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PBEndUser
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-12-2010

How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

I was sent a letter that was postmarked by PB equipment.  There was not post date on the mark, but there are some numbers, which I assume are account numbers and a 2-D bar code area to the extreme left of the post mark.  I need to know when the letter was post marked, any way I could do that .  I went by a local post office but they were as baffled by this as I was.

 

It took 7 days for this letter to get across town based on the the date of the letter versus my receiving it., so I am trying to see when it was mailed. The USPS is not generally that slow in my area.  In fact they are usually pretty good.

Frequent Contributor
karios
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎05-13-2008

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

I agree, PBEndUser...that is awfully slow. I don't know how large the city is in which you live, but in most cases mail is delivered within the same city one day after it is mailed out. PB meters do have the option of excluding the date from the postmark, so I am guessing that is why you cannot find the date on the postmark. But, the Post Office also date stamps the mail the day they sort it (which is the date it is mailed, as long as it has been deposited into a mailbox by the specified pickup time).

 

Another possibility is that the Post Office misdirected the mail piece in question. Once, we received a mail piece from across the country (it was delivered to the correct PO Box #, but in the wrong city and state). Ironically, the delivery address on the envelope was in the same city as the return address. So, a piece of mail that should have taken only a day to be delivered would have taken approximately a week to be delivered in that case. When the mail piece is redirected to the correct city and state, though, I think it is postmarked again. If the post office postmarked your envelope more than once, that would offer you a clue that this is what happened to your mail piece.

 

 

Moderator
SandyD
Posts: 130
Registered: ‎08-05-2009

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

Hi PBEndUser,

Welcome to the community! We hope karios has answered your question.

If you have any additional questions on this topic, another topic, or about the community in general, please let us know. Also feel free to come over and Introduce Yourself. We hope to see you back soon! :smileyhappy:

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New Contributor
PBEndUser
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-12-2010

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

My gut is telling me the letter inside was dated one date to meet  legal requirements concerning meeting announcements for the Home Owner Assoc, but the mgmt company did not bother to mail it out until a week later. 

 

We are talking Greensboro, NC and I live one ZIP code over (250,000 in the city and 400,000 in the county I think.)  Netflix is never more than 1-day and they have a dist. center in Greensboro.

 

It does sound like the PO did not stamp over the metered red ink from the PB equipment..  I imagine there is something in the 2-D bar code but that takes a computer to interpret I imagine.

 

Oh well, I do think you for your time in responding.

Frequent Contributor
karios
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎05-13-2008

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

PBEndUser wrote:  "My gut is telling me the letter inside was dated one date to meet  legal requirements concerning meeting announcements for the Home Owner Assoc, but the mgmt company did not bother to mail it out until a week later."

 

That's certainly a possibility and could explain why the company chose not to include the date on the postmark. Either the company was intentionally late and tried to conceal the fact, or they did prepare the letter on the date indicated but delayed getting it out for some unforseen reason and, again, was hoping its tardiness would not be questioned due to the absence of a date on the postmark. If you called the company, they might claim that "it got lost in the mail." 

 

However, there should be a post office postmark visible on the envelope. I think the post office was remiss and, therefore, you would not be able to prove that the envelope wasn't misplaced or misdirected by the post office. In fact, the absence of the post office's dated postmark would even lend credence to the notion that the mail piece in question was in some way mishandled by the post office.

Newbie
NoDate
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-06-2010

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

[ Edited ]

After an unhelpful call to PB customer service, I turned to the oracle and found this thread. I find it difficult to believe that USPS  allows PB metering machines to not place a date on a metered envelope. I also find it hard to believe it is impossible for me, as a recipient of this letter to not be able to verify what date this was metered. I am willing to scan and email this barcode to anyone that would be able to decipher the 2D barcode.

 

Image:

http://yfrog.com/6xpbpostmark1j

 

 

I also contacted USPS, who stated there is no way for them to identify what date this was placed in the mail.

Product Support Specialist
PB-Jeremy
Posts: 1,580
Registered: ‎05-02-2008

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

NoDate,

 

Thank you for your message.  I can confirm that a Pitney Bowes meter can process mail pieces without a date.  This is typically, but not always, used for the purpose of making envelopes with postage already included, so the recipient does not need to pay postage for return mail.  I'm sorry, but without a date on the mail piece, there is not a way to determine the date of when the mail piece was processed.

 

Thank you,

Jeremy

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Moderator
ShannonS
Posts: 421
Registered: ‎08-05-2009

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

Welcome to the Forum, NoDate! We hope that Jeremy has been able to assist you in resolving your issue. 

 

Be sure and stop over to our Welcome Thread and Introduce Yourself. This is a great way to get to know our Community and share a bit about yourself, as well!

 

If you have other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask!

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Frequent Contributor
FNSBSDmailer
Posts: 146
Registered: ‎09-09-2008

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

 


NoDate wrote:

After an unhelpful call to PB customer service, I turned to the oracle and found this thread. I find it difficult to believe that USPS  allows PB metering machines to not place a date on a metered envelope. I also find it hard to believe it is impossible for me, as a recipient of this letter to not be able to verify what date this was metered. I am willing to scan and email this barcode to anyone that would be able to decipher the 2D barcode.

 

Image:

http://yfrog.com/6xpbpostmark1j

 

 

I also contacted USPS, who stated there is no way for them to identify what date this was placed in the mail.


 

The 2D barcode only contains "information that identifies the postage evidencing system, postage payment information, and mail service requested." It doesn't contain the date.

 

The date is required on First Class mail. It's part of the agreement that allows use of a meter instead of buying stamps. The penalty for failing to print the date includes revoking permission to use the meter. This is usually enforced for chronic misbehaviour and occasional omissions are generally ignored.

 

No one can prove that the missing date was a mistake, but in the situation that you described it's certainly likely that if the sender knew that it was possible to exclude date it would certainly be tempting to do so.

 

======-::[[[ Dave ]]]::-======
Administrator
PB-MikeH
Posts: 317
Registered: ‎03-28-2008

Re: How to determine the post date from a meter stamp on a letter.

As always, Dave, your depth of knowledge amazes!  Thanks for posting.

 

  -- Mike


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