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Tue Jan 4 2022 08:39:28

New Way to Guarantee Scans of USPS Packages

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I don't know if this is widely known by your readers or not, but I just learned about a new feature that is available to anyone who uses prepaid USPS labels last week. If your local post office has one of the Kiosks where you can print out labels, you can also use it to scan your prepaid labels. 

I was waiting in line to drop off a large package with a prepaid label when a lady came in with a bag full of small packages with prepaid labels. She proceeded to scan them and drop them into the hopper. I was truly impressed. 

It is quite simple to use and you can print out the same receipt the clerks would give you. 

I was told by someone who works for the USPS that it has been available for about 4 months now. However, if there have been any stories about it I obviously missed them totally. 

I have now used it for every USPS package I have shipped and I am sold on this new feature. 
M.



Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Mr. Doc This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 4 10:03:29 2022

Thank you for letting us know.  That's very helpful.  

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by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 4 10:20:12 2022

Hope they are in all stations and not just a regional test. It sounds like a good idea.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Jan 4 10:52:50 2022

"Hope they are in all stations and not just a regional test" - hoping to get an answer from the USPS on this soon.

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by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 4 12:58:35 2022

Now if they would just make that same scanner be able to scan the scan sheets for bulk drop offs it would be great, it would be impossible to sit there and scan in 700+ packages a day one at a time.

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by: Weirdbooks This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 4 16:07:26 2022

"I am sold on this new feature. "

Unfortunately, it is a worthless bit of fluff that the USPS has given customers.  This scan is NOT an official shipping acceptance scan by the USPS.  Scanning an item at the APC and dropping it in the bin does not count as "Shipped" by Amazon and other venues.  I would assume 3rd party insurances also need the actual Acceptance scan as well.

When you scan at the APC (or with a SCAN sheet) the status changes to "Pending Acceptance".

As far as Amazon and other venues go, they need to see an "Accepted by carrier" scan in order for that item to be counted as shipped.   It is very possible to scan an item at the APC, drop it in the bin, and it goes on a truck not to be scanned again until it reaches the next sorting center days later, or for it to be lost entirely  If that item is then subject to an A-to-Z claim on Amazon for late delivery or INR, the seller will automatically lose the claim as the item was not Accepted by the carrier before the last "Ship By" date.

In addition, I was informed by USPS staff that USPS Insurance requires the item to be physically scanned by a clerk (an Acceptance scan) for it to be eligible for a claim.  Since there is nothing stopping someone from scanning an item at the APC and NOT putting it the bin, their insurance will not cover items lacking that "hard" Acceptance scan.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 4 16:29:16 2022

If the ‘self serve scanner’ being described is recording the package barcode, it should take the firm sheet (firm, as in ‘business’) barcode and record the acceptance (of the encompassed parcels) as well.  

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 5 10:46:50 2022

I hit a single USPS station about 4 months ago in Western Houston where a delusional counter employee  REFUSED to scan my two packages even though I had waited a (very acceptable) 4 minutes to reach the head of the line.  SHE told me that her Station Manager told all the counter employees that ALL prepaid / preprinted packages could NOT be "tying up" the counter line.
Pschaw...... thankfully that was only ONE time and only ONE USPS station that I only used as was going to be PASSING that station on my way home.
I have enough experience with REAL WORLD shipping and the way that a SLIM percentage of shippers would, will and DO cheat on their outbound packages as to WEIGHT, CONTENTS, DIMENSIONS, and whether their package contained explosive, flammable, liquids, or ANY items that are not allowed to FLY or Media Mail RATE on items that don't qualify.
Especially INSURANCE qualified items MUST be seen and HANDLED by trained counter personnel or the whole system could be spoiled for ALL users, shippers AND recipients.
ps:  The counter folks ALSO are the last line available to SAVE naifs from using OVERSIZE PACKAGES, EXPRESS MAIL or PRIORITY MAIL if they were unaware that ANY USPS printed FREE supplies that have Priority OR Express on their exterior MUST BE Rated or RE-Rated before delivery to those $$$higher$$$ rates.

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by: candsgadgets This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 00:24:00 2022

The scan at the self-serve kiosk does not count as an acceptance scan.  

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by: getalife This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 00:31:24 2022

I can't imagine this taking the place of a scan by the actual postal worker because it would be replete with potential fraud. All you'd have to do is scan the item and then leave with it. So I doubt highly that this will take the place of having the postal worker scan the item. if they came up with some sort of system like they have at the self-checkout lines that could identify if you've not deposited the package into a secure bin, then it would probably work as a replacement for the postal worker scan. Use self checkout at a grocery store and scan an item without putting it in a bag. You get nowhere fast. LOL  

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by: Tinysaur This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 00:38:21 2022

Has anyone ever collected insurance from USPS? I've never been able to get them to pay a claim, so I just scan at the kiosk and toss it in the hole. It's really as good as you're going to get if you don't want to wait in line for Omicron and a true acceptance scan. I use UPS if it really has to get to its destination.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 6 02:02:49 2022

This sounds great for those have have just a few packages and want to do it this way.  I ship too many packages and would have to spend way to much time at the PO that I'd like.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 04:27:47 2022

Yes I knew.  And keep your receipts.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 04:28:27 2022

"Has anyone ever collected insurance from USPS? I've never been able to get them to pay a claim, so I just scan at the kiosk and toss it in the hole. It's really as good as you're going to get if you don't want to wait in line for Omicron and a true acceptance scan. I use UPS if it really has to get to its destination."
^^
Never.

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by: Calling You Out This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 06:48:50 2022

Just schedule a carrier pickup. There is no need to ever even go to a Post Office. The carrier will scan all of your orders on site.

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by: NorthCoast This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 08:19:13 2022

Some of our larger Post Offices have the kiosks. The problem for me is that the receipt doesn’t show the weight of the package.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Jan 6 09:49:01 2022

I, too, opt for carrier pickup and insist on the carrier physically scanning the parcel in my presence. The OP’s suggested ‘pre’-scan would not cut it for insurance purposes in the event of loss.  

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by: Chalky This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 14:05:05 2022

@angryllama
I, too, am in Houston and my closest PO refuses to scan my shipments because of "paper shortages".  Interesting that the PO 1/2 mile away doesn't seem to have paper problems..... Plus, the employees are MUCH nicer!
FYI don't drop your shipments, payments, bills, or letters into the outside blue bins.  They are being destroyed and robbed regularly.  Local postmaster said 4 in 4 different close locations were vandalized day before yesterday.

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by: CBW This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 6 14:50:16 2022

What the kiosk scan will do is give you a time and date on the receipt  so if anything goes wrong they can check their video recordings to prove you placed the items in the chute. The Postal employees do a manual scan when they remove the packages from the bin. Way faster than waiting in line and more secure than leaving them on the counter without a receipt

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by: JimBob This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 7 09:45:33 2022

CBW:
That sounds like a good compromise! Employees could always "forget" to scan when they unload the hopper, but they can forget to scan when they clear the drop-off point in the lobby as well.  :-/

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 7 20:59:02 2022

@TTinysaur and Chicago48 - I've only had to file 3 insurance claims for packages I shipped and I got insurance paid on all three. (I do pack as well as I can to avoid trouble, but these were 2 USPS-damaged and 1 lost package.) An important trick is to fill out the forms and be persistent. It also helps to have good, helpful workers in the post office I patronize.

Twice I was refused insurance on items shipped to me packed by eBay sellers. Both rejections were correct as poor packing caused both issues.

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