.

So now I just throw them in the blue bin outside a particularly busy business district post office branch and my problems have gone away.  

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 21:52:51 2015

I always THOUGHT they were scanning my 1st class, postage bought at counter mail- but I noticed Monday they were not, and would not.

They said to me if postage is bought AT the PO counter that it AUTOMATICALLY was "scanned" in at the counter but THIS IS NOT TRUE.

I will usually get a scan 2-3 days after and then a delivery scan but not at that counter- they REFUSE.

I want that info scanned into the system immediately and that is why I pay MORE at the counter, wait; etc- now they will not scan?????

PLEASE find out for us Ina!

MH

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Aug 4 23:21:28 2015

@Mass Howler - If you buy postage at the counter, the post office's own system is generating the tracking number, so there shouldn't be a need to scan anything since their computer would show that the package was accepted at the time you paid for the postage. The people who pay for postage online need an acceptance scan so that the post office knows that you actually mailed the item you printed a label for.  

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: Eyedeal This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 4 23:35:45 2015

Here in Los Angeles at a very large post office we cannot bring a group of already labeled packaged to the counter nor put them in the bin we MUST bring them to the loading dock where only the mail trucks are allowed to park and we must haul our packages be it 4 or 100 up the ramp and knock on the door for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour before someone opens the door to take our packages mostly with an attitude. There are signs everywhere inside directing people to bring packages to the loading dock around the back.  Who knows if they are scanned or not.

I gave up because 90% of the time the ramps have USPS trucks parks on the ramps. If there isn't a truck on the ramps we get screamed at for walking up the ramps because we are not USPS workers and are NOT allowed on the loading dock.  They won't take our packages and if we are lucky, they mostly ignore us.  

I have found other post offices to take my packages to when the daily pickup carriers JUST forget to pickup my packages.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: Eyedeal This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 00:13:22 2015

Oh so sorry I didn't address your question and got lost in my own rant.  At this point, in my selling career, (since 1999) I am just happy when they post office takes my packages and I hope the distribution center in Los Angeles doesn't hold my packages for 10 to 22 days which is more common than you think.
But it seems to me buying online postage MOST of the time 99% my packages show up as scanned in no matter where I take them but arriving on time is my problem here in Los Angeles.  

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 5 07:16:08 2015

Postal clerks are like eBay CSRs......ask 10 of them the same question, and you'll get 10 different answers.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 5 07:17:57 2015

hopeforthebest says "If I hand them to a clerk they nit pick everything on every single package trying to find some reason to reject them."

I've experienced that, and they NEVER find an issue. Some humans are so peculiar. Give someone just a tiny bit of power and they go nuts.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 08:35:00 2015

Well, I pay at the counter - I know it's more expensive than eBay's shipping labels but I don't surrender any more money to PayPig that way. And, I know the tracking ID the clerk plasters on the parcel is active.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 08:36:05 2015

@MA Howler

What "sparrow" said...

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: DIANE1104 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 09:25:27 2015

I print labels on eBay put a note on my locked mailbox block to pick up packages and my mail carrier not scans she comes to my door. I reward her with ice cold water and gifts within the limits of the post office. Works for me!

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: DIANE1104 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 09:26:00 2015

not only scans

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 10:42:29 2015

The menu item for scanning in a pre-paid postage item on the Point of Sale terminal at the front counter (both old and new terminals, it doesn't matter which one) is ''Pre-Paid Mailpiece Acceptance.'' It takes significantly less time to process a prepaid item than a full retail item since of course no money transaction has to be conducted; it's just point-and-click. As soon as you hear the beep, it's done. You can decline the printed receipt, too, as the transaction has already been logged, and a proof of mailing is not relevant to an Item Not Received complaint later on anyway.

Having said that, I should also say that our local post office prefers to use their hand scanner instead, which is fine by me, as it gets the job done even faster than the POS terminal. (Yes, there's some risk of a doofus setting the hand scanner to Delivered instead of Accepted for your item, something that the POS terminal cannot do accidentally, but generally the front desk staff know what they're doing, at least at our place.)

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 10:53:16 2015

It is required that they do an  acceptance scan

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 11:08:15 2015

we have a retail store, mail is picked up and scanned by carrier at the point when picked up generally shows up within 1 hour on usps site

now when going to the post office you have to request that packages are scanned, it is up to the clerk at the point of dropping off we have found about 50/50 will really scan them so we contacted our post master and explained that we deal in jewelry and it is important items be scanned however you can buy insurance but in our business it is excluded by usps anything gold, silver, precious metals and gemstones . funny that they will sell you the insurance but if you have a claim it is excluded.

my advise is that if the clerk refuses to scan ask for supervisor or postmaster, no worries they will remember you the next time you go there as they do get spoken to by the postmaster, if they say they are not available you can file a complaint with the 800 number just get clerks name date and time.

I can tell you now that the post office without hates ebay packages all together as the number one complaints dept is lost ebay packages this causes so much extra work for the post office that every employee I have ever spoke with agrees.

I found it better to black out ebay name on all shipping labels printed thru them as the thieves know it is a order of free goodies

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Wed Aug 5 11:21:25 2015

Mine get picked up.  My postal lady scans them.  When she has sub, sometimes they don't.  Eventually, the get scanned somewhere.  Eventually.

Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?   Are Postal Clerks Required to Scan at Counter?

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 5 15:47:25 2015

I appreciate that Jack, and I would figure that too- I really think this is a time-saving strategy at the PO.
It makes them look faster if they scan them the next day as accepted and it speeds up things at the counter to not individually scan each 1st class item now, as all of them have tracking now.

I THINK the PO relies on the conveyor scanners and the delivery scans and to give their customers a quicker a to b delivery estimate.

One would THINK buying a label at the PO would be an initial scan but that is not what happens.

I think customers per hour are tightly tracked and some PO counter folks are skipping the scan to meet a quota, and refusing to physically scan.

I do not think it is a matter of pre-postage, I think it is a speed thing and some PO personnel are skipping the actual initial counter scan.

????

MH

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