Sunday, October 20, 2013

Balancing the budget, $23.95 at a time

We mailed an international envelope with $23.95 in postage on it. The post office cancelled the postage and returned the envelope marked “postage due,” demanding another $16.60 because it wasn’t a flat rate envelope. Except that it was.

They marked up the envelope to make it unusable, so we have to repack the order. They marked up the postage to make it unusable, so we have to pay for new postage. The post office should look at what happened, apologize, and cover the postage on the replacement package. But the reality is that the $23.95 is gone, because the only recourse that the post office offers is to fill out a form requesting a refund, which the post office will sit on for months and eventually refuse in the hope that we won’t appeal.

Mistakes happen. This one was that an incompetent postal worker didn’t know the post office’s own range of envelopes, and couldn’t be bothered to read the words “Flat Rate” printed on the envelope. What bugs me isn’t the mistake. It’s that the post office’s policy is to penalize the customer for their worker’s mistake.

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