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Topic: That 10-Day Transaction Period Should Be More Flexible

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Subject: That 10-Day Transaction Period Should Be More Flexible
Date Posted: 4/10/2011 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 64
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I think the fact that a member has 10 days total to confirm and mail a book is fine.  Some members have a lot of time to devote to the site, while others have a myriad of other things going on in their lives.  Ten days seems like a good  compromise to cover both ends of this spectrum.

However, I'd like to see that time redistributed.  Why not eliminate the "I can mail within two days" option and just have one drop down box with 10 dates?

I'd think that even with this revision, the request could be cancelled by the system if there's no acknowledgement in 5 days, as is now the case.

With the 10-day-box, the person from whom the book is requested would not have to wait to accept the request.  As things stand now, an earlier acceptance triggers a shorter period to mail, always 5 days from the time of acceptance.  If you know you're not going to be able to mail out a book right away, you have to calculate when you can confirm so you don't cut the mailing period too short.  This is an extra hassle for the mailer and an extra hassle for the recipient, who may be coming back to the site to check on the status of books that have been ordered.

If I know I'm going to take longer than usual to get to the post office, I feel bad that I can't let the requester know right away that  the book will be coming.  There's no option to PM the member at that point. 

If I'm on the receiving end of an acceptance delay,  I know that the person may just be adjusting for the date they can mail.  But I've had enough requests time out that I worry that this will be the case once again.

If a person does take the allotted 5 days to get back to their account and deal with a request, that's fine, too.  Then you do have to wait to see if you'll get the book or not.

But if everyone had 10 days, divided up however the person wished between acceptance time and mailing time, there would be less uncertainty.

Also, if the end of the 10 day period falls on a Sunday or a postal holiday, I think the end-date should be extended to the next available mailing date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 4:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,325
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To offer a suggestion to the Admin Team, you can go down to the bottom right corner of any page, and under "company" click on "contact us."  Use the "Feedback" option there.  They usually don't read the forums.

Meanwhile, if you're in a busy time in your life and you think you won't be able to log on for several days, the Vacation Hold (from the top of your bookshelf) is a good option.  You won't receive requests during that time; you'll keep your spot in the sending line -- or even move up in line; and if you still want to receive wish list books, you can place them on "auto-request" to bypass the vacation hold.

One disadvantage I see with having 10 days to respond is that it would double the amount of time we'd have to wait to get past an inactive account.

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 7:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I haven't felt any discomfort with the way the system is set up right now. It works for me quite well.

I'm continually amazed that a site this big and complicated works as well as it does.

Gail

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think she's saying that people should have 10 days to respond to a request. But that when you accept right away you are given 10 days to mail with it still cancelling after 5 days with no response.  That would then give people 17 days to mail.  Because people would still wait the 5 days, then choose the 10 days to mail and then there's the 2 day grace period. 

I don't see them changing this for the above reason.  Yes it would nice for people who are on regularly and just need extra time to mail. But overall it'll just slow things down by giving people the option of waiting 17 days to mail instead of 12. 

What would be better is to have the PM button available on book requests before it's accepted. Then you could just PM to say "hey I see the request but I can't mail until x date".  I would like that simply becuase I like to look at the WL of a requestor and see if I can offer htem another book to save on postage.

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 64
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No, what I'm saying is that you'd only have 10 days overall.  But you might take 5 days to respond,and then you'd only have 5 days left to establish a mailing date.  But if you responded after 2 days, you'd have 8 days from which to choose a mailing date. 

The inactive members should not take more time to weed out, if the system automatically cancelled the request if the member didn't respond in 5 days (as it currently does).

The only real difference would be that if you accepted a request more quickly, you'd get more days to mail, but never more, taken all together, than you have now. 

This seems better to me than doing the whole vacation hold thing to cover a matter of a few days.

I think my explanation  may not have been very clear, so apologies for that.

I thought I'd float the proposal here to see if anyone else thought it was a good idea before suggesting it to the team.

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I like the idea. Calculating when to accept when you've got time issues is annoying.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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For me, it works the way it is now.  I don't believe in changing something if it's working for the majority.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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What makes you so sure you're in the majority?

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 2:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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What makes you so sure you're in the majority?  Because if it wasn't working for the majority of the members the Team would have already found an alternative?

Pam - it has been mentioned in the Forums before so there are others who would like to see a similar change. Go ahead and send in Feedback, the Team may have gotten enough requests for the change that they will look at the implementation of it or something similar or they may have already looked into it and will tell you why it wouldn't work. A very small portion of the membership uses the Forums and only a portion of those actually post so a polling here won't give you a very good idea of the whole club sentiment. There may be members who have never come to the Forums that have sent similar suggestions in so you just never know until you let them know your ideas.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 2:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
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They do not have to skip over Sundays and postal holidays .... a lot of us are able to mail on those days.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 3:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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"For me, it works the way it is now.  I don't believe in changing something if it's working for the majority." """"

Why am I sure of that?

Because of the thousands and thousands of users, only a very few have complained about it.   IF it were a major issue with a majority, the site owners would have addressed the issue by now.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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The way its set up now, works just fine for me.  Guess I'm in the Majority! wink

-RD

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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While I think the system is okay as it is, I also don't see the point of the "I can mail within two days" option. Why not just have a drop down menu that shows dates from today's date through however many days PBS allows? The 2-day option just seems like an extra option that doesn't make much sense.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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I'm also for a single drop-down menu.  I'm all for eliminating extra steps and screens in the process.

I'd be even happier with a streamlined request button that would accept a request and print the wrapper (with my default no extra options setting) with a single press.  (I realize this would have to be an option as not everyone would want to do that, or do it all the time, or necessarily have a printer handy when they accept requests).

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 537
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Just to chime in, I love this idea - I too don't understand why there are two 'categories' of 'mail in two days' and 'mail later' which give you different ranges of mailing dates - like others have said, I'd love to have a process along the lines of 'accept to mail' and then choose your mailing date, which would be much clearer to occasional users.

And just because people haven't commented about the current system doesn't mean they love it - it just means that it works halfway decently and they can manage it.

If anyone ends up sending a message to the Admin team about this, please summarize what you said to them, and I'll send them an agreeing message as well.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I can usually work with whatever system is in place but I've always wondered why when I select "I can mail within 2 days" that I actually have 5 more days to mail it, but when I select two days in the future from the "I can mail later" drop down box, I only get two extra days to mail it. I usually mail my packages the next business day, so it doesn't really affect me. I just don't understand the reasoning. 

But to the OP, the site it constantly changing things that previously seemed to work for the majority, so I'd also encourage you to use the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page and send in feedback to the team.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I'd be even happier with a streamlined request button that would accept a request and print the wrapper

As long as there is still the option to print manually. I don't have a printer, they've blocked PBS at work, so I have to copy the address, paste to an e-mail to myself going to the office, and print a label that way.

If I get a request on a Friday, I have to write the address manually but that doesn't happen all that often.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
Posts: 7,620
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im still lost on what the OP wants

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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im still lost on what the OP wants

I take it that she wants the 10 day period to mail, regardless of when it is accepted during the 5 days given to accept. If I accept on day #1 - I get 10 options for mail-by days to chose from. Each day I wait, I get one less mail-by option until I get to accepting on day #5 where I get 5 mail-by days to pick from. If I don't accept by day 5, it gets cancelled as usual.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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"Because of the thousands and thousands of users, only a very few have complained about it.   IF it were a major issue with a majority, the site owners would have addressed the issue by now."

That is patently untrue. Many issues are complained about on a regular basis without being addressed, as anyone who reads this forum regularly knows.  In this case, although the current situation may not be annoying enough to warrant *complaints*, that doesn't mean that it can't be improved and that many people wouldn't approve of the improvement.

They say that every letter to a government official counts for some vast number of people who don't bother to write.

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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What makes you so sure you're in the majority? 

 Because if it wasn't working for the majority of the members the Team would have already found an alternative?

*****************************

Not necessarily, maybe they weren't looking for an alternative in the first place.  Maybe one hasn't occured to them but if they heard one they'd consider it.  Just because the current method words doesn't mean there's not a better one out there. 

I like the idea, too, actually.  People who knew they just needed the longer mail by date wouldn't have to let the request just sit there and wait all, or most, of the 5 day wait period.  I seem to see this pattern more often, which is understandable.  personally, I would like knowing the order has been accepted and is coming rather than just wondering if it's going to get accepted at the last minute or roll over and begin again.  The idea definitely has merit.  

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2010
Posts: 148
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Well, Guess I am the minority because I believe any way you package the thought, 10 days is too much time to accept and mail a book.  Let me see, if someone takes 10 days to finally put the book in the mail, then I have 10 days to mark it received, correct? Not so much.

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
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 Let me see, if someone takes 10 days to finally put the book in the mail, then I have 10 days to mark it received, correct? Not so much.

To be fair ... mailing usually involves a lot more work than receiving mail. First you have to find the book, check it over, and then wrap it up (and that is if you have wrapping supplies on hand, sometimes you don't and have to go to the store and pick some up). And, then you have to mail it. Some people are lucky enough to be able to stick their outgoing books in their mail box ... but I think the amount of mailing days are flexible because there are many, many of us who can't. So, mailing has to be fit into a schedule of other daily activities, and into the PO schedule if you need to purchase postage at the PO.

But, mail I receive comes right to my house, every day, and I can collect it any time I want to, even in the middle of the night. The only thing to be done is mark it received, a procedure that takes a minute or two.

I think that most peopel would agree that it involves a lot more effort to mail books than it does to receive them.

Date Posted: 4/18/2011 5:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 66
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I like this idea. I'd rather just select my mail by date at the start if I know I can't go to the post office immediately, than have to let the request sit for a few days before accepting it in order to be able to choose a mail by date I know for sure I can mail before.

Date Posted: 4/19/2011 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,791
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im witht he majority also.  lol

i think if you cant mail a book with the current time alloted, maybe this is not the swapping site for you.  IMHO

I would absolutely be bummed if I had to wait for up to 10 days for you to mail a book and then wait on the delivery times of media mail.  A month from the time of request?  nah, im already onto other things by then. 

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