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Topic: Annoyed - "mandatory" RC - keeps getting denied

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Subject: Annoyed - "mandatory" RC - keeps getting denied
Date Posted: 2/16/2011 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 281
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What do I do? I have an alternate address. It's on my Profile page. I say on there that "If the customs form is a problem, email me for alternative address."

I *prefer* to receive the books through the APO/DPO address becuase they take 4 days instead of 3-6 weeks, so I don't want to change my primary address.

I've actually RE-requested books, adding a note (as you can do) saying I have an alternate address, and STILL get declined.

I'm missing out on some hard to find books because by the time I find out that they've declined my request, it's been given to someone else!!!

Yet, because I have a DPO address, PBS has a Mandatory RC that goes out. Can I customize their message? I haven't been able to figure out how to do that.

 

Robin

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The problem wiht the alternate address thing is that people can't contact you unless the accept the request. And if it's a WL book then they're more likely to decline and move on to the next wisher.  They can't see your profile unless they accept.

I mail to FPO/AO/DPO address but not everyone does. 

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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Mary is right.  I mail to AO/FPO/DPO when I can, but sometimes my work hours don't overlap with any post office hours in the mailing window,and I have to decline.  Can you add to the madatory RC with the info that you have an alternate address, so posters could have that info when making accept/reject decisions?  If not, it seems like you might get more books by using your alternate address even if they take longer to arrive.



Last Edited on: 2/16/11 12:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/16/2011 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 281
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Karen, that's what I'd like to do, but I don't know how. Can I override PBS's "mandatory" RC?

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,397
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Click on Contact us at the bottom of the page and ask if you can override the RC.

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,797
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add an additional RC.

Subject: additional RC
Date Posted: 2/17/2011 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 281
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I did have an additional RC that says i have an alternate address. Apparently no one ever read it.

Date Posted: 2/17/2011 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I don't know how your RC works in conjunction with the mandatory RC (that would be a question for the Team) but supposing that they would see the mandatory one first (because it's really long) and yours second, then most likely people wouldn't even get to read yours after declining the request.

The best thing to do in this case is to contact the Team and figure out if there's something they can to modify the RC.

Date Posted: 2/19/2011 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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Perhaps if you were never able to get to the PO when the window was open it might be a problem to amil to APO/FPO/DPO addresses, butyou have to take almost any book weighing >13 oz. to the window anyway.  The not able to get to the PO when the window is open complaint is only right if you never send larger books, I think.  I don't personally think that the required customs form is much of a problem, though the current one is not the same as it used to be, so you have to make sure you get the right one.  I think I've sent out >100 books to these addresses, though I'm not really sure about that.

Date Posted: 2/19/2011 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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Perhaps if you were never able to get to the PO when the window was open it might be a problem to amil to APO/FPO/DPO addresses, butyou have to take almost any book weighing >13 oz. to the window anyway.  The not able to get to the PO when the window is open complaint is only right if you never send larger books, I think.

If you use paypal postage  this rule doesn't apply.  You can blue box heavier things.  The 13 oz rule is just for mail with stamps.  As someone who just finished a program where working 15-18 hour days ~ 6 days/ week happened with alarming frequency, this was the only way I could mail hardbacks or more than 1 book at a time certain months when there were no post office hours that worked with my schedule, unless I was on overnights.

Date Posted: 2/20/2011 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Perhaps if you were never able to get to the PO when the window was open it might be a problem to amil to APO/FPO/DPO addresses, butyou have to take almost any book weighing >13 oz. to the window anyway.  The not able to get to the PO when the window is open complaint is only right if you never send larger books, I think.

I've mailed out over 150 books--and most of them were over 13 ounces.  And not once have I been to the post office to mail them.  I use PBS Postage and just drop them in the blue box in front of my work.  I haven't received any requests from APO addresses yet.  If I did and I had the time, I'd be happy to go to the post office and fill out the required forms.  But, sometimes my work schedule can make it almost impossible to get to the Post Office while it is open.  If I had to do that for every book I mailed, I would have to cancel my PBS membership.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 2/20/2011 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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if it is a big problem, why not put your alternate address as your main address and a RC about that you would like them to use the APO address if they dont mind?



Last Edited on: 2/20/11 8:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/26/2011 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
Posts: 7,620
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why not put your alternate address as your main address  

delete the RC and just use the address you want as the primary

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2011
Posts: 5
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Hi, Robin!  I believe you are the one I mailed a book to a few days ago.  It was the second book I have mailed out, and the first APO/DPO request I've received.  I think it's awful that people tend to turn down your RCs, but in a way, I can sort of understand to a degree.  To share my experience, I used Printable Postage and then took an early lunch break at work (around 10AM) to try to beat the ridiculous lines at my PO.  When it was my turn in line, I asked the woman at the counter for a white form.  She scanned the book and kept telling me that I didn't need a white form.  Before I went to the PO, I had printed off your RC so that I would know exactly what to ask for.  I tried to show her the RC, but she didn't want to see it.  I finally just asked if I could fill out a form anyway, and it if wasn't needed, that would be great, but I would like it attached just in case.  She sighed and gave me the form and asked me to fill it out over by all of the other forms so that she could continue to help the other people in line.  I filled out the form, had to wait in line again, and when it was my turn, she slowly put labels on an envelope before helping me again.  On the positive side, she did attach the form to the package, and I saw that it had been scanned out when I looked at the tracking info in the system.

I would definitely mail to an APO/DPO/FPO again, but I can understand why people wouldn't (or can't if there's no way for them to get to the PO).  It would be so nice if you could just walk in and out of the PO and deal with nice people and short or no lines smiley

Best of luck with future requests, Robin! 

Subject: Forms
Date Posted: 3/3/2011 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 281
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You know, there is a little tiny green 2-part form that is about half (or less) the size of the white form. And you don't need to wait in line to get it. It's usually on the forms counter. It's called a Customs Declaration CN 22. I have seen the stuff come in with the white forms, and wondered why people were using those.

I guess it just goes along with things at the USPS, like the post office someone was talking about where they kept telling their customers that Media Mail was going away.

 

Thanks!!

 

Robin

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I am one of those who doesn't do the APO/FPO thing because I have only one day a week I can get to the PO due to my work hours, and it is a mega hassle. I use the printable postage just for that reason, so have no need to go to the PO otherwise...regardless of weight of book I drop them in the blue box in front of my work.But even if I filled out the green or white customs form at home, anything with customs forms have to be presented and mailed from the PO window, so I would not be able to drop in a blue box like I do now.

I agree with those who suggest using the alternate address as your primary if you are really missing out on a lot of books. It may take a few weeks longer to get them that way, but at least you WILL get them eventually. I'm not sure you CAN have 2 RC's, so it's entirely possible that only the mandatory PBS one shows up and it's not that "nobody ever reads it" but that they never have opportunity to see it.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2011
Posts: 5
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I wish I had known about the Customs Declaration CN22!  I think one of the key things causing confusion is that in addition to your personal RC, PBS adds a mandatory RC for anything sent to an APO/FPO/DPO address:

"The following are the mandatory Requestor Conditions for requests to APO/FPO/DPO addresses: This request was submitted to be sent to a US government / military address outside the USA.  Postage will cost the the same as within the USA.  Packages sent to these addresses sometimes take longer than usual in transit, but if you use PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage, you will receive credit for sending the book before the book reaches its destination.  To send the book(s), you will need to fill out and attach a 2976-A customs form ("the white form") to the package.  You can get the form at your post office.  You will also need to hand your package to a postal employee at the PO to mail it, for National Security reasons.  I hope you are willing to send your book to this address.  However, if you do not wish to complete the short customs form and mail your book from the post office, please click "My book does not meet these conditions."  This will cancel the request, and your book will stay at the front of the FIFO line.

This is probably why you see so many with the white forms attached.  I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to get the book to you, so I followed the mandatory PBS RC.  If you've never seen that, I hope it helps!

 

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,395
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Christina,

I also followed the PBS instructions to the letter when I shipped to an APO in Germany. Being new I didn't want to do anything wrong! I specifically asked for that white form. Is it OK to use the abbreviated green one?

Subject: White form vs. green form
Date Posted: 3/4/2011 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 281
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You know, that's interesting. I think I'll do a little research. Maybe I can help PBS to update their RC to mention the (much easier to get) green form. And, when someone does decline for APO, I think I've figured out how to get the book with the alternate address...it took me a while, but I think it worked.

 

Thanks for all the input!

 

Robin

Date Posted: 3/4/2011 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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Problem is that the "Green Form" has been discontinued and replaced by the (small) white form.