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Topic: Book marked 'lost' just showed up in my mail today

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Subject: Book marked 'lost' just showed up in my mail today
Date Posted: 5/14/2011 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2010
Posts: 2
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Quick question:  A book I had requested didn't show up and the PBS marked it "lost".  It arrived today in my mail.  I noticed that the postage was purchased two days ago, and the sender marked it mailed over a month ago.  I am fairly new at this and unsure how to let PBS know I did recieve it.  Are there any reprocussions for members that mark a book mailed and then don't bother to mail it?

Date Posted: 5/14/2011 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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from  help center

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: 5/14/2011 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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First, you can mark it received from your transaction archive.  Always be careful marking books there.  Double check the sender.  The canceled orders are also there.  In addition, marking a "lost" book will deduct a credit as the credit was returned to you.

Check that another copy was not automatically ordered for you. 

Marking a book from your transaction archive will bring up the standard survey form.  In this case, it is very important to mark the postage date.  That late mailing is not okay.  The sender will have it on their record after you fill in the date on the survey.  They will also be getting a message from PBS.

We are required to get permission from the receiver if we are going to mail a book late.  Sounds like they didn't do that. 


Date Posted: 5/14/2011 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I agree with Emily. Before you mark the book received make sure that the book you received is actually from the first person and they mailed it late, and not from someone else. If the book went lost and another copy was available, the system will automatically order it for you. So, the book may actually be from the next sender in line.

Date Posted: 5/14/2011 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2010
Posts: 2
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Thanks for the help!

Date Posted: 5/14/2011 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Keep in mind, if this book is from the first sender and another copy is already on the way you are not obligated to mark the book received.  This applies if the wrapper clearly indicates the book was mailed more than a week late and the sender did not pm you for permission (counter postage is the best indication).  If it is unclear the book was mailed on time, then you must mark the first book received...which is why PBS guidelines suggest waiting two weeks to re-quest a replacement after a book is declared 'lost'. 

Regardless, if you are sure of the mailing date I'd make sure TPTB are aware of the situation...either use the comment box when logging the book in or 'contact us' option and note the transaction number.

Date Posted: 5/14/2011 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I will use the survey date spot, then put details (counter postage or post mark) in the comment box.  The survey date spot triggers an automatic email if the mailing date is late. 

That said, be extra careful anytime you mark a book received from the transaction archive.  All of the canceled and rolled over orders show up there.  We do not want any abandoned accounts to suddenly have activity.