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Topic: Book STOLEN??? Questionable!

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Subject: Book STOLEN??? Questionable!
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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I recently sent a book to a member and she sent me a PM today informing me that she has recieved an empty package, which I find hard to believe as I sent her book first class and it was well packaged. I am not sure what to do. She also included a long explaination and a link to a USPS site (http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx) to report stolen mail.

I cannot fill out this page because it requires her information as well. It was HER book after she requested it and I mailed it to her, so why should I have to fill out part of this page, not knowing what to put for the rest? Will it even do any good? Has anyone else had this happen?

Any ideas on what to do and how to get my credit?? I am getting real tired of all the bad experiences I've had here.

 

I DO NOT NEED EVERY OTHER COMMENTOR TO POST A COPY OF THE HELP CENTER NOTES. I HAVE READ THEM FIVE TIMES OVER THAT IS ENOUGH THANK YOU.

 

MY MAIN QUESTION NOW IS IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE WHO HAS HAD A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE?

I apologize for being angry/upset that ONE night when I was bombarded with comments that were all the same, and had had the last straw of giving away free books! I apologize for 'starting shit' as it has been put. I will not post anything again unless it's a legetimate question.



Last Edited on: 2/22/08 8:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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We are now able to keep books mailed and received private, for whatever reasons we may have.

 



Last Edited on: 2/21/08 3:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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I would simply follow the guidelines posted in the Help Center...there is nothing else you can do. 

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  

  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book.

    • The form is titled "mail Theft"; this does not mean that you can use it only if you think the book was stolen.  "Received without contents" is an option on the page.
    • The choice to make under "Class" on the form if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post".

 

No matter how much you want to talk bad about the person you are having problems with it is improper to name them or link to their profile in your forum posting....that could be taken as slander.

Sorry you are having problems but, it seems that bad swaps come in groups...I had several in a row and then the next 15 since then have not had any glitches at all.  Hope things turn around for you too.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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You may want to remove the link to the person's profile.  It's one thing to discuss a problem but it's another to call out the person on a public forum.  That's just not fair.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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Last Edited on: 2/22/08 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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Getting angry will not help solve the problem.  If you can, I would suggest you start sending books with PBS printable postage and DC.  You get your credit automatically that way.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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As stated in the Help Center it is the Sender's responsibility to report the book "stolen".  The book is still technically the property of the sender until the person requesting the book has taken possession of it...I know that is the pits.

"The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to Link  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book."

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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I would definitely be using the PBS system if I were rich enough to afford a printer! As it is, it costs me a good chunk of my monthly check to just mail books out and then not get credits for them.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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Last Edited on: 2/22/08 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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Just shoot off a simple PM to the person for that info.  It sounds like this person is willing to work with you, so take advantage of it.  BTW, I don't have a working printer at the moment either, but I can print at work.  Maybe you could do the same?  Like I said, just a suggestion.  I can see that you're really angry but unfortunately not every swap is a good one.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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I am only angry because half of the last 20 or so books I have sent I have not gotten credits for and I am not rich enough to afford giving away free books and eating the shipping costs.

I live alone and am disabled and cannot print anything at all at the moment, sorry.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Why are you not getting credit for your books?  If your having that much of a problem then maybe you need to relook at the books you post and make sure they are postable.  If your chronically having books go lost or getting damaged enroute then you need to make a complaint to the post office.

Even if she didn't reveal anything in her profile, it shouldn't have been posted. 

PM her and ask for the information.  If she doesn't want to give it to you, ask her nicely to fill the form out herself and file the claim.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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There has been at least one report that I can recall of an entire box arriving empty, so I guess it's possible that the book could have been removed from the packaging.  Did the receiving member state whether the packaging looked tampered with?  If it was a new mailing envelope, it should be obvious if it was cut open and re-taped.  If you were reusing one (as I do frequently), it'll probably be nearly impossible to tell. 

How many bad experiences have you had?  I've had one book I sent go MIA and one I was supposed to be getting also never arrived.  I've been a member since late August 2007.  One thread about this subject had a number of members from 2005 and 2006 who have never had any problems.  Guess they are luckier than others!

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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Your profile says you' ve mailed 50 books, and you say that you haven't received credit for "half of the last 20 or so books I have sent."  That's about 20%, and I would think that 20% is an extremely high number of problem transactions.  Is there some underlying problem you're not mentioning here?  I've mailed 266 books and have only had one book "lost," so perhaps I'm just being a Polyana by thinking 20% sounds odd.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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OKAY, then do you people even look at the link before telling me to go fill it out??? I can't fill in information such as the reciever's email, phone number, how the package was recieved, ect.! I can't enter a complaint to them if I don't have any information!

I've used the form a few times.  It isn't as difficult as you are making it out to be.

The reciever's email, phone number,  and method of recieving mail are not required fields, shoot, even the name and address are not required, though the more information you can provide the better.  And it isn't particularly needed here, as the main purpose is to try to locate the loose contents of the package.   Knowing the sender's address and the state it was being sent to is enough to identify which distribution centers need to be told to check for the item.

You do presumably have your (the sender/complainants) name, address, phone number and email, right?  Even without PMing the other party, PBS will tell you the state it was being sent to.  You know the title and binding of the book that is missing from the package.  If it is a case of the packaging falling apart during processing, USPS may well be able to find the book based on that alone - items found loose in the mail system are eventually sent to one of three centralized mail recovery centers where they are cataloged and held for some time; eventually being auctioned off if not claimed.  The more common the title, the more likely some copy of it will be found  (there really is just an amazing number of items that go through those places)

http://www.auctionzip.com/GA-Auctioneers/1510.html

While reporting it may not get the book back, not reporting it will certainly not get the book back.

 

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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There has been at least one report that I can recall of an entire box arriving empty, so I guess it's possible that the book could have been removed from the packaging

That has happened to me on a BOB trade.  The box even appeared to be sealed at first glance - though the postage was USPS counter generated and correct for several pounds.   A closer look showed that the bottom of the box was only taped once, centered on the seam, and the tape had not been strong enough to hold the flaps - another piece going around the package the other way would have prevented that. 

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I got an empty manila envelope with a hole in it.  If the book is able to slide around in manila envelopes it begins to wear through the place where it rubs agains and can then slip out. 

I am not sure what sort of packaging was used, but always be sure books are SNUG in whatever you happen to mail them in.  If they can wiggle, they can wear a hole during all the processing they go through and escape through a hole.

I was curious about the 20 problem books.  Did people just not mark them received?

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,184
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Sorry you are having such problems here Kris, I think out of over 100 books sent I have had 2 or 3 go lost, all sent first class with no DC. Unfortunately with how automated the USPS has had to become, the machines tear things open and contents get lost more often than we'd like. With ten of thousands of pieces of mail going through a machine, matching a lone book to the package it came out of isn't going to happen until someone reports it lost.

It sounds like the sender did exactly as the help instructed, contact you and let you know so you can proceed to find the book. Hopefully once you get the info in, the book will be found quickly and you will get your credit. I know its not fair that you are out a book and didn't get a credit, but it also wouldn't be fair to her  to take a credit away for a book she never got. Think about how you would feel in her shoes if you received an empty wrapper and were told you had to mark it rec'd and lose a credit. And if you really thought about it, you'd probably believe she does have an empty wrapper. If she really wanted to get a book and credit, why would she even say she got an empty wrapper? Since no DC was used, there'd be no way to prove she got anything. The PO probably tags the package and keeps track of things delivered without the contents so they aren't getting blamed for stuff missing when it really isn't.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,786
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My understanding of lost and/or empty packages is that the receiver needs to file the complaint with their own post office with all the pertinant info. 

But besides that, you've got to start using at least the DC part of the PBS label.  It is very cheap for a guarantee of your credit, which you are obviously having problems receiving.

What are the reasons for not receiving your credit?  Are they all because of empty packages?  If so, start packaging them differently than you are now.  Maybe because you are not using the printed label from PBS, you are miswriting the address or not completeing the address of the receiver?  Or maybe it is illegible? In that case, if the package is marked media mail, the PO does not have to return the package back to you for a better address..  They can/will destroy it.  Also, If your packages do not have enough postage on them, the PO does not have to return them to you.  So you might want to make sure they have the correct postage and are mark media mail or first class. 

Of course, these are my suggestions, but I dont feel we have the story about your individual case. 

We are always here to help when you have any questions and also the help center has packaging instructions that are wonderful for mmpk wrapping.

ETA: make sure you have your return address on the packages.

 



Last Edited on: 2/21/08 6:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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Just to clarify: I sent her the book. She requested it. I haven't received a credit because she is not marking the book as received. I sent the very well packaged envelope first class, which not only makes it odd that it would be so badly treated and torn open, but that it took so long to get there in the first place.

I have sent over 10 books in the past 2 weeks (not all on this site, I am on other bookswaps also) and 2 or 3 have not marked them received in several weeks since I sent them, another 2 were not satisfied with their books, and another one besides this incident claims they never got the book at all. I have been screwed over most of my life by trading all kinds of items, and I am just about to lose my mind from it all, so maybe taking a break from all this would be a good idea.

As for the credit issue, I was recently told that PBS should be refunding credits because they are making money on this site by us buying credits from them, and if we were to end up in just this situation, each of us in this trade should get our credits. I think it's only fair.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2005
Posts: 79
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TO ADD: I am tired of everyone telling me to "Just use the PBS labels!" or "Use the DC part of the labels!" I DO NOT HAVE ANY WAY OF BUYING POSTAGE ONLINE NOR PRINTING IT OUT. Thank you.

 

*sigh* I will explain again.

I live alone at home with just a computer. No credit or debit card, so no way of buying shipping online. No printer, either. However, I DO know how to read, and I DO know how to write, and I have sent at least 3 letters to pen pals each week for years and all have been received fine. I am not a sloppy writer. I might miss putting a return addy label on at rare times, but I almost always remember. My mother mails packages for me AT THE P.O. each weekend. There is no chance that they could have innacurate SH cost unless the USPS worker messed up. I have sent most all of my packages first class, so there is no reason it should take weeks to arrive inside the continental U.S.

Anything else I can explain?



Last Edited on: 2/21/08 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,647
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The money that PBS makes from us buying credits covers the cost of a used book plus postage.  It's not profit.  They make a small profit from delivery confirmation, merchandise sales, and the .50 transaction fee in the kiosk.  Those costs cover the cost of running the site.  When you use DC, you do get the added benefit of having your book "insured".

I know you said money is an issue, but if you get the chance, you may want to consider getting a cheap printer.  I've seen them for $20.  Just get one that only needs black ink because that's cheaper.  I can't afford to do printable postage because of the extra fees, but sometimes I use the PBS-DC, just in case.

Aside from that, I would just try using extra packing tape and making sure that you are using thick paper or double sheets, and if you continue to have problems, talk to someone at the PO next time you go in to mail packages.  That sounds like an awful lot of missing mail.

Edited to add, I don't think the requester of your missing book is supposed to mark the book received if she only received a wrapper, even if it was lost by the PO.



Last Edited on: 2/21/08 7:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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Just to clarify: I sent her the book. She requested it. I haven't received a credit because she is not marking the book as received.

She is under no obligation to mark the book received - because she did not get the book! She received an empty envelope.

From the help center ~

I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  

If you have not marked the book received yet, do not do so.  You will continue to get the usual auto-emails from PBS asking if the book has arrived; open and read them, and follow any instructions within. 

If the book hasn't arrived by the 26th day after it was marked mailed, then PBS will declare it lost in the Mail and you will get your credit back.  If the book does arrive after that, you should mark it received from your Transaction Archive.  

As for the credit issue, I was recently told that PBS should be refunding credits because they are making money on this site by us buying credits from them

This is not true. For every credit that is sold, PBS needs to back that up w/ a book. Which they need to go out and purchase.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,647
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This is why she is not marking the book received (from the help section):

I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  

  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book.

    • The form is titled "mail Theft"; this does not mean that you can use it only if you think the book was stolen.  "Received without contents" is an option on the page.
    • The choice to make under "Class" on the form if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post".
  • If you think that the Wrapping method may have contributed to the loss of the book, please do give (gentle) feedback to the sender; you can refer to All Help documents about bookwrapping if you like. 

  • If you have marked the book received by mistake (or if the system marked the book received for you while you were absent from PBS), you can also discuss this with the sender, who got credit when that happened. See How do I contact another member? for instructions on how to contact a sender from the transaction in your Transaction Archive.

If you have not marked the book received yet, do not do so.  You will continue to get the usual auto-emails from PBS asking if the book has arrived; open and read them, and follow any instructions within. 

If the book hasn't arrived by the 26th day after it was marked mailed, then PBS will declare it lost in the Mail and you will get your credit back.  If the book does arrive after that, you should mark it received from your Transaction Archive.  

 

So it sounds like she is just following the PBS protocol.......

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2007
Posts: 127
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Two things:  1)  If the package was damaged by USPS it should have had a damaged stamp and inserted into larger envelope   2)  I personally, would not have accepted such a package(thats if I saw the carrier).  Someone needs to speak with the carrier or definitely take to PO and ask why no damaged was noted.  Doing this should determine if package was damaged or if book was stolen after delivery.

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