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Topic: Book I sent was returned to me

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Subject: Book I sent was returned to me
Date Posted: 4/10/2017 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,982
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I put stamps on a book and sent it to a member but got it returned. The reason the PO said it couldn't be forwarded is cannot forward to address. The stamps are correct, that is not the problem.

I sent a message to the requestor and she said that this has happened before and she doesn't know why. She said she doesn't have a new address and after I showed her the address on the wrapper, she said that is her correct address.

What should I do?

 

 

 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/10/2017 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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According to 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 the Transaction 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:

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.
Date Posted: 4/11/2017 2:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,982
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Thanks Cathy! I think I will do this as nothing else really pertains to this situation: 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.

Date Posted: 4/15/2017 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,750
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  I've had same thing happen to me with a member here (also in FL) whom I was regularly corresponding for a while.  One mailing would get there fine, then within a couple weeks the next one would come back 'unknown address'.  I just took it back to the PO and explained the addressee had not moved and I was regularly mailing her things that got there fine.---yep, it was PO mistake and they just sent again and it got through.

Date Posted: 4/18/2017 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,982
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It all worked out after all. I brought the book to a different PO and they couldn't figure out what the problem was as the address was legit. So they sent it out and the member finally received yesterday.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/18/2017 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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Glad it all worked out for you.

Date Posted: 4/18/2017 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,628
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I think this is going to happen to a book I sent - a first in my 8 years of membership.  I checked on the tracking and this is the message posted on usps.com:

Your item was undeliverable as addressed at 12:29 pm on April 17, 2017 in (CITY), (ST) XXXXX. It is being returned if appropriate information is available.

I'll see what happens in the next couple of days before contacting the member.  This was a book that had been on my bookshelf for months, not a WL book I posted that might have been ordered automatically.

Date Posted: 4/23/2017 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,628
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Update to the above situation:  Requestor states has moved and changed her address with PBS, but the address PBS provided me is her old address.  Given all the problems the site is having, have we heard that members are having difficulty making address updates?

Using Contact Us, I sent all the details to PBS and asked them to investigate.  If the member honestly updated (or tried to update) her address, it seems like PBS should provide me with a credit to pay to mail the package a second time.

What a hassle.

Date Posted: 4/23/2017 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 3,022
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Did she say if she moved before or after requesting the book? I haven't heard of address problems from the "upgrade", but if she changed the address after requesting then it'd be her error.

Date Posted: 4/24/2017 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,628
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Happy ending to the above situation:  PBS marked the book received in the requesting member's account because she didn't change her address in the system until after she replied to my PM, which was 10 days after she requested the book.  I doubt the member did this intentionally ... there are so many details to handle when moving.

The response from the PBS Librarian was extremely helpful, thorough and prompt, and quite frankly has restored some of my confidence in this site which had dinimished given all the recent site malfunctions.

ETA:  The USPS forwarded the book to the member's new address so she eventually received it.



Last Edited on: 4/27/17 12:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1