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Topic: Disappointed by slow service

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Subject: Disappointed by slow service
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 9
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This was pretty much my first request and so far I have been very disappointed and I haven't even gotten my book yet :(    I did a request and even did them and myself of looking at whatelse was on their shelves and ordered a second book.  The request went until the very last minute before being accepted.  They then listed the mail-by date as the last available.  Well I take a look on my shelf and it was past the mailby date.  PBS also gives you a grace period after this of another 2 days.  I PMd the person and was just waiting for the clock to run out so I could get listed for another copy when today it is finally being listed as mailed.  I have not received a PM from the person about the delay and am feeling really grouchy and kinda wishing I hadn't ordered it at all or had canceled my order instead of this long fustration.  Is there anyway to leave a negative feedback about this shipper?  I wouldn't be so mad except they haven't even taken the time to explain the situation.  So my first request and Im feeling really cheated simply by the amount of time its taking to get my book :(

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 98
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If this is your first book I can understand your frustration, but people have many reasons for accepting and mailing when they do. 
Patience is helpful, because people have other things going on in their lives. They may not be near a Post Office so can't mail immediately or can only mail on certain days of the week. The reasons could be many and varied.

This is  a very nice place and the people are friendly and helpful. Try to understand and relax. Your book is on its way. YAY!  Sometimes a request will time out and go to the next posted book and start the time all over again. Just relax , be patient and you will enjoy this site very much.

Welcome to PBS!



Date Posted: 4/6/2009 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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It could be the person you ordered the book from only has access to a computer on certain days, and can only post books on certain days.  Since they did not break any rules on PBS, you need to just relax. Sometimes this happens other times it could be quicker.

And remember please dont PM the member until the book goes lost, media mail can take awhile, you more then likely will not get the book in a few days.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Waiting frustrates me also, but some members can only mail on weekends or other such limitations.  Occassionally these late type transactions are mailed much later than noted.  The only thing to do now is wait until the books arrive.  When you check them in, there is a place to note postage, wrapper used, amount of postage, postmark date , and additional comments. 

I especially like it if the sender used PO postage, as that is a more accurate indicator of actual date mailed.  Apparently stamps can be cancelled anywhere on the journey, but USPS metered postage and PBS postage is only good for the day indicated.  So YES, there is a method to make PBS aware that books are being mailed late, and we hear if the member chronically mails late PBS will take action. 


Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Some people have problems paying for the postage so they hang in until the last minute.

It might seem strange but just to give you an idea last week I spent over $30 in postage.  Some people have to put their accounts on hold because the postage gets to be too much for them to handle..

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 9
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Thanks, I think I wanted to vent alittle.  I understand that real life can interfere but that is part of the reason I would have liked to receive a PM, it would show me that the person is aware and cares.  I think the last straw was me waiting originally for the mail-by date to time out and was irritated to see that it wasn't a real deadline.  I also just know that personally I wouldn't be able to make someone wait without at least explaining.  I have myself sent numerous books (currently have 40 credits) and just know I hold myself responsible for quick shipping of any books requested.  Thanks for telling me about the remarks section for when it arrives.  With the slow priority my books have been given I will be doublechecking the postage date.

Thanks for everyones words of encouragement, if nothing else it has made me feel better by just knowing someone listened to me.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I know that this is very frustrating. Hang in there, at least your book is on the way. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting a week to find out that my request has timed out! UGHH 

With shipping dates, I usually go by any cancellation stamp on the package.  The USPS and PBS postage can be used anytime after purchasing, they do not have to be shipped that day.  I have printed out a USPS shipping label to myself and then mailed it to one of my kids in another state so that they can mail something that they had bought for me (We don't have IKEA or Trader Joes here :(  ). That way they didn't have to pay for the shipping or go to the post office. I also print out book labels at PBS on a Saturday night and not ship until Monday so go by the cancellations tam if there is one on it.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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I feel your frustration.

Recently I had requested a book, it was marked mailed and I never received it.  Now, I could assume it WAS lost in the mail, but considering I sent the member several messages asking about when they actually mailed the book with no response, AND the fact that during that time their account was on hold for some reason - I'm guessing they never mailed my book. 

I do realize that there are a lot of things going on in everyone's lives and mailing a book is not the be-all and end-all of someone's existence, but common courtesy would have had them at least responding to one of my inquiries, right?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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also, keep in mind that having one's account on vacation may mean absolutely nothing in relation to how active the member really is.  Mine currently is on Vacation Hold because I need to not get any offers and I don't want to mail out books right now...now in a couple days I may post a couple wishlist books briefly take my account off hold and then put it back on hold. So, if a member looked at my account because I may wait several days to accept the order and then pick the last mail by date and not mail it til then, and they saw that my account was on hold, it would mean absolutely nothing....

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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After awhile, people develop their own systems.  Experience has taught me not to accept a request until I have double-checked to make sure that something hasn't happened to the book since I posted it.  I always picked the latest day available. Life can just get too hectic to limit myself to only having two days to mail a book out.  Saturdays are pretty much set aside for mailing books now.  So if a person requests a book from me on Saturday evening, it will probably be a week before I get it mailed out.  On the other hand, someone that requests a book from me on Thurday afternoon will think that their book has been mailed out quite quickly. 

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
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I can sure understand the frustration!  I think after you have been a member longer and have built up a backlog of books (as opposed to credits!) you find yourself a lot more patient.

I used to go the post office several times a week so I could mail books fast.... but I just don't have that time anymore.  Like was mentioned above, I have kind of a pattern and depending when the request was that means I will mail fast and others it may seem slow.  What I have noticed is that books sent by me seem to arrive WELL within the suggested time.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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They didn't do anything wrong, for all you know the book had been mailed and they had just forgotten to mark it as such. The system gives them two days to mark it, I don't think that's an unreasonable amount of time, especially since there are people who swap here that do not have internet access every day. What did your PM to them say?
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 9
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Request Date:
3/25/2009 9:41 PM ET
Will Mail By:
4/4/2009 11:00 PM ET 
Label Print Date(s):
4/6/2009 5:58 PM ET
Date Mailed:
4/6/2009 5:58 PM ET 
Estimated Arrival:
5/3/2009 ET 

Hopefully the postage time is shorter than the request to mail out time huh?  And yes I will soon be using my backlog of credits for books so Im sure I will have more to distract and wait for (just making some room on my shelf right now). 

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Had you already been conversing with them via PM? That seems like a strange message if there were none previous to it.
Date Posted: 4/7/2009 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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It's hard sometimes to wait - especially at the first of a membership here.  Did you go to the profile for that member (if there was one)?  There might be information there that explains their system.  Or you might be able to see if they are a new member, too.  That could have something to do with it.  Media Mail(or Maul) can cometimes be a lot faster than we expect - and then there are the times when it goes LOST when it si coming from within your own state. I have to depend on family members to mail my books out at their convenience.  I don't get to choose - so I do pick the latest possible date - and if I can mail it sooner great!

The system is geared so as people progress in their trades any black marks (RWAP),  unresolved disputes, not answering requests, etc.  will get them kicked out of their membership.  Any rating system ( like eBay) would really not help anyone since this is really a more personal and less active type of site.  Many people would be mad for a short while and post a bad rating then when they cooled off or learned the reasons for infractions they'd be sorry they rated that person so low. Someone else might have a great experience with them, and others might just take a gripe for some reason (like an argument on the forums) and post a bad rating out of spite.  The only objective rating is their track record within the rules and guidelines of PBS.  So I'm just as glad we don't rate traders (except on the BOB).


Date Posted: 4/7/2009 2:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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There is no reason for PM's if the time frames are within the PBS guidelines.   Nor does the sender have any obligation to answer your PM asking when she was going to mail the book.  There is NO delay until the PBS guidelines for times runs out.  They build in that much time for good reasons.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 7:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Exactly what Cozi said...why PM someone if they are acting within the guidelines set out by PBS? Even if they choose the last possible date to accept the order and then the last possible date to mail and are using the 2-day "grace period" before marking mailed, that person hasn't done anything at all wrong. It can be frustrating to wait, I agree, and most of the time people do mail faster than that, but there are good reasons that PBS has developed this system of doing things and some people need the extra time. Keep in mind that cancelling an order and then reordering doesn't help in this situation either, since the request would go right back to that same person and then you're waiting again.

Now, if she hadn't marked the books mailed in time and your orders went to the next person in line, THEN you would have something to complain about! Hang in there...you will be addicted to this in no time. :)


Date Posted: 4/7/2009 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 70
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It is kind of frustrating when you first start out because you want to receive your first book as soon as possible. In my opinion, I would say that this is not the norm on this site, at least as far as I've found. Usually people respond right away and books get mailed within a couple days. I don't know if I'm the exception or not, but as soon as I see a request, I immediately accept, print the label out, wrap the book and get it in the mail, but that's me. When  you've already received several books, then you usually don't worry about the process. Books usually take about a week after they're mailed and you're always happy and surprised when you go to your mailbox and there's a book waiting for you.

Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
Date Posted: 4/7/2009 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 432
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I think you just need to be patient and realize that you are trading books with actual people who have lives and other commitments. The connotation of receiving a "service" is more applicable to a business, which PBS definitely is not.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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It is a little strange that the person printed it and mailed it at the same time.  Although not completely unheard of.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,774
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I personally can only ship one day a week if I have to go to the post office. I try to mail from my mailbox when I have PBS money available, but when I don't and have to go to the post office, it's a once a week trip. So if someone orders from me the day after I have gone to the post office, it's going to be another week before I can mark it mailed. I was walking to the campus mailroom almost daily, but they have proven to have such a high loss ratio, I've given up on them for the most part, and with the USPS post office almost 15 miles away, it's not a trip I can make more often.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Jennie- I can do that, print and mark it mailed because the postage tub at my work is just next to my desk so all I need to do is tape the label on and its in the mail tub.  And usually taken to the PO or picked up by the PO within the hour.


Date Posted: 4/7/2009 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,331
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Well, 4/4 was saturday, so I could speculate that they got to saturday, something came up, and went "oh crap, guess I won't be making it to the PO today" and felt it would be pointless to print it until Monday.  But then again, they didn't print until the evening, so that kinda renders that theory moot.

I know typically that I'll wait until the night before to print out my wrapper & postage since I tend to use PBS postage, even though I've had days to get it printed and wrapped.   I'm just a procrastinator that way.