USPS confusion and strange postage due


Buyer did not receive item, verified by tracking. I chose to send a replacement instead of requiring him to file an INR A2Z (repeat buyer potential).

10 oz pkg ‘Buy Shipping’ USPS First Class $5.04

Tracking on original order:

Delivery Attempt: Action Needed
Notice Left (No Secure Location Available)
NAPLES, FL 34110
October 17, 2023, 12:51 pm

Return to Sender
NAPLES, FL 34108
October 7, 2023, 8:53 am

Out for Delivery
NAPLES, FL 34110
October 6, 2023, 6:10 am

Today he messages me that he received the replacement; and this in his mailbox:

So, on the 7th they were returning to sender. Then 10 days later on the 17th they attempt delivery again.
And they want him to pick it up and pay $8.05 postage due - for what? I ship hundreds of these, postage was accurate.

And the 1st package could not be delivered due to lack of secure location, but the 2nd package could?? He’s in an apartment and the package would fit in a small mail receptacle.

I told him to ignore the note, don’t pay or pick it up, and let them send it back to me, like I thought they were already! Tracking page also shows this:

If this item is unclaimed by November 1, 2023 then it will be returned to sender.

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First Class or Ground Advantage?

Although USPS extended First Class Package acceptance until 10/31/2023, there are reports of Post Offices refusing and/or not honoring First Class Package labels after the original 9/30/2023 grace period. It could be that this post office/postal clerk didn’t know of the extension. The $8.05 is a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope price so it is a little odd that this would be the requested amount.

If you sent the package as Ground Advantage, you qualify for $100 insurance coverage with USPS. After 15 days from the date of mailing … if the item has not been delivered, you could file a claim on as you have already replaced the shipment.

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So that is a clue of their error. But no postage should be due.

It was sent First Class, not GA. The loss is not worth pursuing in this case… I will get the product back eventually and these never get shipping damage.


Call the buyers local Post Office and get them to explain to you why they think you owe them more postage. Once they realize their mistake your probably gonna still need to tell them just to return it so your buyer doesn’t get 2.

Some Post Offices never answer and some do. Try a few times throughout the day if the first call doesn’t go through.

We’ve had luck calling local PO’s in the past when a delivery issue has come up or we needed to intercept a package (since you can’t intercept a Amazon supplied label through the USPS portal)


Well, there’s your problem. Don’t buy labels for a service that doesn’t exist anymore. :laughing:

Yeah, yeah, Amazon bullied USPS into creating a temporary exception for them since they lack the competence to implement new features like this, but that doesn’t mean USPS is set up to handle the packages properly.

Always avoid getting involved in any of Amazon’s messes whenever possible. :wink: This means - don’t buy any First Class labels past the original deadline (which was Sept 30, I think), even if Amazon tells you it’s fine.

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They won’t deliver it to the buyer, they want him to pick it up and pay.

I’m just sharing how messed up it is, on several levels. It better not come back postage due. I will object if that happens.


Have you tried calling though? I’ve seen them make similar mistakes a quick phone call resolves the error.

When it’s returned they don’t collect postage due.

Edit: Our post office has never asked us to pay postage due on our RTS packages (even when we screwed up. I’m not sure what the official USPS ruling is here.

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I have called many PO’s, I don’t see a need to here. No one will be charged if the buyer heeds my advice.
My to-do list is too long currently, the $ doesn’t justify action.

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How is it even possible to buy FC labels? Who sells them?
(Note FC - Letter and FC - Flats still exist)

As well, FC-Package Service to Ground Advantage was only a NAME change.

So in my opinion, this is not the issue.

As to the $8.05 - that is a Priority Mail Legal rate, so my ONLY guess is that

  1. The USPS agent misclassified.
  2. The package has a sticker on it that said Priority Mail
  3. The package was put in a PM envelope.

Amazon Buy Shipping still has them.
USPS site still has First Class Package for International shipments.


ha ha ha. Are you serious? Wow.

The USPS announced this change in Feb.
I would imagine that Amazon and all 3p api had notice prior.

Amazon got USPS to delay the FCP deadline to October 31, 2023 (original was September 30, 2023).

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That’s the discounted (commercial) rate for legal flat rate envelope.

I believe that when USPS decides incorrect postage has been used, the correct postage is charged at over-the-counter rate. (which would be $9.95 for legal flat rate envelope)

I send a ton of FC-Letter, FC-Flats, and FC-Package - Now called Ground Advantage (GA)…

I get back maybe 25 orders a year that are returned postage due and the amount due boggles the mind. My conclusion is that those that have the job of re-classifying are not trained consistently.

I have had a FC-Letter bumped up 40¢ to a Flat, up $4+ to a Package, up $8+ to priority mail, etc.

So, yes it is possible a FC-Package or GA is bumped up to Priority Mail Commercial Rate (as it was sent Commercial rate), or Retail Rate.

Depends on the agent, and if he/she

  1. Has had a morning coffee
  2. Is not hung-over
  3. Is just having a piss poor day.
  4. Has not been recently been called into the supervisors office.
  5. Not pre-holiday
  6. Not post-holiday
  7. A trainee, or just covering for Joe who is sick

It was not put in a Priority envelope, I did not put a Priority sticker on it.

Has to be this. Odd that it is combined with non-delivery for the reason

Notice Left (No Secure Location Available)

But they delivered the replacement.

My theory is the PO has some incompetence.


I just called the PO to solve the mysteries. The head clerk confirmed that there should not have been postage due asked of the buyer. She said maybe overzealous carrier trying to make the post office money??? Crazy notion.

She also could not explain why it was not delivered due to ‘no secure location’, yet the replacement was delivered without issue.

She is returning it to me.

This appears to be correct.


Or … the receiving person has done things to make their delivery person angry and this is not incompetence but a form of pay back.

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