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Topic: I'm getting a little tired of paying twice for a book I ordered once .....

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Subject: I'm getting a little tired of paying twice for a book I ordered once .....
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I just had a wishlist book offered to me, which I should be happy about.   But unfortunately in this case, the wishlist book is being offered to me for the second time - because the first copy was declared lost in the mail .... just two days ago!

This has happened several times before.   I am offered a book from a fast moving wishlist and immediately accept.  The book is marked "mailed" within the accepted PBS timeframe, but doesn't arrive before one month is over and is therefore declared lost.   And I am added back to the wishlist at #1 in line.   And because it is a very popular book and the wishlist is moving fast, I am offered the book again within a matter of days.   In each of these cases, the book that had been declared lost arrived a week or two later, and per PBS rules I marked both the 1st and 2nd books received  and reposted one.  I should also mention that in at least two of these cases, the book arrived late because it was sent late - much later than the actual "mailed by" date.  Of course, I reported that to R&R, but I was still obligated to mark the books received.

So now I find myself in this situation AGAIN and am trying to decide what to do.  If I immediately accept the book, my past experience tells me that my first order will show up soon in the mail and I will be stuck with two copies again.  I am going to PM the person who sent me the first book, and ask them when they REALLY sent the book, but will they be honest with me?  I doubt it.  And if I don't hear from them before the 48 hours is over, I still need to make up my mind whether to accept the new WL offer.  

Oh, and just so you know .... in this case, even though it is a fast moving wishlist, there are over 100 wishers, so if I put myself at the end of the wishlist line it will be 3-4 months before I get the book offered to me again.   So that isn't a solution either.

So .... I can find no good solution ... ARGGGHHHHH!   It just irks me that when a book goes lost, PBS advises us to wait two weeks before re-ordering, but if it is a wishlist book and offered to us again within several days, we only have 48 hours to accept or we are taken off the wishlist.

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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If it's a wishlist book, can't you just list the extra and recoup your credit?

But yes, I hear your frustration. An unsolicited suggestiion for contacting the first sender: instead of assuming the worst, write and ask them when they really sent the book and that the reason you ask is that you never got their PM letting you know it would be mailed late so you wonder if there's a problem with PMs and maybe you should report the problem. See, that gives them credit for doing the right thing, whether they did or not. And increases the odds of you getting a real answer, which is, after all, the point.

Happy President's Day!


Date Posted: 2/17/2008 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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That is a very good way to phrase the PM to the person who's book went lost. Thanks, Mary!    You get more flies with honey afterall and I shouldn't assume the worst.   I guess that, the way some people seem to get burnt frequently by unpostable books, I'm getting burnt by people sending books late - and past experience has colored my viewpoint.

And unfortunately, it's not a wash in the end.  Yes, I can repost the book I received and get a credit back, but I'm out the postage to send that book.  It's only $2+, but that adds up when it keeps happening.

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Last Edited on: 4/1/11 6:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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I thought somone posted a link from the help docs recently that said if the sender sent the book out past the deadline and didn't pm you to let you know and then it got declared lost yada yada you did not have to mark it received.  might want to double check that but I'm sure I just read that

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Woah - If that's in the help docs, I must have missed it.    As far as I was aware, you are supposed to make books received regardless.


ETA:  I checked the Help Docs again, and couldn't find anything other than what I read previously, which is ...

When a lost book arrives, you must mark it received.

To do so:

  • Go to your Transaction Archive:

    • From My Account: click the link "Transaction Archive" in the yellow bar at the top of the page
    • From anywhere on the site: place your cursor over My Account in the toolbar at the top of any page on the site and choose Transaction Archive from the menu that drops down
  • Sort the Transaction Archive by "Requested by me" - "Lost in mail" - "Title" - "Descending"
  • Locate the Lost transaction for this book in the list.
    • If there is more than one Lost transaction for this title, check the sender's name on the right of the transaction against the name of the sender in the return address on the package you received.
    • Click on the transaction.
    • The next pages are the regular Book Received pages:
      Click on the next page
      Provide more information about the swap on the next page
      • you will also have the option to send a message to the sender of the book
      • you will also have the option to provide comments on the swap that only we will see
  • Both your account and the sender's will be updated when you have done this.

Lost books must be marked received when/if they arrive, to keep your account in good standing.

Last Edited on: 2/17/08 9:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I copied and pasted the Help Center information for you...on the book that was declared lost according to the Help Center you should contact the sender...now if they don't respond in time for you to get the one on 48 hour hold I'd go ahead and request it...letting them know you are waiting on their reply  and once you request the second book if the one they sent shows up you will expect a return of your credit.

According to the HC you have to report the late postmark on the one that was declared lost and then showed up with a late postmark and you are entitled to a return of your credit (now whether they'll return it is another matter).

Hope this helps.

Rebecca...you have to mark any book received no matter whether it was mailed late or not...



What you should do if a book you requested is declared Lost in the Mail:

  • Contact the sender, to find out if Mailing was delayed for some reason.
    • you can do this from your Transaction Archive, using the PM button on this Lost transaction in that list.

If you are having a lot of books declared "Lost" en route to you:

  • You should investigate this.  Excessive unreceived books may jeopardize your membership.
    • Numerous books sent separately but not arriving at your address implies that something is wrong with your mail delivery.
    • Requestors are responsible for providing correct, dependable mailing information to senders.
  • Check your address in your Account Settings, to be sure that it is correct.
  • You can send a PM to the sender of any or all of the lost books, to ask if the book was mailed late, by any chance, as described above.
  • Talk to your PO and mail carrier to see if the book might have been misdelivered to a neighbor.
  • Consider using a PO box or alternate (ie, work) address until the matter is sorted out.

Lost books must be marked received when/if they arrive, to keep your account in good standing.


Books that arrive with a late postmark need to be marked received normally, and the information about the postmark should be recorded in the survey portion of the Book Received page.

  • Providing the late postmark in the survey portion of the Book Received page will generate an auto-email to the sender of the book, reminding him or her that late Mailing is not acceptable at PBS.
    • The email includes the information that the late postmark could have been entered in error
    • The email includes the information that sometimes postmarks are delayed a few days, even if the book was mailed on time
    • The email includes the information that if the late mailing was agreed to by the requestor, this is not a problem
  • You can contact the sender using the text box on the Book Received page:
    • Please be gentle!  You can't know what might have delayed this shipment
  • If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:
    • You can ask for your credit back in your Personal Message
    • You can note this information in the Comments box at the bottom of the Book Received page: this will go onto the sender's record.
  • A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership
    • Sometimes late mailing happens for very good reasons, but chronic late mailing will not be tolerated

Last Edited on: 2/17/08 9:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Rebecca, your memory is remembering a conversation in which it was stated that the HC says if they do not mail the book before it goes LOST, not the mailing deadline.

I agree with Lynne, that posting and shipping the book doesn't wash in the end, she's still out the extra postage to mail the 2nd book. It isn't even in the end, but I don't think there's much that can be done about it, unfortunately.

ETA: I'm not saying that what was said is in the HC, but that it was stated that it was by someone. I didn't and haven't checked it out. But, from what Lynne just posted, I'd say maybe they were mistaken.

Last Edited on: 2/17/08 9:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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Help allows you to not mark a book as rec'd if you get two copies because it is not marked mailed, but they mail it anyway and you also get another copy through the FIFO system. In that case you only have to mark the properly marked and mailed one. If a book is properly marked in the system and it goes lost, you do have to mark it when rec'd regardless of whether you receive another copy through the WL system. That is why the help docs recommend not ordering again for two weeks. The only time you do not have to mark the book rec'd is if it was mailed after the date it went lost in the system.

It sucks that you need to make the choice of ordering another copy and risk it or lose you place in line. I think R&R should give you the option of being skipped over, while retaining first in line, for any copies posted during the next couple weeks after on goes lost.

It is very bad luck that this has happened so often to you, I have never had a book that went lost show up, let alone several that eventually show up and have had a second order placed too. Maybe if you PM the errant senders they will understand what problems their lateness is causing and encourage them to NOT send the book without notifying the other person. Pointing it out might recoup a credit here or there for you and make it less costly in the end.

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Christy,  Thanks for finding that for me.  I must have been looking in the wrong place in the Help Docs.


Last Edited on: 3/2/08 6:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Update ....

Well, I didn't hear anything from the original person from whom I ordered this book, so I went ahead and accepted the second offer from the wishlist.  It arrived in under a week.

And yesterday, the copy of this book from the ORIGINAL sender (the one that was declared lost on 2/15) arrived in the mail!   And it was mailed over a month late.   I know this because she used printable postage, which is dated 2/24 AND there is a postmark of 2/26 on the package.

Per PBS rules, I have marked the book received (and therefore paid a credit for it). 

I've sent a PM to the sender of the lost book (worded as politely as possible), asking her to return my credit because the book was mailed so late and I had ordered and received a second copy in the meantime.   We'll see what happens........

Date Posted: 3/2/2008 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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Lynne - you did not have to mark that book received. If it was marked lost in the system on the 15th and it was mailed the 24th, you would have been right to not marked it rec'd. That is the exception to the rule in help, if the book was MAILED AFTER THE LOST DATE IN THE SYSTEM, you are not required to mark it as received. Sorry you ended up paying twice, hopefully you get your credit.

eta the help docs reference, under can I mail a book late?

If you are mailing a book VERY late and the book has already been marked lost in the Mail at PBS, you must contact the requestor using the PM button on the lost in mail transaction in your Transaction Archive, to be sure that the requestor still wants the book.

  • If she replies that she does still want it you can mail it to her.  She can mark it received from her Transaction Archive and you will get credit at that time.
  • If she replies that she does not want it (she may have gotten a copy from someone else in the meantime), you should repost the book for someone else to request.
  • If she does not respond to your PM, you should repost the book.  It will be offered to her automatically if she still wants a copy.
  • You should not mail a "lost" book to the original requestor unless she has confirmed that she still wants it in a Personal Message.  If you mail it and she has already gotten another copy, she will NOT be obligated to mark the book received, or to return it to you.

Last Edited on: 3/2/08 7:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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If it's that obvious it was mailed late - in this case a month late - I just wouldn't mark it as received.  I know if you don't mark as received, books that the system has tagged as being mailed late, you get your credit back.  It shouldn't be any different for this.  If it's late enough to be tagged as lost in the mail, and the postmark is a month past the date it was supposed to have been mailed by, I personally would not mark that book as received.  I would be honest, mail it back to her & not keep it.  But I wouldn't be asking her to give me my credit back.  She wouldn't get it in the first place.

Last Edited on: 3/2/08 7:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Lynne, the same thing happened to me once, and it was incredibly frustrating.  I agree that this issue is one that should be addressed, especially when there is proof that the sender mailed late.  Although, this is probably something that will sort itself out with the wishlist changes, since we'll be able to put a wishlist book on hold and not lose our place in line (or at least, not go all the way to the end of the line).

Date Posted: 3/2/2008 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Well, darn.   It looks like this is an instance where the Help Docs contradict themselves somewhat.  I was reading the Help Docs on what to do if I RECEIVE a book that was mailed late and marked lost.   It tells me to mark the book received and ask for my credit back from the sender.  It doesn't specifically address the issue of what to do if the book was mailed after it had already been marked lost.     I never even thought to look in the Help Docs under Mailing Late, since I was the Receiver and not the Mailer.

Oh well, we'll see if I get my credit back!

Date Posted: 3/2/2008 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,744
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If you receive a book that the member never marked as mailed at all, you don't have to mark it received.  Lost books are a different story.

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 3/3/2008 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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This was addressed in another thread, and many of us were wishing there was a "hold" possible on individual wishlist items... without losing your place in line, kwim?  I suppose you could put your whole shelf on hold, but that's kind a pain.  I've gotten duplicates and turned down duplicate requests too--"lost" books are common at my APO, because of longer shipping times.  They always come through eventually, though (so far anyway, knock on wood!!).  :)

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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Yeah Lynne, it is hard to find. I only found it because I knew that I had read a book mailed after the lost date did not have to be marked rec'd, so I kept looking. There is a sentence in the other area that says it, but I couldn't find it.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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If you're feeling snarky and you haven't opened the mailed-late-lost book yet, you could always refuse it with the PO.  Write "Refused" on it and give it back to your carrier.  That way you never have to mark it received, and the late sender will, most likely, have to pay the return postage (if they used media mail).

Last Edited on: 3/3/08 11:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1