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Insufficient Postage - 'returned For Postage' Or 'postage Due'?

 
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Posted 01/17/2019   8:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Prexie3c to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all,

My understanding all along about mail sent with insufficient postage is that it will be charged postage due and the recipient will have to pay the outstanding amount upon collection.

However, while going through my Prexie 3c covers, I found some covers with the marking "Returned to sender for additional postage" (sorry, I am not able to post scans as my scanner just died on me).

I have 2 questions:

1. When is short-paid mail returned to senders for additional postage, and when is it charged postage due to be paid by the recipient? I suppose there should be some rules governing this.

2. For cases where the short-paid mail was to be returned to senders for additional postage, how did the post office return the mail to the senders?

Thanks
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Posted 01/17/2019   8:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree it is more difficult without specific examples to analyze.
Generally, underpaid mail with a return address was sent back to the sender, and underpaid mail without a return address was collected from the recipient.
The rules/procedures are in the "Postal Laws and Regulations" (PL&R) volumes, updated as needed in the daily Postal Bulletins and codified into bound volumes every 8 to 12 years. Specifically, the 1932, 1940, and 1948 collective volumes would be very helpful to you for Prexie era covers.
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Posted 01/17/2019   10:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scanned below is a specific example to analyze from my collection. This post card was mailed without a one cent stamp from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, USA to Kensett, Iowa, USA. It was not sent forward postage due. No return address. It has a Saint Cloud, Minnesota cancel and returned for postage markings UNDER the stamp. It has a Saint Cloud, Minnesota cancel ON the stamp, and "This is the mail for which you sent postage" marking applied. I am not exactly sure what this marking means, but it appears a stamp was applied in Minnesota before it was sent to Iowa. Any ideas what this marking means? Who sent the postage?

Linus


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Posted 01/17/2019   11:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In this case, of no return address, the card was held at Saint Cloud and a card similar to the one below sent to Kensett Iowa. Mr/Mrs Sorbo sent the form 3548 card and a 1 cent stamp back which the Saint Cloud PO applied to the card, canceled it a second time and sent it on to Iowa.



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Posted 01/17/2019   11:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you sir! I did not know this process, and now it finally makes sense.

Linus
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Posted 01/17/2019   11:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prexie3c to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
In this case, of no return address, the card was held at Saint Cloud and a card similar to the one below sent to Kensett Iowa. Mr/Mrs Sorbo sent the form 3548 card and a 1 cent stamp back which the Saint Cloud PO applied to the card, canceled it a second time and sent it on to Iowa.

Wow, thanks for the information on the workings of the POD. I have a couple of covers with the "This is the mail for which you sent postage" marking too. Now I know the process.

Just curious - why wasn't this card then marked with the usual Postage Due markings?
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Posted 01/18/2019   12:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Due mail isn't always "usual"

Various handstamps can get covered by the sent-in stamp. On the OP's card the 1 cent Prexie covers a different handstamp - note the lower case "age" to the right of the stamp, above the uppercase "TAGE which is likely another strike of the "This is the mail for which..." handstamp. Being a postcard, marking a due amount may not have been deemed very important - too obvious to any clerk.

Here are a pair of cards with markings fairly similar to the original card. They were "Held for postage" and dated in magenta. The "Held ..." marking was crossed out or partially covered by the sent-in postage. Then the "This is the mail for which ..." mark was added, the stamp canceled, etc.



But with envelopes (again, neither with a return address), the due amount is not always as obvious (or constant) and an amount was specifically noted on these. The first charged due 1.5 likely because it was sealed, requiring the 3 cent 1st class rate rather than the 1.5 cent 3rd class rate. The second cover being due 3 cents since the precancels were not accepted as valid without a permit. In both cases the due amount was crossed out when the due amount was sent in.

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Posted 01/18/2019   01:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John - Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this subject.


Quote:
Due mail isn't always "usual"


That quote is so true. Here is a modern example of that from my collection. I have erased out the addresses for privacy. This was a Christmas card, mailed with no stamp, to me, postage due. It has a "Returned for Postage" marking, but under that is the marking "Obvious seasonal mail - forward postage due from Des Moines, Iowa 50318"

I also got the bright orange postage due envelope along with it, which I inserted 39 cents in coins, and put out for the mailman the following day. The OCR barcode was blackened out by postal workers somewhere.

Have you seen this marking, or something similar? I was wondering, how common is this marking?

Linus


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Edited by Linus - 01/18/2019 01:12 am
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Posted 01/18/2019   03:34 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To learn more about the mail processes, you can search USPO/USPD/USPS forms by 'keyword' here http://stampsmarter.com/features/NY...ms_Home.html
Don
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Posted 01/18/2019   08:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prexie3c to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
OK, my scanner is up again (for now), so I shall post some scans:

Cover 1 - With the "Returned for Postage" marking. Very quick response - same day 5 hours! And interesting that the cancellations are different.


Cover 2 - With the "HELD FOR POSTAGE" and "THIS IS THE MAIL FOR WHICH YOU SENT POSTAGE" markings. Fairly long delay of 6 days (Dec 9 to Dec 15)


Cover 3 - With the isn't always 'usual' "POSTAGE DUE 3 CENTS" marking. However, why 36 cents of postage due stamps?


Cover 4 - Again with the "Postage due 3 cents" marking. However, this cover was returned to the sender because "ADDRESSEE REFUSES TO PAY POSTAGE DUE"!
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Posted 01/18/2019   09:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cover 3 has 36 cents postage due because it was the top cover in a stack of mail all to the same recipient with several having postage due. It was just easier and faster to do it this way.
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Edited by revcollector - 01/18/2019 09:03 am
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Posted 01/18/2019   09:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For a very complete discussion with examples of the saga of short paid / insufficient postage mail go to Chapter 45 pages 373 to 382 in the third edition of "US Domestic Postal Rates 1872 to 2011 by Beecher and Tony W. This is a must have reference covering most domestic rate and procedure questions.

Yes, like almost everything else. how the post office deals with these items has changed over time. The answer to you original question and many others can be found in these pages with references back to the underlying USPO or USPS laws and regulations. Most of these documents are readily available on line at: http://www.uspostalbulletins.com/
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Posted 01/18/2019   7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Obvious seasonal mail..." I had not seen this marking before. Quite unusual and probably scarse. A wonderful piece of modern postal history, and "stampless" to boot. I could see a dealer asking $10-15 for it.

Cover 1: The machine cancel at top, a handstamp cancel at bottom on the stamp. A very simple address - just a building name at Denison University I Granville.

Cover 2: I would not be surprised if the "7020" was applied to the envelope and the return due notice card by Detroit to make it easier to match up the payments when they came back.

Cover 3: This is also why one can find covers marked due but without any evidence of payment - they were in the rest of the bundle delivered that day.

Cover 4: Yes, there are differences in how due mail is handled - whether it has at least 1 full rate paid - and where in its journey it is discovered. Lots of combinations and explanations.

I agree, the domestic rate book is a "must". Don't skimp on buying the literature to you areas of interest. It will pay for itself very quickly.
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Posted 01/18/2019   8:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PhilPhil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postage Due story: I get most of my mail at a PO Box and recently received a notice I had a postage due item. I went to the counter and the clerk handed me a stiff envelope and wanted to charge me over $2.00 because she claimed it was a package. I explained it was a non-machineable letter and that sufficient postage had already been paid. We went back and forth, and I eventually Googled the Domestic Mail Manual on my smartphone to convince her that a stiff envelope is indeed one of the definitions of non-machineable. Sad when the customer knows more than the USPS clerk.
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Posted 01/18/2019   8:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John Becker -

Thank you for your comments on my postage due cover. I have never seen another "Obvious seasonal mail..." marking from anywhere else either. I guess you never know what the post office is going to do next and what will show up in you mailbox.

Linus
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