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Topic: How should we have handled this?

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Subject: How should we have handled this?
Date Posted: 12/1/2009 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 16
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We finally received a book that was postmarked 10 days later than the mail date entered on PBS. We did not mark this transaction as received with a problem because this reason was not listed on the "Book received with problem" help page. How should we have handled this beyond PMing the sender? It doesn't seem right that you enter the information into PBS that you will mail by a particular date, click the button saying it was mailed but don't actually mail it until 10 days later. That would mean you could put any date you wanted to appease the PBS rules but mail it whenever. We are hoping that we just didn't look on the correct pages because this can't be allowable behavior?

Date Posted: 12/1/2009 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If you filled out the received survey with the dates on it then PBS will know.  You can make it a point to point it out there, though.  Late mailing isn't considered a "Official" problem-it's considered an"unofficial" problem.  You handled itright.

Ruth

Date Posted: 12/1/2009 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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It doesn't seem right that they mailed it 10 days later; but if it is received by the estimated received date, it's usually not that big of a deal.

Date Posted: 12/1/2009 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,861
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Yes, you did the right thing. If you receive the book before it goes lost, then there is really nothing you can do about it, excpet make a notation in the "Messages for PBS" part of the form that you fill out when you mark a book received.

Also, a stamped postmark can happen anywhere along the trip ... not necessarily on the date the book was mailed. The only way to know for sure if the book was actually mailed on a specific date is to look at the date ... either on a APC stamp (has a sale date) or Post Office generated postage stamps (that have the mail date). Or on electronic postage, that will have a date on it, too.

But just the postmark stamp .... could have hapened 10 days after she really did mail it.

Date Posted: 12/1/2009 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,448
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I've heard that the PBS system flags books that are mailed after a certain time.  They are looking for repeated patterns, not one time events.  Filling out that little survey is very important for books that look like they were mailed late.  You can also enter a comment in the bottom box, which only PBS can see.

Date Posted: 12/1/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Ron & Dawn.

I almost always fill out the survey page, including postmark/postage information (if available).  If the book was definately mailed late, I note that in the comments section.  I like to provide information that other members have a pattern of mailing on time, or if they are mailing late.   Also use the comment box to note whether or not plastic underwrap was used, scotch tape, or other information that may be helpful.

The only true accurate indicator of mailing date is counter postage strips.  APC can be purchased ahead of time, and postmarks (as mentioned above) can be applied anywhere enroute.

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 16
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We always fill out the survey and in this instance we did state to PBS the late mailing date. This was actually an ectronic date, not sure if it is APC or not, we just called that a postmark since we didn't realize the difference. Glad to know we did the right thing. Is this something that you should or should not address with the sender? We know that PBS gives about a month before it is an issue but it just doesn't seem right to say you will mail by one date but actually mail so much later.

Denise L., do you always relate to PBS when plastic wrap is not used? We receive a good amount of books with nothing protecting the book(s) from the elements just the paper label covering it. Never thought of commenting on that to PBS since they do not have plastic wrap as a requirement.

We appreciate all the feedback and help,

Dawn & Ron

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,449
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There is no reason to PM the sender if you recieved the book before the transaction timed out.  By filling out the survey you're helping PBS keep a record of dates, etc.  If a particular sender has an unusual number of exceptionally late mailings then their account may be flagged, but this is behind the scenes.

As far as any other data in the box, that is just up to you.  I usually note when I get multiple book packages since the postage will look strange: I'll put the same data on each book but will mark 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc. Or you can indicate a really well-wrapped book (it's nice to thank the sender when they do that, too).   You can note anything unusual or exceptional (good and bad) that you think PBS might like to have a record of.  Wrapping in plastic is not necessary but some people note it here because it's an extra nice touch.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,861
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Yes, there is no reason to PM the sender about it, if you do receive the book. At best, you will get an apologetic  PM with some kind of excuse in it, and at worst, you will get a nasty PM with some kind of excuse in it.

So, just keep in mind, almost all members of PBS are great and follow the rules and the mailing guidelines ... what you read about in the forums is the very very small amount of bad transactions that people have questions about or are so exceptionally bad they like to post about them.

Last week, more than 50,000 books were mailed on PBS  ... and if you check the forums, you will see that in that same week, maybe 5  or 10 people will post about a bad transaction. The other 49,990 transactions that week were either good, or resolved normally!



Last Edited on: 12/3/09 12:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Denise L., do you always relate to PBS when plastic wrap is not used?

I, obviously, am not Denise.   However I thought you would want to know that PBS does NOT require anyone to use plastic so there certainly is NO reason to relate to PBS or anyone else when it is not used.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 4:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,448
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I always note when scotch tape is used rather than packing tape.  The slightest hint of weather, and scotch tape disappears.  Argh.  

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 7:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I will indicate when a book is poorly wrapped. But plastic is not required.

You know if I get the book before it goes lost I don't really care when it was mailed.  Life happens.  Sometimes your car breaks down, or your kid gets the flu (happened recently), a close relative dies (had that happen last year), your power goes out for 4 days (happened to me in Feb) and mailing books just has to wait. 

Fill out the survey. If they are chronic late mailers they will get a warning from PBS to mail books on time. 

Subject: If you want the book wrapped in plastic...
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2005
Posts: 608
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you should have a Requestor Condition.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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An RC for what? To mail the books on time?  That'll just open them up to getting turned down by people who won't accept any RC at all. 

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I note to PBS when I get a great wrapped book and when they use plastic.  I don't tell when they don't use plastic since it isn't a requirement.  But a record of good things is always nice if we are to record the bad things as well.  I always send a PM when they do use plastic or do a really good job of wrapping just as I do when they don't.  We never know what our books look like and how they held up during the trip if no one gets back to us.  A pat on the back is just as necessary in my mind as a complaint.  I really like to have feedback so that I can keep doing the good things and stop doing bad things. 

Sending a comment on the late mailing to the sender isn't going to help much since they most likely know they were late.  And it might make things worse later on because it will make them defensive for the next times they send out.  No point in aggravating them when the party (PBS) that needs to know is alerted.

Ruth



Last Edited on: 12/3/09 3:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,336
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When you fill in the survey listing the late postmark, the sender will get an e-mail from PBS about the importance of mailing books on time.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, I usually note whether or not plastic is used . . . I'm hoping PBS will soon make this a requirement   

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 22
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I've had a rash of these lately (books marked mailed when, in fact, they were not mailed until several days later).  One reason I can think of why someone would do this is if they don't want the system to time out before they make it to the PO. So, a repeated use of that would be a flag to their account. It's frustrating, if you're anxious for a book.

However, sometimes, it is purely absent-mindedness.  For one book I requested, the first sender pulled the book, marked it mailed, then noticed that it had water damage. She meant to email me if I still wanted it, but forgot, and from there is got buried on her desk. I declined her offer of a water damaged book and requested the title again. This 2nd sender had wrapped it up and asked her hubby to mail the book, marked it mailed on pbs, and forgot all about it. When it was close to timing out to "lost" by the system, I contacted her, she serached hubby's car, and found the book, unmailed, under the car seat! So overall, I waited a very long time to finally get this book. It actually timed out twice on the pbs system before it arrived, safely, to me!

Enjoy your "new" book!



Last Edited on: 12/5/09 10:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I had a member PM me once about a week before a book was to go lost: she had just found a whole bunch of PBS books in the trunk of her husbands car.  He had told her he mailed them when really he put them in the trunk and forgot about them.