• Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   5 days 22 hours ago

    It was a lottery scheme that seemed attractive but not great for the honesty and integrity that we should expect from our postal service. Perhaps reissuing the non-inverted Jenny in amounts similar to the inverted panes would discourage the public from participating in any future postal lottery schemes. Those violating postal regulations should be held accountable through the legal system.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   5 days 23 hours ago

    When the limited printing right side up sheet was originally announced I was in favor of the idea. I knew it went against Postal Service regulations, but regulations are just guidelines, not laws. When the boat is sinking, you don’t ask permission to begin distribution of the life jackets, you do what you think is right. The Postmaster General was making a bold move and I liked it. The special sheets were to be randomly distributed along with all the regular upside down sheets. This meant the more sheets someone bought the better the chance of getting one of the special ones. So I started buying Jenny sheets. I made several small purchases but my largest purchase was an order for over 100 sheets. I was trying to get the odds on my side and get one of the “randomly distributed” special sheets. When I read in the philatelic press about how the special sheets were not really randomly distributed at all, but rather most were sent to big cities and the rest saved at the USPS cave Philatelic Distribution Center and forgotten about, I was very disappointed. It seems very little was actually random about it after all. That means very little about it was fair at all.
    This was a wonderful opportunity to give stamp collecting a big boost. There were great news stories about the sheet and collectors lucky enough to have gotten one. The more stories I heard about them being found gave me more reason to keep trying to get my own. But that all ended when the real story came out. Please figure out a fair way to distribute the remainder of the right side up sheets. It will not be the big success story it could have been, but at least you can do the right thing and make the entire 100 special sheets available to collectors as was planned from the beginning.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   5 days 23 hours ago

    I strongly believe that, although the creation of the reverse, reverse Jenny could have been handled much better, it was a valiant attempt to increase interest in stamp collecting. I support this effort.

    Returning to philately after many years away from it I have been shocked by the overwhelming numbers of new issues and varieties of stamps. I think this is one of the most significant reasons that new collectors are not entering the hobby.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 2 min ago

    I was disappointed when I learned of the USPS creating 100 Jenny Sheets as rarities. I remember an incident by a prior Postmaster General trying to do the same thing. Farley's Follies were required to be produced in sufficient quantities that they were no longer rarities to correct the inappropriate action of James Farley. When the USPS doesn't follow their own rules for printing of stamps, corrective action should be required. I think an additional printing should be required of the inappropriately printed Jenny sheets.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 11 min ago

    As far as stamps and postage is concerned, the management of USPS should focus on the creation of postage that will meet the legitimate needs of the mailing public. Those responsible for philatelic sales in particular should aim to meet philatelists’ needs to acquire quality examples of those legitimate postal products. The creation of revenue through the production of ancillary material marketed solely or even primarily to philatelists should not be a consideration.

    A First Class forever stamp reproducing the classic 24-cent Jenny airmail would have been fine. Producing se-tenant pairs of an upside-down airplane next to the properly-oriented design would have been okay, too. But going to a $2 denomination, and deliberately producing “errors,” were steps too far. [I won’t even go into the absence of production values as evidenced by ink bleeds and bad centering.]

    Unfortunately, this was more the norm than the exception. The saga of the upright Jennies is a manifestation of how the USPS has moved to “milk” collectors exponentially over the past decade or so. Exacerbating this problem is that the organization is not only producing increasing numbers of needless products, but has failed to effectively manage the production and distribution system for philatelists. Two other examples of greed and mismanagement from 2013:

    • The imperforate Eid press sheet was released in August. It was listed as sold out after a few months. Then it mysteriously reappeared on sale at the USPS website in early 2014 and remained on sale for as much as a year or more thereafter. Production was said to be 500 press sheets. Was that the final number, and how was it that the product was sold out but resurrected for a long run thereafter?
    • The Jenny Collectors’ Edition contained so-called production samples from the Jenny printing. It was sold for $200, a huge premium over the face value of its contents. Initially, USPS reported that the stamps contained in the package were valid for postage; later, this position was reversed. So what were they selling and who approved it?

    I agree with Barry Moss and others who believe they were defrauded by the USPS regarding the Jennies. We ordered copies of the Jenny sheet from Kansas City, in the belief that we stood a chance (however small) of receiving a rare rightside-up version of the sheet, based on what the USPS stated in its marketing materials. Now we find that, for much of the period of mail-order purchases, NO “error” panes were distributed. Is it time for a class-action grievance?

    In addition to greed and mismanagement, the USPS has a credibility problem. Thank heaven the old USPO was privatized!

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 21 min ago

    As a stamp collector for 40+ years, I felt it was not an appropriate action by the United States Postal Service, to willingly create an "error" with the effect of creating a lottery. Instead of buying multiple Jenny Invert sheets, I have purchased older stamps missing from my collection.

    To enhance the philatelic program, the USPS should take a page from Canada Post. Canada Post issues circular, hockey-puck shaped stamps of National Hockey League (NHL) stars each year, in a limited quantity (no extras to destroy). In addition, they annual feature stamps with flower gardens; their issue of the Canadian Football League (CFL) logos in a coil form was incredible! The Saskatchewan Rough Riders, CFL, stamp sold out within days. How about National Football League (NFL) logos on stamps?? National Basketball Association (NBA) logos on stamps?? The United States Mint has been flooding the nation with National Parks quarters . . . . how about revisiting the National Park series from the 1930s? ?

    Please don't try and balance the United States Postal Service budget on the backs of collectors. As Peter Sellers character, prime minister Count Montjoy remarked about the Grand Duchy of Fenwick, "we've issued so many stamps the collectors are getting suspicious .. . ", [The Mouse That Roared], Columbia Pictures, 1959.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 48 min ago

    How about concentrating on moving the mail and leave the lottery stuff to the people in Las Vegas? The larger a government agency gets, the more dumb ideas it has. Turning stamps into a lottery is not good for democracy or stamp collectors. It is just another meritless gimmick, and violates its own rules.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 56 min ago

    I was already buying very few new US stamp issues; my policy since around 2005 was to avoid cheaply produced stickers issued only to generate revenue from collectors. This issue intrigued me because I incorrectly thought that average post office patrons may have a chance at finding one of these panes. I wanted to buy 5 panes, but my post office only had 2 to sell. Both were the inverted, "regular" issue.

    Since then I've not bought any new US issues for collecting. I'm really very disappointed with the entire US stamp program when it comes to collectible issues. I used to buy examples of every US stamp, souvenir sheet, postal stationery, format -- you name it. But I could no longer justify the high cost of keeping up with USPS's output, when virtually all the stamps issued are only seen/used by the collecting community and have no possibility of having any real value in the future.

    I should mention that I have a major stamp collection; far better than most (according to dealers who are familiar with it) and I still remain active in collecting other countries as well as classic US issues where I still have a need. It's too bad that the USPS decided to do something as artificial and harmful to stamp collecting as this pane. Unless things turn around as far as stamp issues are concerned (look back a few decades to see what collectors wanted then), I don't see myself returning to collect new US issues.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 1 hour ago

    The issuance of 100 'misprinted' sheets was a huckster-type gimmick, but the distribution and manipulation that followed were fraudulent. USPS has sullied its name by this whole sorry episode. If a state lottery employed the same techniques it would be a scandal, everyone fired. Why is USPS in the lottery business anyway? Incompetence.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 1 hour ago

    Thanks for the attention given to this issue. Certainly, actions which are inappropriate are, well, inappropriate by definition. Therefore, this program was - inappropriate! However, I actually applaud the Postal Service for being exactly what it needs to be to remain relevant - creative and willing to take a risk. With a bit more of such creativity in services being offered that are competitive, perhaps the Postal Service will be able to survive moving forward? Specifically regarding my opinion of the Jenny program, I really enjoyed it and it got me to take several trips to my post office that I wouldn't have otherwise made. I think it was a great idea and a lot of fun. Kudos to the Postmaster General for having the guts to try something different and to take a chance on being successful. Even if "only" 13 million in revenue was generated, its a whole lot better than further deficits.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 2 hours ago

    This reminds me of the 1935 Farley fiasco when he produced and gave sheets of imperforated stamps to select few friends & politicians including the President. This is no different. In this case how many were friends and who were they, how many were sold on a random basis? With Farley he was eventually ordered to have enough if the imperfs printed to satisfy public demand. It is not the role of USPS to deliberately create rarities, give them to a select few and then justify it by distributing a few on a random basis and call it good. Whoever has oversight must take action severe enough to stop this practice and see it doesn't happen again. Print enough to satisfy public demand. The Hammarskjöld invert was an actual error and USPS printed millions deliberately to negate this collectable error. This is not an error and was a deliberate act to create a rarity. Did anyone at USPS get a sheet?

  • Reply to: The Postal Service and Its Obligation   6 days 3 hours ago

    I've had many packages vanish in the ether between sender and reciever with no trace and my neighbors are constantly getting my mail. Some of them are trustworthy to return the letters, but often they become coasters in a neighbors apartment and are even sometimes thrown away. I have complained and made both the inside and outside of my mailbox a collage of my name and apartment number to ensure there is no blind spot and my name and address can be read at any angle, and still once or twice a week I fail to recieve my mail and have to go knocking on doors of neighbors, many of which never answer. I have set up direct deposit because of the unreliability of usps, but I still was sent many paychecks via mail while it waited to be cleared. None of them have been recieved, and I need to request cancellation and reissue. Most of us in the working class simply cannot afford to recieve paychecks a week late, it means waiting to pay a bill until its overdue and accruing fees, it means sending out a dozen email explaining why I have to wait a week to make a payment that I would absolutely be able to afford, given a reliable postal service. I have sometimes paid double to have packages sent UPS or FedEX to avoid the nightmare of USPS. Ive sent letters via UPS because I need them to actually reach their destination. It seems to me that the USO was set up as an acknowledgement that reliable postage is integral to a modern way of life. While the information age has reduced the need for mailed letters, it has increased sent packages with the growing popularity of online shopping, making postage, if anything, more necessary than ever before. The USPS is charged with being the guarantor that this need is fulfilled, and fails miserably at it.

    I have gone through so much trouble because the carrier can't distinguish "G" from other letters and seemingly has a converyor belt of packages leading into a black hole, I would pay triple postage and double the tax dollars to make it so everyday letters are sent via UPS or FedEX or a carrier that will actually deliver it to its actual destination in a reasonable advertised time frame.

  • Reply to: Your Experience with the Customer Experience   6 days 4 hours ago

    Twice in forty-five years our mail person has been taken off our street. Since he left and during each time he was reassigned the service got to be sad. We never know when the mail will arrive.

    If you go to see the Postmaster she is always unavailable.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 4 hours ago

    I feel cheated. As a semi-casual collector, I spent over $200.00 on the jenny stamps for the off chance of being lucky enough to get the "upright" version. To find out that some were given away and others were sent to top markets makes me a little upset too find out I had zero chance of getting the "upright" jenny at the PO where I purchased stamps. Overall as a collector.the hobby has been harnered, not just by this but the self adhesive stamps, stamps that fall apart in water, and the over abundance of new stamps that hve to be collected in whole sheets.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 4 hours ago

    I believe the USPS should refrain from any action that interferes with the actual production of postage stamp "errors". It is a short step to intentionally producing an "error" and then printing them for general consumption. It detracts from the mystique of collecting when the government actively participates in manipulation of what is a genuine error and what is produced intentionally.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 5 hours ago

    This was a good idea that flopped. It flopped for a number of reasons. First, the stamps were not randomly distributed as advertised. Once you tell a lie, it is hard to regain trust. More importantly, the USPS does not support stamp collecting. If it did so, stamps would be soakable. It is never too late to partner with collectors. Other nations support stamp collecting in a variety of ways such as selling packets of stamps at tourist locations. Better advertising also would not hurt. Produce beautiful, collectible stamps, reflective of our diversity, our culture and heritage and collecting might make a come-back.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 5 hours ago

    I have very mixed emotions about the Upright Jenny stamp. As a collector, I am always "on the hunt" for things like that which may have significant value. And I have bought a number of the Jenny sheets, hoping to "strike it rich." (I also used a significant number of these stamps on packages that I have sent out, so it has balanced out for me.)

    I am upset by the fact that a number of these sheets were given away by postal service employees as gifts, when that was NOT how the announcement of these read. They were supposed to be distributed "at random", and obviously, they were not. Frankly, I feel that there are some postal service employees that should lose their jobs over this, and if the law allows it, they should probably be prosecuted. With the sums that folks are getting for these panes, this is not an insignificant thing.

    All that said, I do not believe that the Postal Service should deliberately create rarities. If they begin doing this, the emptation to get the secondary market price, and thus improve Postal Service revenues, will be too great, and there will be no end to this type thing, thus cheapening the velue or real, legitimate errors, and doing damage to the hobby. Eventually, the Postal Service will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 6 hours ago

    In my opinion, the USPS should correct the limited issue using the same plates and same everything to provide additional inverted and upright Jenny stamps. In addition, no secret marks or any differences should be allowed to distinguish the limited original issue from the additional issue so all collectors get a fair chance to purchase.

    I also believe if the I.G. should look at the sales of the limited sheets to determine if some individuals or large philatelic companies (via name and/or address) were able to obtain multiple sheets, further limiting distribution to all collectors....All stamp issues, in original form, should be available for issue for a reasonable amount of time as would any commemorative stamp...

    Bottom line: The USPS creating rarities intentionally is wrong.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 7 hours ago

    BAD IDEA - I gave up stamp collecting because of the manipulation of 'stamp collecting' by the USPS. For years they have issued too many 'junk' stamps. They create stamps with the sole intention of selling to collectors for maximum profit because they won't be used as postage. Shameful.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 8 hours ago

    The USPS committed fraud. It engaged in deceptive advertising. It misled consumers. It conducted an illegal lottery. It committed mail fraud. Rather than promoting stamp sales, it destroyed goodwill. If this was a private business, a class action lawsuit would have been filed. The USPS should be forced to stop all sales, reissue the upright pane and sell to all collectors. Those who did win the lottery should be paid a cash priz equal to the current market value. This entire scam is just wrong.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 9 hours ago

    I am a collector. It would be nice if the local post office could actually have the new stamps for sale. The local postmaster is constantly saying that he got some in but they were sold out in two days. Then the colorful brochure they have on display would actually be an indicator of whats on sale instead of what may be available at the fulfillment center.
    Back in '97, when the Bugs Bunny stamp was issued, I actually stopped collecting USA for a time. This was because I thought it was too commercial. When, in the last few years, I joined a stamp club, all of the other members seemed to collect only USA, so I started up again.
    The USPS should follow their own rules about NOT creating rarities. They should be less hostile toward employees and more nurturing. Perhaps, there could be a educational programs for employees about which stamps are for sale and which are not available. For instance, how long are they for sale after the issuing date? Once, about three years ago, I actually went into my local post office, and when asked about new stamps for sale, the clerk showed me some stamps. I said, "Oh, I'll take that one and that one." But then, when the clerk scanned the stamps into the computer, they were rejected! I was told that I since they were not in the computer, I could not buy them. Now when was the last time that you went into a store, were shown product, agreed to buy the product, but were then told: "OH, YOU CAN'T BUY THAT!"

    Thanks.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 10 hours ago

    It is my opinion that if you have a rule in place, not to issue a rarity purposefully, then you should abide by it. Integrity at the very least is lost. It looks as if this is another situation like Farley's from the 1930's. I do not believe that I will ever own this issue.

  • Reply to: Carriers as Conduits   6 days 12 hours ago

    Thank you for acknowledging the fundamental element of customer service. At present, I purchase stamps and mail packages on my own time for my elderly patrons. Though they are still independent, many can no longer drive and sadly, their children seen to be 'always busy'. I would find this fulfilling but I disagree with the statement "little disruption in mail delivery". I can't see management accepting the time it will take to heat up Mrs. Bernstein's spicy shakshuka or matzoh ball soup!

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 13 hours ago

    I was introduced to collecting US postage stamps by my mom when I was a kid back in the early 1950's. She collected stamps back in the 1930's. I sent in 25 cents and a Cheerios box top for an assortment of stamps. I'm now 68 and all but given up collecting US stamps. I've become burned out trying to keep up on all the commemorative issues, most of which are nothing more than money makers for the USPS. I rarely see any on mail I received, although I make sure I use them on outgoing mail.

    Then came along, "The Jenny." Yes, I bought some sheets because I can use them on packages. As a collectible, it "stinks." The "Jenny" is a manufactured collectible, which probably belongs on QVC or the HSN. This is not what collecting should be about. Also, throw in that "circus" stamp which is a circus unto itself.

    The last really interesting philatelic item I found, and, truly found in someone's garbage is a piece of World War II censored mail; envelope and microfilm contents address from a soldier to his mother. That's the most interest piece of US mail I have encountered for a long time.

    Scrap the Jenny and any further bright idea you may have.

  • Reply to: Jenny Come Lately   6 days 14 hours ago

    At this point the most logical course of action is to send all Jenny panes to the cave and open them up to find the upright issues. Then offer Jenny panes for sale from the cave as a one-time offer that will include all of the upright panes. Let buyers place orders for as many as they want. When all of the orders are in, add enough inverted panes to fill all of the orders. Use random number software to assign which pane goes with which order.

    Once you are finished, DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN! And stop issuing so many commemoratives and imperforate press sheets! I am an active collector and finally gave up and stopped collecting after 12-31-14. I can't get my kids interested in collecting because they are likely to see fewer than 10% of issued stamps on items in our mailbox.

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