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Topic: Book lost in the mail mailed 21 days AFTER marked lost - this isn't fair to

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Subject: Book lost in the mail mailed 21 days AFTER marked lost - this isn't fair to
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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I received a book in the mail today that had been marked lost in the mail June 3 (see the transaction info below).

Request Date: 5/2/2010 10:24 AM ET
Alternate Date: 5/7/2010 12:00 AM ET
Wrapper Printing(s):

  • 5/8/2010 1:08 PM ET


Date Mailed: 5/8/2010 1:08 PM ET
Date Canceled: 6/3/2010 3:18 AM ET

Yet, this book was postmarked JUNE 24, 2010 and the member didn't even bother to contact me first, just dropped in the box and sent anyhow.

It seems that while they shouldn't lose their book, they SHOULD have contacted me after such a long time to ensure the book was still wanted.  I could have changed my mind, had the request filled by another member, or found the book from a source outside of PBS.  NO PM, nothing.

Prudence dictates this book be marked received, BUT, how is it fair to the requestor to wait for so long and then just have it show up unannounced when the sender failed to follow the rules (i.e. mail within "x" days of marking mailed)?  This book was marked mailed by the shipper on May 8, but obviously that didn't happen. There isn't a second label on the package, etc.  It does not appear to have been rewrapped.  Besides, if a book was returned to me, why would I rewrap just to resend to the same person?

The May 8th appears to have been fabricated.  The book was listed as "CANCELED" on June 3.  IF I had received a book postmarked 8 May (or within a day or two of that) I would have no qualms about marking it received.  This book wasn't MAILED until JUNE 24!  21 days AFTER it had been canceled by PBS.

If it had been returned, the member should have contacted me before mailing.  If it was found in their car, etc, it should not have been mailed 21 days after the request was canceled (meaning it had been over 50 days from original request) they should have asked if it was acceptable to send FIRST! 

Just my opinion. 

Comments?

Subject: I understand your frustration.
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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This is what the Help Documents say to do in this situation with a "late postmark"

BTW: your signature is really long and some of the paragraph about dogs is cut off.

Books that arrive with a late postmark need to be marked received normally, and the information about the postmark should be recorded in the survey portion of the Book Received page.

  • Providing the late postmark in the survey portion of the Book Received page will generate an auto-email to the sender of the book, reminding him or her that late mailing is not acceptable at PBS.
    • The email includes the information that the late postmark could have been entered in error
    • The email includes the information that sometimes postmarks are delayed a few days, even if the book was mailed on time
    • The email includes the information that if the late mailing was agreed to by the requestor, this is not a problem
  • You can contact the sender using the text box on the Book Received page:
    • Please be gentle!  You can't know what might have delayed this shipment
  • If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested and received (or will receive) a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:
    • If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies).  
    • OR: You can mark it received to note the late postmark, and ask for your credit back in your Personal Message to the sender.  If you don't hear back/don't get the credit back within 3 days you should contact us using the Feedback link at the top of the Contact Us page.
    • You can also note this information about the late mailing in the Comments box at the bottom of the Book Received page, while marking the book received: this will go onto the sender's record.
  • A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership
    • Sometimes late mailing happens for very good reasons, but chronic late mailing will not be tolerated.
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 2,667
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Last Edited on: 7/6/11 10:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Updated my signature, thx.  Hadn't realized it ran off....

I can understand late mailings.  We just had tornadoes tear through here (two 1.5 west - EF-3 and EF-1 and one 1.3 miles east EF-4 - got a good video of that one on youtube) mid-June. 

I can understand health, hospitalization issues, etc causing a delay in sending a book.  Life happens, BUT, when I find the book is still in my possession at that point, time to ask permission to send as it has already been marked lost and the credit returned.

I understand about a distracted spouse who neglects to mail and it comes to light when it slides out from under the seat and hits my feet a month later at a stop sign.  No problems, I have had these happen with books I had requested.  However, in each case, the member contacted me first to ensure it was still acceptable to send.  I guess that is the biggest issue, no attempt to contact me first to ensure:

1.  I have a credit available to cover receiving it

2. I still have a need for this book (not received another copy somewhere)

3.  Still at this address, as it is obvious they never went back to get my address as each time you open the address it lists it as having be reprinted.

I cannot understand not attempting to contact the member first before arbitrarily just dropping into into the mailbox after such a long time.

I guess my biggest hangup, still, is the lack of communication before sending.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,348
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And, the highlighted passage only refers to if the requestor received 2 copies.  I don't believe this is the case.  Yes, it sucks, but you still received the book you requested.  Your best recourse is to notate all of the info for the swap team to make sure it is known on this sender's account and if a pattern forms, the team can deal with it.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Book has been marked received with a msg to the sender that it is in their best interest to contact a member before sending books so late (nicely worded) to save them their books and credits.

 

In this case, their only saving grace was due to this being a Readers Digest Condensed Book (and not many available) I had not ordered/received another copy.

Just irritating, still.  I try hard to follow the rules governing sending/receiving books through this site, and it is a real button pusher when another does not.

As I explained, had they contacted me via PM before mailing last week, I would have still notified PBS of the late mailing, but the comment would have been "member contacted me and I agreed to the later mailing" instead of "no contact at any time during this transaction including after it was marked lost in the mail or before mailing 21 days after the book was declared lost.

I mark my books mailed when they are physically mailed (and having satellite internet, it does go out).  I always get suspicious when I see a book label printed and marked mailed within 60 seconds of each other....  especially when the book is later marked lost in the mail....

Thank you to everyone for your comments....

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 620
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Curiosity question that might (or might not) apply to possible solutions to a situation such as this.......

When a book is mailed "media mail," can the receiver write "refused" on the package and return it back to the post office, as one would a piece of first class mail? 

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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When a book is mailed "media mail," can the receiver write "refused" on the package and return it back to the post office, as one would a piece of first class mail? 

Yes, but the recipient would have to pay for the return postage to claim the book.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I understand your frustration. I have to say I don't know if I would be so nice as to mark it as received. I'm all for rules and believe in following them, which is why I don't believe someone should be rewarded for not following the rules.

I guess this is just an area where I think it shouldn't be required we mark it received simply because we haven't yet received another copy. Since the rules state that as long as they had mailed it before the lost date and you haven't received another copy that you should mark it received, I think mailing after the lost date no matter if there is another copy in your possession should mean we don't have to mark it received. I'm not lobbying for a change or anything because I think it's rare this happens. It just doesn't seem fair is all.

Out of curiosity, what if she had bought a copy elsewhere. Would PBS still say she should have marked it received since she didn't get another copy through this site?

I have a book that went lost a few weeks ago and I plan on going to a local UBS that I know always has copies (popular kids book) to get it instead of reordering here. I would hope I'm not required to mark it received if they did indeed mail it (which I highly doubt they did) just because I didn't get my second copy here. It would be nice to know, just in case, though.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think if I didn't receive a 2nd copy already that I would mark it received and fill out the survey. People make mistakes and it's just a book.  If they habitually mail late they'll get warnings from PBS and maybe even suspended for too many lost books. Yes they should have PM'd but you only got 1 copy.  Now if you had given up and ordered another copy or it was WL and had gotten posted to you in the meantime-then I would say don't give them the credit.

For all you know they gave the book to a teenager or spouse to mail and didn't know it was mailed late.  I had a lady PM one time because she had just found the books I had ordered from her in the trunk of her husbands car. He had told her he'd mailed them 3 wks before but he really put them in his trunk and forgot about them.  I cut her some slack and marked them received when they got here.  She didnt PM until after she had mailed them.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
AmiSue -
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/19/2008
Posts: 53
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I had a wish list book that I requested go lost in the mail. 

The transaction details were as follows:

Request date: 5/16/2010 10:46 AM ET 

Alternate date: 5/19/2010 12:00 AM ET

Wrapper Printings:

5/19/2010 11:07 AM ET
5/25/2010 5:51 PM ET

Date Mailed: 5/20/2010 3:23 PM ET
Date Cancelled: 6/15/2010 3:14 AM ET

I had pm'd the sender on June 14 when I noticed that the book was due to go lost to find out if she had actually mailed it. I had planned on putting the book on hold so I did not get another copy offered to me. I did not hear back from her. 

The system automatically put me back in the wish list line and I was offered another copy of the book, which I accepted on 6/16. I didn't want to decline because I didn't want to go to the back of the wishlist line which is huge.The next day, 6/17, I received the first copy.  The postmark was 6/14.  I pm'd my tour guide and she said I had to mark that one received.  Of course I received the second copy as well within a couple of days!

Am I correct in believing that, based on what was highlighted in Kendra's post, I shouldn't have marked it received?  I feel like I have wasted a postage money even though I was able to post and send it quite quickly.

 



 



Last Edited on: 6/28/10 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Just out of curiousity was it printed postage or stamps? If it was stamps, check the zip code on the postmark against the zip code on the return address. If the zip codes are different, the post office is at fault here, not the sender. Items with stamps frequently get postmarked much later than the date they are mailed.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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Am I correct in believing that, based on what was highlighted in Kendra's post, I shouldn't have marked it received?  I feel like I have wasted a postage money even though I was able to post and send it quite quickly.

AmiSue, yes, the Tour Guide who told you to mark it received was mistaken. Since you were WL offered a second copy and the book was delayed becuse of late mailing, you are not required to mark it received.

Here is the rule:

If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies).  

AmiSue -
Date Posted: 6/28/2010 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/19/2008
Posts: 53
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It was printed postage from the post office!  So it was definitely mailed on June 14.

 

When I marked it received, I let PBS know about the late mailing in the comment box.  I didn't hear anything back from them though.  Should I contact them about this transaction?

The sender still hasn't read or responded to my initial pm either!

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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Should I contact them about this transaction?

PBS does not generally get involved in problem transactions. At this point, you have already marked it received, and I honestly don't think they will do anything about it. They have no way of knowing the "truth" ... you say that there is a postmark ... unless the other member admits to the very late mailing,  they are not likely to just take your word for it, and yank your credit back.

In the future, if the other member does not respond to a PM about a problem transaction (you need to give them at least 5 days to answer) ... then you can contact PBS about that ... because they frown on non-communication.

Usually the tour guides are very good with advice, but every tour guide sometimes does not know every answer, unfortunately.

Date Posted: 6/28/2010 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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From farther down on the Help page 'Can I Send a Book Later?':

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.)

  • If she replies that she does still want it you can mail it to her.  She can mark it received and you will get credit at that time.
    • If the book has already been declared "lost" she can mark it received from her Transaction Archive and you will get credit at that time.
  • If she replies that she does NOT want it (she may have gotten a copy from someone else in the meantime), you should NOT MAIL - you should ask us to cancel the "en route" transaction and you can repost the book for someone else to request.
  • If she does not respond to your PM, you should repost the book.  It will be offered to her automatically if she still wants a copy.
  • You should not mail a "lost" book to the original requestor unless she has confirmed that she still wants it in a Personal Message.  If you mail it and she has already gotten another copy, she will NOT be obligated to mark the book received, or to return it to you.
Date Posted: 6/29/2010 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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The interesting thing about that "4 day" PM rule is that there is no punishment specified for anybody who breaks it.

The only punishemnt is that IF the person mails it one during the week before it goes lost, AND someone orders a 2nd copy because it didn't arrive yet, then the sender loses their credit.

Date Posted: 6/29/2010 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I noticed that part Sara. 

On one hand the rule says' MUST contact the requester' (their caps), but on the other hand there is no specified penalty or repercussion if the member fails to do so.   Definately leaves a gray area...say in the meantime (which could be 5 days or 5 months) I read the book from the library or decided (while waiting a month for the book to go lost) to wait on acquiring new books and work towards reducing Mt. TBR.  This leaves the required mailing date completely open, wasn't there a similar recent post where the book had been mailed 3 or 4 months after it was marked mailed?

I agree with OP, it's not fair to expect the receiver to pony up a credit for a book that was mailed after the 'lost' date without verification/pm.  It rewards senders who violate the terms of agreement (timely mailing).  That said, a postmark is apprently no true indication of mailing date...counter postage is the best indicator of actual mail date.



Last Edited on: 6/29/10 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/29/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,142
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When I marked it received, I let PBS know about the late mailing in the comment box.  I didn't hear anything back from them though.

Over 60,000 books were mailed last week. That's 10,000 for every day the P.O. was open, and that means about 10,000 books were marked received every day as well. There is no possible way that 10,000 comments can get read every day, so you should not expect a response to the survey. If you want to communicate with a real person and get an answer, you have two options: 1) Tour Guides via Live Help or 2) Contact Us at the bottom of the screen to reach the site owners.

The kind of notes I put in the survey are just things I think would be helpful to someone looknig at my account or the sender's account to see if there's a pattern of not mailing on time or bad wrapping or not marking books received, or whatever. I write things like "this book arrived while I was on vacation so it took a few extra days to mark it received" or "sender wrapped this trade paperback in one sheet of printer paper".

Date Posted: 6/29/2010 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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When a book is mailed "media mail," can the receiver write "refused" on the package and return it back to the post office, as one would a piece of first class mail?  The post office will allow you to do it, but it would be against PBS policy. The ONLY time the site finds that acceptable is if the book arrives postage due.

Am I correct in believing that, based on what was highlighted in Kendra's post, I shouldn't have marked it received? Under normal circumstances, you wouldn't contact the Team about a transaction. But, since the sender is not responding to your PMs, if its been a week I would recommend sending in Feedback and letting the Team know the situation.

If you told the Tour Guide that you were receiving another copy and they still told you that you had to mark the late-mailed one received, I would also let the Team know that. At a minimum they can make sure that TG learns the correct answer for the future.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 2:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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About marking a book mailed immediately:  the site here is on Eastern time and I am a Western gal.  I mail books on my way to work since I drive right past the P.O.   I found if I wait late enough on Pacific time to mark it mailed, it will register the next day's date - it is already after midnight in the East!  Of course, it does look like I mailed it at 2:00 a.m. sometimes, but at least the date is correct.  And it doesn't leave my P.O. until after 4:00 p.m. anyway. 

D.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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"It was printed postage from the post office!  So it was definitely mailed on June 14."

Actually, if postage was purchased at an APC, it could be used/mailed later than the date of purchase.  If you still have the packaging, take a look at the postage sticker - I believe the ones purchased at the APC have the letters APC printed on them.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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APC has a different look than counter postage.  The ones I've seen are smaller, have rounded corners, that  square that looks like modern ink art, and have a pink band on the side.  Counter postage varies alot but is generally larger, has square corners, and often has the red band across the bottom.



Last Edited on: 7/20/10 5:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/7/2010 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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UPDATE:  No response from PM sent nudging the member they SHOULD contact a requestor if sending a book so late.  From what I can tell, the PM has not been read.

Curious why there are conflicting rules at PBS.  If it is stated to contact a member via PM if they will mail a book significantly (subjective, I know) late before mailing and then offer no repercussion if they fail to do so, what does it accomplish?

Anyhow . . .

I, too, have my books wrapped and ready to mail when printing the postage, but I wait (because of our remote location, there may be times when we don't see a mail carrier such as heavy snow/blizzards, tornadoes, etc) and even though the book is in the box, it may not get picked up.  I generally try to wait until it is in the postal carriers possession for that reason.  I know it is considered mailed when it is in the outgoing mailbox, just my own preference....

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