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Topic: a change I would like to see here at pbs

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Subject: a change I would like to see here at pbs
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,758
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I think the time people are allowed before sending a book is way too long. I recently had a request where the sender waited 5 days and then at the last day they indicated they would send the book on a date that was 5 more days so that the sender had a total of 10 days to send the book.

I think the first 5 days is plenty of time to mail a book. I know every time this subject comes up there are always dozens of posts from people who have had medical emergencies and other things that caused delays, but I still say 5 days is plenty of time. If you can't send you lose the request and somebody else gets it. It takes long enough for a book to go through the mail without somebody holding the book for 10 days before even mailing it.

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,256
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You forgot, Charles, that they have an additional 2-day 'grace period' so in essence it could be 12 days from the day you order a book until it is finally in the hands of the Post Office.  However, for some people it is difficult to get to the PO to mail a book, but when you're looking forward to receiving it, 12+ days seems like a long time. Pat

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
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My thing I don't like is whne it takes 5 days to accept, then they say they'll mail 5 days later, 7 days later they let it time out. Of course no communication. That gets to me..

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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 I know every time this subject comes up there are always dozens of posts from people who have had medical emergencies and other things that caused delays, but I still say 5 days is plenty of time. If you can't send you lose the request and somebody else gets it. It takes long enough for a book to go through the mail without somebody holding the book for 10 days before even mailing it.

Maybe. But, another way to look at it is: if you need the book more quickly, buy it from another source. PBS is hardly a book monopoly, and I doubt (particularly now) that the site administrators will institute more changes that will serve to make it more difficult for people to participate.

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,758
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ahh. the old tried and true response. if you don't like it here, go somewhere else. I may take you up on that.

Is it a burden for people to take just 5 days to mail a book? That would make it hard for people to participate?



Last Edited on: 4/23/15 12:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,781
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If you can only go to the post office on weekends, then 5 days may not be long enough. If you only get paid every 2 weeks and have to budget for postage, then 5 days may not be long enough. If you are home bound and need to get someone to help you mail books, then 5 days may not be long enough. If you only access the internet at the library, then 5 days may not be long enough. If you have to go on frequent business trips, then 5 days may not be long enough.

IMO, 5 days is enough time for retired folks who are not home bound to mail out books.

There are tons and tons of people who do not have home delivery of mail and no blue box near them, so they have to plan trips to the PO. I live in a large suburb of Los Angeles (so, not in the sticks) and our mail delivery is to centralized mail boxes (that's how the PO does new subdivisions these days) and there is an outgoing mail SLOT (so, won't fit a book no matter how small). I have to drive all my packages to the PO which is 10 miles away. I work full time, and manage children, dinner and sports activities at night.  I also take frequent business trips, so I am not even home for 3 or 4 or 5 days at a time. Each month.

So, no, 5 days is not enough.

Having said that, I almost always mail within 7 days. But I understand all the reasons why not everyone is able to.

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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What Sara said. Have a little empathy.

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,758
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how about a compromise between 5 and 12 days?

I'll try and work on the empathy thing. I do keep a handkerchief with me all the time. It comes in handy when I read about the terrific hardship involved in mailing a book.

BTW I think it is admirable the way you all close ranks and protect pbs and the members from anything that might sound like criticism of the club. I have to admire that combative spirit.

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,384
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If you're tired of the same old responses, why post about the same old subjects?

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,797
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I get what Charles is saying though. It does seem like if this comes up, people on here  are quick to say that the sender had an emergency, weather, it's a weekend, they have kids, it's summer vacation, it's winter vacation, it's Monday, etc but they don't know the sender or where the sender is from. Sure any one of those things could happen but without some communication no one knows. I always think that a bit of communication goes a long way. If someone were (I've never had anyone PM me about any of this, the deadline goes by and I get returned my place in line or it rolls over) to PM and say hey, my kid has been very sick, I'm sick, it rained alot and we have flooding etc, it enables me to feel empathy because I know something happened and then either see if they want to mail it late or not. 

You will always here me say communication is the key...

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,269
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I have a PBS friend who lives over 50 miles from the post office where his PO box is...he makes the trip once a week. I too get irritated when a requested book is not accepted until the 5th day and then they choose the farthest away mailing date...then I think of my friend. It is so easy to think everyone else's circumstances are the same as your own, but they are not. We should be required to take an oath of patience when joining PBS! 

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,797
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Ok so what's wrong with communication before it times out after 12 days? I don't think that has a thing to do with patience. 

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I didn't think we were discussing people who don't bother to send the books they promise to - but those who abide within site guidelines but take a longer time then some recipients would like.

I'm just not all that interested in privileging the needs of somebody who wants a book to arrive three days earlier over somebody with two kids and a difficult work schedule, or a disabled person without a car, or somebody on a fixed income or somebody that has to wait for pay day. As long as the book is sent within the time allotted by PBS, why do they have to bother to message? It's not anyone's business what their specific circumstances are.



Last Edited on: 4/23/15 2:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,797
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I thought he meant timing out? The 5 days to accept the request then the 5 to mail, then Pat reminded him of the extra 2.

 

and Caviglia my posts all mentioned timeouts and communication which is not a bad thing. If you want to guess that everyone has hardships and can't send a pm, I'm good with that. However, I feel a PM doesn't hurt and that's that, especially when the have empathy and patience get thrown out to try and bother someone. Now I will extra clarify, if its within the 12 days then no, don't pm. 

 

No need for anyone to get all out of sorts over it. If someone feels 5 days is too long ok, if someone feels 30 days would be better so what? I never understood the notion of someone irritated me by a question, comment or whatever so I should answer that way.

(and at this point, I said my say, I'll find a happy chat and check out some more games and be on my way. Good luck fellow swappers!)



Last Edited on: 4/23/15 3:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,781
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Yes, I never message about mailing books within the time guidelines. I figure if I've clicked the button, that IS my communication to the other member that I have accepted the order and am planning on mailing the book before the deadline.

What else do they need?

BTW I think it is admirable the way you all close ranks and protect pbs and the members from anything that might sound like criticism of the club. I have to admire that combative spirit.

I'm just explaining why most people like to have more than 5 days. I would say about half my book orders take more than 5 days to mail, so I imagine from that that about half the members need more than 5 days to mail.

When someone mails the next day after I order, sure, that's really nice, but I've learned not to expect that because it mostly doesn't happen.

It's actually got nothing to do with defending the club. PBS has nothing to do with how long most members take to mail besides that they made the rules that put a limit on it.

There's plenty of things that I think PBS could improve, by the way.... and I think that's true for most of the posters to the forums. I don't know of anyone who thinks that everything that PBS does is exactly right. I just happen to feel that the mailing timelines are good, even though I personally don't usually take full advantage of them, since I can usually go at least once a week to the PO, so it's rare that I take more than 7 days.

By the way, when I first joined, I felt more like you that 12 days was a really long time ... until other members educated me about the issues that they face mailing in shorter time periods. I've learned to relax about it ...

It comes in handy when I read about the terrific hardship involved in mailing a book.

I think your sarcasm is kind of unwarranted. If it was a hardship to mail a book, then I wouldn't do it at all, and neither would most other people. However, it's not exactly convenient to do it the same day someone makes an order, either, especially without being able to wrap it up and leave it on the porch for my mailman to take away. I run my weekly errands on Sundays, so I incorporate mailing into Sunday's activities, in between grocery shopping, other errand running, and swim meets. Mailing books is not the most important thing in my life, but I enjoy it, so I make some time for it. But not every day, or "on demand", because I don't have time every day. That's just how it is.



Last Edited on: 4/23/15 3:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 741
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I don't have a problem.  It's not like I'm sitting home pacing the floor waiting for the book so I have something to read.  I have plenty of books.  I can read something else in the meanwhile.  As long as I receive the book, I'm happy.  And you can't rush happy.  Yes, I mail my books as soon as possible (within a couple of days) but I have, on occasion, had to use the full five days.  Should I be punished because I can't get to the PO immediately?  Why?  Because someone demands that they get their book now?  You can always buy it from an online source if you don't want to wait and pay extra for faster shipping.  You're ordering a book not from a retailer, but from a person who has another life - maybe kids, a job, etc., and they're not ebay - it isn't a business.  They might have to wait until 'payday' to mail the book, or have upcoming medical tests that they're concerned with; there are many reasons they might not be able to get the book out immediately, and I, for one, don't think it's necessary past the 'book has been mailed' part.  Have a little patience and be understanding of others.  You have no idea what is going on in their lives. 

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I think the point we're both making is: it's not that it's a terrific hardship, but it's inconvenient. And having a longer time allows more people to participate in book trading. I have plenty of grievances with PBS limiting people's participation. This is a question of a member wanting to limit people's involvement because of their own impatience. That seems unkind to me.



Last Edited on: 4/24/15 1:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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I used to mail everything out next day. I would print the wrapper (with DC only), wrap the book, and either bring it to my office and weigh it on our postal scale or to the PO and weigh it at the APC, then attach the appropriate postage, then put in the outgoing mailbox. Then PBS took away the DC only option. This completely eliminated the APC option for me. Now I have to bring the book to the office, weigh it, then print the label and mail (with PBS postage). And since I'm weighing it at the office, I then have the option of either printing and wrapping on my lunch break--if I take one that day--or bringing everything back home to print, wrap, and mail outside of work hours. I am no longer going to the post office to use the APC, and I am not making a separate trip there just to weigh a book to print PBS postage later. This has stopped me from mailing books on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as I'm not at work those days. So in my case, the changes here at PBS have actually extended my mailing times by at least a day, sometimes up to 4 days (if I get a request on Thursday it generally won't go out until Monday).



Last Edited on: 4/23/15 4:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,673
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Well Charles,

For me , I don't drive because I have a disability .I have to get a ride and I only ask someone once a week. I agree , if you need a book that badly go to the library or order it!   And I don't know any book lover that does not have plenty of other books to read in the mean time.


 



Last Edited on: 4/23/15 6:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/23/2015 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,673
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+1 what sassy25 said  yes

If you're tired of the same old responses, why post about the same old subjects?

 

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,256
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If you want to talk about taking a long time to mail a book, here's one for you.  I ordered 3 books on March 21, 2015. They said they'd mail by March 29, 2015.  The label was printed on March 24, March 27, April 4, April 16 (3 times) and again on April 19, 2015.  I received a PM on April 17, saying they'd been looking for the books and that they'd been mailed on April 16.  If so, why print another label on April 19?  It's now April 23 and I still don't have the books I ordered on March 21.  BTW - they initially said the books were mailed on March 31, 2015.

Date Posted: 4/23/2015 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 42
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>ahh. the old tried and true response. if you don't like it here, go somewhere else. I may take you up on that.

>Is it a burden for people to take just 5 days to mail a book? That would make it hard for people to participate?

Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and your dissatisfaction with the current system.  But others of us are not. When I order a book from PBS (and most of the time, it is a wishlist list being fulfilled), I don't expect it immediately. I never have. I don't know where it is coming from, and if I needed it immediately I would in fact purchase it from a bookstore or online with expedited delivery. That's the deal, that's life, that's the system.

As a swapper, mailing the book out is frankly not my top priority most days.  It isn't even in the top 10.  If I had to mail my book out immediately, I wouldn't participate.  No, I have no medical emergencies...I just have other stuff to do (stuff I get paid for, stuff involving my family or friends, stuff that distracts me from remembering to drop the book by the post office...it really doesn't matter).  I know I have to get it out by the date I've committed to do so, and I usually but not always make that date. Sometimes I ask someone else in my household to mail it out, but I have found it is a much lower priority for them so it is best if I try to do it.  I sometimes go several days between logging in, so I'm unaware of a request until towards the end of the time period. 

Date Posted: 4/24/2015 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,673
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Well said Wreckgirl....

Date Posted: 4/24/2015 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Well, I have in essence done as someone suggested to Charles--go somewhere else. I mostly do, these days. I have a wishlist, but it's small and when the books come, they come. I can't even recall the last time I actually tried to order a book that is available in the system...at least 6 months. After cycling through several requests and it was about 3 1/2 weeks that I finally just cancelled the request and tracked down a used copy from Amazon.

 My problem has always been the 'other way' though...and it is worse now, I think but drives me just as batty. Post a book that is wishlisted....yay, someone WANTS this book! Right? Apparently, not so much. 48 hours later, it rolls to the next person. Same thing. And again. Finally, maybe on the fourth or fifth try, someone has it auto-requested and I can get the book out of here. I will continue to advocate for more being done to disable or 'hold' abandoned accounts. Yes, I do feel all warm and fuzzy about paring down the wishlist, but it's still bloody inconsiderate of people not to keep their lists up to date, or to 'hold' their account if they're going away.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/24/2015 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,269
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Oh Cheryl, thank you for pointing out the other side of the coin! Yes, posting a WL book has become a real test of patience because there are so many abandoned accounts. It is not unusual for a WL book to cycle thru multiple members before being accepted, meanwhile, I have made countless trips to the PO, wishing I could mail the WL book as well.

Not so long ago I had a member take me to task because I didn't mail the book fast enough for her tastes. Of course, that member was totally unaware that I had been wanting to mail that book for 10+ days, while I waited for someone to request the posted WL book. The requester seemed to believe that I was being inconsiderate by waiting to mail the book until I was making a trip to the PO again. As so many people have already said, you have no idea what has occurred on the sending member's end.

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