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Topic: 2nd Printing of Label 2 weeks later, affect delivery date?

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Subject: 2nd Printing of Label 2 weeks later, affect delivery date?
Date Posted: 7/4/2010 2:32 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 21
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About a month ago I splurged and used up the rest of my credits on books that caught my fancy. Of course, they were coming from the far reaches of the nation. Thankfully, several requests came through and, wouldn't you know, I was shipping them back across the states. And within 3 days - 4 max in one instance, the books found their way to the proper location.

Except two.

Those were coming from CT, the label printed out the beginning of June. After the second shipment wave finished, I checked the status of those books coming from CT. Nothing and of course, no tracking (not that I put much stock in that option). But I was virtuous and patient and went along my merry way. After all, my TBR pile is two bookcases full.

Another wave of books was shipped and still, nothing from CT. I checked again and found there was a second date under the "date label printed". Huh. Two weeks after the first label was printed.

So my first question is, which date does PBS use to determine the "report lost book" -- the first printing or the later? (Because the way I see it, this is an effective way of pulling a scam. See why I write mystery/suspense/thrillers?)

And my next question is - is there a way that we can "report" bad shippers, like on eBay? Do those feedback boxes when checking in books really work?

And finally, a bit of a rant - if you're going to delay the shipment for any reason, for the love of all that's good in the world, would you kindly take the three seconds to PM the recipient and give them a heads up? Thanks!  /rant

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 3:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,385
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When you receive a book, there is the little survey to fill out.  This is very important to do to books that were mailed late.  Put down the date.  Put down details in the box, such as if it is a postmark or a printed stamp.  Any time there is a late mailing, an automatic email is sent.  Enough late books and the account gets flagged.  At that time a real person reviews the account.  Accounts with a history of problems get contacted and put on hold.

It is very clear in the help that if a book is mailed late, there must be a PM. 

If you marked the book mailed but did not mail it and you want to mail it late (more than 4 days after the date you marked it as mailed),  you MUST contact the requestor using the PM button on the transaction, to be sure that the requestor still wants the book.  (If the book has already been declared "lost", the PM button is on the "lost in mail" transaction in your Transaction Archive.)

That said, I have accidently pushed the print label button on books I have already mailed.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 4:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,669
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So my first question is, which date does PBS use to determine the "report lost book" the first printing or the later? (Because the way I see it, this is an effective way of pulling a scam

PBS determines the "lost" date based on when the book was clicked "Mailed". Not related to when they printed the label. Um .... how would this be a scam? If you don't receive the books, you never mark the books received, and then you get your credits back when the books go lost. The sender doesn't even get the credits unless the books are marked received. Where is the scam? So, they didn't mail the books out ... and they get nothing from PBS. (In the case where they have already paid money for postage, they do get the credits for the books right away ... but PBS presumes them to be honest because they have already paid actual money for the postage. If they use DC, then they don't get the credit until the book is scanned by the PO ... so it would be in their hands, thus proving that the book was actually mailed. There is no way to somehow get credits without either paying $ for postage or actually mailing the book out.)

Also, regarding the 2nd mailing label printing ... PBS registers a label as being printed again, if the mailer of the books goes back to check the address again. It is pretty likely that they actually printed it again because your package was, in fact, mailed late .... BUT, it could also be that the sender really mailed it on time, noticed that you haven't marked it received it yet, and went to the address to check it for some reason. That registers as a "printing" of the label.

is there a way that we can "report" bad shippers, like on eBay?

Nope. There is no individual feedback system at PBS. Anyway, you do not actually have any way of knowing what happened to the books. So, what exactly would you report anyway? You have suspicions, not facts. Books do go lost in the mail for real.

If you feel that you have an actual issue with a sender, then you can report the issue to PBS ... however, the system automatically handles this particular situation ... you will get your credits back if you don't receive your books by the lost date ... so there would be nothing that PBS would do for you about this issue, since it will resolve itself in time, leaving you whole in credits, at least.

if you're going to delay the shipment for any reason, for the love of all that's good in the world, would you kindly take the three seconds to PM the recipient and give them a heads up?

yes, that is already in the PBS rules. If books have not been mailed 4 days after marking them mailed, the sender is supposed to PM the recipient to see if they still want the books before mailing the out late. However, there is not really a penalty specified if the sender does not follow this rule, unfortunately.



Last Edited on: 7/4/10 4:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/4/2010 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think we also need to cut people some slack.  Life happens sometimes.  Should htey have PM'd? Yes.  But maybe their kids were sick or they were sick or someone died or whatever and life was just chaos for a bit.  Maybe they came home to find the book back in their own mail box for some unknown reason and had to remail the book.  This happened to me twice this past month.  1 book was returned for no reason that I can tell. I brought it pack to the post office and they remailed it for free.  The 2nd book was one I hand addressed and I accidentally put the wrong state on the address-I had to pay the postage again on that one.   Now I did PM on both of those to let them know what happened.  But if I didn't have a computer at  home and had to rely on the library and/or public transportation to get to a computer-I might not have PM'd. 

Fill out the survey with the dates.  If they habitually mail late then PBS will send them warnings.  If it's a one time thing then no one has been harmed. 

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Yes - life happens - I have 4 people waiting to see if I'm going to agree to mail something soon, and I just don't know yet - next-door neighbor, mother of a dear 15yo friend, went to the hospital with a possibly very serious problem yesterday, so life just may turn totally upside down right now. Not to mention the malfunctioning AC, and the fact that we're remodeling. I'm not saying "I can mail" just yet. I'm off to the hospital, pretty soon, actually.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
Posts: 2,102
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I always try to send my books very fast. The other week I had went to print the wrapper paid for the postage and my printer went down and then I had no way to print it out. So could be something like that. I ended up paying for postage at the post office that I had already bought on here just couldnt get it to print. I probably printed that one out or tried to like 10 times so you just never know.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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They could just be wondering why the books haven't been marked received yet so they are hitting the print label button to see how far they are going.

Also, if they are coming from CT, they are more than likely going through PA. Which means they will go through the Warrendale, PA USPS distribution center - which is a known black hole for media mail. Media items have been known to sit in Warrendale for as much as two weeks before being sent on. If the package is unlucky enough to hit TWO USPS black holes (there are several) it could stall even longer.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Federal Way, WA and Bell, CA and the state of WI are notorious for book hold ups as well.

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I think we also need to cut people some slack.  Life happens sometimes.  Should htey have PM'd? Yes.  But maybe their kids were sick or they were sick or someone died or whatever and life was just chaos for a bit. 

Agreed 100%.  I was going to say something similar because it could easily have been me who left someone hanging last month...twice I was hospitalized in June; neither time was it planned.  None of my swapping was affected, for which I'm thankful, but it's just not the first thing you think of when you are hit with a sudden emergency.

When I was a new PBS member I ordered a book, waited anxiously for it to arrive and then when it finally did discovered a USPS mailing sticker for 2 weeks after it was marked mailed.  I was SO annoyed and sent Feedback to TPTB.  I got a really great response.  They acknowledged my frustration, agreed that, yes, that member should have PM'd me and then went on to remind me of all the things (as Mary just did) that might have caused the person to need to mail late...illness, death of a loved one, injury, etc....we just have no way of knowing .

Date Posted: 7/4/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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 I'm off to the hospital, pretty soon, actually.

Hugs, Elizabeth!  I hope things to better than seem to be expected.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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All my Media Mail goes through Federal Way.  Of the hundreds mailed, only one tried to go lost (at a different facility) and no noticable delays.  The only problem I can definately pinpoint on USPS was the one Warrendale tried to loose.

Date Posted: 7/8/2010 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1,192
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Also, if they are coming from CT, they are more than likely going through PA.

Maybe it depends on where in CT?  I mail from CT and almost never go through PA...usually NJ.

Date Posted: 7/9/2010 3:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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Oh, NJ can become a blackhole for packages too!

2 Christmases ago I did a ton of catalog shopping and 5 different orders that Never arrived (some made a surprise appearance in FEB) all got as far as NJ and then fell off the grid. Guess Big Brother wasn't watching well enough. A few of the orders were reshipped and 2 of them got "lost" in NJ again. All they had to do was go across the state line to NY, but somehow the big green dragon in the river between the states must have been devouring packages that month.  Months later 2 of the companies reported to me that the original packages made their way back to them!  Hmmmmmmmm, sounds like the urine sample my office mailed out to the lab one DEC that got knocked under a mail sorting table and wasn't found for 6 weeks!  Can a waterproof baggie really lock in the odor for that long if it's unrefrigerated??????