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Topic: Book returned to me - need advice

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Subject: Book returned to me - need advice
Date Posted: 1/24/2019 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2015
Posts: 1,199
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I mailed a WL book on 1/2.  As of last week, when it wasn't marked received, I contacted the member to see if it had arrived.  The member said no, but she wasn't concerned because the date of system action is 1/29th.  I arrived home tonight to find the book on my porch with: "Return to sender, post office box inactive and forwarding has expired for this address" stamped on the box with new postage due of $2.66 (I guess for returning it to me?)

My question is about the PBS system action.  I did the right thing by mailing the book by the deadline.   The receiver should have changed her address in the system or should have contacted me to let me know that her address changed.  Will I be penalized by PBS in any way for "not mailing a book" when I actually did mail it?
If so, how do I avoid this from happening?  
Thanks in advance for your input.



Last Edited on: 1/24/19 5:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2019 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,775
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No you won't be penalized. You're right it was her job to inform PBS about an address change. She didn't even mention it to you so you might ask her to verify that she's not using the PO you sent it to. If she confirms that it is indeed different she can reimburse you for the return cost & also give you a second credit if she still wants the book. You're under no obligation to send it to her if it's her fault. The transaction will have a record of what happened because of your PMs.

If she indicates that her PO address in the system is correct then you can go to your local PO with that PM info and explain & have them resend - you should not have to pay any more that what it originally cost since in that case it was a PO error.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/24/2019 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,199
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There is a help doc on this topic here: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=252

What to do if your book is returned to you:

If the book has NOT been declared Lost in the Mail yet: you should contact the requestor using the button on the active request on your My Account main page, to let him/her know that the book was returned, and to confirm the address. 

  • You should not re-send the book if it is damaged.  If it is damaged, contact us to cancel the transaction.

    • If the book has already been declared Lost in the Mail, you do not need to contact us to cancel.
  • You are not obligated to re-send the book to the requestor if this happened due to a problem with the requestor's address.   If the book was not damaged when it came back to you, and you do not want to re-send the book to the previous requestor, you can simply repost it. 

    • If you do not get a reply message from the requestor within 5 days of your PMcontact us.

To re-send the book:

  • You can reprint the address using the "RePrint Wrapper" button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab on your My Account page.
  • You should use the  button on the transaction, to let the other member know about what happened.
    • Then if the book is declared "lost" by the system before it arrives, the other member knows it is coming and does not re-order it.
    • The requestor can mark the book received when it arrives (if it has been declared "lost" by then it will need to be marked received from the Transaction Archive).

If you mailed with Printable Postage and you need to generate a new wrapper:

  • Since you can't print postage again - it's illegal to use printed postage twice - you need to use the "mail to a friend" option to create a new postage-paid wrapper.
    • If the return was USPS's fault, you can mail "under cover" to the other PO for no additional postage, so you should take the package to your local PO and explain what happened.
  • To generate a new postage-paid wrapper by creating a "mail-to-a-friend" (noncredit) swap for the book:
Date Posted: 1/24/2019 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2015
Posts: 1,199
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Linda and Cathy:  Thank you, both, so much for your information.  It is much appreciated.

Date Posted: 1/25/2019 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,641
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This happened to me a few years ago. I mailed the book and it came back to me stating that the person didn't live at that address. I PM'd the requestor and they told me that it happened all the time and the mail was delivered to an address a few streets away. I took it back to the post office and explained what happened and they delivered it again. About a week later, the book came back to me with the same problem.  I contacted PBS with this information. They closed the person's account until they took care of the problem with the address. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that had the same problem with the person.

Date Posted: 1/25/2019 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 11,730
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Since it is a PO box address, I wonder if the box renewal fee was due the first of the year and hadn't been paid on time OR if PO made a mistake and didn't give the box recipient credit for a payment they made near the end of DEC.

There are multiple things that could have happened that aren't necessarily the requestor's fault.  I have had a few cases since being in PBS where PO didn't deliver package even though the address was correct.  I always got to resend it for free.

PO has this address verification system now where they are supposed to ask you to verify the address on the screen before processing a package.

Date Posted: 1/25/2019 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2015
Posts: 1,199
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I heard from the requestor.  She said she thought she had changed the address, but must have forgotten and didn't think it would be a problem as she received another book a month ago (that was forwarded to her new address by USPS.)  She apologized.  Didn't offer to reimburse for postage....but she did apologize.
She still has not updated her address in the PBS system, because the old PO box address is still showing up as her current address. 

 



Last Edited on: 1/25/19 6:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/25/2019 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,199
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Since this was her fault and you did everything right, she should give you the credit for sending the book anyway. If she doesn't do so, you can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page and ask the PBS admins to intervene. 

Date Posted: 1/25/2019 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 5,123
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Cathy is absolutely right, Renee.  You did everything right.  If you let this go, it will most likely happen again - maybe you are just the final one in a line of swapping errors for this member and this needs to come to the attention of the PBS Team.  If this is a first mistake, then it will just be noted and set aside - no harm done.  For the menbers who feel if you don't complain, it's not a problem, there needs to be a consequence.  Maybe they aren't actively trying to take advantage, but it's so easy to be lazy and selfish - even if they don't see that...

Date Posted: 1/26/2019 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2015
Posts: 1,199
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Thank you.  I just contacted the PBS team to explain the situation.  

Date Posted: 1/26/2019 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,641
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Glad you reported it. The team will probably suspend his/hers account until the address change is taken care of. I was looking, and the post office will forward mail up to a year. I assume since she got a package about a month ago, it was still within the year time frame.

 

Date Posted: 1/26/2019 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 7,694
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Media Mail does not get forwarded. The book that was forwarded might have been sent first class.

The member needs to pay the postage due for the cost of return trip to you. PBS should be able to help get that all sorted out.

Date Posted: 1/26/2019 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 40,031
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PO has this address verification system now where they are supposed to ask you to verify the address on the screen before processing a package.

I was asked the other day and I said that it was the address given to me, other than that how am I supposed to know if it's correct!

Date Posted: 1/26/2019 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2015
Posts: 1,199
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Adrienne, I agree with you!  I did verify the address at the post office when I sent it, but I used the address which was supplied to me by the requestor, which was no longer valid.

Date Posted: 1/26/2019 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 11,730
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For PBS packages, I just make sure what is on the screen at the PO matches exactly what is on the label I placed on the book package.

Sometimes clerk will say something like 'a different town is coming up'. One of my PBS friends lives in a small town in which their mailing address uses the zip code of a larger nearby town so I always have to explain to the clerk-- when they check, I am always shown to be right.

Also, my middle daughter lives in Jamaica Plain area of Boston-- though her mailing address seems to be Boston, 'Jamaica Plain' will pop up on the screen at the PO-- either JP or Boston on a package or envy will get her mail to her.   Who knew?

Pat O. (PatinCO) - ,
Date Posted: 1/26/2019 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,685
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I mail enough books every week that my postal clerks just check it for me, as I can only go by the address submitted by PBS. There's no way for me (or any of us) to know whether the address we're given is correct or not, and as long as it matches with USPS has that's about all we can do.

Date Posted: 2/3/2019 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 40,031
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I copy and paste the address so I know I didn't make an error.

My town doesn't have it's own zipcode.  We are covered by 8 separate post offices depending on where in the township you live.

Date Posted: 2/4/2019 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 481
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You can check the address on the post office's website: https://tools.usps.com/zip-code-lookup.htm?byaddress

Date Posted: 2/5/2019 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2006
Posts: 32,704
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I live in a small city with no post office so my mailing address is the nearest large city but if the city I live in is used in the address, it gets delivered.