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Topic: BoB books sent, but other parties account is suspended or closed?? Help!

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Subject: BoB books sent, but other parties account is suspended or closed?? Help!
Date Posted: 11/16/2008 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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What are you to do, when a Box-of-Books transaction is completed on your side but the other parties account is mysteriously suspended or closed  "after" you've mailed out your books.   

I sent out a BoB (9 books) to a member about a month ago, I've been pretty patient, but few days ago I sent a PM asking if she  mailed out the books I requested (because it was not marked mailed) or  even recieved the package that I sent.  She didn't reply so I clicked on her profile tonight, just to see if her account was paused for vacation, and noticed it was closed or suspended.  

  In this situation what am I to do?  Just think it a lost cause?  And if this was some sort of a con, what will stop her from just opening another account here under a different name, this makes me so angry...   More now because this wasn't the first time this happened.  


Date Posted: 11/16/2008 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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I hope someone has an answer for you soon. That must be very frustrating. I am so sorry that happened to you. :(

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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And if this was some sort of a con, what will stop her from just opening another account here under a different name

Probably the fact that she'd have to pay another $8 for a new bob membership.

Unfortunately with BoB trades, since they are credit less transactions, there is not much that can be done. I've been stuck by someone as well. It's very frustrating. But there are plenty of reasons why the account can come up this way. One could be that G-d forbid she's had some family emergency. I'm sure the last thing on the senders mind would be PBS. And if she hasn't logged in for a while and the Team notices a trend of missed transactions they would put a temporary hold on the account until the member responded to them. It's a big leap to assume it's just someone conning members out of books. There is no way to know whether her account is permanently or temporarily on hold with out contacting TPTB.

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,462
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I had this happen to me a while back. I contacted the PBS team and they suggested I write her via snail mail and ask her to please honor my book request. Well, she never responded.  I lost 8 books on the deal (the 4 mailed to her and the 4 she never sent to me). I eventually asked the PBS team to remove the transaction from my pending BOBs. They did so.

I wish you luck with this. But in reality, there is nothing you can do if she doesn't respond. Sorry you are having to deal with this.


Date Posted: 11/17/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Probably the fact that she'd have to pay another $8 for a new bob membership.

Really though, $8 is nothing if you think about it.  To my knowledge, there are no limit to BoB transactions you can have per day/week, etc, so a person can have multiple request going at once,  request like 60 books, make sure they have sent it, then close your account, a day later open another for $8, this would be the cheapest way to get books.   This is of course being paranoid and suspicious,  but "if"  someone wanted to they could do it. 

If PBS closed the account for whatever reason, I hope they blocked the IP address and not just an E-mail address.  Yes, I totally agree that things in life come up and bunch of books that you agree to send seems like nothing to you, but do you stop paying your bills too?  It doesnt take much to send a e-mail or whatever to explain.   I think most will be understanding, "even" if you do not get your books, ever.  Its the feeling of being taken advantage of that makes you angry and not due to some stupid books.

Thank you all for your replies, I really do appricate it. 

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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but "if"  someone wanted to they could do it.

Sure, they could. But  with the economy the way it is and people are struggling to pay their mortages, gas bills and food bills, I can't see them willing to keep opening and closing accounts like that. The fees would add up.

Yes, I totally agree that things in life come up and bunch of books that you agree to send seems like nothing to you, but do you stop paying your bills too?  It doesnt take much to send a e-mail or whatever to explain

No, it doesn't take much to send an email. But if you've just been diagnosed with a serious illness, someone you love has died or other life altering situation has occured, emailing someone to say you can't mail out some books is probably the last thing on your mind. I think there is a little bit of a difference between  making sure the mortgage is paid and sending an email to say - sorry I can't mail your books right now. One could cause you to lose your home - the other maybe an account on a website.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 11/17/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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It's not the IP address or the email address that matters, it's the street address. There is no point in opening an account unless you can get the books delivered to you. I'm sure PBS does know if you reuse a street address, because every once in a while someone comes here and asks about not getting their free startup credits, and it turns out that they had an old account that got them, or somebody they live with already has an account.

I'm sure there is still some fraud, but if someone's really got a criminal mindset, enlisting friends and neighbors to join a ring of used book thieves seems like a lot of effort for very little gain.

I am really sorry you lost your books, and I hope this member does come back and make good on her promises.

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 542
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You can file a missing mail report with the US Postal Inspectors office.


Date Posted: 11/17/2008 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 6,567
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That has happened to me twice and I've been a BOB member for about 2yrs now I think.

One time it was 3 books but another time it was over 6 books that I mailed and never got my books in return. Each time nothing happened and all my emails to the site were ignored. I was very hurt and annoyed at the 6 books I lost. They were nice BIG and HEAVY homeschooling books. It costs me a lot to mail them too.

But all in all being a BOB  member has been a blessing. As a homeschooling family we go through TONS of books. We use to buy them or make the long trip to the libary. My husband can't stand books and HATED the trips to the library. I don't drive so he'd drive us and plus watch the kids whiel I got the school books. We've check out almost a total of 50 books each time. I had my card and the kids had theirs.

But being a BOB member last year I was able to stock our whole homeschooling bookshelf with WONDERFUL and amazing school books. Would have cost us tons to buy them.

All in all there are honest people, but what I try to keep in mind BEFORE doing a big trade I make sure a few things :

1. They have good feedback or reviews.

2. No recent negitives

3. No remarks saying they are slow to ship or ignore messages

Keeping those in mind it helps me feel safer. I know we all start the BOBs with no feedback, but after a few small swaps can equal a big one.

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
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where do you find feedback on a member?

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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Becki ~ only members who are Boxers will have feedback.  If you click on the persons ID or "Boxer" box under their name their profile will come up. In the upper right corner will be their boxer feedback.

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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Tina, I just had the exact same problem. I went into BoB last night and discovered that the only open transaction I had, the other person's account had been closed. I wonder if it was the same member?

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Bren, I don't know, I highly doubt it though. However,  I do believe that not everyone is honest, so there might be a couple who actually does this.  Just be careful.  :)

In any case, I won't allow myself to stress over this, I have taken steps so that if this happen again, it won't be for more then 4 books (since I've now put in a limit to my BoB on people with less then 30 positive reviews).  

I sincerely hope, that if people are being banned by PBS that they're banned by IP or address so that  they can't just open up another account. 

Thanks for all the comments. Happy reading! :)

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I'm not sure if IP addresses are banned. But, I can see a potential problem in doing so if the member used a public computer at a library, school, or similar. Banning that IP address would prevent someone else from signing up using that computer (unlikely situation, but it could come up).

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Tina, I would  go ahead contact the PBS Team.  This is, actually, what the Help Center says to do if you have get "no response"  to your PM.

What if I never receive my Box-O-Books?

If you have agreed to a Box-O-Books swap and the other Boxer's books don't arrive (or if the swap is not marked mailed by a week after it was accepted), you should contact the other Boxer using the Personal Message button on the swap, to ask if the Box was mailed (or when it might be mailed).

If the other Boxer does not respond to your Personal Message within a week, you should contact us and we will look into the situation.


Lori is quite right that we can just never know what is going on with another person.  It could be fraud, sure, and it could be an emergency, there's just no way to know. 

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 18,895
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I recently had the same thing happen to me.  I'm out 20 books.  I mailed mine, she never mailed hers, she initiated the BoB, wouldn't answer my PMs, my BoB membership was getting ready to expire, I put in a complaint, I was told they were suspending her.  Next thing I knew her BS, WL everything was gone.  The only sign of her is the BoB still pending.  They give you 30 days to complete your BoBs once your BoB expires.  It's probably the same person.   

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 267
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Add me to the list of this recently happening.  I even sent her more books than I had requested from her (6/5)  She initiated the trade the end of Sept.  I promptly mailed her books, and have not received mine.  Several PMS she didn't answer either.  I contacted R&R and they said after looking at her account that she has fallen behind in swaps and were going to suspend.  If this is the same person, boy, she has made off with a ton of books.

Date Posted: 11/21/2008 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 285
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I have two bad swaps right now too.  One says it was mailed six weeks ago (and the swap started on Sept. 5 - it's taking forever!), but no sign of the book.  In the second swap, I mailed mine and DC says it was delivered on Oct. 14 - she has yet to even print the label for my books.  I sent a PM to her and then an email to PBS and they told me that this member has several pending swaps and hasn't contacted them about it.  Both of these people had mostly positive reviews too, except for one neutral - no negatives.  It kind of makes me wonder if people just aren't leaving neutral or negative feedback even when they should, or if I was just the lucky one who was one of their first problem swaps!  Oh well, not much I can do about it now.

ETA: And now both accounts are suspended or closed.  That stinks.

Last Edited on: 11/21/08 10:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1