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Topic: Do Lost books ever show up?

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Subject: Do Lost books ever show up?
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 6:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2010
Posts: 3,819
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Does anyone EVER get books that have been lost in the mail?   I just got an empty box that should have had 7 books in it.   Of course, both sender and I have filled out the appropriate forms but what are my chances, really?     Signed, Sick At Heart in Argyle

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I have definitely received books after they have been declared lost -- but never if they fell out of their wrapping. In your case I think the odds are slim to none...

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,539
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How awful , was the box damaged by equipment or was it tape failure? Why would PO deliver an empty box? could they not see it was open? How do 7 books escape?

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They would deliver the empty box so the recipient knows something happens and can take action. 

BTW: you don't have to mark them received and then hope the sender refunds your credits.  You just let the system mark them lost. 

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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I've had a book show up over 4 months late,  But never from an empty wrapper. 

It is important to fill out the PO forms about lost books as that goes into the PO's audit of problems. 

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 625
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I would love to know what the post office does with all the books that get separated from their containers.  I received a notice from the PO that an entire BOX of books I had sent to Iraq had been separated from the box.  On the form the PO sent, I listed all of the titles that had been in the box.  Never got the books back or heard anything further. 

Given my own experience and the experiences I've read about on here, there must be a lot of "lost books" floating around!

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,605
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Sounds like someone in the PO wanted got some free books.

Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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I once sent 3 boxes of atlases to a geography teacher in TN. Only 2 ever showed up sad

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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So sorry Terri, but books seperated from their mailing label are unlikely to be found and returned. This is one reason I wrap in plastic, and insert the PBS 'second sheet' securely inside the plastic. Receivers addy is on that page, and I circle it in bright marker JIC...it makes a nice emergency return address.

A member recently posted that she had a box of books received after going missing for a year, but it wasn't seperated from wrappings.

Last Edited on: 12/20/10 3:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<I would love to know what the post office does with all the books that get separated from their containers.>>

They go to the mail recovery center, then eventually go into their regular auctions in Atlanta. Check out this thread for more info.

Last Edited on: 12/20/10 3:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2010
Posts: 17
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Are we expected to keep a credit in reserve in case a lost book does show up? What happens if the receiver has spent all her credits (including the refunded one from the lost book) and then it arrives? Of course, I assume the receiver could go buy a credit right away, but would that be a faux pas?

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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When the system removes a credit, it will mark you as having a negative credit.  We cannot spend or give credits in the negative, but PBS does do it.

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,629
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I had a package delivered after a year but the package was intact.

I did have a friend who had ordered some stuffed animals in the mail, she received a box of socks instead.  The box had come open at some point, along with some others apparently, and the PO put the stuff back in what they thought was the correct packages.  She did fill out the form and a few months later did receive the stuffed animals.  Filthy dirty but they did find them and deliver them.

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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I ordered a book of fairy tales from PBS once and the box arrived fine... with a C++ computer programers book inside.  Never found the fairy tales but, but my computer friend did love the book. 

Date Posted: 12/23/2010 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I had a book show up 7 months after being sent, with the wrapper in perfect shape...no idea where it went for all that time. But not had any that were in a package that broke open arrive late, no...how could it unless the information was also inside the book itself?


Date Posted: 12/23/2010 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,327
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Many years ago I sent a box of books from Kansas to my father in California - sent media mail (or book rate at that time).  I don't think I told him they were coming and really forgot about them.  One day I got a phone call from the place where lost things go (at that time in St. Paul, MN), and they asked me about the box.  Told them yes, I'd sent it, and she told me you should always put a return address label in a box of anything you send in case the outer label gets damaged.  They took my info and sent the box of books on to my dad.  In that case only the label was damaged and not the box itself.  Hope they turn up.  Pat

Date Posted: 12/24/2010 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 433
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I returned a box of books once, about 10 of them.  They disappeared in Penn. somewhere.  The package labels (to and from) AND the book list that was inside the box were all returned to me but the box itself and the books were never to be seen again.

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2008
Posts: 7
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I had a book I requested get lost and it appeared to me 3 months later out of the blue. Totally weird.

Date Posted: 12/31/2010 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2009
Posts: 105
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When I had a book lost out of its wrappings, I put in a search form both at the post office where the envelope had been marked damaged and another to the center in Atlanta. However, I was also told that chances of getting a book out of its package returned is very slim, since it could have also been mistakenly sent somewhere else in another person's package that had also been damaged.

Date Posted: 1/1/2011 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,018
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Mine never have.