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Topic: book lost in mail?

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Subject: book lost in mail?
Date Posted: 8/29/2014 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ok I have a book that I ordered for a cousin of mine that I've been waiting forever for.  Today I got a pm from the member who sent it that says

"Apparently, the book I sent you (Fifty Shades Freed) was eaten by the USPS machinery. I just received the remains of the packaging I had the book wrapped in under cover of an official USPS envelope, with a stamp "Received without contents Kansas City NCD 66106"
I'm going to send in my written gripe, but I'm not optimistic that the book will magically reappear, even though I had your address on the inside.
I apologize. We'll mark this one as lost and you'll have to find it somewhere else."

Ok my question is that this book goes lost in the mail in like 3-4 days anyway should I just let it play out as lost in the mail, or since the sender has informed me that its address less and wondering somewhere should I go ahead and mark it using the empty wrapper just so I can be done with it?

I don't need my credit back right now and I didn't technically receive the empty wrapper so what should I do?  I just wanted to be done with this one since she agrees I'll have to get it else where.  I'm not sure I'll have to reordered it since it went so long I'll have to contact my cousin to find out if she still needs it.  IDK I'd just like the easiest way to get this swap off my front page!  

Date Posted: 8/30/2014 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,460
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My guess would be (and it really is just a guess) that since the sender PM'd you the info about the empty wrapper, you should enter that info using the RWAP system.  Maybe by me bumping this up, you'll get some other responses.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/30/2014 2:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Even though the sender informed you that the Post Office returned the remains of the package was returned and stamped as "Received without contents", my initial thoughts are to just let it go "Lost in the mail" by the system.

This begs the question, however, of whether the fault really lies with the PO or perhaps with the sender for having wrapped a book poorly. I have received books with large tears in their paper wrappers that could easily have resulted in physical damage or, with just a little more tearing, separation of the book and wrapper. The fact that the PO returned the remains of the packaging to the sender clearly indicates that the book was separated from its wrapper at some point, but it is not clear whether this was due to PO machinery "eating" books, or if it was the result of poor wrapping and taping by the sender. In my view, a book separating from its packaging could be the fault of either the PO or the sender.

If a given member accumulates a history of "lost in the mail" transactions, however, this will indicate that the member either does not package books well or is not being honest about having mailed books.

I am not making any allegations or assumptions about the specific trade cited in the original post, but just trying to point out that this can be a grey area and that members who have a record of "lost in the mail" transactions send a red flag to the system. So, I would suggest letting the book go "lost in the mail" by the system.

(Edited 08/31 to correct an incorrect statement I made in my original post, as pointed out by Sara P.)

Last Edited on: 9/1/14 12:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/30/2014 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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That's a shame, Elizabeth.  Very disappointing for both you and the sender.  USPS sorting machines can be brutal, and if something gets jammed in there, even a well-wrapped package can be ripped apart and the contents lost.

You have not received the book, so you don't mark it received.  Under "received with a problem" there is an option for marking that you received an empty wrapper, but you don't even do that here.  The wrapper was returned to the sender, so you didn't receive it.  The sender seems to be aware of how to report the loss to the Post Office, and may have reported it to the Admin Team here, asking them to cancel  the transaction so that you can be placed back on the wish list for this a little faster.  (Only the sender can make this request.)

When the system marks the book "lost in the mail", (or if the Admin Team cancels the transaction) you will get your credit back, and you will be back in your previous position on the wish list for the book.

See: A book I requested is lost in the mail.  What now?

If the sender used PBS postage or PBS delivery confirmation when he printed the address wrapper, then assuming he has a good sending record, he gets to keep his credit. (PSB postage and PBS DC include credit insurance if a book is lost in the mail.)  Otherwise he's out the credit.  Hopefully you'll get another offer soon!

Date Posted: 8/30/2014 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Thanks Guys that's what I figured since I didn't actually receive the wrapper.  Its only got a couple days left to go anyway.

Also the sender did not use pbs dc and didn't provide an alternative dc so truthfully I have no way to prove she actually mailed the package.  I didn't even think of that though she just seemed so sincere that I truthfully believe that the book was lost in the mail though without the wrapper being delivered here I have no way to prove it.  I'm not really sure why if it made its way all the way to Kansas City that they didn't just send the wrapper here because I've had that happen too where I've received the original packaging in a clear envelop from usps that says "OOPS!"  Had that happen I know what to do and I would have been able to inspect the packaging but since it didn't I have only the senders side to go on. 

I just wasn't sure letting it go lost what the best way to proceed, since she had pm'd me.  I think you all are right though that its the best way to go.


Date Posted: 8/30/2014 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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The sender can ask PBS to cancel the order before the Lost date.  But as it is that close to the Lost date, not really worth it. 

Please do check that the book is back on your Wish List after the Lost date.  You will need to manually turn off the Hold. 

Date Posted: 8/30/2014 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,083
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Even though the sender informed you that the Post Office returned the remains of the package was returned and stamped as "Received without contents", my initial thoughts are to just let it go "Lost in the mail" by the system. Unfortunately, in such cases the requestor is out a credit since "lost in the mail" is considered to be the fault of the Post Office and not of the sender, but their is no proof either way.

No, requestors get their credit back automatically when books get marked "Lost in the Mail". The sender is out the credit, the book, and the postage.

That's because senders have at least 2 opportunities to mitigate their losses in the case of loss by the Post Office. First, they can guarantee their credit by buying DC from the site. Second, they can usually (but not always) prevent lost and damaged books in the first place with proper packaging.

The OP has 3 things that she can do:

1. Let the book go "Lost in the Mail". The credit will be returned automatically.

2. Use the RWAP process to mark the book Received Empty Package (or whatever the proper label is). Even though you can use that, the book will just stay on your Books En Route tab ANYWAY until it goes lost in the mail on the scheduled day, just like if you did nothing at all. The credit will be returned automatically as in #1.

3. Ask the sender to contact PBS and request that the transaction be cancelled early. The book requestor cannot make this request, it must be the sender. In this case, PBS will cancel the transaction and give your credit back.

Date Posted: 9/1/2014 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Thanks to Patty and Sara for correcting my earlier post where I stated that members lose credits when books go "lost in the mail". Members do not lose credits when books are marked lost.

I have edited my earlier post to remove the incorrect information.


Last Edited on: 9/1/14 12:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 2