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Topic: Empty envelope

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Subject: Empty envelope
Date Posted: 1/17/2009 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 405
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I rec'd an empty envelope in the mail today.  I only have one book pending so it's easy to figure out which book it is...now my question is how do I mark it?  I haven't gotten the book.  The envelope has been used multiple times...you can tell, it appears to be cut open but I don't know if that is from the current use or past use.  What do I do?  Thanks!

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
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From the Help Center:

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. 

Last Edited on: 1/17/09 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Empty Envelope
Date Posted: 1/19/2009 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 14
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The book probably fell out during processing.  As a retired postal employee, I can tell you this happens much more than it should.  The book will be waiting for the SENDER to file a stolen/lost in mail report.  They can do this online at USPS.com   I try and put the receipt part of the mailing label inside the book I mail.  That way if the book does come out of it's wrapping, the postal patch & seal folks will still have an address to send it on with.


PM me if I can be further help.  I processed many claims in my years!!

Last Edited on: 1/19/09 5:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2009 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 4:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 1/22/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Great idea!  I'm gonna do that too - or as suggested put the address part where it would be visable.  Never thought about it b/c I'm a taper.  But, I got a book yesterday that had tape that was a bit torn.  No damage it wasn't that big of a tear but showed me it was possible.