Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Book Returned, Postage Due, Wrong Address...YIKES!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Book Returned, Postage Due, Wrong Address...YIKES!
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

So this is a problem that I have never seen discussed here and I would like some input on how you would handle this:

Book requested 9/11, book mailed 9/11, Book marked received 10/2. No problem, right?

I return from a trip today to discover that I have a package with $4.97 postage due waiting for me at the post office. Baffled, I go to pick it up, only to discover that I have paid $4.97 to get the book back (that had been marked received by requestor) and it had a forwarding address on it, so the member had not used the correct address, then the book was held for a week with notification that it needed to be picked up at the post office (and no, the book was not postage due), so it was unclaimed and the post office returned it to me by first class mail and that's where the postage due comes in!

How would you handle this? What would YOU do?

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Why was the return postage so high?

Have you tried PMing this person?  You got a credit for it when it was marked received and nowyou have the book back as well. But you had to pay $5 to get it back. $5 seems so high-you didn't try to reuse a Priority mailer did you?  It just seems odd that it wouldn't come back 1st class-or was it a heavy book and the return was 1st class?

I would PM the requestor, tell them what happened and ask for a credit to cover the postage. Actually 2 credits would be more sufficient.  If you don't hear from them you could contact PBS.  They won't give you any credits for it but they will look into this persons account.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

Actually, the book and PBS generated wrapper weighed 7.7 oz. The post office told me that there is no return on media mail without an additional fee. This was all generated by the post office. I sent it out media mail, they sent it back first class and charged me $4.97 to do so. The reason I even paid to pick it up was that I couldn't understand which book it could be since all the books sent out had been marked received.

Yes, I have the book back and a credit but that credit has cost me $7.35. I am more annoyed that the member just marked the book received, with no PM  or explanation to me, like "well, I took care of that..." never thinking that the sender, me, was going to have to pay to get the book back. I'm just frustrated by a problem that I did nothing to create, but am on the receiving end of.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,799
Back To Top

The book might have been marked received automatically by PBS.

If the member quit or his account was closed or suspended.

Probably what happened, sounds like he moved and didn't change his PBS account.

If that's the case, I don't think that PBS can really do anything about it.



Last Edited on: 10/28/09 1:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

Actually the member's account is active and they have been a member since last February or March. But I didn't think about PBS marking it received... thanks reminding me of that, because that could be exactly what happened!

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
Back To Top

Well, at least now you can repost the book again and get another credit....although of course you also have to pay for postage again. I have on rare occasions got a postage due notice for someone who just didn't put quite enough stamps on a book and I haven't minded paying a few cents, but I've never had one returned like that with the first class postage charge. What a pain!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

Yup, just have to chalk this one up to "one of those things that happen", I guess. I've sent out over 2100 books during my time here and 99% of those have been hassle-free. When I picked the package up at the PO I knew it was a book I had sent out and if they hadn't been all accounted for I would have just left it without paying for it. I guess I was just intrigued by what book it was and of course, the PO is not going to let me open it up until they got their dough...so my curiousity cost me $4.97 and I have asked the requesting member for a credit. Time to step away from the table...

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

I would have just refused it once I knew what it was, rather than asking the receiver for a credit to cover money I didn't have to spend.  You don't have to accept them when they're returned like that with postage due.  It would become a "dead parcel" and USPS property at that point, but there's no point in paying for it if you don't want it back, and you already got your credit for it.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

The return postage for a 8oz book 1st class should have only been $2.41. I would have complalined to the post office about the charge.

I'm suprised PBS marked it received for you and then left the account open.  If they deemed it inactive enough to mark it received you'd think they'd suspend the account.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Agree with Mary, the postage for a First Class parcel not over 8 oz. should have been $2.41.  You were way overcharged.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
Back To Top

The post office has definitely charged you incorrectly. If the package was stamped Media Mail, and the original weight and postage were correct, then the postage due should have been 2 times the original postage amount. This is because there's a charge for the original forwarding and then a charge to return it to you. All three legs of the journey should have cost $2.38, so your postage due should have been $4.76.

If they wanted to raise the postage rate to First Class at any point, then that rate does include forwarding and return service and there would have been no charge for any leg after the rate was raised. Assuming they did that on the last leg, the postage due would be $2.38 + $2.41 = $4.79; which is still not as much as they charged you. There's no logical way for them to come up with $4.97 and you may be able to talk to them about a partial refund.

I think you should also send in feedback about this if you do not hear back from the requestor within a few days. If she's abandoned her account but left a credit behind, you should be able to get it transferred to your account, and the team should definitely talk to her about her responsibility to use the correct address and to communicate with other members.

You can see if the book was automatically marked received by looking at the details link in your Transaction Archive. If it was done by a site process, the timestamp will be close to 3:00 AM.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

Cathy, thanks so much for your helpful information! I agree that the PO overcharged me, but is it worth going and standing in line (again)? Probably not for me. But as you suggested, I did check to see what time the book was marked received and it was 9:30 AM... so it does seem as though it was not a default by the system.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
Back To Top

You're right, I think most of the PBS "automatic" things happen in the middle of night, the cancellations and rollovers, etc...so if it was marked rec'd at 9:30 am it was likely the requestor who did it. It could be the requestor just thought they were doing a favor marking it received too...knowing they moved and hadn't changed addresses or whatever...they figured, "well, she'll get her credit anyway."  Maybe they didn't realize the book would be sent back to you postage due. This is one of those cases where a PM would have gone a long way to clarifying the situation!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

I just heard from the requestor who is demanding HER credit back because...wait for it... she moved, didn't change her address at PBS, ordered a book and was upset that it arrived postage due (due to the forwarding -- there was correct postage on it originally) AND she was going to have to go to the post office to pick it up,. And yes, I agree, a simple PM would have been all that was required to avoid all this confusion. And yes I have contacted PBS about this request...

Frustrating, yes!!! The end of the world, no! Just one of those speedbumps in life and PBS...

(edited for clarity)



Last Edited on: 10/28/09 7:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/28/2009 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

Resolved -- member will send the $ to my paypal account and I will refund the credit. A happy ending and thanks for all your helpful advice.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,112
Back To Top

I have just had a similar  problem. I had the book returned with addressee unknown with postage do. I had delivery conf. so I got my credit already. The mail carrier did not ask for anymoney when he turned the book.

What is my obligation? I sent her an email asking if she has moved and if she updated her address. Do I have to resend the book. The tracking shows it went to her address that isposted in PBS and returned to me.

 

Alice

 

Date Posted: 1/19/2011 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

It probably would have been better to just start another post. I read the first post and was composing my response in my head when I saw my old post. 

You do not have to send the book back to her unless the address was correct and it was a post office mistake.  Then you should take it the post office, explain that the address is good and ask them to resend it-they should do it for free.  If it was her mistake then you are under no obligation to resend the book unless she gives you another credit to cover the postage.

 

Date Posted: 1/19/2011 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
Back To Top

To the OP, did she refunding the full $7+ dollars you were out? What a mess!



Last Edited on: 1/19/11 7:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,188
Back To Top

Alice - the section of the Help Center docs you want to read is A book I sent was returned to me!

Date Posted: 1/19/2011 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,482
Back To Top

Just when you think you've heard everything. She could have solved this ahead of time by picking up the book at the PO. I have had a book returned to me, because I inverted 2 numbers on the zip code. I repaid the media mail rate at the PO and resent w/ correct address 1st class. My mistake should not be a reason for slow delivery. But your quandary Sally really takes the cake.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 1/19/2011 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,112
Back To Top

Thanks Melanie I read through the help document. I sent her a pm so we will see what she comes back as says.

Alice

Date Posted: 1/20/2011 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Yuppers, the thread is a bit confusing.

Alice, by all means read the guideline link in Melanie's post.  But basically if you mailed to the address provided with adequate postage, your obligations are finished.  If the requester entered an incorrect address or failed to change their address after a move, the error is theirs and again you have no further obligation. 

If the other member doesn't clear this up pronto I would probably notify TPTB so they can contact the other member, and possibly put her account on hold until the address situation is corrected.  This would save other sending members from encountering the same problem.



Last Edited on: 1/20/11 2:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/20/2011 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
Back To Top

Becca, yes, she did refund the entire amount that I spent sending the book and the return cost to me and when I received that I refunded her credit...it was ugly for a while there because she perceived that this was all MY fault but I finally got her to understand that media mail is not forwarded free and this was a mess entirely of her own making. The lesson here? That when you are moving, you MUST update your address with PBS, don't order books shortly before your move and don't count on the PO to forward media mail to you.

Date Posted: 1/20/2011 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

"...and don't count on the PO to forward media mail to you."  Good reminder Sally.  We usually think of the the return postage for Media Mail, but overlook a forwarding charge b/c it's free with first class.