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Topic: Late postmark...How late is late?

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Subject: Late postmark...How late is late?
Date Posted: 11/12/2011 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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While lookiing through the Help Docs for RWAP info about a book I received, I noted that Late Postmark can be clicked as the reason for marking a book as RWAP. What I want to know, though, is how late is late. If I say I'll mail a book by Saturday, but put it in the Blue Box too late, it might not get postmarked until Monday. The recipient will still receive it with a week to 10 days (unless it's Media Mail and running a little slow.) Am I going to get dinged for that? Would you even call it a RWAP. I generally wouldn't unless the postmark is way out and the book has been declared lost, or almost went lost.


Date Posted: 11/12/2011 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2009
Posts: 962
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From my experience & general understanding of the site, you have 2 days to mail the book from the time you click that it's been mailed.  Personally, if it's just a few days...I don't worry about it.  I tend to pay more attention if the book went lost in the mail (or close to it).  Then I pay attention to the postmark.  But if you mark it mailed on Saturday and don't get it to the PO til Monday, I don't see that as an issue.  

edited for spelling :)

Last Edited on: 11/12/11 6:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/12/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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If there has been no communication from the other member (RL, weather, etc), I would be looking for counter postage dated at least 5 days after the book was marked mailed.  PBS already has a 48 hour grace period, plus there's weekends, mail holidays, and RL.  It's so rare that I can actually read the postmark, I tend to not get excited about them.  But if it's postmarked (and I can read the city too) I would be looking for 5 - 7 days after being marked mailed (depending on if it's the same as senders city, nearby, or merely enroute).

PBS admin tends to be a bit vague on the date thing, especially if the book arrives before the lost date.  But here's another tidbit of information:

Under 'Getting and Sending Books' and 'Can I Send a Book Later?'

If you marked the book mailed but did not mail it and you want to mail it late (more than 4 days after the date you marked it as mailed),  you MUST contact the requestor using the PM button on the transaction, to be sure that the requestor still wants the book.  (If the book has already been declared "lost", the PM button is on the "lost in mail" transaction in your Transaction Archive.)

  • If she replies that she does still want it you can mail it to her.  She can mark it received and you will get credit at that time.
    • If the book has already been declared "lost" she can mark it received from her Transaction Archive and you will get credit at that time.
  • If she replies that she does NOT want it (she may have gotten a copy from someone else in the meantime), you should NOT MAIL - you should ask us to cancel the "en route" transaction and you can repost the book for someone else to request.
  • If she does not respond to your PM, you should repost the book.  It will be offered to her automatically if she still wants a copy.
  • You should not mail a "lost" book to the original requestor unless she has confirmed that she still wants it in a Personal Message.  If you mail it and she has already gotten another copy, she will NOT be obligated to mark the book received, or to return it to you.

Last Edited on: 11/12/11 6:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/12/2011 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PS : I've received a few books with counter postage dated 7 to 10 days (or more) after the book was marked mailed.  Yes, I would RWAP those under the new log-in system.  1 to 4 days?  It's doubtful I would even notice that small a difference much less RWAP it.

Last Edited on: 11/12/11 6:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/12/2011 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,769
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I never noticed that , is it something new ?

I personally would not mark something RWAP unless  it was unpostable. as long as it gets to me in the time frame PBS allows.

Date Posted: 11/12/2011 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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Thanks, everyone! I tend to be pretty compliant when it comes to rules and such, but  I also tend to want to mail it and mark it mailed by the date I say I'll mail it -- and not use the two day grace window. (My luck, I'd forget to mark it mailed within the two-day allowance, and then have it cancel/timeout.) If I get a book a little late, though, I'm not going to mark it RWAP, especially if I got it well before the time when the request would have timed out, and especially if it's a WL book in good condition that I'll be able to repost. Like some of you other posters, I frequently can't read the postmark anyway.

The one time I was late mailing (I think 4-5 days after I should have mailed it -- like the following Wednesday, instead of the previous Friday), I actually sprung for First Class so the recipient would have it within two-three days, even though it was a heavier Media Mail type. It ended up being only a little more expensive -- maybe $3-something, instead of $2.50 or so.  As it turned out, they ended up getting the book within a week of the date I said I'd mail it. Whew, fast!!

Last Edited on: 11/12/11 9:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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Lisa- yes, under the new receiving process there is an option under problem for late post mark. I believe that the transaction is still recorded in the TA as a green check mark, it just lets the system know about the post mark issue.

Carolyn, I think it can be a personal preference. A lot of people had a problem with not being able to mark late post marks as a problem swap, I think some were marking them as damaged in order to be able to mark them as problems under the old system. This way people who want to mark the late post marks as problems can do so, and the system can handle it the way it wants them to be handled. Even if you didn't mark it as a late mailing, but enter the post mark, the system will handle it the same. In the email that goes out on late mailings, it tells members that books need to be mailed within 24 hours of them being marked as mailed, but the email is not sent until the post mark is something like 8 days late.

The site isn't going to penalize you if you dont mark a late mailed book as a problem. Many of us never bother to look at when it was marked mailed in order to know that when we are logging the book in so they will still have the system determine late mailings.