Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And They Wonder Why They're Losing Money

Over the past week and a half I've had to mail a bunch of things. Ted takes care of the bills, so I don't pay a lot of attention to return address labels or stamps. I know where they are (in a small basket on one of the counters) and use them when I need them.

I've sent out a variety of things to different departments at the university Alex will be attending. I'm part of a group of people who meet for breakfast a couple of times each summer, and occasionally during the school year. Sunday night I sent out 9 invitations to breakfast. In addition to these things, I had to send a couple of payments for different things (I don't pay ALL my bills online, just some of them) and a few other miscellaneous items too.

This evening I was getting ready to send out some belated birthday cards (I've mentioned many times that I'm a severe procrastinator), I noticed that the stamp roll was getting low. I asked Ted if we had more stamps anywhere. He told me that he keeps all the stamps in a basket with the bills. I told him that the smaller basket had the stamps and return address labels. Then he said that those were OLD stamps and he had no idea what their value was, but they certainly weren't current. I told him he must be mistaken because I'd been using them. He said he was sure they were old.

So...I got online and finally found out that the stamps that I've been using for the past week and a half are only worth 39 cents. It now costs 44 cents to mail a letter.

I've not received a single mailed item back, and to the best of my knowledge, nothing arrived at its destination postage due. I know that the invitations were received because I had a few calls about them.

I did NOT purposely deceive the United States Postal System. However, is it not their responsibility to notice if the wrong postage has been attached? Everything had a return address label, so they could have returned everything to me. But they didn't.

Had the cost been printed on the stamps, I would have known their value. After a 10 minute search online, I discovered that I needed to look on the flagpole on the stamp. At the bottom of the flagpole "2007" is imprinted. Now I was just at the eye doctor's Saturday morning for an exam and my near vision is 20/20, HOWEVER, I was not able to see the "2007" without a magnifying glass.

Do I feel bad about this? Nope.

To me, this situation reinforces the ineptitude of the USPS. And they wonder why they're losing money.


PERBS said...

I buy stamps by the sheet so I always have leftovers and have to get penny stamps to add to them. To solve yoru "problem" get FOREVER stamps and they won't ever be the wrong postage. I bet that the receivers of your mail had to pay postage due. You are lucky they did not send them back and make you pay for postage completely all over again. Did the people really receive them or are they still at the post office waiting to be returned to you?

Jen said...

I thought all the ones without the numbers on them were the Forever stamps. I've only been buying those lately so that I don't have to worry about this exact thing.