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Topic: How long must I wait...

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Bob P. (Desorow) - ,
Subject: How long must I wait...
Date Posted: 10/18/2008 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2007
Posts: 119
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What is a reasonable - realistically - length of time to wait for a request to be acknowledged?

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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Bob~

Each request is given 5 days for the member to accept or decline the request.  If they do not respond within this time frame, the request goes to the next member who has a copy of the book.  They, in addition, have 5 days to accept the request.  Depending on how many members the request has to go through, it could take awhile.  Having said that, it generally does not take anywhere near that long to get a request accepted. 

If it has been over 5 days since you requested the book, but the book request is still there, check your Transaction Archive to see what happened to the original request.  To get to the archive you can choose it from the drop down menu from your  grey "My Account" tab at the top of any page.  You should find the name of the book with a red X to the left of the title.  Place your cursor over the red X and you will get a short message telling you why the request didn't get accepted. 

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 1,123
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And Bob - do not cancel and then request again, because it will just go back to the same person.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/18/2008 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Yeah...I have one request that's about to roll over to #4, it looks like.  If I didn't check the dates/transaction archive, it would look like the request has just been sitting there for over two weeks :(

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Joy, do requests that are not acknowledged (timed out) still get put into the Transaction Archive? I know they used to do that, but I thought that now the only ones that show up there are those that were actually acknowledged but canceled for some reason. Those that just roll over to the next person in FIFO don't show up there anymore I don't think. (I might be wrong...but I know I've requested a few books in the past couple months that went thru more than one person and I don't see the original request in my TA.)

The best way to tell if the request has rolled over to the next person with the book available is to look at the request date. If you originally requested the book five days ago but today's date is on the request, then it's on the first day of the second request.

Cheryl

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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If there is no response after five days it goes into the transaction archive as "No response from sender after allotted time."  Unfortunately I have quite a number of these notations in my archive :(

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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I was very happy to read the following in the latest newswire from PBS:

We've tightened the "unresponsive member" mechanism a little bit and added a twist - now if senders miss a few requests, their accounts are placed "under review".

Hopefully, all those unresponsive members that we are weeding out through the FIFO request process will make these stories of frustration less frequent in the future.  I know it really bites to go through the long waits, but just consider that you are helping to weed out the inactive members in the process. 

Subject: Wish List Response Time
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 16
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Has PBS ever considered making the response time of 5 days shorter?  Specifically for books that have numerous people on the wish list waiting for a book.  I finally made it to number one (300 people behind me) on Oct 16th. I was offered the book and I accepted.  I have been waiting for 3 days now for a response.  In these 3 days the number of people behind me has dropped to 281. So my other question is during the last 3 days have I missed the opportunity to get the book from several other members who posted it and those behind me got it?  

When you are in the process of posting a book the screen shows you with a red or green "W"  that it is a wish listed book. So you know to expect a possible request for  it soon after it is posted.   I realize changing the response time for just a certain category of books would require some programming time but maybe it could be considered for a future update.

Thanks for "listening" to me rant a little during my time of frustration. 

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Since I collect a lot of obscure books, I probably have a better chance of reqesting one that's been sitting a while in an inactive account, but it seems to me that if the request hasn't been accepted within two days, it's not going to be.

Stranger to me were a couple of WL offers I've had where the sender mysteriously cancelled the request after offering me the book.  If you accidentally dropped the book in the leaf shredder or something couldn't I at least get a PM?

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2006
Posts: 1,481
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I know that when I've become "unexpectedly" broke, I've allowed a book request to go about 3 days before I answered it, so I could push the mail-by date out until the next payday.  With these economic times, it's not unreasonable to think some members are running into this same issue.  With us, it was usually gas spiking up in our town, suddenly going from $3.80 to over $4.25 a gallon.  Gas to get to and from work has to be the priority over PBS mailings.

I will say that I've been on the other side of the coin too, and had both of your situations happen either here or over at SaDVD.  In fact, I ordered 5 dvds the same day, and received 4 of them before the 5th one was even accepted by another member!  I was so completely frustrated about it!  I too complained about the 5 day wait period, and for me it was bc there were over 50 copies of this dvd in the system, and I'm rather certain the people at the low end of the FIFO line would have been more than happy to accept my request the first time.  But I don't think they're going to lessen the 5 day response time any time soon.

I agree it is very frustrating!  And Kyle, I'd be hopping mad if others behind me were getting the book I was #1 in line for!  I feel your pain, trust me!  Have you contacted TPTB?  Maybe they can help....  Also remember the # of requestors could go down if people are deleting it from their wish lists....

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 755
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Last Edited on: 1/17/09 9:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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Here is a thought - instead of allowing five days (!) for someone to accept your request, why not shorten it to two days, the same as the WL acceptance???

Okay, I understand about people putting it off because they are waiting for payday.  Postage can get expensive if you have a lot of books to mail out.  I can also understand people who only get to the post office once a week, or more.  That is all completely understandable.  So here is what I am thinking.......

Instead of allowing five whole days for someone to accept your request, make it two days.  BUT, extend the deadline for mailing the book to accomodate the shorter acceptance period.   Or keep it at five days, but "reward" the quick responders.  In other words, if someone accepts a request in one day instead of five, then give them an additional four days on their mailing deadline.  

Why would this benefit anyone?  Yes, you would still have to wait the same amount of time for the book to be mailed if the sender chooses the maximum amount of time, BUT you would have a quicker acceptance and not be stuck in limbo for five days wondering if your request has been sent to an inactive member or just someone who is extending their mailing deadline.

Do the math - it would still allow the same amount of time for those who need the farthest out mailing deadline for whatever reason.

 



Last Edited on: 10/19/08 3:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I agree with Terri...two days to accept the order, plus pushing it to the furthest "I can mail later" date plus the two day grace period gives you more than a week already.  I'm not sure why it has to be five days.

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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Two days would be awfully short for people who don't have internet access every day, or perhaps went out of town for the weekend.

Sara

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<Two days would be awfully short for people who don't have internet access every day, or perhaps went out of town for the weekend.>>

I agree with Sara; the system is designed to help accomodate those who must get internet access at the library or someone else's house or wherever.  It can be hard to be patient, but I think it would be harder still to eliminate good members who simply have fewer resources.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 16
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That's a great idea Terri W.  It doesn't take away any time from the person sending the book and it gives the person wanting the book a quicker response time. 

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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Kyle~ 

The fact that the number on your wish list has gone from 300-281 could mean several things - in fact all the others have had a request given them by another member, some of those people off the list may have already decided they don't want the book for whatever reason, etc.  Of course all of them may be sitting there waiting the 5 days for their requests to be accepted along with you.  :) Of course, it your request does not get accepted or is denied, you will go back to your #1 place on the Wish List.

I would suggest that one of you send in this suggestion to the PBS Team of reducing the wait time.  Just click on the grey Help Center tab, choose the lower right box and a feedback form will come up for you.  Choose "suggestion" from the list of available topics.  I know the team wants to hear suggestions from members.  It may not get taken care of for awhile, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have at least been able to do something about it.

Good luck!

 



Last Edited on: 10/19/08 5:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Two days would be awfully short for people who don't have internet access every day, or perhaps went out of town for the weekend.

If there are multiple copies in the system, I think the odds should favor the requestor.

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 755
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Last Edited on: 1/17/09 9:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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2 days is NOT enough time...this week I had to wait the 5 days to accept because I needed to push it up to not having to mail until this coming Tuesday...if it hadn't of been for the 5 days to accept AND the 5 days to mail I wouldn't have been able to agree to mail.  This really is a dead horse that everyone is beating because it has been discussed over and over and TPTB have said they aren't changing it.

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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2 days also isn't enough if you get hit with a nasty intestinal bug when you're stuck lying in bed, if your internet goes out for some reason (due to a thunderstorm, ice storm, etc), if you have limited access to the internet and/or going to the post office due to work hours, if you care for an elderly relative or have children, or if you just plain don't sit on the computer for hours every day.

I really don't see the problem with learning to wait a few extra days for a book to be accepted--and yes, I've experienced waiting many times. But I really can't think of any book that I need immediately. I order the books I want and don't stress over them being accepted or not accepted. When I get the book, I get the book. If I'm ordering books for a gift (or this year for Christmas presents), I order them way in advance so I have that cushion of time.

About the only thing I check on my account page where there are the tabs is the books en-route to me spot so I have an idea of what's coming and where it's coming from and of course books ordered from me.

One of the very first books I ordered here on PBS went through 3 or 4 members before I received a copy but I did eventually receive a copy.

 

As for wishlist offers only being given 12 to 24 hours? That is way way too short. I love PBS but this is not my life! This weekend I was babysitting a niece and had a book I'd posted that was on someone's wishlist. I finally had time to accept it today. If it had been 12 hours, there's no way the person would have gotten the book. And what about people who work 12 hour shifts or are away from home 12 hours at a stretch. Just because someone doesn't respond immediately or even within 24 hours doesn't mean they don't care! It means they might have other things to worry about in their lives than responding immediately to a book request.

To be honest, I simply don't understand why people can't just relax and let the system work the way its supposed to (which sometimes means we need to be patient).

Subject: It sounds like a bad case of impatience :)
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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Trust me I have been there as well, with a book timing out and going through two or three people. Ironically I'm seeing a lot of impatience for getting a request accepted, but no complaints when the person accepting says they will mail in five days or the fact that media mail may take a month to get to you?

Kevin

Date Posted: 10/19/2008 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think if they just come up with a quicker way to remove inactive accounts it would take care of the bulf of those non-response requests.  Miss 1 transaction and your account goes on hold.  If it's an emergency and you're really an active person-than you've just been saved of having to repost books and start at the end of FIFO or reWL books and start at the end of the line.  You can just take your account off hold when you're back on the computer.  But if the person doesn't care about PBS anymore than they are no longer clogging up the WL and FIFO lines. 

I think another good thing would be a PM button when a book request is showing before you hit accept.  Then if you have to wait for payday or something you can PM and say-I'm going to accept but I need a few days.  Then the requestor knows you aren't ignoring them but just need a few extra days to mail.  Or they could do it kind of like bookmooch and give the sender more days to mail.  Not as much time as bookmooch does. I have a book I requested over a month ago from there that hasn't been mailed yet. I'm thinking of cancelling.  But maybe 10 days to mail. 

I've let requests sit before if I have other books pending on WL.  Then I can mail them together if one of the other WL books times out a couple times before being accepted. 



Last Edited on: 10/19/08 8:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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Ironically I'm seeing a lot of impatience for getting a request accepted, but no complaints when the person accepting says they will mail in five days or the fact that media mail may take a month to get to you?

Here is my take on this.  When you have a request sitting there for a couple of days, there is that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you've just requested a book from one of those phantom PBSers.  You know them  - they came, they posted, they disappeared into the ether.  And then when the five days is up, it rolls over to another one.  And you wait again......  

The difference in "impatience" levels with the accepted request is that you know you haven't dialed a disconnected number.  So, psychologically, you are content to wait for the book to be mailed and arrive at your door.  You have some kind of closure........

You just don't know if it is an active member who simply needs a few more days for financial reason or whatever.  So you get a little more stressed watching the days go by.....  

But, here is what I predict.  In six months, or maybe even less, there will be a lot less inactives thanks to the wonderful and welcome new "under review" program.  I think that is going to make a huge difference in weeding out the inactives.  And there will be less frustration overall.

I still wonder, though, if there were more time allowed to mail the books, say ten days instead of five, maybe the active members would not let it go the full five days because they need the extra time.  Then again, people may still take the full five days and then it's a 15 day window.... so I guess that isn't a solution.  I still like the reward program - you get an extra mailing day for each day you "beat" the five day response window.  

I think another good thing would be a PM button when a book request is showing before you hit accept.  Then if you have to wait for payday or something you can PM and say-I'm going to accept but I need a few days.  Then the requestor knows you aren't ignoring them but just need a few extra days to mail.

That's a good idea, Mary.  I have often wondered why you cannot know or PM the other person who is ordering your book BEFORE you accept the request....  Oh, and Mary, did you read the PBS Newswire this month?  There is going to be faster "weeding out" of non-responders than before.  I think it's going to really help.  A lot.



Last Edited on: 10/19/08 8:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/19/2008 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 16
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I did not mean to start a rukus here.  I guess I have been fortunate with my past  Wish List requests.  I haven't had this happen before with a Wish Listed book.  It just surpised me because I was on the website when the book was offered to me and I responsed immediately.   I have had to wait the 5 days several times for other books but they weren't in Wish List mode.  I don't have a problem waiting.  I have a very large TBR pile. 

I guess I just have a different view about things.  If I am posting a book that it on someone's wish list I do my best to resond quickly, but that's just me.  I spent my working career in customer service and I guess it's just a hard habit to break. :)



Last Edited on: 10/19/08 9:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1