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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> There may be an isolated case that someone has made into an issue in some
chatroom but the post
> office has so much Media Mail to handle and so few inspectors, that you
probably have a better
> chance of being hit by a bus.. That said, improperly-packed records of any
kind, 78 or LP, stand a
> good chance of being mangled by careless handling in ANY shipping system. Some
clients want to
> overnight everything on the theory that the less time it's in a shipping
system, the fewer
> opportunities for it to get dropped or stepped on. I don't do too many 78's,
but those I've done
> were either hand-delivered or packaged extremely carefully.
>
> Bottom line is, I think any reports of frequent/mass openings of Media Mail is
a rumor due to volume
> of mail vs. number of inspectors.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
> Has anyone had any incidents involving the opening of media mail containing
78s by the post office?
> Any where they were badly repacked by them?
> I've not had the experience but am trying to track down a rumor.
>
Well...if the mail in question was (theoretically) opened and subsequently
badly repacked by Postal Inspectors making sure that noone is trying to
take advantage of reduced rates to mail one another "non-media" items...
I can't provide a useful or even intelligent answer...!

OTOH, if this involves international mail (are there media rates to
foreign lands, BTW?!) then you are trying to balance Dubya-inspired
paranoia ("Them ay-rabs is usin' the US Mail to send each other
secret plans...!!") with the inevitable fact that the staff/parcel
ratio makes it impossible...in a practical sense...to open EVERY
parcel!

Some years ago, every parcel which was mailed to a Canadian recipient
had to be picked up...in person...at one's nearest local Canada Customs
facility! The customs agent on duty could ask you...the parcel's
recipient...to open said parcel in his/her/its presence, even if it
had already been opened and inspected...!

In about a decade of that process, only one Customs Agent noticed
that the "Dating Guide" I was using to prove that the goods were
over fifty years old happened to have the same author as the parcel's
recipient! In many cases, the fact that the contents were "old 78
records" was enough to prove they were sufficiently ancient as to
be relieved of some charges (things had to be 100 or more years
old in order to be exempt from duty, taxes, and other annoyances...).
However, almost always I could refer to the DG to prove that the
phonorecord had been pressed in 19-whatever (it's IN PRINT!) and
thus save myself some $$$...

Steven C. Barr