Thursday, June 25, 2009

Let's Stamp Out Stamp Ignorance!

Against all odds, we received our first letter from camp yesterday... just two days after dropping the boys off at Camp Airy. The letter was from our youngest son, 11-year-old Spencer, who informed us in three sentences that he had already made two new friends and was having fun. I can only imagine that his counselors made every boy in the bunk send a letter home. Last year, we did not receive a single letter from him, and I wouldn't be surprised if, despite our pleadings, that Spencer does not write again.

It's not exactly difficult for Spencer to write us something. Mrs. Matthews sends along pre-addressed envelopes - All Spencer has to do is put a stamp on it, and we also sent along an abundance of "Forever" stamps - or so I thought. I noticed on the envelope that someone had added a three-cent stamp to Spencer's letter. I thought that was kind of odd. "Forever" stamps don't NEED to have any extra postage added. So I poked around online, and went to the US Postal Service website to confirm that my stamps were indeed "Forever" stamps. The USPS website was, of course, no help. (I've had problems with the USPS site before) The Postal Service wouldn't want to set a dangerous precedent and provide competent customer service, would it?

Eventually, however, I discovered that the American Flag stamp I had been using as "Forever" stamps, are, in fact, worth 41 cents, despite the fact they have no postage amount listed on them. The current cost of mailing a letter is 44 cents. It's interesting to note that I have mailed several letters with the old stamps, and they have all been delivered without incident. I can only assume that the Postal Service let them slip because they know that customers have no way of knowing the stamps' value without a PRICE ON THEM!

Robin and I stopped by the local Post Office and bought a bunch of three-cent stamps to use with our outdated ones, and Robin also bought a sheet of "Simpsons" stamps to send to the boys, in hopes that their cartoon value will somehow prompt the boys to want to write home (She's dreaming, but I indulge her...) I also now know that the ONLY "Forever" stamps are the ones with the Liberty Bell on them.

So now you know. And so do I!

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