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Topic: Irritating PBS Librarian FAIL

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Subject: Irritating PBS Librarian FAIL
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 4
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Just got one of those e-mails that said "Your Wish List request for a book has been canceled‏" as I didn't log in within 48 hours to claim the book.


Truly off-pissing, as this was a book I had been waiting a long while for.  Now since I have to re-Wish List it, I move to the bottom of the wait list.  WTF?!

Something broke in the system here.  I check my e-mail multiple times a day, and never would have missed such a notification -- had I even gotten it!


Date Posted: 1/23/2010 3:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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Allen, check your Club Communication folder.  It's on the horizontal yellow bar on your My Account page.  If the message is in there, it means the e-mail was sent.  The problem might be with your e-mail provider.  There's a help doc titled

If you think you are not getting your PBS emails

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 7:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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Also, make sure your settings are set to get notification email.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 202
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You had 48 hours. If you check your email several times a day, couldn't you have checked PBS at least ONCE in 48 hours?

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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I'd definitely check all the things mentioned above and if you really didn't get the first email, notify PBS and maybe they'll put you back up on the list.  I'm going out of town for a couple of days and may or may not get online so I just put the books I'm higher up on the WL for on auto request, just in case.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I use Gmail for PBS and find that sometimes it is slow to deliver mail.  I monitor the gmail alerts when I am online, so if someone sends me a PM I can respond.  I had 4 messages waiting yesterday, but I didn't receive any alerts, nor were there messages.  I checked my blackberry and they were sent. Something is up with GMail.  I received a message from a week ago the other day.  Again, I was on the blackberry so I had received the original message, but when I read the emaill in Gmail, I was wondering why I was being asked the same question.  I wasn't, it was from a week ago.

Also it isn't just PBS mail that I receive late messages.  If you can't log on to PBS every other day, then (if it were me), I would set the books I want no mater what to auto.  I am sorry you missed a book.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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That sucks you missed out on a book you really wanted. Since you don't log in and check your PBS account on a daily basis, I highly suggest you use auto-request on any WIsh List books that you are close on so you don't miss out on them if your e-mail provider fails to deliver the message.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Allen, I am like the others and suggest that you put some or all of your wishlist books on auto-request so you won't miss out. I put all of my wishlist books on auto-request a few months back. I missed out on too many wishlist books that I really wanted. I also make sure that I have a sufficient amount of credits to take care of any wishlist books that will come in.

Last Edited on: 1/23/10 10:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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PBS isn't always the problem when it comes to emails. So I wouldn't go blaming them unless your Club Communications Folder doesn't show one sent.

I think people tend to get dependant on the Internet stuff that works, because it seems easy, and don't realize just how long, and iffy, a trip some emails can take. It's not like the P.O., where all the stop along the route are handled by the same service. Most, if not all, information on the Internet is contained in 'packet's that get passed along from server to server.

And if the server goes down, crashes, or just in general screws up a packet then what ever was in there will just disapear. In other cases packets have to be re-routed because a backbone is down. When Katrina hit and a bridge collapsed a major Internet Backbone was lost when the cable on the fallen bridge collapsed. So information usually sent along it had to find alternate routes. Hardly anyone noticed the slowdown, but it happens.


So sometimes you won't get emails because something along the way has happened to it. Or your settings were wrong and it ended up in your spam folder or junk file.

Which is why you never trust anything imporant just to email. If you want a WL book badly enough not to miss it, you've got to do your part and have the system order it for you.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I find that sometimes my email will randomly make something Spam now and then.  Usually when I've done an update of some kind.  I have a habit of not checking my email eveyrday.  Yesterday I checked it after a few days and had a lot of emails from PBS for various transactions.  Most it let through but a couple of them it flagged as spam and seperated for no apparent reason.  It was a similar form email like all the others. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Check your club communications folder, it may have been a glitch. I had the same thing happen on Swap a DVD a few weeks ago and when I checked my club communications the email was there, but the year given in the date sent was 1900! This looked fishy to me and sure enough, the email had never been delivered. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 4
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Until this instance, I have never had any problems receiveing PBS e-mail.  My Hotmail account does not mark them as spam.  Though the Club Communications folder lists the missing e-mail, my Hotmail account doesn't have it (as if I should trust Microsoft).  It has vanished into the ether.

Guess I'll just mark every single book as "Auto-Request."  I like the option of considering some requests first.  But if my e-mail betrays me, then no choice.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I like the option of considering some requests first.

Why?   What I have on my WL are books I want.  There's nothing to consider for me.  If I am not sure about a book, it goes on my RL or now can be on hold on the WL.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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You don't have to mark every single book as auto-request.  Another option is to visit your PBS account at least once a day.  PBS even works over mobile phones, if there is internet connectivity on them.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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A book shouldn't be on your WL if you are still considering it.  Or it should at least be on individual hold so it's getting offered to others while you are deciding.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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I don't have all of mine on auto, not because I'm "considering" per se, but because I shop for books at least once per week and sometimes several times. In some cases, I will find a book that's on my WL, and usually it's as I'm nearing the top (and more copies are circulating). Of course, I immediately remove it from my WL if I'm lucky enough to find it. And, when I hadn't been here as long, credits were an issue - I did have to "consider" a bit...what was up next, when would my next credit arrive, and, if it came down to it, which book did I want more?. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 Having a 12 year old hotmail account myself I can say that it is EVIL. I end up missing things all the time or things show up very late. Things just go Poof between others trying to send me something and me actually getting it! If it was not for all the moving I do and my attachment to the "old" e-mail account I would not use it at all. Thus I try and check in here every day.  -sigh- sorry your getting this issue too!

Date Posted: 1/24/2010 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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I noticed just last week that my bookshelf looked...odd.  Coincidentally, yesterday, I logged into my yahoo email on my computer (I always check on my phone) and noticed a lot of mail in my spam folder including quite a few from pbs.  What is weird is that I DO get my "watched topic", "Book requested", "Book accepted", etc mails...just apparently some slipped through the yahoo formula and apparently after several notifications, some of my books were taken out of FIFO.  It's irritating that I had apparently made it to the top of the long lists and now have to start all over...but it's a lesson learned about checking my spam folder more often. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2010 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Though the Club Communications folder lists the missing e-mail, my Hotmail account doesn't have it (as if I should trust Microsoft). 

That means PBS sent it and the question becomes why you didn't get it.  Hotmail and Yahoo are both fairly common for having issues with stuff suddenly being spam that wasn't before, or having a hold up where a ton gets dumped late and all at once.

For those getting some emails and not others, make sure you have *both* of these PBS email addys on your safe list:

"librarian@paperbackswap.com" and "noreply@paperbackswap.com"

Here is another portion that helps explain why problems are happen, seemingly, at random:

A reliable email connection with PBS is crucial to managing your account.

  • We have intermittent trouble with some email servers "holding" PBS emails, or treating them as "spam".
  • This is most common with yahoo and hotmail, but it can happen with other email servers also.
  • This is sometimes caused by members who mark PBS emails as "spam" as a way to delete them from their email inboxes
    • When one (for example) Yahoo user does this, it can affect ALL Yahoo users' reception of PBS emails
    • Members should ALWAYS delete emails when they have read them,  and NOT mark PBS emails as spam as a way to make the viewed email leave the inbox.
  • After holding PBS emails for a while, sometimes the email provider's email server will dump a bunch of outdated PBS emails into user inboxes; sometimes they just won't be delivered at all.