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Topic: Inactive Members

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Subject: Inactive Members
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 2
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Is there a way to weed out inactive PBS members? I have requested a book that was listed and I'm so tired of waiting for someone to accept it. I'm sure its one of those instances where they listed it when they were active and then sort of grew away from the site. But now, its making me go through all of those members until one of them signs on.


Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 1,101
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you are helping to weed out the inactive members by waiting. I know it can be frustarating. Hope someone answers your request soon.

Last Edited on: 2/23/08 10:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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Grit your teeth and realize you're doing PBS a service. By waiting as your request goes through various members, you're helping weed out those inactive accounts. I think almost everyone runs into that situation at some point, and R&R *are* keeping track.

Hey, at least your request is still active - I had one the other day for a book I was thrilled to find at PBS, requested, and when the inactive member didn't reply, no one else had it, so my request was cancelled. :~(

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I also remember reading an R&R comment somewhere that after too many transactions that go unanswered, a shelf will be put on vacation hold so that no more orders go to that shelf until the person signs on and removes the hold themselves.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It happens sometimes but like the others said-by waiting and letting them time out you're helping to weed out the inactives.  The system will remove the book from their shelf and flag the account if they have an unanswered request.  Then PBS can take a look at it and put the account on hold if it looks like it's inactive.  This is really the only way to draw attention to a dead account. That and unanswered WL offers.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,055
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Plus, you never know.  I sent a member a request, and got a PM later that they had been in the hospital.  Sometimes a member might not be inactive, just indisposed. 

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 112
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what counts as "inactive". i have an account set up for my mom that i maintain. she only seems to want books with a long wish list *rolls eyes*. so i never log into the account at all. and it keeps bugging me to list books.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,757
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Kristina put all your mom's books on auto-request and make sure you have about 5 credits available in the system at all times to cover any that come up. Then put her account on vacation hold. As long as you are willing to purchase credits every time you run low, you don't need to post books at all if you don't want to.

Subject: Just encountered my first one!
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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No apparent activity in the past year for the sender of a book I've ordered. I did check on the next person (there are 2 copies in the system) and she seems like someone who'd accept right away from her profile. It's now day 4 of 5 until the request turns over; I could cancel and request it directly from the second person, but decided to let this one expire first. Ironically, this credit was one returned by a sender, after I marked RWP, for a large print book I received that should have been posted without an ISBN (as Large Print for book type), rather than the in-system ISBN regular-print book I'd been expecting.

May sound hard-hearted, but if someone is "inactive" due to an emergency, I still feel that they should have their account flagged after a 5-day non-acceptance. It's not fair to requestors (or really to the poor sender) otherwise.


Date Posted: 2/23/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Yes, I think that's a hard-hearted way to look at it, John. A single timed out book? I personally missed marking a book last week, and that means according to your thoughts, my account should be set as inactive. One time is kinda harsh. Everybody has "life" happen once in a while and should always get a pass every so often. I don't think I'm a bad member, or should have my whole membership penalized just for a single mistake. That's a little rough ;)   There's just too many things in life that can take up to 5-6 days to settle and you can't get to the computer during it. Car accidents, fires, computer crashes, illness, what ever, and then one the 6th day you are back to your computer and being a perfectly responsible member.

As the system stands now, it does take a specific number of timed out requests before the account is shifted to an inactive status. And while it's not really fair to the requestors, it's really not that big of a deal. I mean when sometimes the book can take 3-4 weeks to get to you because of the postal system over which none of us have any control, what's a few more days added in there to wait for the book to time out? Afterall, it's not like you are going to get the book day after tomorrow when it is accepted, is it?

Just musing on your comment, John, not striking back or being offensive, just musing ;)

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
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On the other hand, if you aren't actually inactive and just messed up, you can just log in and de-vacation your account.

There are plenty of other things on the site that apparently automatically lock an account, I don't think putting it on vacation after you miss accepting a book to be that big.  All you have to do is unlock it.

And if you are in the middle of an emergency, it might be nice to have the account auto-vacation so you don't come back to a bunch of upset folks.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Kayote responded as I would've.  A non-inactive person can reset their account and re-post the book again. Actually, I think 5 days is too long for a response; 72 hours at the latest to account for folks who cannot long on over a weekend. Perhaps the next sender uses DC and could use a credit quickly - is that fair to either of us?

I am not an orge. If someone were to PM me: "Something has come up and I will not be able to mail your book until after the deadline. Could I please mark it mailed, evn though I haven't done so? I'll send you a message when it's actually mailed (within a week AT MOST). Again, I apologize and hope this is okay this once.

My reply would be: "Sure - these things happen. I would've been upset if you hadn't warned me, but in this case go ahead and mark it mailed."


Last Edited on: 2/23/08 7:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I have several requests right now that are on day four -- I'm just waiting them out.  There are many books in the system, and someone will come through eventually, so I'm just leaving them to roll over to the next person.  All the ones that are sitting now are "keepers" that I'm willing to wait for.  I have had a couple that I really didn't care about and decided to use the credits somewhere else, though, rather than wait. 


I am being much more pro-active about the books I'm sending out, though.  I want to make sure a  WL book on auto-request is actually going to a real person -- at a real address -- who didn't sign up a year ago and leave.  I've had my fill of people with apparently inactive accounts who won't answer PMs.  I'm all for helping weed out inactive accounts, but when it comes to sending out books, I'm out the book, I'm out the postage and I'm out the credit.  Since we're left on our own to deal with this, I handle it in my own way -- I simply check to make sure the person really wants the book before I mail it. 

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Could this be solved perhaps by simply weeding out folks who had neither a log in nor a transaction with 90 days going on HOLD with a warning e-mail? Does that sound fair?

Last Edited on: 2/23/08 9:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I think R&R probably have some good controls set...they seem to be on top of everything!  I think they've been doing this longer than any of us have been members and I'm sure they have reasons for the time frames that they have set for things.

Just my .02

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I like your pennies, Christy, they seem to be very shiney hahahaha