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Denied Post Marking On Custom Cover At A Texas Post Office - Help!!

 
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Valued Member
United States
293 Posts
Posted 12/22/2020   10:08 pm  Show Profile Check pascoe's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add pascoe to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello Community,

Custom cover newbie here with a blood pressure elevating situation on a subject you've discussed on the podcast recently. I need your help please :(

To be brief, I made a custom cover commemorating the anniversary of the death of a family member (Doolittle raider pilot in WWII) and took it into a San Antonio post office for hand cancellation / post marking to be handed back to me (to spare transfer in the mail and potential damage). The clerk told me that they couldn't post mark and hand back to me and it had to go "in the back."

I tried telling them that in their regulations that had to do this, that fell on deaf ears. I was livid and instead of asking for management I stormed out of there. I fortunately found another PO down the road that allowed me to post mark / cancel the cover myself - happy ending. See attached photo of the cover. I am from Colorado and happen to be in Texas for Christmas.

But, can you please provide me the specific reference in the USPS operations manual that I can print off and bring with me next time I attempt this? I should say I've done this 12 times before today without problem from a clerk before.

I've heard the guys on the Stamp Show Here Today Podcast talk about how the USPS needs to do this when asked and I am awaiting a response from them as well.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1457 Posts
Posted 12/22/2020   10:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postal Operations Manual 231.4, Hand-back Service.

https://about.usps.com/postal-bulle...phil21b.html

It's not surprising that your office doesn't know about this. USPS has not printed the manual in complete form since at least 2002. Just updates.
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Valued Member
United States
293 Posts
Posted 12/22/2020   10:31 pm  Show Profile Check pascoe's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add pascoe to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome. Wish I had this in San Antonio. This week I will visit the Lexington Texas PO and I will ask the post master what they know and have this in my pocket. Thank you so much. Good to know the podcast guys were right and that I wasn't making things up.
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Pillar Of The Community
3377 Posts
Posted 12/22/2020   10:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cultivate a relationship (although hard when traveling).
"I am a stamp collector and I need a favor ... Here's what I'm trying to do, can you help me ..."
Have the regulations handy, but be polite. Have an extra copy for them to keep.
With all current pressures there and the "official postmark dates" for taxes and ballots they can be skittish about hand-back service.
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Posted 12/22/2020   10:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"Skittish"? I hope I don't run into a clerk at Home Depot who's skittish about ringing up my purchases, or a person behind the Subway counter who's skittish about adding pickles to my sandwich, or a bank teller who's skittish about taking my deposit slip. Heaven forbid we expect a postal clerk to perform the duties that he/she is legally required to provide.
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5797 Posts
Posted 12/23/2020   12:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All of those cited jobs have the advantage/disadvantage of no worker protections, vis-a-vis the USPS worker.

That said, if you have a copy of the DMM, and you've familiarized yourself with it, you'll run circles around every USPS counter clerk, and most every postmaster/postmistress in a 100-mile radius.

And that said, if you beat them over the head with it, you won't win friends and influence people. Help them understand the regulations, and they'll think you're weird, but brilliant. Really.
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