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Topic: Empty Envelope Received!

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Subject: Empty Envelope Received!
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 76
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This is a first for me and I didn't see it in the FAQs.

I received the empty envelope stamped all over with the "received without contents" red stamp. This was a padded mailing envelope and the side that was taped down was somehow torn open for the entire length. It looked like the tape was folded over at the edge sticking to itself and not to the envelope.


In any case - Do I just mark it not received? Do I have to wait until the "lost in mail" time is up? Is that what this is- lost in mail?




Date Posted: 10/27/2008 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 94
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I would definately consider that Iost in the mail.  Receiving the packing envelope without the contents doesn't count for being "received".  I've had this happen before and the sender can fill out a claim form for the lost package from the post office. 


Date Posted: 10/27/2008 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,210
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Bugger! Here is what the Help Center says:

I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  

  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book.

    • The form is titled "mail Theft"; this does not mean that you can use it only if you think the book was stolen.  "Received without contents" is an option on the page.
    • The choice to make under "Class" on the form if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post".
  • If you think that the Wrapping method may have contributed to the loss of the book, please do give (gentle) feedback to the sender; you can refer to All Help documents about bookwrapping if you like. 

  • If you have marked the book received by mistake (or if the system marked the book received for you while you were absent from PBS), you can also discuss this with the sender, who got credit when that happened. See How do I contact another member? for instructions on how to contact a sender from the transaction in your Transaction Archive.

If you have not marked the book received yet, do not do so.  You will continue to get the usual auto-emails from PBS asking if the book has arrived; open and read them, and follow any instructions within. 

If the book hasn't arrived by the 26th day after it was marked mailed, then PBS will declare it lost in the Mail and you will get your credit back.  If the book does arrive after that, you should mark it received from your Transaction Archive. 

Date Posted: 10/27/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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I guess I was really lucky - I got a padded envelope today that was completely torn open at one end, but the book was inside and not damaged. It may have been a recycled/reused envelope, but the sender did tape it in the appropriate places, it was just ripped across the top. I'm not sure the sender could have prevented it unless she taped across the top, which was not a seam. (That's assuming it was not ripped when she sent it, which is my assumption. )

I have started taping the edges of envelopes, especially when I reuse them, for this very reason.

Date Posted: 10/27/2008 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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I received an envelope that was stamped received without contents too. Looks like you got the help you needed. :)

It IS frustrating though. When I re ordered the book, I got the package almost completely torn open! I almost lost the SAME book. Weird huh?

Subject: Thanks all!
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 76
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And thanks Melanie for finding that info for me - I didn't have a chance to dig deeper than I did!