US Stamps

USPS customer complaints once warranted 5-cent refunds; would that happen today?

Apr 29, 2021, 4 AM
A 1974 telephoned complaint resulted in the Seattle, Wash., post office sending the complainant five new 1¢ Thomas Jefferson stamps.

U.S. Stamp Notes — By John M. Hotchner

In the good old days when a nickel bought a candy bar, the U.S. Postal Service could be bothered when a customer lost 5¢ in a postage stamp dispensing machine.

The proof is a 1974 USPS record of call of visit form completed as the result of a phoned complaint by a patron who said: “Lost 5¢ in the one-cent stamp slot. Please send the stamps.”

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After the complaint was duly verified and approved, the Seattle, Wash., post office supplied the compliant with a strip of five 1¢ Thomas Jefferson stamps.

With higher postage rates and higher costs to process such a complaint, I wonder if today’s USPS would bother with such a claim? Probably some post offices would, and others wouldn’t.