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Govt Mule  
#1 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 12:00:02 PM(UTC)
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Hello. I am a long-time lurker here and I decided to register as I need to rant a little bit so this is my very first post here. Hey maybe I am wrong about this but I feel I am not. I am a PSE SSDA Clerk at a post office servicing about 10,000 people with a PO Box section of 200 PO Boxes of various sizes.

PO Boxes... if you have one, use your damn PO Box as your address! I am so sick of getting letters and flats and packages for PO Boxes (especially ones which have multiple people in the same PO Box) which are addressed to their street address which gets no mail delivered to it. Over about the last 3 months or so, I have been putting the orange stickers on these stating to address this article to the PO Box in the future. People are lazy and never do this. So for the last few weeks, I have been sending stuff addressed to street addresses through CFS as UTF in the hopes people would update their mailing address to the PO Box they want to get their mail at. My goal was to get addresses fixed--to fix a broken system.

I guess PO Box holders got calls from senders saying something had been sent back to them. Instead of people getting the idea to tell the sender that they have a PO Box and to update their address, they instead cry and moan to my boss who told me today to go ahead and deliver it to the PO Box regardless of the addressing. So now I am suppose to know every street address for each PO Box along with every name that might be getting mail to them? I call BS!

Am I right or wrong? If I am right, how do I proceed to get this stupidity fixed? If I am wrong, I guess I am another uncaring postal worker who just delivers the mail in the hopes I have a job to come to tomorrow. Now don't get me wrong, I do believe in customer service but I don't believe it goes as far as tickling someone's ball sack so they are happy. I am very happy to deliver mail correctly addressed to the correct person at the correct PO Box.
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ScaredNewbie on 12/22/2014(UTC)
daves  
#2 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 1:13:59 PM(UTC)

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You are ranting at the wrong people.

Tell it to the companies that refuse to accept a PO Box as a shipping address. I live in a small town (~2500 people) and do not have home mail delivery. PO Box only. When I order on-line website after website rejects the PO Box address which is the only legal address I have. You can only enter a street address. So I enter my street address followed by the box number on the same line. Still gets rejected.

I call the company and get the same runaround -- they do not ship to PO Boxes. My explanation that I cannot get home delivery falls on deaf ears.

There seems to be plenty of mental midgets in the corporate world that are not able to grasp some people do not get mail at street addresses.


Then there are the companies that say they ship UPS (so I enter the physical address) and they still ship USPS.
GordonG  
#3 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 1:28:36 PM(UTC)
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My offers the street delivery enhancement service.

The customer uses my post office physical address along with their p o box number as a suite type number. Along with the p o box zip code, which is different than the zip code for the actual street address.

*

"We go back a long ways. She was 12, I was 30." - Joe Biden
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ScaredNewbie on 12/22/2014(UTC), lastlicks on 12/23/2014(UTC)
clerky  
#4 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 2:22:02 PM(UTC)
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Yes, you are right. The customer should have (and might have) put a COA from their street address to their PO Box. After 12 months, it would have expired and mail would've been RTS with their PO Box address so the sender would know. After that, it should be RTS UTF or NMR, but that should be the carrier's responsibility. If CFS/PARS won't forward it, it shouldn't be delivered to the PO Box.

With that said, it is very common for offices to not follow this. To make it easier to not follow this, you can put PO Box holdouts on street addresses in WebEES and then all DPS mail will automatically be sorted to the correct PO Box in the DPS. It won't say the PO Box number though. I have so many addresses like this that it's just easier for me to deliver my PO Box DPS by name instead of box number since half the mail doesn't have a box number.

In defense of the customers, I know a lot of people order things online using their street address because they believe UPS or FedEx is delivering it, and then catalogs, etc. are generated using this street address. Also a lot of websites say "Street Address" when really they mean mailing address. Even USPS is guilty of that, like the USPS.com ZIP Code Lookup.

I also wish we could delete these street addresses from the edit books as long as they are not receiving mail there. Since the street address is on the edit books, it shows as a valid mailing address to commercial mailers and they keep sending things to it.
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ScaredNewbie on 12/22/2014(UTC)
Just Rod  
#5 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 4:50:54 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: GordonG Go to Quoted Post
My offers the street delivery enhancement service.

The customer uses my post office physical address along with their p o box number as a suite type number. Along with the p o box zip code, which is different than the zip code for the actual street address.



http://www.giantprintsho...or-usps-p-o-box-holders/

And I was ready to post that it's illegal to use a PO as your address...guess not anymore ;-)
PSEJoanne  
#6 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 5:32:39 PM(UTC)
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When we issue PO boxes in our office, we give the customer the street address of our station and tell them to give their address as 123 Main Street, #6052, with the zip code of our station. We require customers to give us a physical street address as a means to contact them, and as far as I know, it's up to the customer to decide to whom they should give their street address or their PO box address.
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clerky  
#7 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 7:11:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: PSEJoanne Go to Quoted Post
When we issue PO boxes in our office, we give the customer the street address of our station and tell them to give their address as 123 Main Street, #6052, with the zip code of our station. We require customers to give us a physical street address as a means to contact them, and as far as I know, it's up to the customer to decide to whom they should give their street address or their PO box address.


I think the OP is complaining about customers using the street address for their home. "Competitive Street Addressing" where POB customers use the Post Office's physical address is not available in market-dominant areas.
CCAinFL  
#8 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 7:58:31 PM(UTC)
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Before I worked for the USPS and while I was a CCA before I was converted to full time regular, I worked the night shift in a 24/7 call center for a major ecommerce company that handled sales and service calls for many large and well known companies.

The shared warehouses that we used all had reduced rate high volume shipping contracts with UPS and FedEx. They used USPS sparingly. Our websites never allowed PO Box addresses, but a decent portion of the non-expedited orders (including many of the free shipping orders) ended up shipping with UPS surepost or FedEx smartpost which end up getting the last mile delivered by USPS. It was simply the cheapest method available. Even when something ends up shipping through UPS surepost or FedEx smartpost, the UPS and FedEx systems wouldn't recognize or accept PO Box addresses. At the time of the order, it wasn't known whether a shipment would end up in one if those shipping systems because the shipping method was determined by the warehouse at the time of fulfillment, not at the time of the order.

Because UPS and FedEx can't ship to PO Boxes, they just weren't accepted in case they ended up being delivered end to end by UPS or FedEx, which was about 70% of the orders. The reasoning was that the vast majority of the country is covered by the main UPS and FedEx parcel delivery routes. They viewed returned parcels from people who live in rural areas who have actual physical addresses, but only PO Box delivery as acceptable business costs.

There were only two ways around it. One was to enter the PO Box number after the address without actually typing in the term "PO Box" or "POB" and hope that the receiving post office figures it out. The other was to select an expedited shipping method such as 2nd day or overnight so that UPS or FedEx would handle the delivery from end to end. The second option worked for all but the most rural areas that UPS or FedEx don't even go to.

The online companies just don't care about those people because it costs more to ship to them then their order is worth. The high volume shipper rates that UPS and FedEx gave per parcel were ridiculously low. Much lower then what even USPS would charge to ship a parcel to these rural locations. The successful delivery rate was over 98%. This is accounting for the entire county, urban and rural including the lost and stolen parcels and returned rural undeliverable parcels. It just didn't make business sense for my former company to cater to the very few rural residents with more expensive USPS shipping to them.

Edited by user Monday, December 22, 2014 8:07:46 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

afeastforcrows  
#9 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 8:03:48 PM(UTC)

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NMR will work more reliably than UTF for those cases.

You should be striking a balance with them IMO.

They can 'cheat' by using their street address + either: '#' 'PMB #' and using the +4 on their zip (0100 for PO Box 100 for example).

I have found using the stickers/stamps to tell people to use their PO Box # and not their street address to be useless. People don't acknowledge them. If I hand write on their to please inform the sender of your po box # (even drawing an arrow or circling the sender's info and then another circling their address) I have actually had multiple people fix it.

The problem of people not using their PO Box will never be fixed. Some companies just refuse to send to a PO Box. Some companies have the PO Box # and still don't include that information when delivering, only the street address. People will simply make mistakes and forget to include their PO Box #.

You'll save yourself a lot of grief IMO just memorizing some of them and allowing people to write you notes, etc. about their delivery information and politely informing them that you will attempt to do your best to deliver to them, but you can't guarantee anything unless they have their mail properly addressed.
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ScaredNewbie on 12/23/2014(UTC)
Govt Mule  
#10 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2014 9:50:49 PM(UTC)
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When I typed my opening post, I was a little PO'ed (no pun intended).

I have only sent parcels UTF a couple of times and they legitimately had no available PO Box to deliver to. I usually make exceptions for letters if they are birthday/Christmas/condolence/congratulation cards. I typically give mail to businesses regardless of the addressing as it is easy to match those to a PO Box. The ones that really irritate me are the ones where the PO Box is listed under one person's name yet several people get mail at it and those other people usually use the home address instead of the PO Box address.

I am not a disgruntled employee holding back people's mail. That's against the law and I want the customers to be happy instead of being spoiled. I am an employee who cares and sees a problem and wants to help fix it instead of having mail for someone named Joe Blow at 123 N. Main St. which I am told is suppose to go into PO Box 66 which is listed as Smith. It should not be any clerk's responsibility to now the home address for each PO Box--that's insane.

If I ever look for another job away from USPS, I am going to put on my resume how I learned how not to run a business by working for USPS. Too many managers, too many unnecessary reports, and not too many people willing to try to fix things.
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ScaredNewbie on 12/23/2014(UTC), freeby4me on 12/23/2014(UTC), GordonG on 12/23/2014(UTC)
the_mechanic  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 10:05:29 AM(UTC)

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Not being a clerk I have a question about the P O Box rules. Is it written in the DMM or some other manual that when one rents a P O Box one MUST have all their mail addressed to said P O Box?
Govt Mule  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 5:30:17 PM(UTC)
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All I know officially which backs up my point...

http://pe.usps.gov/Archi.../DMMArchive1209/D910.pdf

Number Assignment
1.3
A number is assigned to each post office box. Mail intended for delivery through a
box must show the assigned post office box number in the address immediately
above the city, state, and ZIP Code.

http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm300/508.htm

4.3 Conditions of Use
4.3.1 Mail Receipt

In accordance with the standards in 4.2, any individual box customer or organization may receive through the box any mail properly addressed to the box number.

Edited by user Tuesday, December 23, 2014 5:34:59 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

PSEJoanne  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 5:43:19 PM(UTC)
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I read the document you linked, but I still don't see that a PO box holder is required to have all of their mail sent to the PO box.
Full Time regular, converted in August 2014!
unkon_1  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 6:39:53 PM(UTC)
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Also, you have to remember that thanks to the Patriot act, you have to give anyone you are doing financial business with (bank, loan etc) a Physical address. When I went to buy my last car I got many street addressed letters from lenders, even though I indicated my PO box on the application properly. Same is true for a couple of Credit Cards I got recently for the initial statement, Which i quickly corrected with the issuer.



GordonG  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:25:34 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: the_mechanic Go to Quoted Post
Not being a clerk I have a question about the P O Box rules. Is it written in the DMM or some other manual that when one rents a P O Box one MUST have all their mail addressed to said P O Box?


No such requirement.

*

"We go back a long ways. She was 12, I was 30." - Joe Biden
Govt Mule  
#16 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 8:01:06 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: GordonG Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: the_mechanic Go to Quoted Post
Not being a clerk I have a question about the P O Box rules. Is it written in the DMM or some other manual that when one rents a P O Box one MUST have all their mail addressed to said P O Box?


No such requirement.



https://forum.federalsou...&m=722844#post722844
Govt Mule  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 8:11:12 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: PSEJoanne Go to Quoted Post
I read the document you linked, but I still don't see that a PO box holder is required to have all of their mail sent to the PO box.


Not all, but the only mail that is suppose to be being delivered to a PO Box is mail addressed to that PO Box. Mail not addressed to the PO Box (even if it is for someone in that PO Box) is not suppose to be delivered to it. It is suppose to go UTF or (as recommended by another poster above) NMR which actually makes better sense.

Having said that, my OIC told me to deliver any mail to the PO Boxes even if it is addressed to the home addresses. The reasoning was the OIC is the boss and I must obey regardless if the OIC is right or not. I cannot go higher up with this complaint because, if i did, the higher up would talk to the OIC and obviously it doesn't take too much brain power to figure out who contacted the higher up. I would probably be fired for being right. This is the system we all rot in just hoping to have a job which may lead to a career position and later a pension.

Edited by user Tuesday, December 23, 2014 8:12:04 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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clerky on 12/23/2014(UTC), ScaredNewbie on 12/23/2014(UTC)
clerky  
#18 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:25:26 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: PSEJoanne Go to Quoted Post
I read the document you linked, but I still don't see that a PO box holder is required to have all of their mail sent to the PO box.


We are to deliver mail to where it is addressed unless we have an order saying otherwise. PO Box holders wishing to get street addressed mail at their PO Box give us an order in the form of a COA which expires after 12 months. Customers who have a PO Box can still receive street delivery though it's pretty rare for the same person to want delivery at two addresses.

Also from PS Form 1093:

BOX SERVICE ADDRESS

We deliver to your PO Box address as printed on your mail, so be
sure to provide correct and current address information to your
correspondents.

Your PO Box number should appear on a separate line, followed by
the Post Office’s city, state, and ZIP+4®. When we assign your box
number, we will provide the corresponding ZIP+4 code.
afeastforcrows  
#19 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:28:11 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Govt Mule Go to Quoted Post

The ones that really irritate me are the ones where the PO Box is listed under one person's name yet several people get mail at it and those other people usually use the home address instead of the PO Box address.


If I understand correctly, you could technically bring up the fact that the recipients are not listed on the PO Box application with two forms of identification having been presented. Those people's mail could be returned as ANK.

Not to go on too much, but the office I started in the postmaster before me was super strict about these same rules. It wasn't at all a large office either, so it wasn't like she was hurting for time to look these things up. She simply refused and quoted the rules. The towns people had a petition going and were hellbent on getting her removed. Anyhow, she maintained her own 'database' on excel of every customer's name for each box, printing and labeling every authorized name on a box after the box applicant had shown up in person with valid identification and the person they were adding another authorized recipient to the applicant's box after having presented their own identification (boxes would have 20+ names labeled on them). I heard from more than one person that birth certificates were returned because the newborn's name wasn't (yet) listed on the box.

I've worked in a couple other places since now, and I can say that the strict adherence to those rules and RTSing mail did absolutely nothing to improve the efficiency of mail delivery. It is hardly any more trouble for me to simply memorize so and so gets their mail in such box, writing down for them to use their PO Box or have their name added to the box please. If I decide to NMR or ANK it and someone yells at me later about it I apologize and ask that they attempt to have it addressed correctly in the future and to add that person to the list of recipients on their PO Box. I've personally found that to be the best resolution for the size of the office I work in.

These are all just anecdotes and my own opinion so it probably isn't much help to you.

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ScaredNewbie on 12/23/2014(UTC)
WhatsGoingOn  
#20 Posted : Monday, December 29, 2014 10:07:57 PM(UTC)
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Having said that, my OIC told me to deliver any mail to the PO Boxes even if it is addressed to the home addresses. The reasoning was the OIC is the boss and I must obey regardless if the OIC is right or not. I cannot go higher up with this complaint because, if i did, the higher up would talk to the OIC and obviously it doesn't take too much brain power to figure out who contacted the higher up. I would probably be fired for being right. This is the system we all rot in just hoping to have a job which may lead to a career position and later a pension.


I'm a PSE in a PO Box-only office (well, we have one contract carrier with 20 stops...basically all boxes). On a weekday we get usually 1200 DPS letters and 30-40 pkgs. Then 4-8 inches of inhouse mail. Out of the inhouse, 75% or more of it is addressed to street numbers. I don't have time to go through and figure out who belongs to each letter. Even after a year, I only recognize a hundred or so customers out of 500+. The PM knows them better and boxes them regardless of the address. She told me if I couldn't find them, UTF them. Fine with me. I UTF all of them I don't know. We have a sign posted that says all mail must have a PO Box on it, or it will not be delivered.

A different office I subbed in, instructed me to look up all of them in WEBBATS. I did that. She had a MUCH lower volume of mail, and it didn't take an hour to review all of them.

A third office has the advanced system of allowing the POs street address plus the box # afterwards. They have a sign advising customers how to address packages so the PO gets them delivered.

3 offices. 3 different methods. Who's right?

My take on it, is they have a PO box, they know the box #, if they can't be bothered to tell the cable company after a few months, that the street address isn't the mailing address, it's on them whether they get the bill or not.
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