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Topic: Book fell out of envelope in mail, empty envelope returned to sender

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Subject: Book fell out of envelope in mail, empty envelope returned to sender
Date Posted: 3/30/2012 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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A book I requested was sent my another member using PBS DC.  Tracking showed the book got as close as a post office about 10-15 miles from my house, where it stalled, and then it went back to the sender's city, where it showed as delivered.  Sender PMed me because DC shows it was delivered.  I PMed back and told her, no, and DC looks like it went back to you.  She later PMs me that USPS returned the empty mailing envelope to her (I don't know whether the envelope tore and the book fell out, or someone opened it and removed the book).  She has since opened an investigation with USPS and refunded my credit. 

Now I am getting system emails from PBS saying that "USPS says 'The Cry of the Sloth' has been delivered" and "Marking incoming books received as promptly as possible is critical to membership."  Well, I didn't receive it, so I can't mark it received, but I don't want to mess up my account. 

I already sent a message to PBS via feedback yesterday because at that point the sender wanted me to mark the book as lost in the mail (which I knew I couldn't do, the system has to do that) and asked what we should do next, but I haven't heard back yet. 

So, two questions: (1) Do I just need to wait and do nothing and let the system sort itself out, or is there anything the sender or I can do? and

(2) Why did USPS deliver the empty envelope back to the sender?  I guess it made it easier in that she doesn't have to take my word for it that the book fell out of the envelope since she has the proof in her hands, but damaged mail sent to me has always come to me before, usually with a note or outer envelope from USPS stating that the item was damaged en route.  And DC shouldn't have shown it as "delievered" because it wasn't -- at least not to the address it was sent to. 



Last Edited on: 3/30/12 12:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 3/30/2012 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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It could be that the only readable address was the return address.  The USPS machines can be brutal to packages.

You've done all that you can do.  The system will sort the rest of it out.

Date Posted: 3/30/2012 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Pattie--

If the book gets marked lost in the mail by the system, the system will automatically return your credit to you.  Since the sender has already refunded your credit,  once the book is marked lost by the system you'll have received two credits.  Once this happens you should send one of the credits back to the sender--otherwise, she'll be out two credits for the lost book.

Date Posted: 3/30/2012 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,876
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The sender (not you) can contact the Admin. Team by clicking on "Contact Us" at the bottom of the page and ask them to cancel the transaction.   She needs to include the title and the ISBN# of the book involved and explain the situation. 

When Feedback is sent via Contact Us, if a reply is needed, it will be through email and not a PM.



Last Edited on: 3/30/12 12:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/30/2012 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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There is now an option to mark the book received with a problem - empty wrapper. This does not quite fit. But only the sender can ask PBS to cancel the order after marked sent.

I'm pleased to see that the sender is filing the paperwork with the PO. Not likely to get the book. But it helps all of us if the USPS knows where the problems are.

Date Posted: 3/30/2012 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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To repeat a few points -- there was no need for her to refund your credit.  Your automatic credit refund happens either when the transaction is canceled because she asks the Admin Team to cancel it, or is marked "lost" by the server.  If she also "gave" you a credit, you'll return it by clicking on her name and using the "give credits" button on the next page, up near her name.

Assuming she used PBS delivery confirmation -- not DC from another source -- she gets to keep her credit when the Post Office loses her book.  That's the credit insurance she gets when she pays the fee for PBS DC. So she will keep her credit and you will get a credit.

Other than that, she can contact the PBS Admin Team (go to bottom right corner of any page, click on "contact us" and use the Feedback option) to tell them what happened.  That will speed things up.  Or you can wait for the system to mark the book "lost" 26 days after it was marked "mailed."  (35 days if it was traveling outside the continental U.S., but I don't think that's the case here.)

 

 

Date Posted: 3/31/2012 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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What they said yes

Date Posted: 3/31/2012 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2010
Posts: 288
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If the PO knows that they caused the problem or the contents were lost en route, they return the empty package to the return address rather than delivering it. It happened to me, and they sent me a form where I could describe what was lost, include photos, and they would look for it.

They didn't find the books, so they returned the label and form to me and said I can take it to the PO and get my postage cost refunded. I didn't insure the package, so I don't get paid for the contents, but I can get back my $2.47 or whatever it was, since they coudn't deliver it. Which is actually more than I expected after the book was reported Lost.

 

Date Posted: 3/31/2012 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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That's good info, Craig.  I didn't know that.

Date Posted: 3/31/2012 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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Thanks, all!

Date Posted: 4/2/2012 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,487
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Any y'all, referencing what Emily said about noting "RWAP-- empty wrapper received", They DO NOT do anything when you mark a package that way. The system still insists on waiting the 26 days til the book goes "lost" despite the fact the book can't be delivered if found by the USPS since there is no delivery nor return address info with the book any longer.

 I just went thru this process a few weeks ago and filed the "lost contents" report with my local PO-- they seemed clueless even though they know about our "lost mail facility" at the Tampa airport main PO here. They said they would contact them to look for the book, but I highly doubt they even bothered as they were supposed to call me a week later and report what they heard from that facility.

Date Posted: 4/2/2012 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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There is a form to file.  A rifling report?

Date Posted: 4/2/2012 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,487
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Not sure it's a PO form or just something my local one used so they'd have all the info needed-- sender's name and addess, my name and address, name of missing book, my contact info, date mailed, shipping cost.  I hear from members here who work for PO that it is possible to match up lost contents to the planned recipient if all the needed info is available.  But in my case, the postmaster looked at me like I was crazy, even though I followed the on-line directions the PO provides.

Date Posted: 4/2/2012 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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That's good info, Craig.  I didn't know that.  yes

Date Posted: 4/3/2012 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2010
Posts: 288
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Here's a copy of the form I received. The way it's written, it has to be instigated by the PO:

http://www.nalc-branch78.org/pdf/forms/usps/3760.pdf

In my case, they sent that form (which included the PO location where the empty package was found) along with a SASE to return the info. I sent it, and a few months later, I got the form back with the bottom filled out and initialed so I can get my refund.

If they just send you the empty envelope, I suppose you can request a form and address to send it to, but I don't know if they'll accept that you are the sender and it was empty unless they verify it in the first place.

Date Posted: 4/3/2012 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 382
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The system still insists on waiting the 26 days til the book goes "lost" despite the fact the book can't be delivered if found by the USPS since there is no delivery nor return address info with the book any longer.

Well, if the second page of the label (with the book name and receiver's address on it) is still attached to or inside the book, it is possible that it will be delivered as intended.