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Because reason wasn’t erased, letter was returned to sender

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Question: What is the proper way to resend letters returned by the post office for more postage? I was using the polar bear stamps but didn’t realize they were for postcards and only had a 28-cent value. It was returned to me for 16 cents more postage. I put a 44-cent stamp (because I didn’t have anything lesser) next to the 28-cent stamp, but the letter was returned again, with no explanation. The request for more postage was not crossed out or otherwise acknowledged. I finally put the letter in a new envelope, put on a new 44-cent stamp and so far haven’t gotten it back. Can I get credit for what I already paid?

Answer: You could be credited, but you’d have to produce the original envelope.

Getting credit for using too many stamps is a "gray area," depending on the situation, said Lynne Moore, manager of consumer affairs for the U.S. Postal Service in Hawaii.

In the situation you described, "in good will, if the customer has the original envelope, we could replace the (44-cent) stamp, but she would have to give the envelope to us," Moore said.

In general, under the Postal Service’s Domestic Mail Manual, first-class mail with insufficient postage will be returned with the reason "Returned for Additional Postage" noted on the envelope, if there is a return address.

The sender may add the required postage next to the originally affixed stamps, cross out the reason for nondelivery and re-mail the piece, Moore said.

If it is other than first-class mail, it will be returned to the sender and delivered when the required postage — plus additional postage for forwarding or return — is added and if there is a return address.

If there is no return address, mail with insufficient postage will be treated as dead mail.

In your case you were allowed to affix the additional postage needed, cross out the reason for the return of the mail, then re-mail the envelope, Moore said.

Some mailers put the additional postage over the "returned for additional postage" note, she said. But if that explanation is not crossed out, the mail might not be delivered.

Moore noted that a lot of mail processing is automated and mechanized. "Even handling by a person could be done in a brief moment, so an unobliterated return for postage message would be noticed as the primary directive."

Question: There are at least two dozen shopping carts from various stores lined up on the roadway near the Fern Street/Punahou Street intersection. Why doesn’t the city remove these carts or notify the stores to pick up their carts?

Answer: Actually, if citizens like you just called the stores directly, the removal would probably be done quicker.

We’ve answered similar complaints in the past, including about carts lined up along Fern Street. Apparently, that’s a constant problem in that neighborhood.

You can call police, who will then notify the stores.

But, when we contacted several stores about the problem, they all said they’d appreciate people calling and telling them where to find their carts.

Some stores do weekly sweeps to round up the carts.



To bicycle bullies: Closely zipping bikes are a danger at Magic Island, the walkway along Ala Wai Park and the Blaisdell Park coastal walking path in Pearl City. Park walking lanes should not allow bicycles, period! — Anonymous

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail


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