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Topic: Should I have handled this differently? What you would have done.

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Terry E. (Tear) - ,
Subject: Should I have handled this differently? What you would have done.
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 6:48 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 54
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I requested a book and waited for the email saying it was mailed.  I got an email saying it was mailed Feb 1st and waited for it.  And waited for it, and waited some more.  I eventually got an email from paperback swap asking if it had arrived yet and it had not.  Finally after what I though had been 3 weeks it did arrive.  Only the date on the postage stamp was Feb 8 it was mailed. 

I just marked it received and put the date it was mailed in the system.  I could understand if some one marked it mailed and mailed it a day later or so but this was a week later?  Why would you say it was mailed and then wait a week to do so without saying any thing to the receiver?

Was there something I should have done differently?





Date Posted: 2/19/2010 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Terry, you handled it exactly right by noting the postmark on the survey when the book was received. While I do agree that it sucks when people mail books much later than they marked that they did without bothering to PM you, railing and ranting at them serves no purpose. This could have been a one-time thing for that person, maybe some strange circumstances we know nothing about--for example, the storms and bad weather that's been plaguing many parts of the country. Granted, a PM to let you know it was mailed late would have been nice, but at this point there's not much you can do but fill out the survey.

You did receive the book within the time allotted (it didn't go lost) so no harm, no foul in this case. Completing the survey will let PBS know of the discrepancy between the mark-mailed date and the postmark date, so that if they are in a habit of doing this, they'll have their account flagged and possibly be cautioned or suspended if there are too many infractions.


Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Yup, as Spuddie said, you did exactly the right thing; and their account will be flagged.  Since you entered the date mailed (and it was beyond the date they marked it mailed) I believe that they will also receive a an email from PBS telling them they made a mistake marking it mailed when it wasn't. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Yes you did the right thing....and like Debbie said, PBS will send an automated e-mail to the sender based on the post mark date you entered in the system.

I don't know why people mark items mailed but don't mail them.  A few weeks ago, I had a book that I ordered get marked "lost" by PBS, so I sent the sender an e-mail letting her know that I'd wait awhile before re-ordering in case the copy she sent showed up.  After about a week, I heard back from her telling me the book was mailed late because of bad weather.  I received the book the next day--mailed first class with a post mark just two days earlier.  Must have been some very extreme weather--as the book was actually mailed over a month later than it was marked mailed!  LOL.  I marked the book received from my transaction archive, noting the post mark date and figured PBS now had the information and would do something if this was a common occurance.

Terry E. (Tear) - ,
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 54
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Thanks for the answer, after looking at the book I see the comb was cut but figure at this point it wouldn't make sense to pm the sender.  Not ranting or railing just wondering if I did wrong and should have marked it a problem when I received it.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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They could have also given it to someone to  mail it for them and thought the person mailed it and they didn't.  Could have been caught in snow, I don't know where they were mailing it from but in the east not just some inches but over a feet accumulated in some areas. Same for out west, and in the north along the border of Canada. 

If you live in the country, work from home and wake up to 12 inches of snow, you may not drive the 1/4 mile to your mailbox.  They mark it mailed before they go to bed and then can't mail it the next morning. 

I read somewhere on a discussion thread of a person who gave the book to their hubby to mail and he put it in the trunk and forgot it.  She marked it mailed and it was a week before it was discovered in the trunk and then mailed.

I don't mark my books mailed until I actually mail them.  If I mail them from home, I don't mark it mailed until I get my mail and am assured that it was picked up; or if I take it the the post office or my hubby does for me.  Only after is it mailed do I mark.


Terry E. (Tear) - ,
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 54
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ITA I never mark my mailed until I return from mailing them myself, and only them mark them mailed.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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But I have found that one of the post offices I go to will scan the book DC right away.  If I have not marked it mailed at that point, then I don't get credit until the next scan.  (This is why I no longer use DC at that post office as I really don't like marking it mailed before it is.)

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,236
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I once sent a book that wound up with the postmark date a week and half after I marked it mailed. I put it in the blue mailbox on the same day I marked it mailed--and then it came back to me a week later, reason unknown. I took it to the post office a couple of days later and complained and the post office sent it off again. When the person who requested the book received it, they PM'd me asking why the postmark date was different from the date I marked it mailed. I explained what happened and never heard back from the person, so I guess it must not have been too big a deal.

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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IIRC, PBS guidelines say if you mail more than 2 days late you must pm the receiver.  There there may also be a cut off that you must pm and ask if the requester still wants the book.

Whenever possible, I mark mailed after the fact.  It just keeps life uncomplicated for me.

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2009
Posts: 3
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Laura T. says, "I don't know why people mark items mailed but don't mail them."

I know why: they mark them mailed in order not to lose the transaction. I admit, a couple of times I've been in a situation (as with the recent huge snowfall in the DC area) where I had to mark a book mailed, because the deadline had arrived. But I usually get it out within a couple of days. If the book were later getting into the mail than 2 days, I would PM the sender about it--after it's on its way.


Last Edited on: 2/21/10 5:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2010 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 589
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Since the beginning of the year, I've had three different books take almost 4 weeks to get to me.  When I checked the postage date (bought at the post office), two of the books were mailed 2 weeks after they were marked, and one was 3 weeks later.  I don't know why the senders wouldn't just PM me if there was a problem and they were mailing it late.

I've learned not to mark my books "mailed" until they've actually left my hands.  Last summer, I logged into PBS and marked a bunch of packages mail.  Then I gathered them up and headed to the post office.  Well, the post office didn't have any electric and couldn't mail my packages.  Since it was Saturday and the post office closed at noon, there wasn't enough time to drive to the next town and mail them there.  And, of course, Monday was a holiday, so they couldn't go out till Tuesday.  I ended up PM'ing everyone to tell them that their book wouldn't go out until Tuesday.  I learned my lesson.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,923
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I have to say that there have been a number of times the sender marks it mailed immediately after printing the label, even if it is a Sunday or late at night.  Really one should actually post it, ie hand it to a clerk, carrier or deposit it in a mailbox BEFORE claiming it was mailed.  That is my feeling on the subject, as there are too many slips between the cup and the lip.

Some books I received were mailed weeks after the date claimed, but I note it in the remarks section on the bottom of the received page as well as put the actual postmark in.  Several books were claimed as "lost" weeks before they arrived and I would PM the sender asking when they were mailed or if there was a problem, but they would not answer me back.  Frustrating.