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Topic: Lost Book - or is it?

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Subject: Lost Book - or is it?
Date Posted: 9/29/2011 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2010
Posts: 20
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What are the chances that the member I sent the book to is just not marking it received so she can save a credit?  It seems silly to me to do that, but for the first time I book I sent did not arrive and I find it very hard to believe.  My husband is anal about the wrapping and printing the address and mailing the book from the post office, etc.  Every book we have ever sent has been received within days of mailing without complaint.  Do books really get "lost" in the mail?  I don't care about the credit - I actually have more than I can use right now - but I am disturbed by the thought of someone being dishonest about it.  The requestor doesn't seem to care that the book is "lost" which is what makes me think it isn't....  Sorry, should give people the benefit of doubt... but something is off here. 

OK.  End of rant.  Thanks.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Yes they do actually go lost.  It's a low percentage compaired to all that don't go lost.  And sometimes they show up after PBS declares them lost.  I hosted a game once where one of the books went lost.  It showed up a year later still in the original packaging with the original postage date showing it had been mailed on time.  We knew that anyway from the DC scans.

I've had 6 books go lost enroute to me from bookmooch although I suspect those were never mailed.  Bookmooch has much loser rules and pays little attention to what it's members are doing. 

I've had 3 or 4 go lost to me on PBS. One even shows a DC delivery scan.  But I never got the book and all the post office could tell me is that they didn't have it anymore.

You could try PMing them and saying that you mailed the book on time and did they receive it.  If they don't respond after a week, you can contact PBS. If the account shows signs of inactivety (no log ins, timed out requests, unanswered PMs) they may mark it received if give you a credit if the requestor has any.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Also if the book is going to Hawaii, Alaska, US Virgin Islands or to an APO/FPO address-they're are more likely to take longer.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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It seems silly to me to do that, but for the first time I book I sent did not arrive and I find it very hard to believe.

Why would you find that very hard to believe?

If you read the forums often, you'll find that books do go missing. Not often, but they do here and there. Some arrive a few days after going lost, some never, and I heard about one member got her lost book after almost a year.

I've had one go lost from me, but had a whole chunk of them go lost coming to me, usually the spring. Don't know why, but could have been a truck in an accident, or a flood, or some hub someplace was shredding packages with my books included.

(I once saw a news report on a FedEx truck that went over the railing of an overpass, and rolled down a hill in the fall when misty rain suddenly turned to black ice. The reporter, trying to keep a straight face, was standing in front of the overturned truck which had broken open. It had spilled all the boxes down the hill and they'd broken open and flung around the contents.  It was a mess. Yet he had to stand there in front of the obvious wreckage debris and say seriously "And Federal Express reports that none of the shipments in the truck were damaged."  Uh, yeah. Bet they never arrived, either.)

Seriously, it doesn't matter how well you wrap up a book. It can get damaged, mislabeled and lost. Sorting machines can eat things. If a wrapper gets separated from a book, and there are several books found under the machine, I doubt they're going to spend a lot of time figuring it out. That's why they ask if you want insurance on anything. They won't say it doesn't happen.

There's nothing you can do to guarantee a book won't disappear in the postal system except not send it. I certainly does happen.



Last Edited on: 9/29/11 10:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/29/2011 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2011
Posts: 64
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they might not be "lost" but just taking a long time. Currently I have 3 books that PBS marked lost and one more coming due this weekend. I'm not worried (ok maybe a little) and actually sent PM's to the senders for just the reason Mary L. said: I live at an APO. so I would PM the member and ask if the received it yet. either they will say not yet or mark it received.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,516
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Another good reason to use PBS DC.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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Earlier in the year, I had a book with DC scanned as delivered to me, but it actually showed up in my mailbox 16 days later. So, even DC scanned as delivered does not 100% prove that a book was delivered.

On the other hand, I've mailed out more than 1000 books and only had 1 actually go lost that was sent by me. So, 1 out of more than 1000 is not bad odds.

Coming to me, I've had 5 or 6 go lost, I suspect half of them were never mailed, I suspect the other half were victims of their packaging.

So, it happens.

Also, sometimes books are just slow to arrive. If you have had most of your books marked received in "days", I would say that that is unusual. I find that most books that I mail, or that are mailed to me, arrive sometime in the second week (after mailing). So, more than 7 days, usually. The next most common time period is in the third week after mailing. Then the ones that arrive in the first week (I would be estimating this one at only 20% of books mailed), then the fourth week (maybe 5-10% arrive in the 4th week.). You haven't said how much time you it has been since you mailed .... but if you aren't in that third week yet, its a little early to start worrying. I don't start paying attention to books I've mailed until they start entering that 4th week without being marked received.



Last Edited on: 9/29/11 10:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/29/2011 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,392
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I had one going from KS to OK a few years ago take 6 weeks, but it got there.  Another one I sent out in early July this year to IL (from KS) arrived just last week (mid September)..  She said it was pristine.  I have other books really go lost (at least they never were marked as received, not many though).  Good luck. Pat

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,350
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I had one come to me four months late from Florida.  It had the correct postmark on it, and was in great shape.

 

If a member has a pattern of not marking books received, their account will be in jeopardy.  She's probably being honest if she told you it hasn't arrived.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, books really do get lost in the mail (sometimes delivered 4, 6, or even 12months later).  Situations like this are exactly why I use PBS DC.

But like Sara, I've notice that the ratio of books 'lost' on their way to me (5) is much larger than the number I know for sure I've mailed out (just one that tried to go lost but was rescued and re-sent to requester).  In reality, the number showing lost enroute to me is 6, but the sender pm'd and let me know she'd marked it mailed and handed it to a relative to mail...but there was an incident before he got to the PO, and the book was never recovered.

Without DC, there really is no way to tell if a book is actually delivered.  And even then, DC only lets you know it was delivered 'somewhere' ... which occassionally is not where it was supposed to be delivered.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Also, sometimes books are just slow to arrive.

I had one take 3 weeks to go 30 miles. And it was sent First Class!

And it wasn't even during a bad time for weather, either.

Date Posted: 9/29/2011 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2009
Posts: 232
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I have has 6 books go lost to me.  Only one from me has been lost. I know I live in the boonies, but that seems like an above average amount of books lost on the way to me.

Date Posted: 9/30/2011 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 6
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It’s possible the requestor might be doing that however from what I’ve seen and experienced so far I have found the individuals who use this sight are quite honest. 

There may be other factors involved in the “lost” book as well.  For example, we live in the boonies and have several mailboxes on the main road.  Our address is 20691 while our neighbor’s is 20619.  Last year we’ve all had our mailboxes destroyed (4x) by snow plows and teens texting while driving.  >.< Add to that we have a family that has special needs children, one of whom likes to help gather our mail and deliver it to us.  There have been times I’ve received a package and she thought it was a “present” for herself and taken the item home.  Recently I had a transaction where the book was posted in June but declared lost in the post.  Earlier this month the mother of said child was redecorating/painting her room found the “lost” book and returned it to me.   So as other’s have suggested be patient, PM the requestor as a follow up and hopefully the requestor is like the majority who use this site and will mark the item as received.   

Date Posted: 9/30/2011 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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That's why they ask if you want insurance on anything. They won't say it doesn't happen.

Okay so this is a little off topic, but I had an interesting ancedote about this.  I had sold a little silver charm to someone online a couple years ago in late November.  I sent the charm out first class, didn't get tracking.  A few weeks later, the lady emailed to say she hadn't gotten it.  I told her I had sent it out weeks ago and she should have gotten it.  I didn't have another one so I refunded her money figuring it went lost in the mail especially with Christmas around the corner.  I sent her the refund, and figured it was a lesson learned in getting a tracking number. 

She left me negative feedback the next day, saying that she believed I never sent the item since I was so quick to offer her a refund.  She also added that "As a former postal worker I find it hard to believe that neither one of us received the item."  Really? I was laughing too hard to be upset about it.  I have a hard time believing she worked for the post office if that's what she truly thinks.  My counter clerk has candidly told me multiple times that I would be shocked by the amount of lost mail they process every day. 

 

Edited to fix funky formatting.



Last Edited on: 9/30/11 12:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2011 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I had a lot of problems when I lived in MD.  I was sort of out in the sticks.  I lived on a long very narrow street and all our driveways were really long and really narrow.  So the mail boxes were all at the end  in a group.  I was constantly getting the wrong mail.  All 3 of the books lost coming to me were when I lived there.  We all had our names and house numbers on our mail boxes. We all had signs with our house numbers at the start of our driveways.  I will still come home on a regular basis to find my neighbors packages on my front porch.  Many times when I delivered their packages I found my mail on their front porch.  Frequently they jsut left packages in the little house thingy where the mail boxes were.  

And yes I asked all my neighbors about the lost books and no one had them.  But I frequently got mail for people not on my street so who knows where they ended up. And yes I did complain to the post office.

Date Posted: 10/1/2011 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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As others have said, yes books do go lost. The percentage is pretty small, and if this is the first time you've sent one that didn't arrive, it could be just that the odds are catching up with you. I had a book sent to me take 7 months to find me one time--wrapped and addressed perfectly, the package pristine...a metered postage sticker with the correct send date on it...just went walkabout I guess. The thing is this: you can't take it personally. Considering the huge amount of mail and packages that USPS handles, it's inevitable some of them will go astray. People who don't mark books received don't last long at PBS...they may get away with it a time or two, but their account is flagged for review if it happens regularly and they'd be booted out if it's too often. So as you said, it really doesn't make sense to just not mark books received.

PBS DC or PBS printable postage has the credit guarantee, but honestly I don't think the extra expense is worth it simply to assure your credit...the amount of books that go lost is so small that an occasional lost credit by mailing without it is not that significant. (I do use the PBS postage, but it's for convenience and to support the site, not because I'm afraid of losing credits. I've mailed 1900+ books over six years and had just a handful go lost.)

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/1/2011 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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I received a package that was postmarked 4 months earlier, so yes it does happen.  I also think this is likely to happen even more in the future, with the post office in dire financial straits.  Fortunately, my local post office is not scheduled to be closed down, but they've certainly cut their staff numbers.  My regular mail carrier retired a short time ago, and instead of replacing him, his route has been split among the other carriers.  I used to get my mail around noon; now it's late afternoon or even early evening.

Date Posted: 10/1/2011 7:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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In the time I've been at PBS, I've had 4 or 5 books I sent go lost, and unlucky me, they have been game books (which I've had to replace somehow) or really heavy books.

So any long time member who has never lost a book, should count herself lucky!



Last Edited on: 10/1/11 7:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/1/2011 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,579
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I've had 3, possibly 4, books go lost on their way to me since I've been a member.  Of those, one used DC and appears to have gotten as far as Atlanta before falling into some postal black hole.  The other three just never showed up, though I strongly suspect that one of those was never actually mailed.  I've been lucky so far in that none of the books I've mailed has gone lost; keeping my fingers crossed that I haven't just jinxed myself by saying that out loud. LOL.   I would venture to say that the percentage of members using the 'went lost' excuse in order to save a credit is extremely small and chances of getting away with it for any length of time, equally small.  Give the sender the benefit of the doubt.

Date Posted: 10/1/2011 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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So any long time member who has never lost a book, should count herself lucky!  enlightened  I do D.G!  I've now sent so many books (without a loss) that I'm starting to have anxiety when I go to the PO to mail...surely that nasty Murphy will appear some day soon and disappear my books lol!



Last Edited on: 10/1/11 3:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/1/2011 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2010
Posts: 20
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Well you have all put my mind to rest... maybe someday it will turn up. Thank you!
Date Posted: 10/1/2011 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2010
Posts: 20
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Well you have all put my mind to rest... maybe someday it will turn up. Thank you!
Date Posted: 10/1/2011 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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LOL, Denise. Hopefully not! :)

Date Posted: 10/1/2011 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2010
Posts: 576
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I know what you mean, Nicki. I too have wondered if these people are just "messing" with me, and not marking their books received. I have had 5 books (all to different people) go missing recently. Now I don't think everybody is cheating, but come on! the post office can't be that bad at losing mail. So I started using the dc prepaid label, and haven't had a problem since :) $.40 extra is worth not "lossing" all those credits.

Just my two sense LOL

Kristy