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Topic: So, book lost at house or p.o.?

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Subject: So, book lost at house or p.o.?
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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I ordered a book and the label was printed and marked mailed on 5-29 and the sender used Delivery Confirmation.  And that seems to be where everything stopped!  There is a usps dc # in  the transaction details box.  So, is it "lost" in the sender house or did the sender's p.o. loose the book when she took it there?  Any idea?

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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It could be either.  I'd say you'd be okay PMing her at this point.  You could tell her that you haven't received it yet, and ask her to let you know if the package is returned to her.  Maybe she has some additional info for you.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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LOL, I just checked the book that's sitting on my "Books I've Mailed" list in this same situation. It's not going to you.

I used printable postage and I mailed it when I said I did, from the same blue box where I always send books, but USPS has never scanned it. I assume it could be lost in the back of a truck or under a PO counter or maybe the DC code really was unscannable for some reason and it really is still en route.

If the requestor of this book PMs me to ask about it, I'm not going to have an answer as to where the book is, just that it's not with me. Maybe it's hanging out with your book somewhere in a secret USPS hideout!

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
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I got a book yesterday with DC that was never scanned once.  It was actually marked lost before I received it.

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2008
Posts: 26
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"I got a book yesterday with DC that was never scanned once."

Remember that the only scan that Delivery Confirmation is meant to have is the "Delivered" scan (or whatever action was taken at the destination.) Any additional information along the way is icing on the cake!

Also, unlike other carriers, DC is update nightly, not instantly. So if you were to receive a package today, it would probably be tomorrow before the DC tracking info shows that the package is delivered.

Edited to add:

"I assume it could be lost in the back of a truck or under a PO counter or maybe the DC code really was unscannable for some reason and it really is still en route."

A higher probability than "lost in the back of a truck or under a PO counter" is that the package may have been missent, or the address may have been damaged/removed. I recently had to take a package back to the sender because the addressee's address (that was taped onto the package separately) had come off. Last week I returned an envelope that had been put in the mail a month ago with no address at all on the outside that wound up at the dead letter office.

Sometimes the DC barcode is unscannable (due to damage to the label in shipping or poor printer quality by the sender.) The new scanners that we got last year are much better at scanning DC barcodes. If the barcode can't be scanned, I will manually enter the number IF every digit is legible (but not all carriers will manually enter the number.)

Last Edited on: 6/22/08 10:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Mine end up scanned or not scanned depending on where it's dropped in the same post office.  I generally use DC, and I've noticed that the books picked up from my mailbox at home get scanned earlier than the ones that I drop in the blue box at my local PO. 

What absolutely mystifies me is that if I actually go into my same local PO and drop my package in the slot or package box inside, it takes forever for them to scan it and get it to that first main PO in the next burb over.  A couple of weeks ago I had two items, a box and a wrapped book that were dropped inside the PO, and never got scanned in anywhere, although they were delivered.

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2008
Posts: 26
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"Mine end up scanned or not scanned depending on where it's dropped in the same post office."

What do you mean by "scanned"? Are you referring to an Accepted scan, or any scan along the way? Almost always, the only time a package is scanned Accepted is if you take it to a window clerk in the PO lobby (or perhaps one of those automated things.) The DC's that are brought in by a carrier or collection box aren't scanned. Since I am carrier, I will scan any package I send with Picked Up (it appears to be the same as Accepted.) So carriers do have the ability to scan the DC we get on the route, however we have not been instructed (or compensated) to do the lengthy, multi-step scan that includes specify the class of mail and entering the destination Zip Code.

A member posted in another thread saying that how the books are packaged seems to make a difference on whether or not they are scanned en route.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 98
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As far as marking a book mailed and not seeing an "accepted" at the Post office; 

Frankly I am a little surprised that so many are actually seeing the books as accepted. Well not really, but if you don't see them as accepted then there is an excellent chance that the sender printed their postage online rather than just the label with DC.

I work for the post office and while we sometimes/often electronically  "accept" the package as a courtesy to our customer we have been told by management that this is not an acceptable policy. We are not supposted to "accept" electronic DC when there is already postage on the package. We are supposed to just put the package in the mailstream and it will be scanned as delivered when it gets to its destination.

Part of the reason for this is that the electronic DC is deeply discounted so that the accepting clerk can be bypassed.

Hence Delivery Confirmation. (ie: Confirmation of the Delivery)

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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A great majority of the time when I send books using PBS printed postage and drop them in the blue box in front of my work, within 48 hours there is a scan at the local distribution center with the "enroute" message. But not always. Occasionally there will be one that never gets scanned despite being mailed at the same time in the same box as several others, and it's marked received before the delivered scan comes up. Who knows why? I've also received books and marked them received before there ever was a single scan.


Date Posted: 2/23/2009 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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 marked mailed on 5-29 - either way (and there's no way of knowing for sure) a book missing since last May is definitely lost. There has been books that show up many months later, but not many.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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So if it only gets scanned at delivery, how do they generate that handy little "map" that shows up when you click on the delivery confirmation check mark under books en route to me?  I'm asking because PBS keeps asking me about whether I have received a book that seems to be stuck somewhere in Virginia according to that map....

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Christine, I believe that's done with a simple estimate based on time in transit.  And there are no roads that go in perfectly straight lines like on that map.  :)

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I think the little truck on the map goes in a line to the delivery address and progresses by guessing how many days it should take. If there is an enroute scan it jumps to that point and starts heading to the delivery again.

Some of the sorting machinery has a scanner that catches some of the packages going by. That is when it will show the enroute scan.

I also work at the post office. I scan as many as I can at the window. (I like the little machine showing I am doing something as much as possible;) When delivering the package I will type the barcode if the scanner will not do it, but not all have all the numbers readable. I encourage my customers to put clear tape over the bottom half of the delivery confirmation. This covers the human readable numbers and part of the scan. It is harder to scan with tape on it but if it gets wet, part is still readable. It does not take more than a few drops of water to smear some of the labels and make them impossible to scan or read.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I send all my packages with DC, they get put in my work mail and our delivery dude drops it off at the post office.  They usually get scanned then (all our work mail has printed postage), if they dont get scanned local, they get scanned when they reach the bigger hub.  But it seems rather standard practice here and I notice things sent to me do not get this done until it reaches the bigger hub near me (Salinas).

All in All I think the post office should just scan on delivery since that is the service we are paying for.

5/29- I think your books is vacationing in hawaii or something and truely lost by this point.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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The OP was posted in June, so that's what the strange date is about.  Not a book missing for months and months.  Why did this get bumped? Seems to be happening a lot lately

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 9,524
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FWIW - my books seem to get scanned in Denver, CO (the local distribution office) if I send Media, but, much less likely so if I send 1st Class.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Sometimes I think people get to reading the threads and don't realize that it's an old one and just answer the question posed.  It's kind of funny.  I've had that happen to a couple of my old threads.  It always startles me.