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Topic: Book returned, marked "unable to forward."

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Subject: Book returned, marked "unable to forward."
Date Posted: 1/22/2016 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 277
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I used the PBS postage, so I already got my credit for it. I have also PM'ed the requestor but haven't yet got a reply. This is a wishlisted book There are 43 people waiting for their turn. I know the next person in line is anxious to receive this book. Should I go ahead and put it on my bookshelf for the next requestor? If not, how long should I give the original requestor to answer my PM? And do I need to put new postage on the book and can I require the requestor to give me a credit to cover my additional expense before priniting out more postage?

I think, if a person moves without leaving a forwarding address, then they forfeit their position in line for the book and that it should be made available for the next person.

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,675
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if the book was sent media mail some p o do not forward media mail.

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2010
Posts: 577
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Look up ask the librarian in the help center for an answer to your questions. I think you have the first step done which is to send the member a PM.

I don't think you can forward media mail.



Last Edited on: 1/22/16 2:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/22/2016 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 277
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It was sent media mail rate. 

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 738
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Media mail is not fowarded unless you pay USPS for special forwarding. There is a registration fee and a weekly fee. I paid about $280 this year to have my mail forwarded to my winter address. Many types of mail are excluded in reqular forwarding and will tax season, I did not want to miss any. My guess is it is unlikely the person was even aware of the many exclusions. 

You got your credit, just relist and move on. 

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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It is the responsibility of members here to update their address as soon as possible when moving. Otherwise, what happened in your situation is what's expected to happen. The person may not have even notified the PO that they have moved, or may be they forgot they had a book on the way. When preparing to move, you should put account on vacation hold a few weeks before you leave unless you will have  continuing access to your mail at the old address.

Because you got a credit for mailing with PBS postage even though you got the book back, you are not 'owed' another credit for any reason.  When the next person on the WL orders your book, you will get another credit to compensate you for the new postage you must put on the pkg.

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,399
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I would wait at least one week to hear back from the original requestor.  We have all read posts here about mistakes and unexplained weirdness that happens with the PO sometimes.  What if the original requestor didn't really move and the PO made one of those weird mistakes and sent the book back to you with that message on it?  That wouldn't be the requestor's fault at all and you should be able to get the PO to resend the book without additional fees (you'd have to take it in to the PO to do this.)  Since PBS states that PM's must be answered within 1 week, if you haven't heard back within that amount of time, then I think you are free and clear to do as you please with the book.  But at least wait the week to give the requestor a fair chance to respond.

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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Media Mail is forwarded, if the person has put in a change of address order.  It will be forwarded Postage Due to the recipient at their new address.  This is stated in the Domestic Mail Manual. 

2.2 Forwardable Mail

2.2.1 Classes

Forwarding is available for all classes of mail, subject to the corresponding conditions described in 1.0.

2.2.2 Reforwarding

The address (but not the name) may be changed and the mail reforwarded as many times as necessary to reach the addressee.

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,408
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At this point I imagine the transaction is still open. So if there is no response from the member in 5 days you can contact PBS to intervene and they will attempt to reach them. With no response they would likely close the transaction out for you and you'll be free to repost the book. 

OTOH, if the member does get back to you wanting the book and providing a new address (tell them to contact PBS to update their account) I think they do need to give you a credit to make up for the new postage you have spend to resend it. In this case you could put a new label and new postage on the original package and when they receive it they mark it received as normal in the existing transaction. If for some reason they get back to you but don't want it, then you need to contact PBS to cancel the transaction;  the recipient can't cancel and if they marked it lost in the mail they would erroneously get their credit back as well as going back at position 1 on the WL. I guess they could mark it received, as that would close the transaction, but that wouldn't really be the best course of action since it wasn't received.

Date Posted: 1/22/2016 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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I would contact PBS. The Help might say to wait 5 days for a response, but I do it right away. PBS is quite strict about our needing to update our addresses. There is a chance that there was a mistake in delivery.

PBS can look at the account, look to see the last log in.  They can put the account on Hold until they hear from the member.

PBS is in the lower right corner under Company, then Contact Us, then Send Us Feedback.

Date Posted: 1/23/2016 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 277
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I did talk to the clerk at the PO and he told me that media mail is forwarded, postage due. So there's that.

Also, I will contact PBS, as Emily E. suggested. 

Thank you all for the helpful advice.

Date Posted: 1/23/2016 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,383
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I had something like this happen about a year ago to me. I mailed the book and it was returned saying that the person didn't live at the address. I sent a PM and the person told me that the mailperson always misdeliver mail, so I sent it again and it was returned. After that I just sent a message to PBS and they told me that every member had to have a safe way to receive the books. The person's account was then suspended right after that.



Last Edited on: 1/23/16 7:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2016 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 277
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PBS responded to my PM and have marked the book delivered and told me that I can now put back on my bookshelf, which is what I am going to do, since I have received no response to my PMs to the requestor.

Thank you, to PBS, for responding so promptly to my message.

Date Posted: 1/24/2016 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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Gayle, you gave the other person a chance and no response so I'm really glad PBS gave you a quick fix.

If I sent a book and it was returned to me because of "unable to forward" there's no way I'm paying shipping a second time. They would have to offer to pay the shipping if they wanted me to send it to a new address.  



Last Edited on: 1/24/16 12:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/28/2016 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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As Diane posted, Media Mail is forwarded if you put in a mail forward.  A fee applies to the receiver, to cover the additional postage from your old address to your new address (I've never heard of an annual fee, mine was just individual to the Media Mail pieces I received until all my income mail arrived).  It is the responsibiity of the receiver (per terms of use) to keep our address information current and updated.

Date Posted: 2/3/2016 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,675
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what would have happened if the sender had not used pbs postage. would the sender still get a credit when the book was returned.

Date Posted: 2/3/2016 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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From the Help Center:

A book I sent was returned to me!

The most common causes for a package to be returned to sender:

  • The 13-ounce rule: The package was over 13 ounces and bore only stamps for postage, and you did not mail it by handing it to a USPS employee.
    • This is a USPS regulation if postage stamps are used for postage and the package is over 13 oz in weight.
    • The regulation does not apply to packages sent with printed postage
    • You can remail the package from the PO in this case, without adding new postage to the package.
  • Incorrect Address. Caused by 
    • transcription errors if you hand-wrote the address
    • the requestor mistyping his/her address in his/her account or not updating an old address
    • USPS error
  • Insufficient Postage Caused by 
    • Insufficient postage on the package
      • did you check and adjust the weight on the wrapper settings page before printing? this will ensure that the correct postage and postal rate will print out
      • did you forget to add postage to the package? Don't laugh - this can happen, even to the best swapper! Please read I forgot the postage! for more information about this.
    • Failure to write MediaMail on the package if the PBS Wrapper was not used. 
      • USPS will charge First Class rate if MediaMail is not specified. 
      • The PBS Wrapper will print out with FIRST CLASS for packages weighing 7ounces or less; packages over that weight will print wrappers marked MEDIA MAIL
    • Writing First Class on the package if the PBS Wrapper was not used.
    • Reusing Priority Mail materials (this is not permitted by USPS unless you are paying priority rate!) but applying Media Mail or First Class postage.
    • USPS error.
  • Moved, no forwarding address Caused by
    • The requestor moving before the book arrived (Media Mail is not routinely forwarded, unlike First Class mail!)
    • USPS error.
  • Address illegible Caused by
    • the wrapper tearing and the TO address being lost or obliterated
    • printer ink running because of exposure to the elements
      • to prevent this problem, you can apply a layer of clear shipping tape over the printed address portion of the wrapper.  Remember not to tape over stamps!
    • Poor handwriting (if you hand-wrote the wrapper)
      • to prevent this problem, carefully copy the address information clearly onto the wrapper - or print the wrapper from a printer.

If the book was returned to you through an error on the requestor's part, you can ask him or her for an extra credit (or money for the postage) to re-send the book,

If the book was returned to you through USPS error, you can take it to the PO in the packaging in which it was returned, and explain the situation - that it was returned in error from a current, deliverable address.  They can check the address and if it is correct and the book was returned through USPS error, they can send it again "under cover" from Post Office to Post Office, without requiring more postage.

If the book was returned to you because you forgot postage or the address was illegible, etc:

  • 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 theTransaction Archive).

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:
    • Detailed Instructions on how to do this are in Can I send a book to a friend/alternate address?
    • Basically, you choose this option from the More Options menu on the Book Details page and supply the name/address, then choose postage when printing.
    • This will print new postage and you can use that to remail the book.

If the book HAS been declared Lost in the Mail: you should contact the requestor to find out what happened to cause the book to be returned (if the reason is not clear) and to make sure that the requestor still wants the book (and that the address is correct) before remailing it. You can use the button on the "lost" transaction in your Transaction Archive (linked from the top of your My Account page) to send a message to the requestor.

  • If the requestor no longer wants the book (if he or she has gotten another copy from someone else after yours was declared lost, for example), you should REPOST it to offer it to the rest of the club for swapping.
  •  If you do not get a reply to your PM

    • do not re-mail your book - you should repost it to your Bookshelf if you do not get consent from the requestor to re-mail the book.  If you repost and the new request is from the same member, contact us for help.

  • If you do not receive a reply to your PM within 5 days, contact us for help.

Please note: If the requestor still wants the book, and you re-send it, it may be declared Lost in the Mail before it arrives. 

  • The requestor can mark it received from the Lost transaction in his or her Transaction Archive, and you will get credit.
  • When she or he does this, if he or she notes the postmark, you may get a "late postmark" email - the system can't tell that the late postmark is from RE mailing the book.  Don't worry if you get one of these emails - as long as you do not have a habit of late mailing, one of these emails will not affect your account at all.


Last Edited on: 2/3/16 12:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/3/2016 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Waiting 5 days for a response just gives the sender time to get back to you. It could be something as simple as a USPS mistake. Once its been 5 days since the PM, use the Contact Us link to send in Feedback.