I'm still a bit ticked off at the post office from when I mailed out my wedding invitations. We used homemade triangular envelopes for our triangular invitations.
I knew from my research that this would cost extra as they wouldn't be machinable and I was fine with that… we were only sending out a couple dozen invitations, so the cost wasn't a big deal.
I took one example to the local post office and directly asked how much postage was appropriate. The postal worker measured it, weighed it, talked with her supervisor about the unusual shape, and eventually gave me a price equivalent to two standard stamps.
I picked out some pretty stamps, put two on an envelope, and sent it to my mother as a test.
My test mailing arrived without incident, postage accepted.
So, I went ahead and made the rest of my invitations, addressed them and gave each envelope two of those exact same stamps, and mailed them.
…A FEW WEEKS LATER…
Later, I heard from several guests that about half of our invitations arrived with a “postage due” stamp on the envelope, and then a smaller second envelope soliciting $0.15 from the recipient!
The half of our guests that had this happen were not farther away or in different districts than the half that arrived without incident; there was no discernible pattern at all.
I was angry because of the inconsistent nature of the issue (was it one price or the other? Apparently it depended entirely on post office worker who handled it, a sure sign of either poorly written procedures or poorly trained staff), the fact that I did my due diligence to determine the right amount of postage and that info was (maybe?) incorrect, and the fact that they humiliated me by soliciting the perceived shortfall from the recipients instead of from me… despite the fact that my name and address were on all of the envelopes!
If they'd just contacted me, I'd have happily payed the extra couple of dollars, or they could have returned them to me and I could have added a third stamp!
I put all this careful work into making these beautiful unique handmade invitations and they made it look like I'd just half-assed it by not even researching the appropriate amount of postage.
The moral of the story?
I'm not sure what I could have done differently, besides having the luck to have the person who thought my invitations should have cost $0.15 more be the one who told me the price in the first place.
I really liked my triangular invitations in their triangular envelopes and I wouldn't dream of telling other people to only use standard rectangular ones if they wanted to do something more interesting.
All my invitations still arrived, so in that sense they worked. I'm aware that I shouldn't get too worked up about small stuff, I guess… I think I was the only one who cared about the stupid “postage due” stamp; none of the guests who got them that way seemed bothered at all.
I guess the real moral is when in doubt, always add an extra stamp.