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Topic: Books Mailed After Posted as Having Been Mailed

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Subject: Books Mailed After Posted as Having Been Mailed
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 5:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 29
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Last Edited on: 10/19/09 6:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 1,247
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I am still pretty new here, but this has happened to me several times already. It will be marked mailed and then the postage later shows it wasn't mailed for more than a week to ten days after that. ?

I have one in question right now, not sure how to address or even if I can or should...

Requested on 2/23. Member used PBS shipping on it on 2/24, marked it mailed. But since that date there is no information on this DC. It just says shipping info received (when you originally print postage). Nothing more. I am not even sure this book has SHIPPED. I am hesitant to PM the member and ask them, that seems rude, but it's about to go lost here very soon, they got their credit, but it doesnt appear book ever actually mailed!

Has anyone had that happen?

Last Edited on: 3/13/09 7:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 7:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I've had them mailed 13 days after the supposed mailing date.  I usually note that in the comments section.

Misty, sometimes PBS DC books won't read as being scanned till they hit the city to which they were sent, so just be patient.  If they marked it as mailed on the 24th, there should still be several weeks before it's considered lost by PBS.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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This discussion has come up before. It is my understanding,  Media Mail is processed last and when there is room on the truck.  It is possible for it to "sit  idle".......thus the postage date may not be accurate for the actual movement of the package.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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But Cynthia, if there is a metered postage sticker, that date is the date they brought the book to the post office. Regardless of whether the book sat for 4 days in a media mail bin waiting to move is irrelevant...with the stickers, the date on them is the date they mailed the book, so if they had marked it mailed several days earlier, basically they lied. LOL

I think there are some people who chronically mail late. Be sure to fill out the postage information when you receive the book, IF it is a metered postage sticker and you can clearly see the date mailed. If the person does it too much, they get a warning from the PBS team. Jo, at least your person pm'd you! That is my big criteria as to whether I get miffed or not. And 4 days isn't that long...it's when people mail the book 2-3 weeks later, the book goes lost, and then I get the book showing how late they mailed it without ever PMing to let me know that I get really ticked.

Misty, you could certainly PM the person, but the tracking information isn't really tracking information per se--it's DELIVERY confirmation, which means the USPS isn't obligated to scan until delivery. I have sent books with PBS postage that didn't get scanned for several days after I sent them, even when sent with other books that were scanned the next day. And I've also had books sent to me that were never scanned at all--I got the book and marked it received before any scans showed up in the PBS system.

However, that IS a long time without a scan. You can certainly PM them if you want but I'd be nonchalant and not accusatory--I know if someone sent me a PM that was accusing me of not mailing the book and I had done so, I'd be really PO'd! LOL


Last Edited on: 3/13/09 8:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 1,247
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LOL. Thanks for advice.

I'm not mad or accusatory at all. I dont even mind, I just started getting those emails from PBS asking if I received it and my DH is driving me c-r-a-z-y asking everyday if his book came yet. lol. Men.

That is good to know (sometimes they dont scan).

As far as Media Mail, I can certainly understand how it can sit and sit. I've had a great run lately, books coming across country in 2/3 days which is fantastic to say the least. Others take full month and I know that is just how Media Mail works.

I've watched my own outgoing sit for 4/5 days plus before they move from post office and I always ship same day. I dont mind waiting in the least, this was just my first one where no info showed for all this time and it made me curious. Next time DH asks about his book I am going to direct him to Books a Million or something, he is crazy sometimes. lol.


Date Posted: 3/13/2009 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I recently received a live help question from someone who was very upset because she had been notified that the recipient of her book indicated in the survey that the postmark date was several days after the date she mailed it.  She insisted to me that she mailed it on the day she marked it mailed in the system.  I have no idea if she was being truthful or not, but I don't know why she would have contacted me otherwise.  So, it made me wonder if there is sometimes a lag time between the date you mail a book and the date it actually gets stamped by the post office.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't PM that person. If they put the book in a blue box it could be a long time before it's scanned. Some never get scanned at all. I'd be really ticked off if someone PM'd me just a few days after I mailed a book and asked me why it wasn't scanned. 

Some books with stamps on them never get cancelled out or they don't get stamped by the PO until later down the road.  Especially if they are put into the blue boxes where I think most POS have those picked up and automatically shipped to their main processing center to be sorted.  If you are getting your books before they go lost then chill out.  Fill out the surveys.  If they are chronic late mailer then PBS will send them a nice warning to get their books mailed on time. Also what mail by date are they using?  Some people don't have computer access everyday so they mark a book mailed when they print the label.  But if the mail by date they chose was later then that then they are mailing it when they committed to mailing.

After going without power for 3 days recently-I'm tempted to mark books mailed right away incase it happens again. 

I have a book in my car now that I marked mailed 2 days ago.  It fell out of the bag I had all my books in and so didn't make it into the PO.  I found it in the car yesterday. But today is the actual mail by date I chose.  I did PM the person though.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 158
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Maybe I'm superstitious/stickler, but I will not marked MAILED until I've actually mailed the book.  Even if I am out the door on my way to the post office.  I have this thought in the back of my head - what if I get in a car accident on my way to the post office, therefore delaying the mailing of this book?

On the other hand, someone mailing a book to me did not mark it MAILED until yesterday, even though she sent it out on Monday.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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There are also people here who use unofficial post offices - business mailrooms, campus mailrooms, Mailboxes Etc. They sometimes don't put postage on media rate items and send them on for several DAYS after they get dropped off by the sender, because you don't buy postage at the time you drop them off - you just leave the items on the counter with your credit account number and they basically get to them when they get to them. My campus mailroom has been known to sit on media mail for up to 10 days. AND - they never scan items with DC because they don't have any official USPS equipment so no scanners. Most of my outgoing mail doesn't get scanned until it hits a USPS distribution center. That's why I use PBS postage and DC - because I know how slow my mailroom is and I don't want to wait 20-30 days to get my credits when the books are actually received.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,568
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I wasn't going to complain, but I got a book yesterday that she said she mailed on Feb. 23, but didn't actually mail until March 10.  This has also happened to me MANY times, and yes I know **** happens, but how about send a PM or something to let me know.  I won't care...just don't leave me sitting in the dark. 

And like Sara, I never mark a book mailed unless I actually mailed it. 

Last Edited on: 3/13/09 9:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2006
Posts: 349
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This has happened to me plenty of times too but as long as I get the book then I don't worry about it. I admit that it would be nice to get  a PM from the person letting you know that they marked it mailed but for what ever reason won't actually be able to mail it till what ever day they can or will be mailing it on.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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I always fill out the survey when I receive a book mailed late.  I don't indicate a postmark unless I can clearly read it.  I always note in the Notes section that the package had a meter strip on it or clearly indicated the postmark which was X # of days after it was marked mailed.  That way it's on record that the person mailed late and PBS says it will take action with a pattern of late mailing.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,568
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Same here gingerkitty.  If I'm in doubt, I let it go.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 521
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When I go to the PO, they print out a posage sticker right there on the spot; it has the date right on it.  I never use stamps, so I know, before I leave the PO that my book is ready to go.  I usually mail the next day after I recieve the request, but now when I accept a book, I use the "mail later" option, and give myself about 5 days.  I remember reading a post from Mary L a while back about a power outage- I don't want to get stuck dropping a request because I can't log in and mark it mailed.

Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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And make sure you don't misinterpret the date an APC stamp was purchased as a postmark!

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 123
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DC can be really wacky. I pmed someone because the book seemed to be moving backwards, and coming back for me. The next day she recieved it. So I don't think you can trust DC at all.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 575
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There are also people here who use unofficial post offices - business mailrooms, campus mailrooms, Mailboxes Etc. They sometimes don't put postage on media rate items and send them on for several DAYS after they get dropped off by the sender

This is true. I use the PO most times because they place the meter stamp as I purchase postage and they will scan it for me. I have a Postal Plus store near my home. If I'm in hurry and not heading downtown I'll go there. She weighs the book, writes the amount on the package and sets it aside to do a later time. So the meter strip would not reflect the right date that I mailed the book. If I go after 4:30 it gets places aside till the next day because the post man has already stopped by to pick up that days packages or if it's a weekend it will sit till Monday. So there are times when the meter stamp may be off by a few days.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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I always note in the Notes section that the package had a meter strip on it or clearly indicated the postmark which was X # of days after it was marked mailed.

Just remember to check if the postmark on stamps is the same zip code as the package was sent from. You could be doing the sender a real disservice if you mark the date of the postmark when it wasn't even postmarked until it hit YOUR post office - which could easily be 10 or more days after the sender mailed it. I've received MANY books postmarked the day I got them - postmarked by my post office, not the sender's. Mail is usually postmarked in one of two places - the sender's post office or the receiver's post office - very rarely at any stopover in-between. So if the sender's post office has a habit of NOT postmarking outgoing mail, their account could end up getting dinged for it if people are filling out the survey with the date on a stamped postmark that was created by their OWN home post office. I personally don't even fill out the postmark date on the survey if the package has stamps rather than metered postage - it's inaccurate all too often.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 1,247
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I fill in the amount and all the other fields in survey, but am very careful on the date mailed. Most of the time, I am uncertain, so when uncertain, leave it blank. I don't want someone's account dinged for my error or the post office's error.

I never leave any remarks in field to PBS. I don't know, just never felt like I had anything important enough to say! lol.


Date Posted: 3/13/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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On the subject of when to mark mailed...  My personal habit is that I mark it mailed right before I walk out the door to mail it.  If something then happens to me, car accident (unlikely since the mailbox is 50 feet from my front door), heart attack walking to the box, abduction by aliens, whatever, then the fact that a book is marked mailed but not actually in the box is the least of my problems.  If that upsets someone then, gee, thanks for your concern about whatever might have happened to me.  Here's a credit, stop bothering me, I have bigger problems to worry about.

But that's just me... feel free to do things the way you prefer.  ;)


Date Posted: 3/13/2009 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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I had one arrive the date it was to go missing.  On checking the metered postage slip, it was mailed three weeks after the indicated mailing date.  I did put that info in the comments section when the book was received.  Pat

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I buy PBS postage.  Since I have to rely on family members who might not have the same urgency to get things put in the blue box - I always buy the postage dated several days off just so they will still be "legal".  I personally don't worry about things going lost or late.  I've gotten books from Hawaii (expecting one now) and they are always declared lost before they arrive.  I'm with Bernhard - I'm not going to sweat it - but I do my best to play by the PBS rules.


Date Posted: 3/14/2009 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 36
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I mail everything, including bills, from work.  It usually works perfectly, except for the time I mailed three books, then found them one night in a stack at the front desk 2 days later.  No one knew how they got there or why, but they hadn't gone in the mail.  Crud!  I immediately made sure they got in the mail the next day.  If my book was one of the late ones, my apologies. 

Date Posted: 3/14/2009 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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I'm glad I found this discussion because I am getting ticked off with people marking books mailed & then not mailing them!  I have been swapping books here for a year and have NEVER had a problem until the last month or two.  I had one book declared "Lost" last month - never received it, so I don't know what happened.

Normally I don't even pay attention to mailing dates or how long it takes, because I usually receive the books 5-7 days later, even with media mail. But when it gets to be WEEKS after they supposedly mailed it, yeah, that irks me.  Don't mark it mailed and then not mail it.

I actually did send a PM last week because it was 2 weeks since she mailed it - it doesn't take that long to get from GA to TX.  Anyway, I was very nice (not accusatory) -  just a "Hey, I still haven't received this book & wanted to make sure of the day it was mailed" kind of thing.  Turns out she is in the middle of moving and FORGOT to mail the book.  So in that case, my PM was a good thing or I might never have received it.  In fact I STILL haven't received it, and there's only 4 days left until it's declared "lost".  She said she was going to mail it this week, but I don't know.

I'm also waiting on another book that was mailed on Feb 28th.  I realize there can be all kinds of crazy mail delays, but I've received three books this week, all of which took TWO DAYS each to reach me.  So there's no way this book should be taking two weeks

I understand that some people might take offense to a PM asking where a book is, but what if, like in the case of my book, they forgot?  Then the PM is a reminder to send the book.  Or if they meant to mail it a certain day and didn't get to it for a week, that's FINE with me, but I'd like to know.  I'm not so desperate for a book that I can't wait a few extra days, but knowing that it's going to be late is better than wondering if my mailman is stealing my books.  lol

I also had a RWAP this week - received a book with the same title as one I ordered, but different author & ISBN - totally different book.  Maybe this is God's way of telling me I have too many books and should take a break from PBS.... too many problems lately!  Either I have bad luck or paperbackswap members are getting lazy.  Like other people have said - I don't mark a book mailed until it IS mailed (or the day I will mail it).

Ok, off my soapbox.  lol