• Report: #797386

Complaint Review: USPS

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  • Submitted: Sat, November 12, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, November 13, 2011

  • Reported By: Patience gone — Hope Mills North Carolina United States of America
USPS
Main Street Hope Mills, North Carolina United States of America

USPS United States Postal Service, Post Office, Postal Worker, FLat Rate, If it fits it ships Flat Rate does not mean the package must be flat - Rude postal workers who insist on it. Hope Mills, North Carolina

*Consumer Comment: OP is Correct

*Consumer Comment: OP is Correct

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Help

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This is the letter I wrote to the USPS consumer affairs division today which explains it all.
11/11/2011

2901 Scott Futrell Dr.

Charlotte, NC 28228-9976

Dear Postmaster or ANYONE with some authority,

Despite multiple logged complaints and even a letter from Ms.Crystal Foreman at Consumer Affairs (case# CA106088254) stating what is and is not acceptable to mail in a $4.95 flat rate envelope, the women at the Hope Mills post office at 28348 are still refusing to mail my packages because of their personal opinion (Lauri being one of them) of what they think should be mailed in them. Please see the enclosed letter I provided to them that was sent to me by Ms. Crystal Foreman at USPS Consumer Affairs to help us mail our packages. Even showing the women at the Hope Mills PO the letter we received from Ms. Crystal Foreman at Consumer Affairs which would allow us to continue mailing our flat rate envelopes there, the women at the Hope Mills PO still will not adhere to it and refuse to serve us with our needs and we are forced to drive to the other post offices in the neighboring city to mail the same packages.

 The first time we showed them the letter, they did adhere to it, stating, now we know. But they also told us that the packages will be held at the PO in the receivers city and that the receiver would have to pay the difference in cost
because the envelope was not flat. Just to let you know, the other PO personnel in Fayetteville are extremely helpful, and they are aware that the Hope Mills women do not follow USPS rules. They have received multiple complaints from people who also go to Fayetteville to use the PO so that they can avoid the Hope Mills PO.

On a logical note, please allow me to illustrate the error in what I have been told by these women. I was told by the women at the Hope Mills post office that in order to ship anything in a flat rate $4.95 envelope, it has to be flat and cannot exceed 1 inch in thickness and cannot change the shape of the envelope in any way. Another time she told me it could not be bigger than a inch. And yet I called a moment ago, and Lauris answer changed again, telling me there was no limit as to how much I could put in there, but it had to be flat and that it could not be a tee shirt but could only be paper.

To experiment, I put 1 inch of 8.5x11 paper ( a standard paper size by any account) in a flat rate envelope. It was too much paper and I could not seal it. It was too thick. I then took it out and put of an inch of paper in and still could not adequately seal it. I reduced it down to 3/8 of an inch of paper inside the flat rate envelope and could finally get it sealed. So, this, by the Hope Mills explanation, would be an acceptable flat flat rate envelope. The only problem is, I can send 3/8 inch of paper (13 oz with envelope) via first class for $3.28. I thought the whole point of flat rate was
to save money on shipping. If it fits, it ships, right? Not in Hope Mills, NC. In Hope Mills, if Lauri agrees with what is inside of your package it ships. She is discriminating against harmless content.

To reiterate, I have complained, literally a dozen times by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS, and each and every time I called they told me that the women at the post office in Hope Mills were in error, and I should be able to ship something that is more than an inch, as long as it fits fine and does not require additional sealing tape or reinforcements. One gentleman at 1-800-ASK USPS told me I could ship a brick as long as it fit and I didnt need to tape it up. Another woman there told me that she had mailed baseballs in the flat rate $4.95 envelopes and that shipping an object with those dimensions is
perfectly acceptable.

We are not shipping baseballs or bricks, but are shipping onesies and small t-shirts. Small items of clothing that do not exceed 1 inch in thickness in most cases.

I am a clinical psychologist and logic and communication is my expertise. I do not tolerate rudeness, and that is what they have been to my wife and I when we have tried to mail the flat rate envelope with a onesie in it. One of the women even yelled at us when we were 5th in line that we cannot mail our packages there. They will not even adhere to the letter we
were sent by Ms. Crystal Foreman at consumer affairs. Additionally, when I told them that every other post office we had been to in the U.S. mailed these happily, the woman told me, You can take your flat rates to the Cedar Creek PO
because they will mail those over there, but we wont.

Again, 3/8 inch of 8.5x11 paper with envelope = 12.8.oz.  

If sending First class would cost $3.28 from North Carolina to Washington State. It does not make sense to even have a flat rate envelope for $4.95 like that if the women at the Hope Mills PO are correct. It would be false advertising because it is not true to, If it fits, it ships.

We send literally between 600 and 1200 flat rate envelopes per year, but we recently relocated to Hope Mills NC from WA state, and this is the ONLY post office of any we have been to anywhere in the United States that will not serve us. We have mailed these in Utah, Idaho, Kentucky, and every other state between WA and NC. We have always been treated with respect, until we met the women at Hope Mills. Again, my business is understanding people, and I think I understand these women, but that will do you no good. I do know that unless someone actually speaks to them and makes them acknowledge that they should adhere to USPS official rules, they will continue to cause problems for
you and us, and the rest of Hope Mills.

*** LASTLY*** Please do not simply forward this complaint to the Hope Mills Post office to deal with. This was previously done by the complaint department and I got a rude voice mail from the same woman we have so much problem with there, stating we cannot mail flat rate envelopes that are not flat. She was less than respectful in the VM, and I still have the voice mail recorded.

I am begging you, for the good of our time, effort, gasoline consumption from running to the other post offices, and my sanity to PLEASE, once and for all, contact ALL of the employees at Hope Mills and set them straight so that we may go to our local post office to mail our items rather than the neighboring city. It is ridiculous that I should have to do this. I
have wasted SO much time, effort and money because of these women.

My next step, if this is not resolved immediately, is to file a lawsuit claiming false advertising, and I will take the USPS to court.  At that point I will call my friend at channel 11 and ask them to do an investigative piece on the treatment I have been given with all of my documentation and the recorded voice mail from this woman. I do not want to do that because I am too busy and many USPS workers are wonderful, but the USPS has not addressed this in an adequate manner despite my multiple attempts to resolve the issue, and despite the multiple complaints and the poor ratings of this post office online, nothing has been done to directly deal with the women at the Hope Mills office.

Sincerely,



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/12/2011 05:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/USPS/Hope-Mills-North-Carolina-28348/USPS-United-States-Postal-Service-Post-Office-Postal-Worker-FLat-Rate-If-it-fits-it-sh-797386. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 2Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

OP is Correct

AUTHOR: ColdHouse - (USA)

The OP is correct.

Right there on the provided envelope I have in front of me it says "any amount of mailable material may be enclosed, as long as the envelope is not modified, and the contents are entirely confined within the envelope with the adhesive provided as the means of closure."

I think that pretty much says it all.

Additional rules are that it must not exceed 70 pounds and "the container flaps must be able to close within the normal folds." I regularly ship out bulky clothing and also receive 7 or 8 yards of fabric in these envelopes, all perfectly within the guidelines. You can use extra tape to strengthen the seams and closures.

They do have thickness rules for standard envelopes, non priority flat rate. The 3/4" Ashley mentioned goes for a standard large envelope, not the letter size Flat Rate Priority one in question.

Obviously the workers at this referred to post office misunderstood: flat RATE, not flat ENVELOPE! They learned they were wrong yet decided to be rude to the customer who proved them so. I've had postal workers change the rules on me several times when I knew they were wrong. When they learned that I was actually right, they acted like they were doing me a favor by adhering to the rules. "It's been that way for months" they said. "Then why did you accept similar items when I was here several times in the last month?" Once I was even told that the rule didn't have exact wording, but she was allowed to decide if it measured appropriately just by feeling it. I told her to just mail it, I'll take my chances on it being returned.

OP -- did you try asking them to show you in their big book of postal rules where it says the envelope has to be flat? Besides, "flat" is impossible as even 1/4" of paper would technically be not flat as the edges would slope down and the profile of the envelope would be more of a pointed ellipse .... flat is a matter of opinion in that case, and the post office is an department of exact weights and measures.

I do all my domestic postage at home through the USPS website and drop it in the mailbox. No need to deal with the employees.

Basically, as advertised .... if it fits, it ships.
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#2 Consumer Comment

OP is Correct

AUTHOR: ColdHouse - (USA)

The OP is correct.

Right there on the provided envelope I have in front of me it says "any amount of mailable material may be enclosed, as long as the envelope is not modified, and the contents are entirely confined within the envelope with the adhesive provided as the means of closure."

I think that pretty much says it all.

Additional rules are that it must not exceed 70 pounds and "the container flaps most be able to close within the normal folds." I regularly ship out bulky clothing and receive 7 or 8 yards of fabric in these envelopes, all perfectly within the guidelines. You can use extra tape to strengthen the seams and closures.

They do have thickness rules for standard envelopes, non priority flat rate. The 3/4" Ashley mentioned goes for a standard large envelope, not the letter size Flat Rate Priority one in question.

Obviously the workers at this referred to post office misunderstood: flat RATE, not flat ENVELOPE! When they learned they were wrong yet decided to be rude to the customer who proved them so. I've had postal workers change the rules on me several times when I knew they were wrong. When they learned that I was actually right, they acted like they were doing me a favor by adhering to the rules. "It's been that way for months" they said. "Then why did you accept similar items when I was here several times in the last month?" Once I was even told that the rule didn't have exact wording, but she was allowed to decide if it measured appropriately just by feeling it. I told her to just mail it, I'll take my chances on it being returned.

OP -- did you try asking them to show you in their big book of postal rules where it says the envelope has to be flat? Besides, "flat" is impossible as even 1/4" of paper would technically be not flat as the edges would slope down and the profile of the envelope would be more of a pointed ellipse .... flat is all a matter of opinion in that case, and the post office is an department of exact weights and measures.

I do all my domestic postage at home through the USPS website and drop it in the mailbox. No need to deal with the employees.

Basically, as advertised .... if it fits, it ships.
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Help

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm100/dmm100.pdf

according to this publication from the USPS, envelopes may not exceed 3/4" So if your packges are an inch thick, you would need to pay additional postage.

Also, the reason you are paying 4.95 as opposed to 3.28, you are shipping it priority not first class. You are paying extra for a faster delivery.

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