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Topic: book not marked received, PM apparently ignored

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Subject: book not marked received, PM apparently ignored
Date Posted: 7/11/2017 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,437
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I mailed a WL book on 26 June.  The address was a PO Box. The tracking info shows it arrived at the PO for pickup on 1 July. On 8July I sent te following PM:


According to USPS tracking this book was 'available for pick up' on July 1 at 9:04 am.

If you have it, please mark it received. If you haven't picked it up yet, then please do so and mark it received.

If there's a problem with picking it up or with marking it received or if it is somehow not available now for pick up from your PO box or from the post office where the box is, please let me know by return PM within 5 days. If the PO no longer has it for your box, I can put a tracer on it from my end at the PO where I mailed it.

I know we're all busy and life gets in the way, but this appears to be a WL book and it would be unfortunate to miss it.

Thank you/Marya"


The PM is marked unread although perhaps it might have been forwarded to email and read there, I've no way to know.

Any suggestions as to what I can do next to get this book marked received? I know the 5 days limit I put in the PM hasn't passed, but when it does, I'm not sure how to proceed.


Date Posted: 7/11/2017 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 11,526
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You can't do anything. The system has to work in this case. There may be a reason why she hasn't read your pm (Sick, a death in the family, vacation, etc) However, you can contact PBS and see what they say.

Date Posted: 7/11/2017 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,127
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You are probably going to have to wait until the PBS mailing period expires. They have a mailing period for a reason and they say not to contact them before it expires.

PBS won't do anything before that, and honestly, the people could be on vacation or whatever, it is that time of year. Even two weks could be a vacation period.

If the mailing period expires and the book "goes lost"  without the book being marked received, then definitely contact PBS to see if you can get your credit. 

Generally, PBS does say that people should respond to other people's PMs within 5 days, however, there is also the mailing period at work here and I think that you just need to let the mailing period play out first. 

Last Edited on: 7/11/17 5:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/11/2017 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,672
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I think a big problem with PO Boxes is that a lot are too small for books and they get a notice. My post office has very short hours so it makes it hard to get there if you are working.

Not knowing what is going on in someone else's life, I err on the side of giving them the benefit of the doubt. 

PBS sends reminder emails as well. If the account is inactive, PBS will mark it received. 


Date Posted: 7/11/2017 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,396
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Also - according to the postal people I know, people who have postal boxes quite often don't check their boxes regularly sometimes it's 2 or 3 weeks between checks.

Date Posted: 7/11/2017 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,572
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 - according to the postal people I know, people who have postal boxes quite often don't check their boxes regularly sometimes it's 2 or 3 weeks between checks.

Okay this is OT, but it's the exact opposite for my DH who has a PO box; he will go to his box every day. In fact on Saturdays he gets ready and showers just in time to there by 11 so he can see if he has any mail. BTW it's his office mailing but everything is electronic any more  so he may get a dozen letters a month, at most, lol.

Date Posted: 7/11/2017 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,437
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The account s active, not on hold, which would indicate vacations. I also had PM contact with this member as I offered the sequel book to the one ordered and did receive a reply a day or two before mailing the book. The member has a profile but does not participate in forms so it's impossible to check the last forum post, the WL shows books were added recently.

I would be happier with a response to my PM. I didn't use PBS postage so if this member chooses not to mark it received, he/she might get the credit returned if it's marked lost in the mail, but I lose a credit. This is a classic example of why so many of us [refer a huge friend list so that we might post WL books to friends---better chance of having books marked received in a timely fashion.

Date Posted: 7/11/2017 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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I think the key is that she hasn't responded to the PM (or read it).  That will work in your favor if it goes lost.  I recently had a credit returned to me (as the sender) for that exact reason.  I sent a messages to the powers that be with the tracking number showing it delivered... they could see that she hadn't read message and *poof* I had my credit back.

Date Posted: 7/12/2017 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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The Help Center doc is very helpful on what to do when in this instance.  You should contact PBS to look at the transaction. If you used PBS postage, you can send in Feedback if they haven't responded to your PM in 3 days (since you gave them 5, I'd wait 5), if you didn't use PBS, then as soon as the book is marked lost in the system, send in Feedback if the receiver still doesn't answer.

ETA (generally I have seen the credit given to a sender with a good record and a delivery scan when there is a receiver that is not answering PMs) 


If a book you sent hasn't been marked received yet...

A book sent to an active member at PBS will not earn credit until the requestor marks it received, unless PBS Printable Postage has been used to send the book. The average time in transit at PBS is 9 days, which includes books mailed to or from addresses outside the contiguous U.S. 

If your book has been longer than 2 weeks in transit, and has not been marked received:

  • Remember that the requestor may be away from home and unaware if the book has arrived. 

    • If this is the case, he or she can mark it received when he or she returns home. 

      • If the book transaction is still active, he or she can mark it received from the En Route to Me tab in My Account.
      • If the book has been declared lost in the mail, it can be marked received from the requestor's Transaction Archive.
    • A book sent to an inactive account (one which the system has deemed inactive because the accountholder is not logging in, despite emails notifying him or her that this is needed) will be marked received by the system.
  • If you want to discuss the book, you can contact the requestor using the  button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account. If the book has been declared Lost in the Mail, the transaction can be found in your Transaction Archive, linked from the top of your My Account main page.

    • If you sent the book with PBS Printed Postage and the member does not respond to your PM within 3 days (or the book is declared 'lost' by the system), contact us and let us know.
    • If you sent the book with other tracking (not PBS Printable Postage) you need to wait until the book is declared 'lost' by the system to ask us to check into it.
      • If your book is declared 'lost' by the system and the sender has not responded to your PM within 3 days, please contact us and let us know.
    • Be sure your PM to the requestor specifies the title of the book.

If you sent the book with Printed Postage and it has been recorded as delivered by USPS but hasn't been marked received yet:

  • Remember that the book could have been scanned as "delivered" at the local PO, before it went to the requestor's mailbox--the actual delivery can be a few days later  Also, the book could have been misdelivered.
    • The requestor should check with her mail carrier about this package.
    • The package could also be at her local PO being held for pickup; sometimes pickup notices left by the mail carrier go astray.
  • You should FIRST contact the requestor using the  button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account when a few days have passed after delivery.
    • If the requestor does not respond to your PM within a week, or has not marked the book received by a week after the delivery scan (whichever is the later date), contact us.  We will look into it.
    • If the requestor responds and says she or he DID get the book, she or he can mark the book received one of two ways:
      • if the book has NOT been declared lost in the mail at PBS - from his or her active transactions (on the En Route to Me tab on My Account) as described in .
      • if the book HAS been declared lost in the mail at PBS - from his or her Transaction Archive (linked from the top of the My Account page)  as described in I received a book that was 'lost in the mail'.
  • If you used PBS Printed Postage and your account is eligible for Instant Credit, you will already have gotten your credit for sending the book.

If you sent the book with printed postage/tracking purchased elsewhere and it has been recorded as delivered by USPS but hasn't been marked received yet:

  • First, contact the requestor from the active transaction (in the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account), or from the "lost" transaction in your Transaction Archive if the book has been declared Lost in the Mail by PBS.
  • If the requestor does not respond to your PM within five days, contact us and we will look into it.
  • We cannot grant credit for postage or tracking purchased outside PBS, but we can check if this requestor has become inactive.
  • If this requestor is inactive, your book should be marked received by the system.

If your book does not arrive by the 26th day (the 35th day if the sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) 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.  You can read more about Lost books in A book I sent is lost in the mail!.



Last Edited on: 7/12/17 12:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/12/2017 7:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Unfortunately, I have had this happen far too often. You can't do anything until the book goes lost. If at that point PBS does not mark the book received, contact them, including the tracking info and stating that you did not receive a reply to your PM and they will investigate. They have consistently released the credit to me, if it wasn't automatically released when the book goes lost. This has been my biggest complaint about PBS lately...having to chase down my credit. I know how frustrating it is!

Date Posted: 7/15/2017 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,072
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I know a lot of PO users who only check the box once per week (our PO is out in a little country village, a crossroads really,  8 miles from our housing development in opposite direction of the cities where eveyone works and shops so I understand why the locals here who use a PO box don't get to it that often).  If you consider that plus the 'notice' factor of having to wait til counter is open to pick up a package that doesn't fit in the tiny box, it adds a lot of days to the day we expect someone to mark a book received.

Then you have the issue if someone doesn't have a computer at home and uses the library once a week to check in (as I have been told here by several PBS friends)-- it won't be immediately known that there is an issue you are asking them to address.

Sorry this happened to you, but sounds like this is one of those odd circumstances where we just have to be patient.

Date Posted: 7/15/2017 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 821
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Does it really exist where people have no smart cell phone, no internet and no mail service. Guess it is possible but very hard to imagine. Third world countries do better than that. Perhaps we have sunk to that level. Very sad.

Why would you get an inconvenient PO Box ? Is mail delivery unavailable? Unimaginable that mail can not be delivered?

Last Edited on: 7/15/17 6:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/15/2017 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,437
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There are towns in my area where mail is no longer delivered. People have a box in a community center, store, etc. Most towns of this nature have 500 or fewer people. The USPS has been closing down POs all around here. Looks at the moment as the one in my town is one of only 2 left in the county. As the county seat and with 6000 or so residents, the local PO will likely be the last in the area to close.

The town I sent the book too is also small, a little over 2000 residents so it could be they only have PO boxes now.

Fortunately, the book has finally been marked received, perhaps as a result of the PM as it, too, finally got read.

Date Posted: 7/18/2017 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2010
Posts: 16
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Where I grew up (and my parents still live) there is extremely limited internet (very slow, almost worthless dial-up, basically). And no cell phone service, so they don't have smartphones because there's not much point. The joys of living in the country!

But there is mail delivery! Until winter, when the snow plow usually takes out the mailbox once or twice a season. :)

Ms K. (MsK) -
Date Posted: 7/23/2017 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2005
Posts: 127
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About 10 years ago, I lived in a small town with a post office lobby that was open 24/7. It was next to the police station, so reasonably safe.

You could get to your mailbox, but books and packages needed to be picked up during regular hours.

In this town, if you lived in town, you were given a po box for free and your mail was delivered there, not to your home.... ever. UPS et al would deliver to your doorstep, but not USPS.  But it made sense there.

I would have gotten a box anyway, since I'd had books stolen from my apartment mailbox.  Carrier would leave packages on top of the unit mailboxes instead of in front of apartment doors (which was what he was supposed to do at that time).