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Topic: How to handle a Cannot Mail WL - UPDATE

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Subject: How to handle a Cannot Mail WL - UPDATE
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Someone posted one of my wish listed books on 10/25. They had not accepted as of last night. I assumed they just were waiting out the maximum allowed days...no big deal. Then, this morning I see they responded with a "CANNOT MAIL" with the following reason - "I am sorry I can not mail this book. I am going to be leaving town not long and I just do not want to mail it." Well, points for honesty anyway! They are a new member (since June 09).

How would you handle this: 1) Ignore, 2) PM with a gentle suggestion that they not list a book if they are not ready to mail it, 3) report it to TBTB, or 4) something else that I haven't thought of yet.

I'm not too upset about it. The book will be offered again eventually (a reference book on Migraines). But, I also believe in doing my part to keep PBS a trusted place to swap books. Soooo, WWYD?

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Last Edited on: 10/29/09 4:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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Last Edited on: 8/10/10 9:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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I would go for option 1. What would you gain by taking action?

- you definitely cannot get the book. There is no way for PBS to force her to mail it to you.

- you might get her account suspended, but that will happen anyway if she keeps failing to send books

If you really do it in a helpful way, then option 2 would be o.k. Maybe she didn't read the Terms of Use and doesn't understand that she agreed to take on some obligations when she joined, but again this will be made clear to her when her account is suspended/closed for failing to live up to those obligations.

Reporting it to the team is too much like tattling for my taste, so I would rule out option 3. They have enough to do with real bugs and problems. In a site of this size, the vast majority of things have to be handled automatically, so I wouldn't ask for human intervention unless I really thought I had a unique case that wouldn't be dealt with otherwise.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I agree with Cathy.  You don't know whether she's unfamiliar with the rules or not.  I don't think newbie automatically = ignorance of the site rules.  Something could have come up last minute & she has to go out of town, won't have internet access, and didn't want the worry of this book getting to you on time & all that sittinng on some mental back burner.  I send everything with PBS postage now, so it's pretty much mail it & forget it for me, but some people who don't, and especially new people, probably still tend to want to watch their accounts & make sure the books they send get to their destinations ok and in a timely manner.  I know I was sort of anal about that & getting my credits when I was new.  You worry that if you aren't keeping an eye on things, something will happen and you won't be able to take care of it.  I'd call her cautious, try to see it as a good thing, and let it go.  Someone else might post it for you in the meantime, or she will probably repost it for you when she gets back.  Just MHO.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't do anything. Life happens. I cancelled book requests for WL books when I had a death in the family and had to go out of town.  Mailing books out was low priority. They might have posted the book a few days ago or even a week ago and it timed out on several people before coming to you-and now they no longer have time to deal with mailing the book out.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Thanks ladies for the responses. I listed my options in the order that thoughts flew through my mind this morning. So option #1 was my first thought. But, I've read so many threads about not ignoring situations that are not in alignment with PBS guidelines. A gentle and understanding PM might also be in order.  I will continue to watch this thread today to get as many ideas as possible.

ETA: IIRC I added 3 Migraine/Headache books to my WL in July and was the only requestor at that time, so 1 of 1. The book in question here I am now 1 of 2, so I don't think that it went through previous requestors. But, if I do PM, I could let the sender know that I understand that life happens and I would still be interested in the book when they get back and life settles down.



Last Edited on: 10/29/09 10:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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OP said she is a relatively new member so she may not know about the vacation hold feature.  Would an understanding PM hurt?  One great thing about this site is that members help other members. We all know that most people don't read the guidelines and help docs before joining.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I don't think you'd be wrong with any option, Christina.  Even if you did pass it on to tptb, they'd probably get back to you with something along the lines of what  Mary, Cathy & I said, and as long as she's doing okay with her account up to now & in the future, you forwarding it on to them won't cause her any problems.  I just hate to send them things that I don't feel are real "problems" per se.  Back when I had BOB, one of my senders sent out my books & then went on vacation, and wouldn't you know, my address got obliterated in transit & the package was returned to her.  She was on a long vacation, like 30 days, and couldn't retrieve the books & resend them for a few weeks.  This was ok because it was BOB, and there was no time limit, plus she had internet access & knew what was going on & could communicate with me.  She also had added DC so she was able to see the package was on its way back to her.  If anything similar to that happened with this book, it could be a potential headache for both of you.  And it's not vacation season right now, so this trip could very possibly be something unexpected, like a business trip or family emergency, so it's possible she didn't know she was going to need to put her account on hold prior to the book being requested.

*Edited to add... I think what you said in your edit would be fine.



Last Edited on: 10/29/09 10:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Just did a little more research and thought I would add it to the thread. I just happened to take a snapshot of my WL on 10/23 and saved it in a Word document. At that time I was 1 of 2 and the Last Posted date was 7/13/2009. Today, I am still 1 of 2 with Wishes Granted Last Week - 1. Hmmm...that 1 was not me since it was never accepted. Could it have been a posting directly to someone else's WL? If so, could it have been the sender's book and that is why they cannot send it now? Inquiring minds want to know....



Last Edited on: 10/29/09 12:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,132
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"Wishes Granted Last Week: 1" is your wish. Your wish was granted when an offer of the book was made to you. That counter goes up each time the system sends the Wish Granted email, regardless of whether the offer is accepted, declined or ignored. I am sure of this because the same thing happened on a book where I was 1 of 1.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Thanks Cathy, it is always great to learn something new about PBS. That does make sense.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I would PM her and let her know about vacation holds for situations like this. I would rather a polite PM with information I might already know then a rude PM in the future because I did something again that was wrong. Especially since its getting nearer to holiday time and vacation holds can be a god send if you are aware of that feature.

Date Posted: 10/29/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,793
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In general, I don't think its worth it to report to PBS ... people using options that PBS has decided to make available to them

There is a "Cannot Mail" button because sometimes people find they cannot mail the book out for whatever reason. And, in fact, if she had just clicked on that without actually giving her reason, you wouldn't be thinking of reporting it, right?

I would only report a situation to PBS for something that is AGAINST the rules. Like rude responses or failure to respond when you PM about an issue. Or asking for another order or more credits for books.

Someone who is just using the buttons that PBS makes available, for their intended purpose ... I would just leave it alone.

Although, I feel your pain! I wouldn't like to see a WL book go bye-bye, either! :)



Last Edited on: 10/29/09 4:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Update - After reading the various responses here and going with my own gut instinct, I did send a very understanding PM letting her know that I would still like the book at a later date when her life settles down. I hope this gives her the incentive to still want to send it when it is more convenient for her. A win-win situation.

Thanks everyone for your input!!!

ETA: For those who mentioned letting her know about vacation hold just in case she didn't know about it, I did add a P.S. at the bottom of the PM mentioning vacation hold as a feature of PBS.



Last Edited on: 10/29/09 4:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Well done Christina!  I was liking Sherry's advice, and was going to suggest very polite & don't burn any bridges.  There's a good chance the member will repost the book when RL is no longer overwhelming...and you're first on the WL!  Good luckl!!

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Sounds like you handled it really well. I hope the book will turn up! I once had to cancel an order (my son was in the hospital) and then a few days later was able to relist it and it went to that same person, so they only lost a few days.

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I agree, you handled the situation well. 

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Thanks everyone. Reading all your responses really helped me to handle this in a logical way instead of giving in to emotions. I want the book. The best way to get it is to be nice!

I really appreciate this community.

Blessings to all.

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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Plus, you might consider yourself lucky she had the chance to log into the computer and deny the request right off the bat.  Vs accepting it then having an emergancy come up and still not mailing it and you waiting anywhere from a week to a month wondering if it was mailed out, will it be mailed out, etc. 

I had three wishlisted books all set to mail, went to the store to get the bubble mailing envelopes, addressed them, marked them as mailed, loaded up the two year old, got in the car, drove about 3 miles and was rearended at a stoplight by someone going over 65mph (they thought they were in the interstate on ramp/right of way...which was the next lane and light over).  Went to the ER, got a CATscan, got Xrays, my dad had to take care of my daughter, etc.  About two weeks of daily chiropractor visits, hassles with the other insurance company, etc, I got an email from one of the members wondering why their book was taking so long.  AHHH!!!  They were still in the backseat of the car!  Luckily, they were totally undamaged, I got to email the three requesters, explain it to them, all three still wanted them, and mailed all three the next day, they all made it before the "contact us by" date.  Lesson learned...don't mark *mailed* until it's mailed.  unfortunatly, it's tough cause I usually stop at the PO on the way to work, then to the babysitters, then back home to bed, wake up early, head to the gym, etc...and by then I am afraid I may get marked as *not mailed* even though I mailed it days ago and just never got the chance to get back online. 

I wonder if a blackberry app can be created for notifications on PBS? 

*Sorry this is so long winded...after feeling so guilty it feels good to get that off my chest!*