Got a printed note with our Sunday paper from deliverer. “Dear Newspaper Customers” type of letter wishing all a Happy Holiday season, and then goes on to say:
“Please no personal checks for our tips. We think it is too risky. We most prefer cashier’s checks or money orders for safety reasons. Gift cards and money work too but are not as secure. We got a local post office box due to mail theft in our area. You may drop off your tip at the local post office in XXXX if safety is a concern.” And they do give a mailing address.
This annoyed me. They’ve had no problems cashing my checks in the past. Hate to say it, but I’m not taking the time to go get a cashier’s check/MO. We only receive a Sunday paper…and it can arrive anywhere from 7am to 10am, usually the latter.
Vascillating between doing nothing or just sending the usual check. Am I just being too cranky on this?
(Luckily, our mail carrier is very grateful and gracious guy–happy to write him a big check!)
I’m happy to tip (and typically do by running out to meet yard, postal and garbage delivery guys….we only have digital news subscriptions so no paper delivery)…::but if I was given those parameters as you described above, I’d skip doing so.
It is annoying. But I will say that mail theft and check stealing has become epidemic in our area. People stealing mailed checks from mailboxes, writing over the amounts to make them bigger, and cashing them. Happened to a friend with her rent check. So it’s possible your delivery person has encountered this.
Maybe they live in an area where they fear being mugged and it’s not safe to carry cash. Maybe they’ve had checks bounce and ended up paying a fee. It’s hard being poor, you have less and everything like banking and groceries costs more if you live in an underserved community. I don’t think they are doing this on a whim, more likely being practical. I wouldn’t get too cranky, but I would also be annoyed getting a money order…try the least annoying option.
Or it is possible that the delivery person does not want to report the tios to his boss, the carrier or for other reasons and only wants cash. I would advise against giving it that way. Adding it to the bill or no tip at all!!!
I thought I had read USPS employees were allowed to take a small gift (value $20 or less), so I always give a small gift card and a bag of candy. When I looked it up just now, though, I see that they are specifically prohibited from taking cash or gift cards. Oops.
You are giving your tip based on the service you were provided through the year and/or holiday cheer. Not based on a few sentences that don’t fit with how you think this should be done. (I do get how the letter tone comes off to you, not dissing your reaction).
It sounds like they have had to think this out and also go to some inconvenience to set up a post office box. Assuming you don’t know where they live or what their past experiences have been with mail delivery/theft. You probably don’t know anything about their living or personal situation except for the service they give you. I’m guessing your delivery person is not living high income and it could be that these tips are very critical for paying some bills or providing a Christmas for their family or paying health care bills or food or whatever! Important enough perhaps that they took the time to set up a system that might be more safe for them and to send out the communication.
They may not have written the note in the most cordial of ways, but again, maybe it’s the best their skills could do.
Can you just catch them one day in person and hand a tip to them? With a smile and holiday greetings?
Decide why you are tipping and then decide if you can put forth the effort to make that tip happen for their situation.
Last time we had newspaper delivery, we gave him cash for tips, then he didn’t deliver anymore. I wish we knew. Now we only have digital, very few people receive newspaper now, maybe that’s the reason.
I’m glad we live in an area where I can leave our tips to USPS and newspaper in their respective boxes at our house the day I want them to get them. We add homemade cookies too (with ingredient lists in case of allergies).
I get thank you cards from both, so no plans to change.
We also tip our newspaper carrier each time we renew our subscription, but Christmas is different than that to me. I appreciate their getting me the paper essentially each morning it’s printed (5 days a week), and super early in all sorts of weather.
This. In our area, we have been advised by the police and post office to not place any outgoing mail with a check in your mailbox. Folks see the flag up on the mailbox, take the check, “wash” the amount and payee, replace those items and cash. We have also been advised not to place mail with checks in the big blue mailboxes - checks disappearing from there too. We have been advised to take mail with a check directly to the post office.
I have to admit that this is something I never even thought to check on. I leave them a tip every year, and they’ve never not taken it. I guess I’ll have to look that up this year. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble!
I saw on WGAL’s news that they’re recommending writing checks out with a gel pen because those sink into the paper and can’t be wiped. I don’t write many checks anymore, but the next time I’m in a store selling pens I plan to look for one.
Ah, thanks for explanation. I was wondering how people could steal checks and cash them… when I have to show ID at my bank. It does make me glad we have a locked box, with slot for locked outgoing box and locked package boxes.