Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Newspapers May Be Printed Matter But They Can't be Mailed Media Rate


As defined by the United States Post Office, a copy of a newspaper, when placed in a manila envelope, cannot be mailed 'media' rate. Or at least, so I was told as my parcel was rejected as not qualifying as 'media mail' in Salem this morning.

When I asked "Why not?" I was told "It is not media." A newspaper is not printed matter?" I asked, incredulously. "It's not MEDIA?"

"It's not media rate," she says, "it's first class."

I mailed it Parcel Post, absolutely refusing to mail it at twice my estimated cost for First Class, instead of Media. But not before containing a very big huff and trying very hard not to exhale a somewhat heated puff, as I left the building.

As defined by Wikipedia, media as when referring to communication is:
  • Recording media, devices used to store information
  • Print media, communications delivered via paper or canvas
  • Electronic media, communications delivered via electronic or electromechanical energy
  • Multimedia, communications that incorporate multiple forms of information content and processing
  • Hypermedia, media with hyperlinks
  • Digital media, electronic media used to store, transmit, and receive digitized information
  • Published media, any media made available to the public
  • Mass media, all means of mass communication
  • Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass electronic communication networks
  • News media, mass media focused on communicating news
  • News media (United States), the news media of the United States of America

According to the USPS web site, Media Mail™ is defined as:

Small and large packages and thick envelopes can be sent using Media Mail. Contents are limited to books, manuscripts, sound recordings, recorded videotapes, and computer-readable media (not blank). Informally called "Book Rate," Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books.

I'm sorry, but I thought printed materials delivered in a news format, printed on paper, was news media. And it was only a section of an old newspaper, too. I guess I forgot to cut out any advertising that might have been present. Next time, I shall cut up my newspaper, like the remnants of an old ransom note, stomp it flat so it's not identifiable as a newspaper and claim that it's a manuscript. Because by then, I will have written an entire book about my unhappiness with the U.S. Mail!

Between this and their refusal to accept my 14 ounce letter with Gee's Bend stamps, claiming it was 1 ounce over the regulated weight for letters that can be self stamped and then dropped in a mailbox (only letters 13 oz. or less are not security risks and can be self stamped and dropped in a mailbox) Having my mailman return that package to me, and making me hand deliver it to the Post Office where they machine stamped the exact same postage on top of my own stamps and then declared it 'official' and simply through in their pile, was amazing to me! But this is, well, ridiculous.

Well, let's just say that I'm going back to using my debit card so I don't have to pay bills using stamps. After all, both are made of paper, made of printed materials, and since no news is good news. I'm not mailed any news any more. Well, except for ransom notes and manuscripts.

Expect my photo on a post office wall near you. Right after I'm searched by the drug sniffing dogs and put through the X-ray machine.

shown:
huffy puffy meandering therapy
I expect to be doing a lot of it today.

4 comments:

  1. I guess some rules are just random. In this case I guess honesty is not the best policy.

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  2. The problem is they trained us to mail independantly, then they changed the rules. I can't adjust either. My mailman is pretty patient with me tho. He hand delivers it for me. What a sweetie! I guess he thinks this is one grandma who doesn't look too dangerous!

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  3. This is why people "go postal"! Marcie's right, they changes the rules just so they can laugh at us all, I swear!

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  4. Ok, that's just someone at your post office going a bit overboard. I swear I don't have these kinds of problems with my folks.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.