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Mon Jan 13 2020 10:20:02

Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just heard troubling news from the post office clerk. As always, I took parcels with eBay shipping labels to hand to the clerk for receipts to prove the items were shipped. She said soon the USPS will no longer provide receipts for parcels with shipping labels, that customers will be required merely to drop the parcels into the bins provided.

I asked how in the world do we obtain proof that the parcel was mailed, particularly in the cases of expensive items for which insurance was purchased?

The clerk responded that the receipts provided by USPS clerks do not prove the parcel was mailed. I replied that in any court anywhere in the land a post office receipt showing the parcel was turned in IS the proof the item was mailed. 

She insisted that the receipt for turning it in to the local branch is not proof the item was shipped and therefore the post office will be discontinuing the practice of window clerks providing receipts for the packages handed in.

Have you heard this yet from anyone else??????
Mia



Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 10:54:57 2020

I never bother getting a receipt unless it's a valuable item. What I do is track the package on the USPS site and then print the delivery confirmation once it shows as delivered. That's what shows a package has been mailed.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jan 13 11:22:54 2020

@Mia (the OP) - I go to the post office Monday through Friday to have a counter person scan in my packages and give me a printed receipt. I have not been told by any of the several employees who have accepted my packages that they are discontinuing the printing of receipts. I suspect your postal person was giving you bad information. Was she suggesting the post office will be denying all insurance claims? I suggest you make an inquiry with the Office of Inspector General to confirm whether or not this is true, and if you were provided with bogus information, file a complaint against her.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jan 13 11:29:01 2020

Mia, you need to ask YOUR postmaster if the info the clerk gave you is correct.

My bet it is not. . . . .

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 12:18:50 2020

@iheartjacksparrow

This may also be something that has been cooked up by the postal employees local postmaster to cut costs in their location.  I have read of similar situations where postmasters make these types of decisions in order to cut costs and look better to their bosses which can result in a promotion to a better location.  In fact I dealt with a Postmaster a few years back who told carriers they were no longer allowed to pick up outgoing mail from any of the residents on their routes, even if they were scheduled pickups in order to try and cut time spent on their routes as well as force more customers to come into the post office and justify its existence.

It took a few complaints being filed but he eventually allowed my carrier to pick up my packages and shortly after that he was suddenly no longer at this post office.  Based on what my carrier mentioned later and the fact that they had a temporary Postmaster while a search was done to fill the position, I am gathering that his leaving was not due to a sudden promotion...lol.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 12:36:53 2020

9 out of 10 times they give incorrect info.  I know more about postal operations, etc. than most front counter clerks, and I'm most ebay sellers fit that category as well.  The ignorance is really amazing.  If you don't know the answer, say so, and find out....don't ''make it up''.
You're wasting your time arguing with these people....

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 13:16:01 2020

use a scan form

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 13:58:27 2020

I have found that if you need reliable information on something just ask the janitors. They know before anyone.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 14:48:35 2020

I stand in line at the Post Office and watch my parcels get scanned into the system. That's all the proof you need. The only time I get a receipt is if I'm paying over the counter for USPS retail ground which is much cheaper than parcel select online if the parcel is going more than a few zones away.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 19:38:49 2020

We were forced to take all tubs of mail to the commercial dock out back of the post office and the clerks inside will no longer accept more than one tub of mail.

It actually proved to be beneficial because many packages are sent Media Mail and I've found in doing this they get treated like First Class 90% of the time.

Up front they put Media Mail in giant bins and wait for them to fill up before sending to the back for processing which can take a few days. By taking it to the commercial dock out back they go straight into the sort section along with everything else so Media Mail packages going cross country to California are getting delivered in 2-3 days.

We use Stamps.com, proof of shipping comes from the receipt it prints out and scans showing movement of the package.

Always keep a scan of delivery though now a days because the scammers have learned to wait 3 or 4 months to file a PayPal complaint because by then USPS has scrubbed the numbers to re-use them and the delivery info is gone from USPS website.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jan 13 19:54:03 2020

@Silver Ice King - Your post reminded me of something that happened eight or nine years ago. I was living in a different city at the time, but I went in one day to get my packages scanned, and was timidly told by one of the clerks I knew well that the postmaster was no longer allowing them to print receipts. I can't remember now exactly what the reason was, it took too much time or something similar. I was so well known there, however, that they kept printing receipts for me as long as the postmaster was not around (he had two facilities he was in charge of). After a month or so that changed, and they started openly giving out receipts again. I assume someone complained or he got moved to a different location (or maybe terminated for going "rogue").

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 13 20:25:56 2020

This has been a disaster for me. A few years back ebay stated the crap with late shipments. They said I had to have all my packages scanned at drop off. I said no way in hell are they going to individually scan all those packages.
I was using ebay labels at the time and it was broken, and couldn't generate a scan sheet (master scan that automatically scans all packages with one scan). Of course fighting with CS did nothing. So I started using shipstation, just so I could get a scan sheet for the day.

Now I got idiots at the local sorting station loosing packages. The sorting machine rejects a package every once in a while, and they have to cycle it through again, or manually type in the number. They are not doing something. They either show up very very late, or get lost. Its a nightmare and a half, pissed customers, lost package, and postage that was paid lost.

I even used the same label to mail it out again.....they sent me a letter saying I cant do that, and showed a picture of two packages with the same label. UGGGG.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 14 17:56:10 2020

@shut1968

Hate to tell you this but when all your packages go to the seperating line they take the media mail out and put it in the media mail rack and it is held until full. No advantage. You just think there is.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: Josiesmom This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 14 22:32:16 2020

24 years selling on ebay this coming summer and this past week I ran into a weird situation that has never happened before, but is definitely a reason to get a scan receipt from the post office.  I buy my prepaid labels thru ebay and have the post office scan each package and give me a receipt.  This past Thursday I received an email from Ebay stating they were notified by usps that one of my packages weighed 3 lbs 4 oz instead of the 5 oz my label indicated. Well, this shipment was for a vintage watch shipped in a 6x4x4 box so definitely a lightweight item.  Ebay deducted an additional $10.29 from my paypal account to cover the cost.  Thank goodness I had my receipt from the PO which clearly stated the package weighed 4.2 oz.  I filed a dispute with USPS on Friday and am waiting on their response.  I am just happy I had a receipt proving the weight.  

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Tue Jan 14 23:57:31 2020

I wouldn't drive to the post office, stand in line with a ton of packages, make the clerk scan each package and get a receipt, get the angry stares of the people in line behind me while all this goes on, and then drive back home, even if I could save $10.29 EVERY time, never mind once in 24 years.  Who does that?

Every now and then I have to go to the post office to PICK UP a package, and see someone coming in with an overflowing tub of packets or boxes, all hand written.  Gonna stand at the counter chatting with the clerk as they weigh each one, print the label, apply it, toss it in a bin.  Rinse and repeat, as the line grows longer and longer.  

They should have a policy of a 5 item limit.  When those 5 are done, you take your tub and get back in line for the next 5.  Soon it will be the waiting customers who go ''postal''.  Probably due to that guy behind you who is a loud talker on his cell.  You want to ignore his conversation, REALLY want to, but you can't.  You're a prisoner.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: Josiesmom This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 15 07:11:45 2020

@Lightning

I get it. Just never had a problem at my post office since I don’t usually have tons of items to scan.  I average 1-4 things a day (mainly antique fine and costume jewelry) so never get bad looks. It takes a minute or less to scan and print one combined receipt. If I sold high volume, I definitely wouldn’t wait.  

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 15 14:12:28 2020

@Lightning - I don't recall ever getting angry looks from people in line behind me, possibly because there's rarely that many people behind me. Besides, if it wasn't for me and other online sellers, the post office would be in worse shape than it is now. And if I have over five packages, I print out a scan sheet. Since my packages are mostly FCP mailings, it can't take more than a couple of seconds to do each package. They scan the bar code, and drop it on the scale to make sure the weight matches what I've paid for. So, scan, drop, check, done. Once I get to the clerk, I'd be out of there in two to three minutes, except that I always have my phones with Pokemon GO running so I'm always asked what I've caught recently.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: UB This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 15 17:36:15 2020

As a City carrier and a business owner who ships packages everyday, this is not policy. Secondly, I am not sure your situation as to why you would bring your packages in to the post office everyday except for maybe security reasons at your residence but if that isnt the case I would talk with your regular carrier. Make a relationship with your regular mail carrier and explain you have packages for pickup everyday and where they would be located. In our office we take care of our business customers very well and even make up cards that say for example " Daily package pickup, business name and address" and the card is cased everyday so the carrier knows when they get to that address to pickup packages. You can also go online and request a pickup everyday. The key is to build a relationship with your carrier/ clerks so they know who you are and your business has pickups daily or will be dropping them off. Any smart clerk/postmaster would be happy to scan them and give you a receipt as the office gets credit for that work.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Wed Jan 15 18:20:02 2020

@Jack
The difference is that YOU are doing it correctly, efficiently, with some respect of other people's time and your own.

I was in line picking up a package, 4 of us in line, I'm third, one clerk working (small town post office).  A dinosaur still living in the 1980's is at the counter with his tub of 47 packets, all hand written, having the clerk weigh each, print the postage, apply it, and toss it in the bin.  By the time the clerk was done, 20 minutes had gone by.  The line was out the door.  Angry stares?  Yeah, from me and the other 15 now in line.

Scan sheet?  That guy can't make a scan sheet from hand-written packages.  He wouldn't know a scan sheet from a pepperoni pizza.  He comes in every day with his overflowing tub, according to the clerk.  He chats with the clerk like it's Floyd's Barber Shop in Mayberry.  Plenty of time to kill - it takes a while to do 47 packages.  Then he takes his mile long receipt and leaves.

When I got to the clerk, I asked her what the policy was on time at the counter, or number of transactions.  She said there was none, sorry.  

Single file, everyone, and wait your turn.  She had no incentive to suggest to the customer that he could be doing all the labeling online because that would just cut into job security.

And I wish this was an exception.  Most times that I go, which is hopefully only once a month or so, I see people in line dragging huge clear plastic trash bags full of dozens of packages or packets.  I guess they are there to have them scanned individually in person.  Could just drop them on the unoccupied part of the counter (unless very valuable), but they don't.  They're not as bad as 47 package guy, but just smaller nails in that coffin.

I try to avoid the post office at all cost, because there is a HUGE cost.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 15 22:23:06 2020

@UB

Unfortunately the route my house is located on has been deemed a training route so its impossible to get to know your carrier.  But I did the next best thing, I got to know the carrier supervisor and postmaster very well so there are issues they clear them up immediately and have even come by my house as late as 8 pm and then taken my packages straight to the sorting hub so that it still gets processed.

My long time carrier retired a couple of years ago and things have been sporadic ever since.  I had one carrier that refused to pick up my packages and informed the Postmaster that they were just to heavy for her to pick up and even carry out to the truck at the curb.  So that evening the Postmaster came by to pick up packages and have a talk with me about the excessive weight, that is until she picked up all 10 packages which weighed maybe 2 pounds total.  She took them to the Sorting Hub and called me the next day letting me know there would not be any further issues with that trainee as they had sent her packing back to where ever she had come from along with a pink slip for failure to follow directions of her supervisor as well refusing to follow USPS policies.

i have had packages not picked up since but have been given the phone number that is usually reserved for employees as it is always answered if somebody is in the facility.  So all I have to do is call and ask for the carrier supervisor and as soon as he hears who it is he dispatches somebody out to get my items and counsels the carrier on my route that day about their responsibilities.  There are actually factions inside my local PO that agree they should not have to pickup items at a residents home.  One of these was next in line to be promoted to Carrier Supervisor, so I made sure to file a complaint about her lack of enforcing the policies with  the carriers when the regular Carrier Supervisor was off or out of the office and found out later that her name had been removed from the promotion list because of complaints about her not enforcing policies.

So if any of you are having issues with your local PO, first try speaking to the Postmaster and then if that does not fix the problem, log onto the USPS website and find the tab that allows you to complain or compliment an employee as they actually do pay attention to them.  District managers follow the complaints from start to finish and many times follow up with the resident to make sure they are happy with changes that were made.

Perminate Link for Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing   Postal Clerk Warns Seller about Proof of Mailing

by: UB This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 15 23:52:17 2020

@Silver Ice King

Your route must be less than 8 hours thus is an auxiliary (aux) route as if it is was an 8 hour route you would have an assigned regular carrier. I would still request a card be made that the carrier would case everyday that states you have a daily pickup at your house. You are definitely going the right way with knowing the Delivery Supervisor and Postmaster to get things addressed when they arise. That really pisses me off to hear the issues with some carriers not wanting to pickup packages as that is their job to do so. Good luck.

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