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Topic: Book not mailed when sender said

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Subject: Book not mailed when sender said
Date Posted: 5/21/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 2
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Sender marked in the system that she mailed my books on 5/3/09. I've been (im)patiently waiting, and the system has prompted me twice to mark them received. Alas I received them today, and the postmark is clearly 5/16/09. It's the kind of postmark that is printed onto the postage, so there's no "grey area" that I could be reading the date wrong. What am I supposed to do? How can someone get away with holding my books an extra 2 weeks, when the system only allows you to select to mail within 2 or 5 days and she selected 2 days?

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Mark them as received but note in the comment box at the bottom of the screen when she marked them as being mailed and the P.O. postage metered  date.  You can also PM the sender and state that you had been worried about the books  since they were marked as being sent on 5-3-09 but you got them today and they weren't mailed till 5-16-09, and while you appreciate getting them, it would have been courteous had she PM'd you that she had not mailed them when she stated. 

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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As part of the survey when you mark a book received, one of the text boxes asks for the postmark date. I have no first hand experience with this, but I believe others have stated that if the postmark entered into that box is a certain amount of time after the date marked mailed, it will flag the account and a message will be sent.

Last Edited on: 5/21/09 5:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/21/2009 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I had this happen once as well - the post office clerk-generated postage was a week later than date marked. I entered the late date when marking the book received, as well as filling in the "anything you think we should know?" comment section to that effect. The sender replied with an apology, and (to me) rather lame excuse; I replied that I would have understood had she PM'ed me at the time with an explanation, rather than leaving me to expect the book.

 

 

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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This is what I personally think the comment box is for.   Things that should mark the account as flagged to TPTB.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,824
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do not contact tptb, just fill out the survey with the correct postage date and the system will store the info.  if the swapper gets to many of those it will be a 'black' mark on the acct.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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So is the comment box reviewed or just attached to the transaction record?  I assumed that it was just attached.  And looked at if there were repeated problems.

Date Posted: 5/22/2009 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 11:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/22/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I just got a book in the mail that was mailed AFTER it went lost in the system.  No PMs that she was still planning to mail the book. 

I pointed it out in the "anything you want PBS to know" box, in addition to putting the mail date in the screen when I marked the book received.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Just recently I had a book returned to me a day after I'd mailed it from the PO, with postage due.  I had taken it to the PO to make sure the postage was correct to begin with, which it was when it went out.  Turned out, the $2.00 stamp had fallen off!  And the clerk had not hand cancelled the other stamps, so it looked like I just threw it in some mail box without enough on it.  I took it back and they made good on it, since it HAD been correct going out.  Of course, that was only a day's delay, but still I PM'd the receiver right away about what happened.   So at least they knew, too.   But if it hadn't been returned to me immediately, it might have lanquished around some back room for weeks without any of us knowing what had happened to it, and thinking it was well on its way.       D.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,772
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Sometimes I PM the sender before I mark a late postmark. I know some really small post offices and non-USPS postal mailing centers (like mine) will hold media mail for inordinately long periods of time before sending it on, and if they hold it for too long, they have to reprint the postage with a new mailing date before they can forward it. I mail from a campus mailing center, not a USPS facility, and this happens to me A LOT.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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In thread after thread, problem after problem, I'm just amazed at how many of them would've been prevented by the basic courtesy of *writing* to the other person. Writing in advance, when the problem is developing, not afterwards, when the mess has been made. Just as a courtesy--like "I can't make our lunch date." Instead of leaving the person sitting in the restaurant for an hour, wondering WTF happened to you. This is no different: making someone have to wonder "WTF happened to my book?" is no less discourteous.

The purpose of courtesy is to oil the gears of human interaction. Nothing more, nothing less.

Is there anything about courtesy in the Help Docs? Even if there is, I think it should be more emphasized--like not under any one specific heading, but at the top somewhere. Something about being courteous to each other, and then specifically about sending a PM whenever you think the other person might want/need to know something--about the timing of an event, about a book, about a potential misunderstanding, about... anything. Better said than regretted *not* said, is my rule. I don't know--what do you guys think?

As for these people who don't tell the requester that they're delayed in mailing a book out... obviously, we cannot fault them for marking it mailed, so as not to lose the transaction; it's a royal pain if you lose the transaction. That's just the way the system is set up. But when it gets to be 3-4 days later, they should be asking themselves, "What would be the courteous thing to do, at this point?" Probably not *consciously*, but at some level.

Sheesh, all they really need to ask is, "What would make me feel less-guilty/less-stressed/less-hounded about this frakking *book* I haven't mailed?" Same answer: write to the person. When you owe something to someone, it's astounding how the clouds lift and the birds sing, after the simple act of writing to them and saying, "I'm sorry it's late. I've been tied up. That's not an excuse, just an explanation. It's coming soon, probably by [ date ]. Best wishes."

--Fiona



Last Edited on: 5/23/09 11:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Probably the senders are trying to evade confrontation.  They may not know that a book mailed after the date it should have been isn't considered an "official" problem.  I would think they are probably embarrassed and hope that the fact that Media Mail can take so long will serve as cover for their lapse.  Of course if the postmark is on the book, it won't.  But it's like some people think - asking for forgiveness is better than asking for permission - especially when they missed an official deadline.  I've had to PM a requester before when my son didn't mail a book as needed on the right day.  It was hard to face doing, but it worked out and I think it would work out for most people.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I got one today that was mailed over a week later (per the metered postage sticker) than the'marked mailed' date also. I got the book and it was in good shape, so I have no real complaint--now, if it had gone lost and another copy had gotten ordered, then yeah--I'd have been ticked. A PM would have been nice, but...oh well. I just filled in the information on the survey and will let the PTB deal with it.

Cheryl

 

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 2:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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Ruth writes: "Probably the senders are trying to evade confrontation."

Hey--this gives me an idea. The Help Docs could have a section called "Generic Letters." They already have one for how you should write to someone who's sent you a book with a problem--which is *also* a situation requiring confrontation. So why not write up a series of little letters, to cover difficult situations that commonly arise in dealing with other swappers? And instead of having them scattered through all different sections, or at least in *addition* to being scattered, they could all be on one page.

These are some sample situations for which you might need a generic letter:
--you've received a book with problems
--follow-ups to that: the person doesn't reply after a suitable interval, the person denies that the problems are there, the person won't give you your credit back, and so on
--you've realized, only after accepting a request, that the book you posted is unpostable (this happened to me)
--you marked a book mailed, planning to get it off immediately, but now it's overdue, and you haven't mailed it yet

I'm sure we could think of others... I know I've run into a few different types of sticky situations.

What do you think?

--Fiona

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 6:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Fiona, I agree.  In the case of the book I received that was mailed AFTER it went lost, a PM would have let me know that she still intended to mail it -- and since it was a WL book, I would have been returned to the front of the line and could have already had another copy on the way to me.  If I received two copies of the book, I wouldn't have had to return a credit to the sender (by marking the book received) at all.

She had already "mailed" the book to me once and PMed me with an excuse when the book went lost and she hadn't mailed it, and she reposted the book to me.  When it went lost the second time I wasn't expecting to get the book at all.

 

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2007
Posts: 765
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Fiona W: >>Ruth writes: "Probably the senders are trying to evade confrontation."
Hey--this gives me an idea. The Help Docs could have a section called "Generic Letters."
<<

Fiona I like that idea!  Though, I don't think TPTB are going to waste time writing generic letters when they can be more productive writing computer language code.

So I have an idea about how we could implement your idea.  Here it is:  I start a topic with the name "Generic Letters".  I post a couple of generic letters along with the name of the person who originated the letter.  AND I supply a link that gives update access to the topic so thay anyone can add generic letters.

When we want to find a generic letter all we do is a forum search (subject only) for "generic".  Voila, this topic should pop right up because there are few subjects that contain the word "generic".  I''m going to try it.  If it dies on the vine then so what.  :)

Dan (for Marilyn)

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Personally if I get the book before it goes lost then I don't care when it was actually mailed. Sometimes life happens. 

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Sounds like a good idea, Dan.  I always have trouble writing an acceptably clear but inoffensive letter.

Ruth



Last Edited on: 5/24/09 10:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2009 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 1,741
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Mary, I agree.   I really don't know why people get so bent out of shape on this issue.  True, you SHOULD mail the book when you say you will and if you don't it is only common courtesy to let the reciever know you didn't.  But I rarely even look at the postmark on the books I get.  I have about 700 books on my TBR pile so a book mailed a day or two late is really no big deal to me.  As long as I GET it I'm happy!

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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Mary, I agree.   I really don't know why people get so bent out of shape on this issue. 

Ditto. I never look at the dates. Like Mary said, if I get it before it goes lost - awesome!  I'm happy. I have tons of other stuff to read in the mean time. As I'm sure, most of those kicking up a fuss do too. Life is too short and this Web site is too fun to worry about a postmark.

 

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 3:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Fiona is right on the mark...just send a simple PM and be done with it.  It is nothing less than the old "Golden Rule".  Put yourself in that person's place and drop 'em a line.  It really isn't so hard, and it only takes a few seconds to smooth over a potential problem.  Just common decency, IMHO.       D.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 6:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 108
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I don't even look at the postmark.  If I book being mailed late is the worst problem I have, I'm lucky.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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If I book being mailed late is the worst problem I have, I'm lucky.

Likewise...between the size of my TBR pile and the stack of books I've reserved from the library the last thing I'm going to worry about is how long a book takes to reach me. When I first joined the club I would haunt my mailbox waiting for my books...now I have my entire wishlist on auto request so it is usually a happy surprise when I receive a book. I never check the postmark, I just make sure the book is in postable condition and add it to the pile.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Wow, the OP could have been written by me. I don't mind that the book was mailed late. It  has about a month before it goes lost in the system. What I am peeved about was that I PMed the Sender asking for a status on the book and got NO response back. A courteous, "Sorry, sent out book late, but it's on it's way," would have sufficed. So, yes, I did mark the late postmark in the Comments to PBS.

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