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Topic: Book request never received but sender got credit

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Subject: Book request never received but sender got credit
Date Posted: 10/10/2013 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2012
Posts: 1
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I never received a book I ordered. Because I was out of the country and could not respond to the email from PaperBack within 24 hours, the sender was given credit and I don't have my book... just lost a credit for nothing.  Is that fair?  Has someone else had this problem?  Is there anything I can do?

Date Posted: 10/10/2013 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I'm confused about what email from PBS you're talking about. If you were out of the country did you have your account on vacation hold? If you were gone a long time and you weren't on vacation hold and had a number of books appear to go lost in the mail (because they weren't ever marked received, PBS may have considered your account abandoned.

I'm trying to think of emails that I've gotten from PBS and I can't remember one that only gave me 24 hours to respond--the reminder to mark a book received is an automatic email that's sent out at various times in the process and I don't remember it having a time limit on it. If you ordered a book that was lost in the mail, you get your credit back. The sender is the one who eats the credit loss (unless he/she has purchased DC from the site).

Date Posted: 10/10/2013 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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The only thing that you can do is contact PBS using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.

The only time hat I have ever heard of them marking a book received and taking the credit out of an account is when they think an account has been abandoned. I believe that would be if you haven't logged in within some amount of time and don't have any other account activity going on and your account hasn't been put on vacation hold.

Other than that, books that aren't marked received are marked "lost in the mail" and the receiver keeps their credit.

Date Posted: 10/10/2013 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2009
Posts: 196
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I had that happen on the swapaDVD site.  I am assuming it is the same here.  I sign in here constantly and haven't seen that email, but I don't sign in daily on swapaDVD.  The email said to sign in within 24 hours to verify that I hadn't gotten the DVD, otherwise they will mark it received.  I didn't read the email closely enough at first and they received the DVD for me.  I did recieve the DVD a few days later.  HTH

Date Posted: 10/11/2013 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I've had PBS mark a book received for me while I was on vacation hold.  I was on an extended trip with my WL set to autorequest.  I totally didn't think about someone having to wait on me marking a book received.  When I returned home, I found that PBS had marked at least one book received for me.  I'm glad they did.  It wouldn't be fair to the sender to have to wait on me for credit.  The sender had already waited long enough.

PBS didn't know I would return after 8 weeks.  I had a "duh" moment when I returned home.

Date Posted: 10/11/2013 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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It sounds like you did not tend to your account for at least a month and to be fair to the sender they marked the book received. That email giving you 24hours to log in was likely not the first email in a series they send trying to get you to respond to show you are activily monitoring your account.  If you are going out of the country for more than a week or two, you should put your account on hold and turn your Wish List books to Auto-off. If you leave the auto turned on and will not be logging into your account during the time it takes for a book to be marked lost, you risk this happening. Its not fair to a sender to have a book marked lost and not get their credit just because a requester is not monitoring their account.

From the Help Center:

Help Center - I will be away from my account for a prolonged time; how should I handle this?

Search Terms:   

If you plan to be out of town (or away from email) for longer than five days, you can use the Vacation/Hold feature to put your bookshelf on hold. This feature prevents incoming requests and "hides" any item on your Wish List that has not been set to auto-request, but it will not suspend active transactions (for books already requested by or from you). 

  • Note: Using the Vacation Hold will not affect active (ongoing) requests in your account.

If you will be away for a longer time (longer than 2 or 3 weeks), it would be best if you turned auto-request OFF for your Wish List books - if you will be away from home for a while, it is not really fair to ask senders to send to you and wait a long time for theircredits.    If you are away from your account for a very long time and a Wish List book is auto-requested for you, the system may mark it received in your absence so that the sender gets credit (see more details below*).

Please ensure that your incoming mail can be "held" for you in your absence. Requestors are responsible for providing dependable addresses to senders.

  • If you are moving, you must arrange for your incoming Media Mail to be forwarded (this will not happen automatically, as it does for First-Class Mail).
  • If you are simply to be away from home, and will be returning to the same address, you should speak with your PO about holding your mail.

Other Important Things to Consider

  • If you WANT books to be auto-requested for you from your wish list while you are away, and you will be away longer than three weeks, we suggest one of two things:
  1. use Requestor Conditions that explain this "I am away from home so the system will mark your book received 26 days after you mark it mailed. If you don't want to wait 26 days to get your credit, please decline this request"  (you can read about using Requestor Conditions in How to Use Requestor Conditions  OR
  2. log in periodically while you are away and mark all incoming books received although you have not been home to mark them received.

It is not fair to ask senders to wait a very long time for credit, so if your planned absence will be longer than a month you must do one of the above: (1) put your Wish LIst on hold with NOTHING set to auto-request or (2) use Requestor Conditions as above or (3) log in periodically to mark the books received while you are away, even if you have not been home and even if you do not know if they have arrived.  (Yes, this means you may mark some books received that do not actually arrive, but this is fairer than asking senders to send to you in good faith and then wait an extremely long time for credit while you are away.)

  • If you return from being away, and books were delivered in your absence
    • check your email inbox and your Transaction Archive (linked from your My Account page) to see if the books were declared lost in the Mail while you were away.
  • It is best NOT to request books too close to the date of your "hiatus"--in other words, that will not be likely to arrive before you leave your computer for a prolonged time, so that there are no issues about returned mail, or books marked received by the system in your absence.
    • If you DO request a book and then plan to leave home for a while it would be considerate to tell the sender that there will be a delay in your marking the book received.
      • You can contact the sender(s) of the book(s) using the PM button on the requests you submitted
      • This will prevent the sender(s) from worrying if the books are declared "lost" while you are away.
    • If books were marked received in your absence that were not actually delivered to you:
      • The sender(s) will have gotten credit(s) for sending the book(s) when they were marked received.
      • To contact the sender:
        • Go to your Transaction Archive page under My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site
        • Scroll down to see the completed transaction for the book in question on the Transaction Archive page
        • Click  to send a message to this sender; type the message in and click Send.
          • If the sender does not respond to your message within a week, please let us know
        • The sender can give the credit back following the instructions in How do I give credits to other members? and read A book I sent is lost in the mail! for information about tracking this unreceived book through USPS.
        • You can also do some "detective" work on your end--discuss this package with your postal carrier and local PO.  It may be at your local PO being held for your return.
    • Putting your account on hold for a prolonged period while books are en route to you (or using Auto-request on the Wish List to get Wish List books in your absence) does include a small amount of risk that books will be marked received by the system in your account that were not received.*

If you will be away from PBS for a very long or uncertain period of time, you can also always ask us to suspend your account.


*If during your absence from home you will be away from a computer for a prolonged period of time, and will be unable to log into your account, there is a chance that books that are "en route" to you while you are away will be marked received by the system.  (Note: Using the Vacation Hold will not prevent this from happening; this mechanism is in place to protect the sender from requestors who order books and don't return to mark them received.  Setting a vacation hold does not guarantee that a member will return to the account, so the Vacation Hold does not prevent the system from processing active transactions normally.)

  • If you have not logged in for a while and you have a book en route to you, you should receive an email from PBS asking you to log in to demonstrate that you are still an active member, and if possible, you should do this within the timeframe given in the email.
  • If your account appears "inactive" to the PBS computer, a book that is en route to you will be marked received by the system on the 26th day (the 35th day if sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) after it is marked mailed (it will not be declared Lost).