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Topic: Book to be returned?

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Subject: Book to be returned?
Date Posted: 6/14/2010 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2010
Posts: 134
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I am new here and I apologize if this has been asked before, but I sent out a book with D/C and when I checked to see if it had been delivered it says it's at the post office for pick up (after a failed attempt at delivery) it also says the book will be returned to me in just a few days if it's not picked up.  My question is what do I do at that point if it's returned to me?  I mean I'm now out postage for the book (which i sent first class) and I don't get a credit for sending it because it got sent back to me? 

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I'll take a stab at answering your question, Jaynessa.  If you used PBS DC, then you've already got your credit for the book you sent.  If you didn't use PBS DC, then you'll need to follow the directons from the Help Center below. I've highlighted what I thought might be relevant to your situation:


If the book has already been declared lost in the mail at PBS, you should NOT re-mail it.   You should repost it to your bookshelf and if the previous requestor has not already gotten a copy from someone else, he or she will be offered your copy automatically.

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

  • You cannot 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 PM, contact us.

If the book HAS been declared Lost in the Mail, you should 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 you do not get a reply, do not re-mail the book - you should repost it to your Bookshelf if you do not get a reply.  If you repost and the new request is from the same member, contact us for help.

The most common causes for packages to be returned to sender:

  • 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
    • 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
    • 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.

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 and explain the situation; 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" without requiring more postage.

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.
Date Posted: 6/14/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would PM the requestor and ask if they know what might be going on with the book. I know one time I sent a book out for a game and it said it was being sent back to me when in fact it was delivered just fine.  Also if  it's a postal error they should resend it with no additional charge. I had one returned to me for no reason and they just updated the postage date and resent the book.    If  the sender doesn't respond-then I'd contact PBS.  They might mark the book received for you.  Not sure if they will or not.  They normally don't get involved with individual disputes but they do sometimes.   I know if an account looks inactive they will mark a book received instead of lost.  So they might do that here if the person doesn't respond to your PM.

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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Go to the help docs here,  A book I sent was returned to me!    I'd copy and paste but it's kind of long and clicking the link will take you to the information anyway.

From what I read, you will not lose the credit you have already gotten for the book (provided you used PBS DC).  I'm sorry I'm not a lot of help.  If you're still unsure you might get a better answer in live help or from your tour guide, I just don't want to give you any incorrect information.  Good luck!


Date Posted: 6/14/2010 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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The package probably didn't fit in the mailbox and a notice was left that the post office is holding it for pick up. You may want to PM the requestor to make sure it's picked up.

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2010
Posts: 134
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Yes, the book is currently at the post office awaiting pick up, I PM'd the reciepient but she has not responded.  If the book isn't picked up from the post office in the next few days it will be sent back to me and then I'm out the postage and won't get a credit ( I didn't use PBS DC )  It just stinks that I spent my money to mail the book and now I may not even get credit for mailing it if it's not picked up at the post office.  I guess next time I'll know to use PBS DC and get my credits instantly so I don't loose out again.  I was hoping there was some way to either get my postage back or at least get a credit for sending the book. 

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If she doesn't pick it up and it comes back to you. Contact PBS. They might give the credit to you instead of her if she doesn't respond.  The DC fee quickly adds up to more than the cost of a credit or lost book.  The PBS postage is great for the convenience. But to me using the DC just for credit insurance is a waste of money. DC fees one every book would have cost me a couple hundred dollars.  I've only had 1 book go lost that I sent out of over 500. 

Anyway-it's worth a shot to contact PBS.  But give them a chance to respond.  Not everyone has computer access everyday. 

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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How long has the package shown as being at the post office?  I wouldn't start to worry until the package actually gets returned to you.  The receiver probably got  a notice that she has a package waiting for her and will pick it up as soon as it's convenient.   PBS does teach patience!

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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If she doesn't respond to a PM within a week, and the book is returned to you, I agree with Mary -- contact the PBS Admin Team and send them Feedback.  (You can use the "contact us" link in the help doc Leslie pasted up above, or go down to the bottom right corner of any page and under "company" click "contact us" and use the Feedback option.)


They can look to see if she's become inactive.

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
Posts: 2,102
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Did she have an address or a po box ? They dont deliver to us so all the mail goes to the po box. So it will always say attempted to deliver notice left. If its at the post office and she works she may not be able to get it until Sat. our window closes at 3:45 which is really dumb.

Date Posted: 6/14/2010 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,452
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Maybe the requestor is just on vacation and the mail is being held until he or she returns. I recently had a book with notice left on the 1st and the book was delivered or picked up at the post office on the 12th.