Do you use non-denominated stamps on your mail? Do the clerks ask you how much postage you have on the package?
The first non-denominated stamps were in 1975 for Scott #1579 and #1580. The USPS was changing the rates. Back then, a stamp issue took months to design and print compared to todayís standards. And the rate change process had a longer approval time. The USPS purposely issued the stamps without denomination because they werenít sure if the stamps would appear before or after the rate change took affect.
The USPS has issued dozens of non-denominated stamps. We had the Eagle stamps (A, B, C, and D issues). Many flag stamps have come out in non-denominated versions. Many of the reduced postage rate stamps (bulk rate, presorted, etc) are issued without denomination. The latter can be used on first class mail if you have a permit to do so and inscribe your mail bearing these stamps as ďFirst ClassĒ.
I donít know if the USPS has ever issued a guide to its clerks on the value of these stamps. If they have one, workers arenít aware of it or they donít know where to find it.
I had a few instances where mail franked with non-denominated stamps was returned for insufficient postage. Itís irritating. I have no trouble though because the window clerks at my post office are wonderful. They mark the mail as correct postage and re-deposit it in the mail stream. Itís annoying that someone in the system doesnít know the value of the stamps or doesnít take the time to verify the postage. Itís laziness. I never asked for non-denominated stamps. If the clerks donít like them, then the USPS should stop issuing them. Iím just trying to use up legitimate stamps.
Itís time the USPS distributes a small pamphlet to its workers with the stamp design and denomination of these stamps. When the workers encounter them, there can be no question as to their face value.
Someone could take a small hodge-podge of non-denominated stamps, put them on a letter or package, and easily convince the window clerk that they have correct postage on there. Iím sure short-paid pieces happen sometimes, either honestly or dishonestly. But if someone were to perpetrate this on a wide scale, it would make the USPS take notice.