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Topic: Eliminate inactive accounts?

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Subject: Eliminate inactive accounts?
Date Posted: 6/10/2017 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2008
Posts: 207
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Is there a way to eliminate wishlists from inactive accounts?  I have had a couple of books go through multiple accounts for 48 hours because the person doesn't appear to have been online in YEARS.  If they haven't accessed their account in 2 years, couldn't management please put the wishlist of those folks on hold until they decide to return? They may not even have the same email address and never receive notification.  Autoship books with abandoned credits may get to an address that they've moved from.  The owner of the account could even be dead.

Date Posted: 6/11/2017 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,902
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Since the site requires a swap fee or membership to order a book, I think that would prevent abandon accounts from being able to order. The 48 hour holds are a way of weeding out the inactive accounts, after so many that account will go on hold. If a member earned the credit and have the PBS Money for the swap fee then I don't have a problem with that member getting the book. By posting that book I might just have made someone want to be a little more active again.

Date Posted: 6/11/2017 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 434
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I don't think the inactive process is going to change soon, but I do wish they would require a log in every 3-6 months. In past discussions, people have said that is too much of a burden, but I can't see how it is more of a burden than marking a book received. Right now you have to send in feedback to get your credit when you send a book and get no response back. I wonder how much time and effort they put into those messages vs. having some proactive processes in place to ensure book requests are from active accounts.

Date Posted: 6/11/2017 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 826
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Obviously it is no burden to require a log in every 3 month to maintain an active account. PBS must be aware and does not want to acknowledge in their reporting any decrease in number of accounts. So, they accomodate members who ship to inactive accounts when the requesting member fails to reply.This is preferable to having to report the actual volume of inactive accounts.

Last Edited on: 6/11/17 4:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/11/2017 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 1,061
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Hmmmmm - the Membership has gone down from 68,000+ members as seen in the Members Directory to the current level of 29,770 - these are of course members who have a Public Profile - for those who desire to not have a Public Profile then those members are not accounted for in the Members DIrectory - how many is this? 10%? 20% perhaps 50% - does't really matter as I suspect that the ratio of members with Public Profiles to members who do not have Public Profiles has essentially remained the same (give or take a few percentage points). 

What this means is that PBS has 'culled out' quite a few member accounts that previously were listed and has brought the numbers more in line to current values (give or take a few percentage points). Still a few inactive members? Quite possibly - will more be culled? - quite possibly. Like others I still get the occasional Wish Listed book that I post and get no action on the other end (i.e. things time-out) - I want to think that a few folks let things 'time-out' intentially - perhaps a bit embarresed? It would be nice if PBS would on the monthly Letter remind folks to keep their current Wish Lists current, but even if they did it does not mean that folks in general would comply - it is after all a burden to some and perhaps they just can't be bothered? 

I keep my Wish List current because there are too many books I really want - everything on my Lists are on the Automatic Fullfillment mode. But perhaps some folks are shy of extra credits to do this...I think it's getting better and better as each month goes by.

Last Edited on: 6/11/17 8:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2017 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 826
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Confused see below. Doesn't this show Public Profiles: 139,848? Isn't each public profile a member?

Check the Pulse of PaperBackSwap


  • Books Available: 1,965,362
  • Books Posted in last 60 minutes: 221
  • Books Posted All Time: 30,540,054
  • Unique Titles Available: 451,004

Books Mailed

  • Books Mailed All-Time: 18,976,830
  • Books Mailed in last 7 days: 14,221
  • Books Mailed Today: 1,689


  • Members Online Now: 680
  • Members Logged In Today: 5,572
  • Members in Chat: 0
  • Public Profiles: 139,848
Date Posted: 6/12/2017 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I can definitely see the benefit in having PBS automatically generate an email asking a member who hasn't logged-in in X amount of time (6 months maybe) to verify that they are still an active member. If they didn't respond to the email, the system could automatically put their account on hold until they did log-in again.

Date Posted: 6/14/2017 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,024
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Stephanie, you can send a message to the PBS team about the member who hadn't been active in a long while.  They will look at the account and will address it if necessary.  If you haven't contacted them before, you can do so by clicking the 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of any page under the 'Company' heading.  Then choose the 'send us feedback' option and use the box that comes up to send your message.  You will hear back from them within 24-48 hours letting you know they are looking into this.  They will send you an email rather than a PM.


Date Posted: 6/14/2017 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2008
Posts: 207
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Joy, that's great but I just went through this with several books. 7 or 8 different members. None had made any additions or requests since 2010.  Are they active? I don't know. I finally pm'd a couple and they never answered.  That's why I would prefer something automatic. Amanda's idea of sending an email once a year would certainly help. 

Date Posted: 6/14/2017 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 826
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Yes this is a most wonderful idea which has been repeatedly advocated to PBS since they instituted membership fees and they have ignored all requests to cull inactive members via any log in reactivation process. Will not even adress this issue!.

Date Posted: 6/15/2017 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2010
Posts: 597
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Member Since: 4/27/2007
Last Login: 12/6/2016

Just ran across this member. Granted there are no books on the wish list but this account should be on hold. I think if some one is inactive for 30 days, their account should be put on hold. It just mucks up the system.

Member Since: 8/15/2009
Last Login: 12/4/2016

found another and the wish list is private.

Last Edited on: 6/15/17 9:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/15/2017 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 516
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i myself never understood private wishlists.  i would figure if you have a wishlist that means you want the books on it. how are they suppose to get fulfilled if no one knows what your wishing for?  are you embarrassed about the titles on it or something?

Date Posted: 6/15/2017 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I have to say I think I have on my wl at least two Japanese Shunga art books which is erotic art. 

I am slightly embarrassed for people to see it on my wl list but I like Japanese art.  

Too me it's just art.  I admire the style of the Woodblock art. 

I don't really know how graphic or tame the books are because I have never seen the books. 

So, I keep calm and carry on and I do not feel the need to make my wl private.  

Others may feel different and want to keep their wl private.  

EDITED:  Here's the description for one of the Shunga books. I can see "instructive albums for young wives" being helpful back in the olden days. 

Shunga, or "images of spring," are erotic polychrome engravings painted by the masters of the Japanese Ukiyo-e school during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The shunga served as illustrations for love novels, instructive albums for young wives, and even lucky charms for warriors. — This book is the first to present a special collection of rare, previously unpublished prints, enriched by texts that introduce the various periods and defining characteristics of the genre. Unabashed and exquisitely rendered, these images are a surprising accessible visual chronicle of erotic fine art.

Last Edited on: 6/15/17 1:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/15/2017 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 6,045
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I guess I have had a different experience here.

We alway go to the lake on Saturday afternoon. We stay overnight and come back the next day. The "lake" is outside any phone towers, so there's no internet reception. We return on Sunday night. I check my account Monday morning and find that while we were away (just over 48 hours) my account has already been shut down by PBS for being "inactive".  I'm sorry if I missed any WL offers that night, but I just don't feel it's that long that I need to set my account to "Vacation Hold" for being gone 48 hours. So for everyone out there YES, THEY DO shut down accounts -  even if it's only been 2 1/2 days since I logged on.

Date Posted: 6/15/2017 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 12,273
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That's ridiculous Carol!! 

Date Posted: 6/16/2017 3:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 516
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 i had a similar experience with my account being frozen i guess you could call it back in 2010. i had a member complain to PBS that i was running a scam for free books.  I found out that the member contacted PBS because they had mailed me a package and because it took me a week to mark it received they thought my account was inactive. in reality my 88 year old grandmother who my brother and i worshiped (she watched us a lot when we were growing up) had died the previous week after a year long struggle with Alzheimer's after being diagnosed the year before. it happened pretty quick. and i was grieveing and dealing with the funeral and other such things. marking books received was not my top priority at the time.


well when i finally tried to mark the books received a week or so later i logged on to my account to find a message to contact the PBS team because my account had been frozen/put on hold while the team looked into a situation. the member had complained that i hadn't marked the books she sent me received in a timely fashion. i don't think an extra week or 2 is a big deal  considering my circumstances ( i usually mark same day. strangely my previous marking history didn't matter and then had to look into the matter.  i have sent books that have not been marked received until just before they go lost and i have never seen their accounts  getting put on hold for failure to mark received.


i think it just depends how much of a pest the member contacting the team makes of themselves. i'm guessing sometimes its just easier for the PBS to soothe a member's ruffled feathers but saying they look into the matter rather then have to deal with a member that sends them tons of complaints about minor issues. this member claimed they have sent me tons of pms' and that i had ignored all of them. (she only sent me 1 pm) and i didn't respond. but i don't think it warranted having my account looked into and locked because of it. lol depends on the situation i guess. i wish they looked at a member's user history and activity dates/sign ins before they took action. i think sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.

Date Posted: 6/16/2017 5:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 3,096
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I'm in agreemenet with Molly, Michele, and Carol.

Date Posted: 6/23/2017 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,770
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I cant understand when people have their wish list private either but thats up to them. I have always thought that maybe they are embarrassed ,but we are all adults here. I do have to say , when I first started on here I didnt want to put some of the ( R) rated stuff I like to read , lol  but as I got to make friends and play in the games, I soon realized , I'm not the only one....lol So its not a bid deal anymore. Plus , you have a better shot at getting more book if its not private,

But , what I really cant understand is the few shelfs I've come across that have their book shelfs private. Dont they want to send out books?

Anyhoo , the inactive acountsgets me so frustrated because I get most of my credits by posting wish list books and they dont mark received. someone else could have gotten that ( those books)

Last Edited on: 6/23/17 10:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/24/2017 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,576
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I've always figured that having your wishlist private was because you just preferred to receive all your books FIFO and not wonder if one you received had 'passed over' someone who had been waiting longer...

Date Posted: 6/25/2017 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,245
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I cant understand when people have their wish list private either but thats up to them. 

They read books that they don't want their family/friends/neighbors who may have joined PBS to know about.

They are concerned with privacy and don't want someone to be able to post them a WL book specifically to obtain their address.

Date Posted: 6/29/2017 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,770
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A question about inactive accounts , I posted a wish list book and I think its about ready to go to the next person soon ( 48 hrs ? )  anyway , I think it it must be an inactive account ( because no response )  will that persons account go on hold because they are not active or no longer a member. Eliminate it?


Reserved On: 6/27/17 3:38 PM ET
Status: Waiting 48 hours for other member to confirm that they have credit(s) for this book.

Last Edited on: 6/29/17 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2017 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,607
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There is a algorithm that PBS uses to suspend accounts; they do not tell us exactly what numbers they use though. So not logging in, not responding to offers, etc. will flag the account and then at some point it will be put on hold. I don't know if it's automated or if someone screens them first.

Date Posted: 6/29/2017 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 6,045
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One missed WL won't do it. Probably 3 missed WL offers regardless of books you've mailed in between the each of the 3 offers.

Date Posted: 6/29/2017 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 12,273
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ANyone can miss one WL offer due to computer problems, emergencies, etc. I think more than 1 thing in the same time frame would clue in an inactive account.

Date Posted: 6/30/2017 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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There are two different animals here.  If we miss a few Wish List offers or book requests in a row, our account will be placed on "Review". We can remove the Review ourselves easily by clicking on the "I'm ready to resume swapping" button underneath the explanatory review message. I really appreciate this feature -- if my email provider stops delivering my emails, the review alerts me to look into the problem. I can correct it after missing just 2 or 3 WL offers, rather than missing half a dozen. Also, if I have a family emergency and am off-line for a while, the Review means that, after missing 2 or 3 book requests (or WL offers), the stop-loss kicks in, and I won't lose out on any more until I've logged in again.

The second creature is when the Admin Team or the system places a hold on the account. That can happen is a member isn't responding to PM from other members about a transaction -- often for a very valid reason -- or if they need to clarify the site rules, or confirm the mailing address, etc. The Admin Team can't know if the member's computer is in the shop for a few days, or if she's landed in the hospital for an extended stay, or something in between. Placing the account on hold (with a message on the login page) allows them to stop account activity (in case it's a longer term problem) and communicate with the member when the member returns to the account and sends in feedback. In my experience, once the question is sorted out, the account is reopened quickly.

I also heard recently from two friends -- members who hadn't logged in for a long time -- one for 18 months, the other over 3 years -- and their accounts had been placed on hold by the system. They couldn't remove the hold themselves, but had to contact the Admin Team to get their account running again. Everything happened quickly -- the Admin Team wanted to confirm that their account was still current. So I don't know how long a member can go without logging in, but the system is now putting inactive accounts on hold.