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Topic: Book Mailed 1st Class

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Subject: Book Mailed 1st Class
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 6
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Good Morning Forum,

I'm sorry if this topic come up before....I tried scrolling through previous posts, but didn't see my question.  I'm still a bit new (been here about 2 months) and I have really grown to love this site!

On March 6th I mailed a book first class without USPS delivery confirmation (live and learn).  I sent a PM to the person requesting the book, but never got a response.  PBS request that I not contact them until April 6th, but my question....What happens if your book never arrives or the person never mentioned that it arrived?  Do I lose the credit?

I'm not trying to solicit credits....I'm just wondering as this question was not fully answered in the helping documents.  If I lose the credit, I'll just chuck it up as a learning lessson.

Warm regards,


Date Posted: 3/19/2009 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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This is what happens when a book goes lost.  It makes no difference HOW it's sent, this is what will happen.


A book I sent is lost in the mail!

If your book does not arrive by the 26th day after you marked it mailed, it will be declared lost in the mail at PBS.  This does not mean that the book is actually lost; it may simply be delayed en route.  Also, the requestor may be away from home and unaware if the book has arrived.  If so, he or she can mark it received from his or her Transaction Archive when he or she returns home, and credit will be granted when she or he does that.

A book sent to an active member at PBS will not earn credit until the requestor marks it received, unless PBS Delivery Confirmation is used to send the book.  

If a book you sent is declared Lost in the Mail at PBS:

  • First, contact the requestor to confirm that the book was not received.

    • Sometimes the requestor just forgot to mark it received
    • Sometimes the requestor was away from home when the book arrived
    • If you don't hear back from the requestor within a week of sending a PM asking about the book, you should contact us to look into the situation.
    • You can contact the requestor using the PM button on the "lost" transaction in your transaction archive.
  • If the requestor confirms that the book was not received:

    • As the sender, you should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx (the Postal Inspection Service's website) and input the information online there . This will help USPS try to recover your book if it truly has been lost in the mail.
      • This form at USPS is titled "Mail Theft"
      • This does  not mean only theft of mail.  USPS categorizes any mail that does not arrive or that is tampered with as "mail theft".
      • The choice that should be made under "Class" if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post"
    • You can get the information about the transaction from the Transaction Archive:
      • Click "Transaction Archive" in the menu under My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site
      • Click the Request Details link on the right of the "lost in mail" transaction
      • If you need more information (such as requestor address) you can ask the requestor in a Personal Message for that information.
        • We are unable to provide member address information outside of the duration of an active transaction, due to the PBS Privacy Policy.
        • You can use the button on the transaction to contact the requestor.
    • If USPS does return your book to you, and it is undamaged:
      • You should ask the requestor (using the button on the Lost transaction in your Transaction Archive) if she still wants it. 
      • If she does, you can re-send it.  If she does not, you can repost it.
      • If she does not respond to your PM, you should repost the book.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 6
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Thanks....I saw this document and will follow the steps after the period I'm told to wait.  however, it looks like I might lose the credit if the book doesn't turn up.  Oh well....learning lesson for me ALWAYS USE CONFIRMATION :-)

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,213
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You can always use it. Some people here do, agreeing that the extra expense per book is a nice safety net should anything happen (plus you get your credit right away if you're using the PBS confirmation). BUT. Using the regular postal DC does not give you the instant credit and is no guarantee of the book being clicked "received" even if the online tracking number says so. Further, other folks will say that the extra expense is not worth it (if you add up how many books you send, multiply it by the extra expense, then consider the ratio of books going lost, etc.) I don't use it, and I just have to hope all of my books arrive when they do. I have sent out around 150 (maybe more) and only one has not arrived. If I used confirmation for those all, I'd have definitely lost out. And I'm a worrier too- but it's just not worth it to me.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Stephanie, if you never receive a response from the other member PBS will check to see if they are active--if not, I'm pretty sure you will receive your credit.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,773
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Definitely check their account status. If it says they are inactive/suspended/closed you will get your credit after 26 days. If it says On Hold, it *could* mean they don't have computer access right now but have every intention of coming back to PBS after a short break.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 6
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts!.(this was my first post too).  All this info is very helpful!




Date Posted: 3/19/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It'll automaticaly mark your book received if it deems the account inactive when it's time for the book to go lost. Of if the account has been suspended.

Also 1st class doesn't mean quick. I had a book take nearly a month to go 1st class from MD to CT which is only about a 9hr drive.

Using DC is up to you but the credit is only guaranteed if you buy it through PBS.  Also the cost adds up and eventually you pay more in DC fees than the cost of a credit or lost book.   I think I figured out one time that I would have spent around $50 if I had used DC on all the books I've sent. I've never had one go lost but if I had the cost of the book and the credit would be a whole lot less than $50.  Although the cost does help support PBS and the printed postage is very convenient if you don't want to go to the PO.  Personally I'd rather help support PBS by donating credits and paying for a BOB membership.  I do use DC for games and when I'm sending more than one book to someone.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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the main time you want to use PBS DC is if you need credits and can't buy any - the DC is cheaper than buying credits.  Also consider buying it if youre worried about who you are sending it to for some reason.  I use it most of the time just because it's my way of supporting PBS.  It's fairly painless, gives me a serivice (guarantee), and PBS doesn't have to shell out usually - so they benefit. It's also reassuring to new members or sending to new members.  I like using it - each to their own!


Date Posted: 3/20/2009 3:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Using DC may not pay off financially, but I like it for peace of mind. 

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I don't think the "live and learn" thing really applies at all. DC is totally unnecessary as far as I'm concerned. A great majority of books sent regardless of Meda Mail, First Class, with or without DC arrive where they need to go JUST FINE! Sometimes it takes a little longer than other times, and I do remember when I was new sitting on pins and needles and checking PBS several times a day anxiously to see whether any of my sent books had arrived at their new homes yet. Now that I've got over 1,250 books successfully sent (a great majority of them without DC, sent plain ol' media mail in the 2-page PBS wrapper) I can relax a bit.

DC is a great option, and I do use it now, for convenience sake--when my work hours changed it left me unable to get to the post office except one day a week so the printable postage is a wonderful thing for me--I can print label, wrap and mail the book almost every day by dropping books in the blue box in front of my work.

If the book DOES go lost, you don't really contact PBS anyway--I don't know why they have that wording in their notices. What happens is, the automated system simply marks the book as "lost" and the receiver (or intended receiver) gets their credit back. If you didn't use DC, yes, you are 'out' the credit until the book arrives and the sender marks it received from their transaction archive. Let me stress, though--that really is a RARE occurance!

IF the person you sent it to is not an active member anymore, the system will mark it received FOR you instead of marking it lost, and you WILL get your credit. Aside from PM'ing the member and asking politely if the book had arrived, there's nothing else you can do.


Date Posted: 3/20/2009 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just wanted to add that I wouldn't make a habit of pming people several days before a book is sceduled to go lost.  It's really annoying to come on and find PMs askign why you haven't marked a book as received. I haven't marked it because I haven't received it yet.  PBS sends emails to remind you.  When a book is getting near it's lost date it'll send an email "Has xxxx book been received. If it has please mark the book received etc..,"  So they are already getting reminders.  Also not everyone has computer access everyday.  They rely on libraries, work and famly/friend computers.

I have PM'd people before but only on the day it's set to go lost.  If I'm the requestor I'll PM and say "I really haven't gotten this book yet".  As a sender I've never had one close enough to go lost.  They always seem to come a day or two before.  But I think if I had one get to that last day, I might send a PM. But not until that last day.

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 2,077
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I agree with Mary. That's the first thing I thought of when I read your post. PBS automatically sends an e-mail reminder to requestors who haven't marked a book received in a certain amount of time. It's not something you need to do. You are just duplicating what the system already does, and some requestors might feel a bit harrassed. The entire PBS system does all of the work for you if you just let it. As others mentioned, you don't necessarily lose the credit if the book goes lost.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Before I used DC, I had several book reciepients delay in logging received, and yes I'm sure.  One was mailed to the next town over, less than 5 miles.  After about 10 days I got curious and pm'd the member, she answered almost a week later that yes she had the book (for awhile) but was busy with RL....but still didn't mark the book received for almost another full week....and thus holding up the credit transfer.  And while I understand that RL happens, she was on-line long enough to answer my pm, but still didn't log in the book.   

Since using DC, I've noticed several times books may not be logged in for 7 to 10 days after it's noted as delivered.  Although my PO enters the DC at the mailbox, I know other areas are handled differently and delivery can actually occur a day or two later.  But a week or more?  Anyway...to save myself some stress I just use DC now.

The PBS system will automatically generate reminders and such, so I rarely pm over time issues.  My example is an exception b/c I was a new member and curious about media mail times over short distances (this week one went 30 miles overnight).   I recently pm'd a member who was receiving a book I mailed...and that was legit lost in Warrendale, PA (the black hole of media mail).

Last Edited on: 3/20/09 2:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 521
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It's true that you don't necessarily lose credit if it goes lost, or if it's marked RWAP.  I sent a book out to a woman who apparently was very particular.  She was not happy with the condition of my book, and marked it RWAP.  I still got the credit though, and I'm thinking it's because of my otherwise sparkly clean sending record!  (Flashes smile.) :))

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I can say with confidence that post offices differ widely in both their efficiency and their habits.  We have an awful post office that seems to use their own rules about things.  I've watched incoming DC books sit for days before they get delivered to me.  I can say that I appreciate our rural carrier even though we get lots of wet mail because he tries to get things right - sometimes he'll put the books in a plastic grocery bag to try to keep the books dry - but the top isn't sealed so if we don't get there right after delivery they get soaked.  But he never mis-delivers anything either.  So I know that even though the book is sitting at the PO and I can't get it - at least it isn't going to be delivered to the wrong address.


Date Posted: 3/20/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I'm actually going through this right now - mailed 2 paperbacks, 1st class, on 3/13 - one to California, one to Virginia. The one to CA arrived in just a couple of days; still waiting to hear from the member in Virginia. The one other time there was a delay I bit my nails waiting for the "book received' notice; the member apologized for not marking it received sooner but she was out of town. So we'll see how things turn out this time.

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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"It's true that you don't necessarily lose credit if it goes lost, or if it's marked RWAP.  I sent a book out to a woman who apparently was very particular.  She was not happy with the condition of my book, and marked it RWAP.  I still got the credit though, and I'm thinking it's because of my otherwise sparkly clean sending record!  (Flashes smile.) :)"

Actually, that's just the way PBS works for everyone.  If the receiver wants their credit back for a RWAP, they need to convince the sender to refund it.

Date Posted: 3/23/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 6
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Well I let my impatient self get the best of me.....you all were correct.  The receiver was just out of town.  I got my credit and able to order the book.

Thanks again for all the tips and advice.  Have a great week!

Steph :-)