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USPS Restricts Scheduled Pickup Service

April 4, 2018



The USPS advertises FREE Scheduled Pickup Service, regardless of the number of packages involved.  In fact, here is what they say;


"Package Pickup is the easy, convenient way to send qualifying packages. Just submit your request online at and your letter carrier will pick up the packages during their normal delivery time. This service is free of charge, regardless of the number of packages you are sending."


By the way "qualifying packages" is defined in their terms as; 


"Your carrier can pick up your shipment free during regular mail delivery if you're using an expedited service like Priority Mail Express®, Priority Mail®, First-Class Package Service®, International, or a Return Service."


Notice there is nothing stated in the Information or the "qualifying packages statement" that indicates any RESTRICTIONS because of package size or the location of "regular" mail delivery. The typical package size that I send out are small 5 x 7 inch padded envelopes with either First Class Package Service or Priority Mail postage applied.


With those definitions and available information in mind; I attached a Mailbox to my house, just beside my front door.  My regular US mail delivery is in front of my house at the curb.  I then scheduled a Pickup for my "qualifying packages", as defined by the USPS. I had approximately 5 or 6 scheduled pickups that were successfully completed with NO problems.  Then, the last one that was scheduled for pickup was "missed" by not my regular carrier. I called my local PO and explained the problem and they sent out a PO employee to pick up my packages.  When he arrived and picked up my packages; he also explained that I was NOT supposed to be scheduling a pickup of packages that would obviously FIT in my mailbox located at the curb in front of my house. He also mentioned that I could ONLY schedule a Pickup if my packages were TOO BIG to fit in the curbside mailbox.  His admonitions, when compared to the information I had available to me on the USPS website, were obviously confusing at best.  I then put in a Formal Request for Clarification with the USPS.  They referred my Request to my Local PO, who of course upheld the information and viewpoint as was given to me by the PO employee who I spoke with.  


Here is the written admonition, in response to my Formal Request for Clarification, as I received it from my local PO authority:


"We are asking that you leave your packages in your curbside mailbox unless they won't all fit.  If they don't fit in the curbside mailbox, then leave them in the mailbox by the front door.  If that is the case, then please indicate such, as you have been doing, on the package pickup request."


My initial actions and Scheduling of Pickups were based on the advertising, rules and qualification stipulations as published on the website.  Had I initially been aware of the "local restrictions" as communicated to me by my local Post Office; I never would have gone to the trouble of purchasing a separate mailbox and positioning it in a more secure and convenient location, near my front door.


Conclusion and Lesson Learned: My small 5 x 7 envelop-type of packages, with First Class or Priority Mail postage on them, CLEARLY qualify for Scheduled Pickup per the available information on the website. However, because my regular mail is delivered to a Curb-Side mailbox, the local PO has deemed that even a small quantity of my packages DO NOT qualify for Scheduled Pickup from my auxiliary mailbox, which is secured near my front door. 







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