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Topic: Book sent to someone on hold

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Subject: Book sent to someone on hold
Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 541
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I have a question.

I do DC for most books, and one of my books has been delivered as of 4/9, and still hasn't been marked as received.  I checked, and the member is on hold.

What happens if she doesn't come off vacation hold before 5/4 when it would normally go missing?  Does the system take into account that DC says it's been received, or do I lose my credit?

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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First things first: having been marked "delivered" doesn't necessarilyi mean the book has actually been delivered to the Requester.  Personally I find that fact to be a tad ridiculous, but it's the case regardless.  Most often, it seems, (edited, I stand happily corrected) Sometimes, being scanned as "delivered" means simply that the book is at the Post Office responsible for that member's mail.  Now, if you used PBS DC, then once the book was scanned you should have received your credit already; whether or not the member marks the book received.  Mind you, despite having a hold in place, the member can still mark books received, though presumably the member isn't actually home, and so most likely wouldn't be aware if the book had actually arrived or not.  If you used a Delivery Confirmation other than the one provided through PBS, unfortunately you'll have to wait for the member to mark the book received, whether it happens before or after the book is declared lost by the system.  From the Help Doc titled "Can I get Quick/Quaranteed credit if I buy Delivery Confirmation elsewhere (not through PBS)?":

No. Unless your Delivery Confirmation was purchased through the PaperBackSwap system, your books will not be tracked on the map nor will they be awarded QuickCredit or CreditAssurance.

  • Making the system work that way would require additional programming that we have not written
  • The fee for PBS Delivery Confirmation offsets the financial loss we sustain whenever we have to 'invent' credits to give to both sender and requestor when a book is declared lost in the mail (we have to put money into escrow for every credit that is not backed by an actual book, to satisfy our lawyers, accountants, and Uncle Sam).

If you purchase your Delivery Confirmation outside of the PaperBackSwap system, you may have paid more (80 cents at the PO), or less (18 cents for the DC alone), but you have not paid the slight upcharge for the Quick/Guaranteed Credit and tracking services. Delivery Confirmation can be purchased for $0.19 several places on the Internet.  What PBS provides, which justifies the additional $0.27 fee, is the service of mapping your books across the country, receiving 'quick credit', and being indemnified against possible misdelivery or loss of your book.

Last Edited on: 4/26/10 2:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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The book will be considered "lost".  If you used PBS shipping and DC you won't lose your credit.  If you didn't, you will lose your credit.  It's a bummer, but that's the way this site works. 

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's possible that she is still actively on PBS-she may just be on hold to control postage costs.  I'm on hold right now because I want to keep control over the books I'm sending out.  But I have a lot of books on autorequest and I've come off hold a few times to post some WL books.  I also posted some books I haven't read yet to start working their way up FIFO and don't want any of them ordered right now.  But I'm here everyday to mark books received and  mailed.

It's also possible that she's just on vacation and will mark the book received when she comes back. 

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
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Most often, it seems, being scanned as "delivered" means simply that the book is at the Post Office responsible for that member's mail.  - Just want to say that this isn't really "most often", it happens. I don't think it is that high of an occurance since USPS has told POs they are not supposed to do it, we just hear about it more because it causes concerns for the senders who watch that DC closely.

The person does not have to come off of Hold at all. If they get the book, they can mark it received without ever removing their Vacation Hold. Many members do this when they do not want to get requests.


Since it has been quite some time since the Delivery Scan, I would feel comfortable at this point PMing the person and letting them know that it was scanned as delivered and you'd like to confirm whether they have it or not because you want to start the USPS tracking of lost/stolen mail as quickly as possible to improve the likelihood of a carrier remembering what they did the package.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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Actually "Delivered" nowadays means one of two things - delivered
to the addressee or delivered to the wrong person.

There are several scans a local post office does:

* Delivered, April 20, 2010, 12:56 pm, xxx, OH 45040
* Out for Delivery or Available at PO Box, April 20, 2010, 9:10 am, xxx, OH 45040
* Sorting Complete, April 20, 2010, 8:40 am, xxx, OH 45040
* Arrival at Post Office, April 20, 2010, 6:46 am, xxx, OH 45040

the first scan on the list (actually the last one made) is done by the delivery person either
just before he leaves the po or when it is actually delivered (if he has a scanner in his truck)

If the delivery is to a post office box, the "Delivered" scan may never show up if the package
fits into the box - a note that no further action recorded is sometimes added a few days later,
assuming the person picked up their mail.

I have used post office DC ($ .19 using their "Shipping Assistant" software) for many years - in business
and here at PBS. I have experienced very few cases of a local post office "cheating" and
marking a delivery "Delivered" when it was not either on the delivery truck or physically delivered.
There is even a scan if the delivery person has to leave a note for the recipient to pick the
package up at the post office.

I would not assume that the carrier has not delivered the book. Instead I would assume that it was
either misdelivered or the recipient has yet to realize the book is there or hasn't been able
to mark it received at PBS.  

A friendly PM six or seven days after the book was marked as delivered might clear it up - remember
most of us want a book - not a credit refund.


Date Posted: 4/26/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Wayne--I did have a book sent to me with DC on it a week or so ago.  It was marked as "Delivered" by the post office on Saturday, but did not show up at my address until Monday.  So it is still possible for the PO to scan something as delivered a day or so before actually delivering it.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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I also had my Account page show a book as delivered, and it took three days to show up in my mailbox.  Can't presume the member isn't home, because as Mary said, some of us put our account on hold to control postage costs.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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There is also that "Delivered at Unit"  which actually means it arrived at the local post office, not at the address.

I had five books that were all marked delivered in one week last year.  None were actually delivered to me until my regular carrier came back from vacation the next week.  They were just scanned that way by the sub.

Yes.  A high percent of the Delivery scans mean delivered.  But each post office region seems to have their own policies.  And the scans can just be that the book was put on the truck for delivery, not that it arrived.

I'd still send a PM.  And word it as an offer to start the USPS search for the book.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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And if she hasn't logged on for a while, when the time comes for the book to be marked "lost", the system will mark it "received" instead.

I'd suggest sending a note asking for a reply.  If you don't hear back within a week, and the book has been marked lost, you can then go to the Admin  Team.  They'll look into it.  Non PBS DC doesn't count, but the lack of a reply would be strongly in your favor.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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"And if she hasn't logged on for a while, when the time comes for the book to be marked "lost", the system will mark it "received" instead."

If she has her account on vacation hold this is not necessarily true.  The account would have to appear inactive and some people do put their account on hold and go on a 30 day vacation...in this case no the book would not be marked received.  Also, the system does not automatically mark the book "received' you have to go through TPTB.

Date Posted: 4/26/2010 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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The person may be away from home, but still might be able to check e-mail, so sending a PM would be a good idea. Also, even if the book goes lost, it can still be marked recieved when the person returns from vacation