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Topic: How long are accounts with no activity left open?

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fireman57 - ,
Subject: How long are accounts with no activity left open?
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2008
Posts: 76
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I was wondering how long an account stays open if the member doesn't appear to be active. In July, I posted a book to my wishlist, and it came up as one copy on the site. Well, I never received it because it was never mailed, and the member seems to have dropped out of sight. The last book posted to her account was almost a year ago, but she did add some to her wish list in May of this year.

After PBS cancelled the swap, she has never reposted the book, and didn't respond to my inquiries. I really wanted this book too.

 

Just wondering.

 

Date Posted: 10/1/2008 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it has to do with the number of requests be they WL offers or book requests that time out.  Also the fact that she hasn't posted any books ot her shelf recently doesn't mean she's inactive.  I frequently go months and months w/o adding anything to my shelf.  I usually post WL books.  The timed out request she had with you could have been a one time oops on her part. Maybe the book was unpostable and she just let it time out instead of cancelling it. I had a member recently let a request they accepted time out because she didn't have postage money.  Instead of cancelling it she just let it sit there. I know this because she PM'd me to tell she didn't have postage money.  I don't know why she didnt' just canel the request.  But she didn't.  I haven't checked back to see it she's still a member or not.

Sometimes people have family emergencies, computer break downs, power outages or what not that keeps them from honoring some transactions.  I remember a woman posting one time about having a really car accident with several book in her car ready to mail.  It was weeks before she could get back on PBS and even longer before she could get the books on her car.  They had frozen her account but reopened it for her. 

Your person just sounds like they were rude.  At least my person pm'd to say why they didnt' mail it out. 

Date Posted: 10/4/2008 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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I've wondered about this myself.  I've kept track of a couple of members who let my requests time out.  Their bookshelves have dwindled from 10 to five books over the past year since they didn't send out my book.  They've never added any books and there's nothing on their wishlists or reviews.  I'm guessing they are people who posted 10 books, got two free ones, and then abandoned their accounts.   But their accounts are still there.  I know this probably sounds a little obsessive on my part <grin>.  I'm just curious when their accounts get frozen or go bye-bye.  I currently have a Judith McNaught book I've ordered just sitting there and judging by the looks of the inactivity on the account, it will probably get passed on to the next FIFO in a few days.

Date Posted: 10/4/2008 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,286
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LOL... maybe it's something with Judith McNaught books?   I requested one for a soldier on 8/25 and  the sender canceled it on 8/26.  It rolled over to the next person in the FIFO line and the wrapper was printed on 8/27 and then again on 9/9.  I received it on 9/19, so don't give up hope... you may still get it!

I'm not complaining... just found the cowinkydink in the authors funny. 

 

 

Date Posted: 10/5/2008 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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I still think the automatic "vacation hold" should be a part of the system.  Miss ONE response to a request without accepting or declining and be put on automatic vacation hold.  It's not that big of a deal if there is an emergency, because you can take the hold off as soon as you get a chance to log in again.  And for members who have abandoned the site, they will never log in again so their account will stay on "vacation hold" until the powers that be purge it from the system. 

I think that would weed out all of those frustrations for those of us who request books or post WL books and then  have to wait and wait until it goes through all the inactive members.  Yes, I know it's "only a few days", but it does get to be annoying.  And it would prod those who just let things time out (for whatever reason) to be more proactive in answering requests.  And it will also benefit those who have emergencies and cannot get to their account because they will not lose their place in the FIFO system except for that first missed request.  That would give them peace of mind while dealing with real life.   I think it's a win-win for everyone.

And I really think it would be nice if the site would spell out exactly how they purge inactive members.  For instance, if a casual user joins, it would be nice to let them know in the guidelines how and when they risk being purged from the membership for lack of activity.  Full disclosure and all that.



Last Edited on: 10/5/08 8:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2008 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm with Terri on the auto vacation hold. There's been several active members who've had emergencies and couldn't get online for a stretch and come back to find half their books  removed from their shelf and WL because they missed offers and requests. The auto-vacation for a missed transaction would have saved them some grief.  Someone with a dead account wouldn't notice and their books are out of circulation. Someone normally active can just unhold the account.

Date Posted: 10/5/2008 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 1,123
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I just sent this miss one vacation hold suggestion and received this in return:

Dear Kristina,

This does happen already.  One missed request won't trigger it, but more than one will do this.

Have a great day!

The PaperBackSwap Team

But I for one think that the "more than one" number that they've chosen is too many!

Date Posted: 10/6/2008 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,593
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If this is a book you still want, Charles, make sure it is on your wishlist. It might be posted by someone else--PBS isn't necessarily about the individual members, but about the BOOKS. It likely wouldn't do any good to contact that member now anyway, regarding a swap that was generated in July. But if you have it wishlisted, it may eventually come along. I've just had notification of a WL book that I've been waiting for since October of 2005! So it does happen!

I think there are a lot of inactive accounts sitting there because people sign up and post books before reading the information and knowing how PBS works and what it's all about. I also wish they would somehow get rid of those accounts--or at least put them on vacation hold if they don't respond to book requests. But for now at least, it is what it is.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/6/2008 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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But I for one think that the "more than one" number that they've chosen is too many!

I am curious about the members that Mary referenced who had emergencies and returned to find their bookshelves ravaged.  Were they ever put on any kind of vacation hold?  Perhaps the "vacation hold" that the PBS team mentioned is NOT working?  Or maybe members that have been affected (and the rest of us!) need to lobby for quicker vacation hold activation?  Seems to me that "half their books  removed from their shelf and WL" would signal that there is a problem.  When you have a medical emergency or natural disaster or anything major in your life, worrying about putting your PBS account on hold is not a priority (nor should it be!).   I can't think of any member who would complain about an auto hold being activated.


I do not think it is unreasonable for an "auto hold" to go on an account after the first, or at the most, the second missed request.  Since it is not a "permanent" deletion and can be taken off as soon as the member logs in.

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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"I can't think of any member who would complain about an auto hold being activated."

Ditto!  I also wish that an account would go on automatic vacation hold after one missed transaction.  It would benefit everyone in the long run!

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 7:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2008 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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Let me whisper this in case anyone is listening:  I think an auto-hold after one missed request is more important than changing the current WL system.  If you really need to make programming changes to the site, this would be the change I would do first.  Auto-vacation hold on the first missed request to/from your account. 

 

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 189
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Well, while I would be in favor of an auto-vacation hold, I would suggest one of two possibilities.  1) Make it after the *second* missed request to/from your account    OR  2)  Increase the time-to-respond to a WL offer to more than two days.  (Actually, I would be in favor of this in general, and yes, I understand about auto request.)

I believe that there is probably more than one member who, for reasons of their own, chooses not to use auto request and does not always have access to the internet over the weekend (i.e., not from home, has gone away for the weekend, etc.).  As the wishlist offers now stand, an offer coming in on Friday evening would time out before the weekend is over.  It's bad enough to miss a WL offer and have to go to the end of the line, but a one-strike-and-you're-on-hold policy could get really irritating in a situation like this.

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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Michelle, I agree that two days for a WL request is not long enough for those who don't have access on the weekend.  So three days might solve that problem, and THEN a "one strike to vacation hold".  I think that's a pretty good compromise. 

As it stands now, there is too much leeway with missed requests.  It hurts active members who have an emergency and can't put themselves on hold, and it hurts active members requesting books from inactive members and having to wait five days for the rollover to the next book.  And if you are unlucky enough to rollover to another inactive member, then you are talking ten days, etc etc.

And you said: As the wishlist offers now stand, an offer coming in on Friday evening would time out before the weekend is over.  It's bad enough to miss a WL offer and have to go to the end of the line, but a one-strike-and-you're-on-hold policy could get really irritating in a situation like this.

I'm not sure why the auto-hold would get irritating?  It's a simple matter of logging in on Monday and removing yourself from hold.  Of course, you could have missed a Saturday or Sunday WL request also, so I think increasing the WL to three days would solve that.

So perhaps a two-pronged enhancement:  Increase WL wait 72 hours, AND institute the "miss one and vacation hold" would pretty much cover all of that.  (and, on the postive side, if you can't get to a computer because of vacation, illness or a longer weekend holiday, you would NOT go to the back of the line on the WL because the vacation hold would keep you in place)

 



Last Edited on: 10/7/08 10:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2008 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,350
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WL back to 72 hours would be very nice.

I also would like the 1-miss-auto-hold (though I could see it being 2 misses in case one timed out while you were looking for, say, postage money).  With maybe something to keep track of how often this happens so a follow-up can occur if it's a regular occurance.   I like this idea from both sides--requestor and sender.

 

Date Posted: 10/7/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 1,123
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I think everyone posting on this thread should suggest this - when i suggested earlier, I got a response back so quick I know it was a form letter!

fireman57 - ,
Date Posted: 10/7/2008 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2008
Posts: 76
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Spuddie (Cheryl R.) QUOTE/"If this is a book you still want, Charles, make sure it is on your wishlist. It might be posted by someone else--PBS isn't necessarily about the individual members, but about the BOOKS. It likely wouldn't do any good to contact that member now anyway, regarding a swap that was generated in July. But if you have it wishlisted, it may eventually come along. I've just had notification of a WL book that I've been waiting for since October of 2005! So it does happen!"/QUOTE

Yes, I do have it wishlisted now, and I hope it comes along! I only have 9 books on wish list, and 6 of those are for the same books in different versions. I'll just be patient and wait.

 

 



Last Edited on: 10/7/08 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2008 3:28 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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I just had a transaction time out this evening and out of curiosity went to the person's bookshelf to see how many books they currently had posted.  I found this message!!!

"This member currently has their account on hold. When this member returns their books will once again become active."

I don't know how many times they had a transaction go unaswered, but it was so nice to see that message in place!  Whether it's a member in good standing who got busy or had an emergency who now won't lose out on their place in the FIFO system on additional books or someone who has abandoned their account, there books are currently off the market!  Yeah!

PBSTeam - PaperBackSwap Team
Date Posted: 10/11/2008 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2005
Posts: 328
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I think everyone posting on this thread should suggest this - when i suggested earlier, I got a response back so quick I know it was a form letter!

Kristina, this was not a form letter.  We are just speedy when we can be.

Date Posted: 10/11/2008 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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PBS Team -- Thanks for posting on this thread!!!  You guys obviously do your best to stay tuned to what's happening in the forums and work quickly to take care of potential problems.  Thanks again! 

Date Posted: 10/11/2008 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I'm going to carry the PBS Team's comment one step further.....the email you get saying "Thank you for your Feedback" is auto-response, just to let you know that  your feedback went through.   Once you get a reply *from* the Team, a Team member wrote it.   Speaking only for myself, but from a small bit of personally experience, I have been "thanked" for the "form letter" in Live Help a couple of times.   Well, it is Live Help and I typed that answer myself, thanks, LOL. 

So, please, don't everyone send in that same suggestion, because you already know the Team read the thread and they are just going to have to answer all of those Feedback messages. ;-)

Date Posted: 10/11/2008 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 1,123
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Wow, that was a quick reply then - I'm impressed!

But another reason that I thought it might be a form letter is that I was not suggesting that a automatic hold be put in place - I know it is already - but that it be changed to an fewer number. But I do appreciate the ridiculous fast response!!