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Topic: Help please? Questioned about unknown address

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Subject: Help please? Questioned about unknown address
Date Posted: 1/30/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2008
Posts: 239
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A book that I mailed using Media Mail for $2.23 almost 2 weeks ago was just returned to me by the mail man today.  On the package was stamped 'Unknown Address' and 'postage due $2.23'.

The package had on the printed wrapper just like it was supposed to, but apparently the address for the reciever was incorrect.  The mail man informed me that because the book was Media Mail, I had to pay $2.23 - AGAIN - to get it back.  Now, I'm out almost $5.00 - don't have a credit coming to me, and have no clue how to proceed from here. 

I could just simply contact the requestor, get the correct address, and mail it again - but I would be in effect paying for a $7.00 credit - or another way to look at it - paying someone $4.00 to TAKE my book from me, which is insane! 

help please?   Thanks in advance!

EDIT - I've just checked the member's profile to see if I can get any clues, and their account is on hold.  *sigh*



Last Edited on: 1/30/09 2:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/30/2009 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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If the address was printed from PBS, then it cannot be an unknown address. All addresses entered here are validated against the USPS database and that's where the 9-digit ZIP code comes from. You can verify the address by going to www.usps.com and clicking on Find a ZIP Code. Enter the address there and click Submit. The USPS will tell you whether you have a full address or a non-deliverable address or what.

The most likely possibility is that the USPS made a mistake. Send the other member one PM explaining what happened and asking for his address. Wait one week for a reply. If he gets back to you and gives you the same address that's on the package, print it out and take it to your Post Office with the package. They should resend it at no charge and refund the return postage.

Assuming this address hasn't recently become undeliverable due to fire or flood or some other disaster, then the other possibility is that the member has moved and failed to update his address at PBS. If tha'ts the case, he owes you a credit. He should mark the book received, even if he didn't get it, and you can just repost it.

If you're not able to get in touch with the other member within a week, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the Contact Us link. Then send a feedback message to the site admins.

 

Date Posted: 1/30/2009 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Here's some info from the help center.  Some of it applies to you...

 

 

A book I sent was returned to me!

If the book has already been declared lost in the mail at PBS, you should NOT re-mail it.   You should repost it to your bookshelf and if the previous requestor has not already gotten a copy from someone else, he or she will be offered your copy automatically.

If the book has NOT been declared Lost in the Mail yet, you should contact the requestor to let him/her know that the book was returned, and to confirm the address. 

  • You cannot re-send the book if it is damaged.  If it is damaged, contact us to cancel the transaction.

    • If the book has already been declared Lost in the Mail, you do not need to contact us.
  • You are not obligated to re-send the book to the requestor if this happened due to a problem with the requestor's address.   If the book was not damaged when it came back to you, and you do not want to re-send the book to the previous requestor, you can simply repost it. 

    • If you do not get a reply message from the requestor within 5 days of your PM, contact us.

       

The most common causes for packages to be returned to sender:

  • The package was over 13 ounces and bore only stamps for postage, and you did not mail it by handing it to a USPS employee.
    • This is a USPS regulation if postage stamps are used for postage and the package is over 13 oz in weight.
    • The regulation does not apply to packages sent with printed postage
    • You can remail the package from the PO in this case, without adding new postage to the package.
  • Incorrect Address. Caused by 
    • transcription errors if you hand-wrote the address
    • the requestor mistyping his/her address in his/her account
    • USPS error
  • Insufficient Postage Caused by 
    • Insufficient postage on the package
      • did you check and adjust the weight on the wrapper settings page before printing? this will ensure that the correct postage and postal rate will print out
    • Failure to write MediaMail on the package if the PBS Wrapper was not used. 
      • USPS will charge First Class rate if MediaMail is not specified. 
      • The PBS Wrapper will print out with FIRST CLASS for packages weighing 7ounces or less; packages over that weight will print wrappers marked MEDIA MAIL
    • Writing First Class on the package if the PBS Wrapper was not used.
    • Reusing Priority Mail materials (this is not permitted by USPS unless you are paying priority rate!) but applying Media Mail or First Class postage.
    • USPS error.
  • Moved, no forwarding address Caused by
    • The requestor moving before the book arrived (Media Mail is not routinely forwarded, unlike First Class mail!)
    • USPS error.

If the book was returned to you through an error on the requestor's part, you can ask him or her for an extra credit (or money for the postage) to re-send the book,

If the book was returned to you through USPS error, you can take it to the PO and explain the situation; they can check the address and if it is correct and the book was returned through USPS error, they can send it again "under cover" without requiring more postage.

If the requestor still wants the book, and you re-send it, it may be declared Lost in the Mail before it arrives. 

  • The requestor can mark it received from the Lost transaction in his or her Transaction Archive, and you will get credit.



Last Edited on: 1/30/09 3:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/30/2009 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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The account is probably on hold because you aren't the only person this happened to.
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 1:52 AM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2008
Posts: 239
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Thank you both for all the info - I feel much better able to proceed from here.

If the address was printed from PBS, then it cannot be an unknown address.

yes - the wrapper is on it, so it's defenitely not that.  However, it's not an address, it's a PO Box.  Are those allowed as addresses?

 

The account is probably on hold because you aren't the only person this happened to.

I had the very same thought when I found that out.

Date Posted: 1/31/2009 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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WHOA!!!!  Please DO NOT assume that an account on Hold is on Hold because it is a problem account...many people, myself included have our accounts on hold because I do not want to spend the money right now to send books out and with Mt. TBR I really don't need any more books.

Cathy,  you made the following comment, is this your opinion of what should happen or could you please reference that from the Help Center?

"Assuming this address hasn't recently become undeliverable due to fire or flood or some other disaster, then the other possibility is that the member has moved and failed to update his address at PBS. If tha'ts the case, he owes you a credit. He should mark the book received, even if he didn't get it, and you can just repost it.

Date Posted: 1/31/2009 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 827
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Michelle, does it actually say Unknown AddressEE ?  That is what they stamp when the person's name is not known to be a name at that address.  That makes more sense to me than Unknown Address.

Edited to add help center refs (the first one is quoted above)



Last Edited on: 1/31/09 10:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2008
Posts: 239
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WHOA!!!!  Please DO NOT assume that an account on Hold is on Hold because it is a problem account...

I didn't say that it was a problem account - I'm just stating it's an odd coincidence, which it is.  If they don't want to be sending/recieving books - why order?  i'm not pointing fingers at anybody.

Michelle, does it actually say Unknown AddressEE ?  That is what they stamp when the person's name is not known to be a name at that address.  That makes more sense to me than Unknown Address.

Yes, that's what it says. 



Last Edited on: 1/31/09 12:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 9/15/10 12:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2009 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
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Contact PBS! I had an address print out wrong too (fortunately I had used DC and the book was returned to me without needing to pay postage) and I contacted the member and it turned out that the system was printing out the wrong zip code even though the correct one was in the system! When I contacted TPTB they reimbursed me for the postage I had paid and told me what to do and they WANTED to know that there was a glitch in the system so that they could correct it. So don't assume that the other member did something wrong -- contact PBS, tell your story to them and they will help you through what is most likely a system glitch!

Date Posted: 1/31/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Sometimes the glitch isn't with PBS, it's with the PO.  For example, I live in Fredericksburg, VA, but the PO system routinely strips the "u" out, making it Fredericksbrg.  Not a major error by any means, but it does make it difficult to search for other Fredericksburg members if you don't realize it.

And I know it's a PO problem because this isn't the only place it happens.  It also happens on other sites, or when shopping on the net, anyplace that allows the PO to "standardize" their addresses.