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Topic: Completely Baffled

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Subject: Completely Baffled
Date Posted: 2/28/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Something really odd seems to have happened to the very first book I sent out.  It is currently listed in my transactions archive with a "question mark" next to the book.  It was being sent to a military address, so I expected it to take a while, but it seems to have been cancelled, which I don't understand.  This is what it says;


Mailed From: NY
Mailed To: AE

Request Date: 1/31/2009 3:31 PM ET
Date Accepted: 1/31/2009 8:52 PM ET
Wrapper Printing(s):

  • 1/31/2009 8:53 PM ET

Date Mailed: 2/2/2009 4:18 PM ET
Date Canceled: 2/28/2009 3:23 AM ET

I'm not sure how I should proceed.

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The book went lost. At 26 days the system marks a book as lost if it has not been received. This is common with books going to  an Alaska, Hawaii and APO/FPO address.   If you used the PBS DC then you got your credit anyway.  They'll mark the book received when they get it and it doesn't count against you in anyway.

OK you didn't use DC.  You'll get your credit when they mark the book as received. A lot of people use the PBS DC when sending to APO/FPO address so they don't have to wait for their credit. 

Last Edited on: 2/28/09 11:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/28/2009 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Thanks.  I assumed it had gone missing, but (mistakenly, obviously) thought it was at 28 days. 

I really should have used DC, but it was my very first book, and was excited to get it out.  Hopefully it will turn up, particularly as it was a wish list book, so the woman who ordered it may have been waiting a while already.

Also -- I really don't undertsand why people wouldn't want to send to a APO address.  The form is really not a big deal at all, compared to serving in Iraq, for example. If anyone in our military wants my books, they are welcome to them. /soapbox

Last Edited on: 2/28/09 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/28/2009 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Yeah I think some people make it more complicated then it needs to be. THe form is simple to fill out and there's no extra charge for postage. If they're worried about getting the credit faster then the option to use PBS DC is there for a small fee and the piece of mind.  I think the biggest issue is that it has to go to the post office. I think it does anyway.  I don't know if you can fill out the form, attach it and put it in a mail box. 

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I think you do have to go to the actual PO.  I can understand if the person was elderly or disabled in some way, other than that, it really isn't difficult.  I think when people hear "form" they think it's something more complicated than it is.


Date Posted: 2/28/2009 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I have a hard time going to the PO but I do make an exception for the military.  When I'm going to one of many doctor's appointments I try to fit in the trip to the PO for that.  They may have to wait a couple of days extra for it - but I let them know.  And it almost always gets declared lost before it gets there so it's really no big deal for them.  I think it might be worth it for them to have people willing to send to tthem if they have to wait a couple of extra days.  That's the only exception I have for marking a book mailed early but within the time limit if I have to.  I feel badly about that - but i'm not willing to wait the extra long time because I didn't mark it mailed on time.  It is cheating but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  And all of the books I've sent to the military have been received.


Date Posted: 2/28/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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The form is easy to fill out.  I sent something to an APO and the requestor explained exactly what needed to be done.  I went to the PO, got the form, filled it out, and it was attached.  I also sent the book First Class, and it was there in less than a week.   (She explained that it probably would go lost if sent Media Mail,but not to worry). 

I sent one to Hawaii Media Mail , and it did go lost (they ship by boat ) but she did get it after 6 weeks, and I got the credit.

I sent one to the VIrgin Islands, and was going to go First Class, but it was too expensive (too many books), so sent it media thinking it would go lost before it got there, but again it got there media in less than a week.


Date Posted: 2/28/2009 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 130
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Well, let me offer another perspective. I certainly don't mind filling out another form, but I just don't have time to wait in line at the P.O. Usually the wait time is at least 30 minutes, this is because I live in a big city, so there are many more "users" at the P.O., and they are often immigrants, elderly or others (Passports) who need a lot of help. I work from home so all my client docs are mailed Priority or Express using online postage. I've mailed over 550 PBS books.

I just ask that before you judge me or others who might skip over an APO mailing, you walk a mile in my shoes..........certainly don't presume that I don't care about my countrymen in the military.


Date Posted: 2/28/2009 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I live in NYC, so I do understand.  I'm not presuming it's super convenient, just that waiting in line for 30 mins once every few months just doesn't seem to me like that much of a hardship, but everyone's situation is different. 

One of my most prized photographs is of my father when he was in the Navy reading The Story of Philosophy when he was 19 or 20 abord ship.  Both my parents are former military and both are voracious readers. They would have been so ecstatic if something like PBS existed back then.

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I don't want to criticize Elizabeth, and I won't presume to have "walked a mile" in her shoes.  But I have walked many a mile in other shoes.  Combat boots to be precise.  Where the next time you set your foot down it could be on a mine or a booby trap, or take you around a corner where someone will try to kill you.  Been there, done that, got the scars (emotional and physical) to prove it.  If someone back then had taken 30 minutes out of their day to send me a good book I'd still be singing their praises, and I served a quarter of a century ago.  It's all a matter of perspective.

Date Posted: 2/28/2009 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 1,513
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As a military wife with a deployed hubby - I have to fill out the form and do the waiting in line anyway. The form is no big deal, now the waiting in line with 3 kids can be harrowing but such it is. lol. Before Robby left, I bought him a Sony e-reader so he could read all he wanted without having to wait for the mail. It was his christmas, birthday, anniversary, deployment present ;)

But to the topic on hand - I live in Hawaii, I've had 5-6 books go lost since joining. 1 just went lost a couple days ago and I'm not at all worried about it yet. of the others, 1 seems to be perm lost, another made it back to the sender and the others arrived within a day or two of being declared lost. That boat is really slow sometimes lol. And when they go lost, they do show up as "cancelled".

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 2/28/2009 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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I have not had an APO request, and I'd hate to decline, but if I have to go to the post office to mail it, I would most likely have to decline.

I do not drive.  I work regular hours and there is no post office within walking distance of my job (so a lunch hour trip is out and pre and post work the post office is closed).  That leaves Saturday morning.  I still don't drive, and my husband who does drive is not available on Saturday mornings.  I do have friends and family, but I can not count on someone being available on any given Saturday morning.

Unless someone happened to be available to do me a favor on a given Saturday morning then my only option would be to call a taxi.  I'd have to call another taxi after the 30 minute wait in the Saturday morning post office line to take me home.  The cost of two taxis?  More than the cost of purchasing a new paperback book, maybe even more than the cost of a best selling hard cover at the bookstore.  If participating in PBS required taking the books to the post office to send them out, I'd not be able to be a member.

Everyone's circumstances (working hours, local post offices, transportation, etc) are different.  Don't assume that not sending to the military APO addresses is the same thing as not supporting the military or not WANTING to send to a military APO.


Last Edited on: 2/28/09 4:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/28/2009 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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I have no problem mailing to an APO/FPO either but some weeks it's simply not possible for me to get to the PO.  My work hours are the same as the PO's window hours most of the time.  It'd depend on the week the book was requested if I could get there at all.