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Topic: I am not getting a credit when I pay for Delivery Confirmation.

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Subject: I am not getting a credit when I pay for Delivery Confirmation.
Date Posted: 3/24/2009 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2008
Posts: 150
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Does this happen to anyone else?


Basically, I used to pay for my postage through PBS, but I got annoyed every time I was charge the extra 40 cents or whatever it is. So I went and got stamps and figured I would just pay the charge on here for Delivery Confirmation. I have done that several times now and it says I am suppose to get my credit when the post office first scans the package. Well, I have never gotten it until it arrived to the person and they marked it recieved.

So overall yes everything turned out fine, I got the credit in the end. But, I am paying for a service I am not getting.


I am wondering if anyone else has had this happen. Does it just not work or something?


It also doesn't seem to track the package accurately. One day I marked one mailed, then went to town. But while I was in town something came up and I didn't get it mailed until the next day. But the next day before I actually sent it I clicked on the little green check mark (out of curiosity) to see what it said without the package being mailed. It showed the package had already left my town!! What the heck?!?!

Last Edited on: 3/24/09 11:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
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The tracking truck doesn't mean anything, it has been known to drive out into the ocean, it just depicts the estimated route. Since you had marked the book mailed, the system assumed it had left your town.

DC is only as good as the scans along the way. If you don't get it scanned when you mail it, then there is a good possibility it won't get scanned until it gets delivered since that is the only time the usps has to scan it. If you want to make sure that you are getting quick credit, you will need to take it to the retail counter and have it scanned when you buy the postage.

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Every single post office does it differently. Some are very good about scanning packages in as soon as they get them, others are terrible. It sounds like your post office is not good about scanning the packages in so that you get your credit in a timely manner.

My post office is very good and always scans the packages in as soon as they are dropped off or get into the station.

I'm sorry that you have had this trouble. I liek the PBS postage because then I never have to guess when I will get my credit plus it helps out the site. I think of it as credit insurance.

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I don't  use DC anymore, since I had a problem with a regional sorting facility sending books back to me postage due for the 75 cent PO shipping charge.  About half of these I actually got a quick credit for, since my local PO scans them.  I remailed all of them, but it got to be such a hassle that I stopped using it.  This doesn't happen if I buy PBS postage not just DC, so I do that if I need the credit ASAP. 

I think you have to work with your local post office.  You may have to bring the book in and ask them to scan it for you.  I'm sorry it's not working for you.  It's a good feature, and one I wish I could use as well.

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's called Delivery Confirmation which means they don't have to scan it until it's delivered.  If you are just putting them in the blue box or your mail box they are probably not getting scanned at your local PO or sorting center.  Some books never get scanned at all. Which is why I don't get why people spend money on DC through the PO or Paypay when it does nothign to get them their credit. 

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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This, from the Help Center should explain it a little better for you:
When USPS scans the barcode into their system and transmits this information to the PBS computer, you get credit!

  • This is QuickCredit--you don't have to wait for your package to be received and marked received.
  • The timing of QuickCredit varies with your mailing method, and the scanning policy of your local PO.  QuickCredit can be granted hours after mailing, or it can take a few days. The average member using PBS-DC gets QuickCredit 5 days sooner than he or she would have if PBS-DC was not used 

PBS has to wait for the USPS to scan the barcode, and then transmit the data.

  • "Electronic Shipping Info received" does not indicate a barcode scan
    • it means that you printed the wrapper, generating the barcode.
  • Even though you may have watched the PO clerk scan your barcodes, that doesn't mean that USPS transmitted the data to PBS right then.
    • The data has to go to their central computer first, and then to PBS. The delay involved is variable; our system has no choice but to wait to hear from theirs.
  • When the information is transmitted to PBS, you will get an email telling you that you have gotten a credit--this is usually the next morning, but it can be as quick as an hour after Mailing, or as long as several days.
  • If none of the postal hubs through which your package happens to pass en route scan your package, it could be unscanned until it is delivered.
    • We don't like this when it happens, but it is not a common situation.
    • A scan at delivery can still mean you get your credit more quickly than you would have without DC--some POs scan as "delivered" several days before the package makes it way to the requestor's mailbox.
    • Even if this happens to one of your packages, it will not be likely to happen often! Since your packages are mailed to different addresses, they will pass through different postal hubs (with different scanning policies) on their journeys to the different requestors.
  • If your package is delivered, but unscanned throughout its whole journey (not even scanned at delivery):
    • you may report this to the USPS (they are obligated to scan DC barcodes at delivery if not before). 
    • In this case, you will get your credit from PBS when the book is marked received.
  • If your package is not delivered and is never scanned by USPS, the PBS system has never been told to give QuickCredit
    • In this case, CreditAssurance comes into play--contact us, and if you have a good sending record, you will get your credit!

What you can do to get your QuickCredit ASAP:

  • To ensure that your barcode is "scannable":
    • don't use colored paper to print the wrapper out on
    • don't choose "scale-to-fit" when you print the wrapper, as this can distort the barcode
    • if you tape over the barcode, make sure there are no creases/bubbles in the tape, and don't use more than one layer of tape in that area.
  • mail from the PO.
    • Using the PO gets a package scanned more quickly than mailing from home or a blue mailbox most of the time.
    • Mailing from home or a blue mailbox means that the package has to get collected and taken to a PO where they have a scanner; some POs don't scan collected packages, though, so your package mailed this way might have to wait to reach a larger postal hub before the barcode is scanned.
    • If you have a choice of POs, try different ones; there is no real predictability about this--some members have found that larger branches scan most quickly and reliably; others have found that the smaller branches are better about this.
  • Mark your book mailed as soon as possible after mailing!
    • If the first scan happens before the book is marked mailed on the PBS site, it will not "count" to earn credit.
    • Only scans after a book has been marked mailed will grant QuickCredit.
      • You are usually fine if you mark the book mailed within 2-3 hours of having mailed it, even if you watched the postal employee scan the barcode at the counter.  That counter scan went into that PO's computer, and there is a variable delay before the information is transmitted to the USPS main computer, and then to PBS.
      • The scan transmission can happen within a hour in some cases--if you find that your PO has a habit of quick-transmission of scan date, you can just mark your books mailed right before you go out to mail them.

Personally I use the DC feature because I'll be assured to get credit for the book, even if it gets lost in transit. It's basically a guarantee that you'll get credit for the book, although it can't guarantee how quickly. That's based on the variable above, like scanning, mailing etc. However, it's still a very good feature to use because it's the only thing that'll really guarantee that you receive credit for the book.

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2008
Posts: 150
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Thank you all for  the info. I should have gone to the help center to see what it said. I guess I misunderstood what the map was for. Seems a strange thing to have if it isn't actuallly tracking anything. I think I will ask my postal worker to scan it when I drop it off and see if that works. If not, I guess I will get used to it. I want to use it to make sure that I get credit even if something happens to the package in route.

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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The map is a fun feature only.  It does give some visuals to the people who like that kind of thing and when the book gets scanned along the way from place to place.  Once in a while a book I send only gets scanned when it reaches its destination - but most of the time It gets scanned fairly close by as it goes out.  You might want to try different post offices if you are in an urban area or have choices of where to mail.  I mail in the blue box and usually can't use the stamps because of the 13oz rule.  So I usually buy PBS postage so I can just drop the books in the box.  It's definitely a convenience for me but if it's cheaper and you have access to PayPal or other postage vendors - use them.  Don't get their DC.  It won't get you anything extra like PBS DC would if the book is scanned early.