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Hand cancelling? Where? VENT!

Yesterday I went to mail my wedding invitations. After being pulled over for speeding to the New Lenox Post Office only to find out that it had already closed for the day, I drove over to Mokena where I was summarily told that I didn't have enough postage on my square self-mailers (.88, needed 1.05). I was borderline despondent (it was a lousy day already anyway. I had already checked the postage with my local post office in Chicago and asked if any additional postage was required because of the shape of the envelope, I'd been told "no." I HATE it when people don't do their jobs, or feed you a line of bullsh*t because they're too lazy to find out the correct answer. What if I hadn't double checked in Mokena? Would all of my 130 invitations been returned to me for insufficient postage? Would they have arrived to my guests "postage due"? Argh. Crisis averted, I guess? As I was buying $55 of additional postage (so I could have the pretty .44 ring stamps that matched the others on my invitations), I asked the woman behind the counter if she would hand cancel them for me when I returned today. She said "no," that hand cancelling wasn't done anywhere anymore because everything must be machine fed. I said, "so, when the woman at my Chicago Post Office told me that she would hand cancel them for me, she was lying to get me away from her window? No one does this in Chicagoland anymore??" Her response was to shrug and say, "wellll...." as if she wanted to tell me that the Chicago Post Office lady had indeed been full of sh*t but that as a government employee she didn't feel comfortable saying so. End question: do we know for a fact that any post office in Chicago or the surrounding burbs will hand cancel invitations? How do we know? Has anyone actually seen them do it? I'm more than a little incredulous at this point. I'm beginning to think that postal workers will do anything they can to get you gone, including making promises they have no intention of keeping. Hrmph.
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Wedding Date: January 16th, 2010

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Cycle #5: BFP on June 14, 2011 -- Due Date: February 23, 2012 -- Born: February 26, 2012

Re: Hand cancelling? Where? VENT!

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    edited December 2011
    Sorry to hear about your bad day! That stinks. Unfortunately, the post office told me that no post office is allowed to hand cancel stamps/letters anymore.
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    edited December 2011
    That sucks! I can't figure out why postal workers are always so grouchy. Same goes for the DMV.
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    edited December 2011
    Hmm, places usually still hand cancel, however, hand cancelling only avoids one machine feed. Mail goes through multiple machines and even if you hand cancel, you can't avoid all of the machine feeds.
    7/10/10 imageDandy
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    edited December 2011
    I had a similar bad experience with the Post office! :( It's a bummer! I guess even if you do find someone to hand cancel at the post office, when the mail gets sent to the distribution center (one by ohare, or one somewhere else in Chicago) they will feed it through another machine. But maybe there will be less damage only going through once? I couldn't find a place that would hand cancel though. If you have time you could try sending one to your parents or to yourself to see how it comes out without hand cancelling? Mine had a ribbon and knot on them so I thought the envelopes would tear but they got delivered in great shape.
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    edited December 2011
    I took mine to the main post office hub at Harrison/Canal. They told me they would be hand cancelled and to my knowledge they were. Several people I spoke with said there was no cancel mark anywhere on our envelopes or it just hit the edge of the stamp. The envelopes were in great shape too -  as opposed to when I mailed them from our local post office my moms test invitation was completely torn up. HTH.
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    edited December 2011
    Ours were hand cancelled by the main post office in downtown Chicago. My husband went twice and all were done without a problem. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.
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    edited December 2011
    I had mine hand canceled at the post office in Park Ridge. I went in in the middle of the day when no one was there and they didn't give me a problem. I would try another post office if you haven't sent them yet and it is important for you to have them hand canceled.  
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    KenyagraceKenyagrace member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Sorry to hear about your bad day girl! You have crappy luck with speeding in that town!! I hope your situation looks up!
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    duckie1905duckie1905 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Many places will not hand cancel anymore.  I have a relative that works at the post office and what she believes happened is that it has become such a requested service and because of its time consuming nature many post offices have decided that it isn't worth it to do anymore.  Plus, I have heard horror stories about brides going in throwing tantrums and demanding services that weren't possible because of how busy the branch was at that moment and the post office, as crabby as they can be, doesn't want to deal with a bratty bride.Unfortunately, the way the post offices in a lot of towns run it is up to the staff whether or not they want/can hand cancel for you.  The best time to go is during the day at an off-peak time (not first thing in the morning and not during lunch).  Even then you may get someone that says no but who will do it/who won't will vary even between staff at different locations.
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    edited December 2011
    Kenya, I think it's clear that the common denominator in the being pulled over is my lead foot. I will say, though, the New Lenox PD are awfully sweet to me. No tickets yet...I'd better slow my action down!
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    Wedding Date: January 16th, 2010

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    Cycle #5: BFP on June 14, 2011 -- Due Date: February 23, 2012 -- Born: February 26, 2012
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    edited December 2011
    Sorry to hear of your troubles!  I had the same issues with mine only worse ....  I took a sample invite to one post office they told me 57 cents.  I took the same sample to post office #2 and they told me 70 something cents.  So I put on two forever stamps to be sure to be over the highest amount I was told and I dropped them in a blue US mailing box.To my dismay, a couple of days later I come home to a white bin sitting on my doorstep with 80 invitations sitting there saying "Return to Sender" - they wanted $1 and I only had 88 cents on them.  I was mad because I had been to two other post offices and they both told me a lesser amount.  Even worse - it was raining that day and all the invitations were soaking wet!!!  I had to re-do all of them and the post office has no legal responsiblity for ANYTHING!  (Plus I hand made them so I was soooo upset.)The next day I took them to the post office who "delivered" them to see how much the individual would say the cost was.  They said 70 something cents - I was so mad!It took me a couple weeks to reprint and redo everything.  I ended up paying the $1 per piece for each invite and watching the lady hand stamp every one of them.  I would never again send invitations like this without watching the postoffice hand cancel every item!  Good Luck!
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    edited December 2011
    Between the wedding invites, RD invites, BM tea invites, and OOT booklets- I sent out about 4 wedding related mailings.  I worried about the hand cancelling as well, but after checking something like 5 post offices (and waiting in the associated lines), I just gave up.  Everything arrived in fine shape (and my wedding invites were pocketfolds with a ribbon). I really wouldn't worry much more about the hand cancelling.  I do know that the PO in Deerfield (at least 2 years ago) did this.  My BM had my shower invites hand cancelled there. GL!
    image
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    edited December 2011
    An interesting nugget: a few months ago when we first received our invitations, I sent a sample copy to both my mother and FMIL. .88. Both arrived fine, with no request for extra postage due. Sooo...who's right? The original post office folks who told be .88 or the lovely ladies this week who told me $1.05? Whatever...I sent them with three .44 stamps on them and my fingers crossed, but I'm still pretty peeved. WTF?
    image
    Wedding Date: January 16th, 2010

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    Cycle #5: BFP on June 14, 2011 -- Due Date: February 23, 2012 -- Born: February 26, 2012
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    bunnybear_05bunnybear_05 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh my! That just stinks. I had mine handcancelled at the Glenview PO and I was worried that it wasn't gonna get done. But I got one returned because I put the wrong address and it was handcancelled. But they pretty much just fibbed to you about the postage pricing. I was so nervous about that happening. I think I went 5 cents over or so and just used the cake stamps because I was nervous about that happening. Plus the cake stamps were just really cute ;)
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